The decision was unanimous, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion for the court. Here’s an excerpt from her opinion, which is embedded above:
Three things persuade the Court that the Compact did not grant cross-border rights: the well-established principle that States do not easily cede their sovereign powers; the fact that other interstate water compacts have treated cross-border rights explicitly; and the parties’ course of dealing
Attorneys representing Oklahoma and Texas argued Tarrant v. Herrmann at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case concerns water in the Red River, and experts say it’s a regional water fight that could impact national water-sharing agreements.
The Supreme Court has released a transcript of today’s arguments. The above transcript is preliminary. The court’s disclaimer: “Same-day transcripts are considered official but subject to final review.”
How important are the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s financing programs for local water projects across the state?
Since 1985, close to $3 billion in low-interest loans have been secured for projects ranging from $80,000 for a water tower in rural Custer County, to $65 million for a new water treatment plant in Broken Arrow.
For Broken Arrow, going through the state programs instead of shopping for a loan itself will save close to $20 million in interest. That’s because the state has a better credit rating than most cities and towns.
Mill Creek, in south-central Oklahoma, originates from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.
The land above the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer — perhaps Oklahoma’s most sensitive water resource — is dotted with great chasms, some empty, some filled with groundwater that’s seeped in.
It’s the result of pit mining by mostly out-of-state companies eager to get their hands on the area’s rich deposits of silica sand, often used for hydraulic fracturing, and some of finest limestone in the world.
But property owners along Mill Creek, which is fed by the aquifer, are reporting low water levels. The landowners blame the mining companies for pumping out massive amounts of groundwater as they bore through the aquifer.
State tax breaks for Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry do little to encourage drilling, and amount to an unnecessary corporate subsidy, Oklahoma Policy Institute director David Blatt argues in a new issue brief.
Installation of these tax credits began in the early 1990s to offset losses from new and risky production techniques, like horizontal and deep well drilling. The problem, according to Blatt: Oklahoma taxpayers are now subsidizing what’s become “standard industry practice:”
As a result, oil and gas production has shifted increasingly towards horizontal and deep well drilling, and the cost of these tax breaks has skyrocketed.
Earlier this morning, we threw up a post about Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. The company’s founding family says the health care law, which went into effect Aug. 1, violates their religious beliefs because it requires the company to provide insurance that covers morning-after pills and other “abortion-causing” birth control products.
The mandate, according to the suit, “would force religiously motivated business owners like Plaintiffs to violate their faith under threat of millions of dollars in fines.”
We’ve uploaded the entire federal court filing for your perusal, and we’re highlighting some interesting/important parts.
If $1.2 trillion in scheduled cuts are triggered in January, Oklahoma could be in line to lose almost 16,000 defense-related jobs over the next 15 months, according to a report prepared for the Aerospace Industries Association.
Oklahoma could lose 7,967 jobs directly from Department of Defense cuts and 7,852 jobs from non DOD-related cuts, according to the report, which was prepared by researchers at George Mason University in Virginia.
Russell Kohl, a family practice doctor in Vinita, received about $40,000 in state subsidies while he was in medical school. Some lawmakers have proposed un-appropriating the program, which incentivises rural doctors, to help pay for cutting the personal income tax.
Cutting Oklahoma’s income tax means cutting into the single largest source of state tax revenue.
Many of these income tax-reduction plans count on the expectation that other tax revenues — like the sales tax — will increase as Oklahoma’s economy prospers under a reduced income tax.
But spending cuts are a big piece of the pie, and the backers of one phase-out plan have issued a list of what should be axed, including a state commission to increase the number of doctors practicing in rural Oklahoma.