Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Cherokee Nation Preserves Food Culture by Freezing History

Biologist and Cherokee Nation Administrative Liaison Pat Gwin removes white eagle corn seeds from the seed bank freezer at Cherokee Nation headquarters in Tahlequah, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Biologist and Cherokee Nation Administrative Liaison Pat Gwin removes white eagle corn seeds from the seed bank freezer at Cherokee Nation headquarters in Tahlequah, Okla.

Before the Cherokee people were forced from their lands in the eastern U.S. along the Trail of Tears, the tribe grew varieties of crops now nearly lost. But at the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank in Tahlequah, Okla., a vital part of the tribe’s history is kept frozen.

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Oklahoma AG and EPA Pick Pruitt Stalled Pollution Lawsuit After Contributions From Poultry Industry

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt speaking about energy self-sufficiency at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2016.

American Conservative Union / C-SPAN

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt speaking about energy self-sufficiency at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, walked back a legal fight to clean up rivers polluted by chicken manure after accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions linked to the poultry industry, campaign and court records show. Continue Reading

‘Pruitt Didn’t Follow State Law on Reporting Outside Attorney Costs’

Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is about to face Senate hearings to confirm his nomination as administrator of the EPA, has failed to follow a state law requiring his agency to report spending on outside attorneys, The Frontier’s Ziva Branstetter reports.

Pruitt didn’t follow state law on reporting outside attorney costs

The Frontier first asked his office for records last month showing how much it spent each year on outside legal contracts. Though the office posted the reports to the attorney general’s website late Tuesday, they do not include Pruitt’s office in the list of reports. Continue Reading

‘Pruitt Fundraising PACs to Wind Down by EPA Confirmation Hearing, Attorney Says’

An attorney for Scott Pruitt two political action committees says the groups will be terminated by the time the Oklahoma attorney general’s Senate confirmation hearings for administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports:

Pruitt fundraising PACs to wind down by EPA confirmation hearing, attorney says

Two federal political action committees formed to support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and conservative causes will shutter operations this month ahead of his planned Senate confirmation hearings for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading

$2.6 Million Paid By Farmers And Ranchers Missing From Oklahoma Beef Council

A foreman at the Shirley Ranch helps unload a trailer of Red Angus cattle to winter in a pasture near Alva, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A foreman at the Shirley Ranch helps unload a trailer of Red Angus cattle to winter in a pasture near Alva, Okla.

A federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee of an obscure state board that promotes the beef industry, money created by a mandatory government program funded by farmers and ranchers. Continue Reading

Why Oklahoma and Other Red States Might Pump Up Gasoline Taxes to Fill Budget Holes

An abandoned gas station near Edmond, Okla.

Michael Kesler / Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

An abandoned gas station near Edmond, Okla.

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that’s nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

State taxes on motor fuel haven’t been touched since 1987. There are a lot of similarities between the situation then and what Oklahoma lawmakers now face: An economy shaken by low oil prices and dwindling revenue streams to fund state government. Continue Reading

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