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PM NewsBrief: Oct. 17, 2022

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.

The city of Cushing is a finalist for a massive new crude oil refinery site

Southern Rock Energy Partners will decide between using Cushing or a site in Texas for a $5.6 billion “next generation” refinery that would be one of the largest in the country. Once built, it’s expected to process 250,000 barrels of light crude daily.

The refinery would use solar power and recycled water to cut 90% of its emissions. If chosen, Cushing could see an influx of more than 400 full-time jobs with an average salary of around $93,000, as well as at least 1,200 temporary construction jobs during the 3-year building process.

Cushing was once home to more than 50 refineries. One of those, the Hudson Refinery, eventually became a Superfund site that took nearly 30 years to clean up after contaminating the soil, surface water and groundwater.

The decision for who gets the new site is expected by the end of the year.

Drought update

Despite some rain over the weekend, a lot more will be needed to make a dent in the state’s drought.

The harshest drought is centered over Oklahoma and Kansas. According to the Drought Monitor Map, nearly 86 percent of the state is now in extreme-to-exceptional drought--the two highest levels.

Drought at this level of severity covering this much area has not been seen since February of 2013. With the latest data, Oklahoma now takes the unwanted lead of worst drought coverage in the U.S. And relief appears unlikely.

As we head into our driest season, the Climate Prediction Center forecasts a 75 percent chance of La Nina continuing through the winter.

The Apple Store in Oklahoma City became the second in the country to win its union election

The Apple Store at the Penn Square Mall voted 56-32 to join Communications Workers of America, making it the second such store in the country to unionize, following Towson, Maryland earlier this year.

The Penn Square Labor Alliance went public with their intention to unionize just last month and have since faced a number of union-busting tactics from Apple, including mandatory anti-union meetings held by managers.

The Apple union organizers have also received support from local Starbucks union organizers, who have won several union elections this year as well.

The vote will be officially certified by the National Labor Relations Board in the coming days, after which negotiations may begin.

Oklahoma State falls out of the top ten

The Cowboys dropped from eighth to eleventh after a 43-40 overtime defeat to the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.

The Pokes are coming home to host the Texas Longhorns at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday afternoon at 2:30.

The Sooners are celebrating a 42-52 win against the Kansas Jayhawks with the coming weekend off.

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