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PM NewsBrief: March 17, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, March 17, 2023.

Suing the EPA

Regulators are working to cut down on smog-causing emissions that travel across state lines. But Oklahoma officials are at odds with the EPA on how to do that.

The EPA says reducing emissions, which generate low-lying ozone smog, will improve health and quality of life for millions of people living downwind of industrial smog sources. The EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan covers 23 states, including Oklahoma, that were found to be exporting significant amounts of pollution to downwind neighbors.

Last month, the EPA fully rejected Oklahoma’s proposed plans for cutting those emissions, saying it didn’t include any permanent and enforceable measures. Now the agency has announced a federal plan to curb emissions. Under it, Oklahoma’s power plants and other industrial emitters will need to produce nearly 10,000 tons less pollutants each year by 2026.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond has filed a lawsuit against the EPA for its rejection of Oklahoma’s implementation plan, calling the federal plan “overreach of the first order.” In Oklahoma City,

OSU Receives Rural Medicine Grant

Oklahoma State University’s rural health program got a $3 million federal grant.

The OSU Center for Rural Health was one of several state organizations receiving some of this health equity funding from the CDC.

About $1.4 million will pay for scholarships to Oklahoma State’s medical school, allowing more future doctors and PAs to focus on tribal and rural medicine.

The rest will go to vans used as mobile clinics and programming under OSU extension offices that will focus on nutrition, water quality and broadband access.

Affordable Housing Bill Passes Through The House

A bill that would give Oklahomans an incentive to contribute to affordable housing funds passed through the House earlier this week.

Democratic Representative Forrest Bennett’s House Bill 2098 was voted through the House 76-6 earlier this week.

It would allow Oklahomans to make a tax-deductible donation of 1% of the proceeds from selling their home to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

Donations are capped at $5 million. The fund created by these donations would be used by Oklahoma cities and towns to develop affordable housing solutions.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where it will be sponsored by Republican Senator John Michael Montgomery.

Trump Visits Tulsa

Former president Donald Trump will be in Tulsa on Saturday.

The Tulsa World confirmed Trump is Senator Markwayne Mullin’s special guest to the NCAA wrestling championship at the BOK Center.

Trump’s last publicized visit to Tulsa was in June 2020, when he held his first campaign rally for re-election at the same location.

"So we begin. Oklahoma, we begin. Thank you Oklahoma, and thank you to vice president Mike Pence. We begin, we begin our campaign..."

Trump is currently in hot water over the congressional probe into the January 6 insurrection, an FBI raid at his home in Florida, and an expected indictment in the U.S. southern district of New York.

Mullin has denied the 2020 presidential election results, which is rhetoric that led to the insurrection.


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