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PM NewsBrief: May 24, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Against Group Opposing Turnpike Plan

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled against a group opposing the highly-contested ACCESS turnpike project.

The court ruled that the group “failed to establish that they have a clear legal right to the injunctive.”

Pike Off OTA, the group opposing the plan, had sued the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority over the construction of three proposed turnpikes.

Despite the court’s ruling, the OTA still cannot proceed with the project or secure funding. Pike Off remains confident and awaits the Supreme Court's decision on if the OTA can enter the bond market to pay for the projects.

Meanwhile, the state attorney general has requested an audit of the OTA

Eco-Friendly Refinery Coming To Cushing

A $5.6 billion dollar refinery is coming to Cushing.

The city and company promise the facility will be more eco-friendly than existing refineries.

Southern Rock Energy Partners says when the refinery opens in 2027, it should only produce 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions and use a tenth of the water a normal refinery would.

If all goes according to plan, the facility will only use renewable energy to power the refining process.

The City of Cushing says it expects the project to create hundreds of jobs and generate $13 billion in economic benefits over its first decade.

Cushing beat out a site near the Gulf Coast in Texas for the refinery.

This announcement comes just days after a company called Enel unveiled plans to build a $1 billion solar panel factory in Inola, about 70 miles east of Cushing.

Oklahoma AG Joins Lawsuit To Stop Robocalls From Telecom Company

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond has joined a multi-state lawsuit against a telecommunications company over illegal robocalls.

According to a news release from the AG, authorities claim Avid Telecom made billions of calls on the “do not call” registry between December 2018 and January of this year.

Nearly 100-million of those calls were reportedly made to Oklahoma numbers.

Drummond said not only are robocalls a nuisance, but oftentimes they cause financial harm to Oklahomans, and those making such calls need to be held accountable.

State Park Restaurants Back In Business

Restaurants are opening in Oklahoma State Parks for Memorial Day weekend.

The Lookout Kitchen will be up and running this weekend across Oklahoma’s state parks.

The menu will feature American style foods, desserts and breakfast options.

It will be operated by Oklahoma City-based company La Ratatouille.

Four locations are already open.

Another will be ready at Beavers Bend in time for Memorial Day weekend. And a sixth at Quartz Mountain will launch sometime in June.

The Lookout Kitchen replaces Swadley’s Foggy Bottom, a chain of eateries that closed last year.

The state terminated their contract with the restaurant group following suspected fraudulent activity. The OSBI’s investigation into those allegations continues.

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