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Bob Kerr on his ranch near Carnegie, Okla., which is flanked by turbines from the Blue Canyon Wind Farm.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Wind Industry Says Rolling Back Last Major Incentive Will Undermine Investments In Oklahoma

One major tax incentive for wind energy remains on the books in Oklahoma. And the Legislature is poised to end it — more than three years early. The politics of renewable energy have changed as state revenues have failed, but some wind producers say lawmakers are reneging on a deal that sends a bad message to any industry considering investing in Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s wind industry has grown year after year. With 3,400 turbines spread across 41 wind farm projects, the state ranks No. 3 in the...

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This is the Manager’s Minute.

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If you’re an avid listener, you’ve heard us say that many times.

But, it’s more than a slogan. It signals our commitment to trusted news and information, and the “Dialogue of Democracy.”

That’s what public service media is all about.

The ratings, across the nation, prove the value of NPR.

In 2016, ratings for the flagship programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, increased 25 to 43 percent in the 25 to 54 year old age group.

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Moments after explaining how another state revenue failure will require millions of dollars of mid-year budget cuts, Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger issued a warning to lawmakers and top state officials.

“I don’t know how much more I can emphasize that the time for action is now,” he said at last week’s Board of Equalization meeting, at which the group also certified revenue figures that show an $878 million shortfall for next year. “It’s not a game. We need new revenue.”

 

Oklahomans will have the option to get new identification cards in compliance with the federal government’s REAL ID Act. Also this week, a major rating agency decreased the state’s credit rate, which could make the capitol restoration more expensive.

Governor Mary Fallin signed the REAL ID Act into effect on Thursday to make Oklahoma state licenses comply with federal minimum safety standards of identification.

The Department of Public Safety must now find a provider to issue the IDs.

Jan Damm, left; Sabine Choucair, center; and Kolleen Kintz, back perform in Greece for Clowns Without Borders.
Clowns Without Borders

 

 

Andrew Horton believes the best way to understand a country’s people is to learn what makes them laugh.

“Laughter crosses borders,” he says.

Students listen during a class titled “Land and Lease” at Oklahoma City University’s School of Law in downtown Oklahoma City Monday.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

It’s been nearly 70 years since Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher made history when she became the first African American law student at the University of Oklahoma. Today, there are still few African Americans at law firms.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry Cobo writes Sipuel Fisher was a pioneer who challenged segregation.

A field medic raises her fist as protestors stand near a fire blocking a road along the Dakota Access Pipeline Route near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.
Oceti Sakowin Camp / CC BY-NC 2.0

Oklahoma legislators are advancing a bill that outlaws trespassing on sites containing “critical infrastructure.” Supporters say the measure will help prevent damage and disruption of energy markets, electric grids and water services, but environmental activists and civil rights groups say the bill’s real purpose is to block political protests of pipelines and similar projects.

‘A NUMBER ON MY ARM’

U.S. Drought Monitor

Frigid temperatures never fully took hold in Oklahoma this winter. February saw record high temperatures, and instead of ice and snow, wildfires were the main weather-related concern, and drought — though improved — has persisted across much of the state.

In a statement summarizing February’s weather highlights and looking ahead to March, State Climatologist Gary McManus says the first two months of 2017 broke the record for the warmest combined January and February in state history.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted a request by the Attorney General’s office to delay a lower court’s order requiring the agency to turn over records sought by a watchdog group.

The Center for Media and Democracy sued the agency in February to force it to handover emails sent during the tenure of former attorney general Scott Pruitt, now administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation on Thursday that will bring Oklahoma into compliance with the federal 2005 REAL ID Act. 

 

House Bill 1845 will allow Oklahomans to choose between a REAL ID-compliant drivers licence, or one that is not. A REAL ID-compliant license or identification, or a federally-issued ID such as a passport, will be required to board commercial airlines or enter federal facilities.

 

Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images

Shortly after the president concluded, Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivered the Democratic Response to President Trump’s address. Beshear was chosen by Democratic Party leaders for his record on expanding affordable health care. NPR staff put together this transcript of Beshear’s remarks and journalists across the NPR newsroom also annotated his remarks.

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