With a little less than two months until the end of this legislative session, the Oklahoma House and Senate are considering bills covering a wide range of topics, from gun rights to teacher pay raises.
Bill to loosen Oklahoma gun laws failed in Senate
House Bill 2323 would have allowed a citizen 21 or older, without a felony, to carry a loaded gun in their vehicle without a valid handgun license.
Voters in Edmond rejected a proposed expansion of the Spring Creek Plaza shopping center on Tuesday.
The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes the proposal would have added 260,000 square feet of retail space at S. Bryant Avenue and E. 15th Street, as well as 325 luxury apartments. The city council approved the zoning change to the 26-acre property in November.
In March, the legislature asked state agencies how they would deal with worst-case budget reductions of nearly 15 percent. A cut that deep at the Department of Tourism could cost Oklahoma half of its state parks.
Storm chasers continue to have a central role in documenting tornadoes, according to a leading Oklahoma meteorologist.
Gary England told KGOU that storm chasers give forecasters and meteorologists “eyes on the ground” that radars and other technological advances cannot provide. A human in the field sends back an immediate eye witness account of what is occurring during storm, like a wall cloud, a funnel cloud or a tornado on the ground.
In 2003, Mike Stice was the chairman of the National Petroleum Council’s supply committee. They reached a consensus on the status of oil in the United States: The country was out of oil and gas.
“Of course, you can see today, we were so wrong,” Stice said.
Now the dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Earth and Energy, Stice says emerging technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing, have created a whole new supply of oil and gas in the United States.
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 nation in the American Wind Energy Association’s report on wind power capacity.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to roll back many Obama-era rules meant to combat climate change. Politico’s Alex Guillén reports many of the directives in the order are geared toward making it easier to produce coal used for power generation:
Severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flash floods are possible Tuesday and Tuesday night across most of Oklahoma.
The highest risk for severe storms will be in southwestern Oklahoma, including the communities of Lawton and Altus, where the chance is greatest for isolated supercells with large hail and possible tornadoes this afternoon and evening.
As the storms move east, the main threat will be damaging wind, though large hail and tornadoes will remain possible.