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Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt to face tough questions in Wednesday’s EPA-chief confirmation hearing:
The very moves that put Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt in position to head the Environmental Protection Agency are also likely to give him the most trouble in his Senate confirmation hearing, which begins Wednesday and could continue into Thursday [Tulsa World].
The Road Ahead: Elk City has hope in pro-energy president elect:
A slump in oil and gas production in 2014 began a two year stretch of layoffs, shuttered rigs and a sudden halt in new orders from clients. More than 30 percent of the energy workforce in the Elk City area vanished. But then Donald Trump delivered a shocking presidential win and oil workers felt like they were about to have a friend in the White House [The Oklahoman].
Interior nominee Zinke to be quizzed on public lands, coal:
A self-described “Teddy Roosevelt Republican,” Zinke has supported legislation to boost land and water conservation and recreation on public lands. Zinke has also advocated for increased oil and gas drilling and coal-mining on Western lands [AP].
Vilsack exits USDA week early, Trump promises nominee ‘soon’:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack left office Friday, one week ahead of President Obama. A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump said a nominee to succeed Vilsack would be named “some time soon” [Agri-Pulse].
Five things to watch in round 2 of Trump confirmation fights:
Pruitt has one rule during his Wednesday confirmation hearing: Do no harm. The Oklahoma attorney general is likely to be confirmed, only needing 50 votes in the upper chamber, but Democrats are planning to use the hearing to launch a multi-pronged trap for Pruitt [The Hill].
What to watch: A crush of hearings, and a transfer of power:
The Senate returns with an exceptionally crowded calendar as hearings on President-elect Donald J. Trump’s cabinet picks will dominate the week before the main event on Friday: Inauguration Day [New York Times].
Shimkus vows to use subcommittee chairmanship to work for WOTUS repeal (audio):
Illinois Republican John Shimkus will once again chair the House Environment Subcommittee, and he says he’ll use all options to kill the Waters of the U.S. rule [Agri-Pulse].
Supreme Court to hear WOTUS appeal:
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether jurisdiction in lawsuits filed over the Waters of the U.S. rule lies with federal district courts or appellate courts [Capital Press].
Enlist Duo OK’d for use on three crops in 34 states:
Corn, soybean and cotton growers in 34 states will be allowed to use Enlist Duo under a new decision issued by EPA [Agri-Pulse].
Deadline this week for proposals at Oklahoma Capitol:
Oklahoma lawmakers have until Thursday to submit legislation that can be heard this year, and some are working down to the wire [NewsOK].
States can offer a lesson as GOP proposes deep cut taxes:
President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans who have pledged to cut federal taxes to boost the economy might consider looking first at lessons learned in GOP-controlled states that adopted similar strategies, only to see growth falter and budget gaps widen [NewsOK].
Oklahoma leaders say sales tax – key to police and fire protection – is slipping away to online sales:
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett called for state help to reform the tax system and said Oklahoma’s reliance on sales tax to fund municipal government “is no longer a working, viable model” [The Oklahoman].