By Randy Krehbel
October 19, 2016
BARTLESVILLE — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Tuesday it is “simply not true” that a much-disputed state question would eliminate state regulation of water quality.
How those regulations are formulated, though, might be a different matter.
Speaking at the Bartlesville Public Library, Pruitt responded to a query about State Question 777, also known as Right to Farm, by saying he does not have a position on the matter, but that “Those who have said that the state will not have the ability to regulate state water, that’s simply not true.”
The proposed constitutional amendment forbids the enactment of legislation interfering with agriculture except in cases of “compelling state interest.” It grandfathers regulations in place as of Dec. 31, 2014.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau and other agriculture organizations say SQ 777 is necessary to ward off unnecessary and even harmful regulation sought by animal rights and environmental advocates.
Opponents, including those groups as well as several municipalities, predict the measure will lead to the erosion of environmental and animal safety protections and handcuff state government as agricultural practices evolve. There is also some concern the Legislature could repeal existing laws, which would then be