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Oklahoma officials react to Supreme Court water decision

Gov. Mary Fallin, members of Congress and state lawmakers hail U.S. Supreme Court decision that rebuffs Texas claim to water in southeastern Oklahoma.
Oklahoman Modified: June 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm •  Published: June 13, 2013

State officials reacted Thursday to the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision that Texas can't reach across the border for water without Oklahoma's consent.

Gov. Mary Fallin:

“Today's ruling is great news for the state of Oklahoma and yet another victory in the effort to protect our state's water resources. We've maintained all along that Oklahoma must have the ability to set its own water policy and today's unanimous Supreme Court decision solidifies that position.”

J.D. Strong, executive director, Oklahoma Water Resources Board:

“Obviously, today's unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is vindication for Oklahoma and the two neighboring Red River Compact states who joined with us to hold Texas accountable to the promises and provisions of our 33-year-old compact agreement.

“It's also a victory for the seven mostly arid western states who sided with Oklahoma and stood to lose at least as much control over their limited surface water supplies … After many years of legal maneuvering and saber-rattling, this should end, once and for all, Tarrant's attempts to circumvent Oklahoma's water management authority.”

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa:

“Having adequate water supplies is critical to our state's ability to create and attract more jobs, promoting even greater economic growth.

“We also understand the importance of developing a long-term water plan to meet our citizens' needs. It's why I helped create the Joint Legislative Water Committee in 2011 that included members from every part of Oklahoma. We also must continue to work with the tribes on this crucial issue — but all of these efforts would be completely undermined if another state had the ability to take Oklahoma's water whether we agreed or not.”

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville:

“Oklahoma's water should be kept in Oklahoma for our economic development, agricultural uses and recreation. Given the drought we have experienced, we must protect our water supply.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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