In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that analysts predict the U.S. economy will add 300,000 more jobs this year if oil stays near its current price than if the price had remained at its June level. Oil producers are bailing out of long-term contracts for drilling rigs as crude prices fall.
Organizers of an education rally planned for March 30th say they’re expecting 50,000 people to turn up at the Capitol. Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett renewed his attacks on Oklahoma Muslims and questioned the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ sincerity in condemning the recent Paris attack.
The U.S. Geological Survey says Oklahoma had more earthquakes last year than in the past 30 years. Representatives from Iowa Pacific shared their plan for passenger rail between Tulsa and Oklahoma City with Tulsa city councilors.
In today’s Policy Note, a new analysis from Pew Research Center finds that financially insecure Americans are far less likely to vote or be politically engaged in other ways. The Number of the Day is the number of Oklahomans who selected plans on Healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period in 2014.
In The News
How lower oil prices could fuel more hiring in US
In June, when oil cost $107 a barrel, U.S. employers added a healthy number of jobs — 267,000. Now, with oil below $50, hopes are rising that hiring in the United States is poised to intensify. Goldman Sachs forecasts that if oil stays near its current price, the economy will add 300,000 more jobs this year than if the price had remained at its June level. Stronger job growth is foreseen at retailers, auto dealers, shipping firms, restaurants and hotels — all of which will likely show gains in Friday’s jobs report for December.
Sub-$50 Oil Has U.S. Shale Producers Cutting Rigs Loose Early
U.S. oil producers are bailing out of long-term contracts for drilling rigs as crude prices sink below $50, another signal that the nation’s shale boom is slowing. Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP:US), the biggest rig operator in the U.S., this week said it had received early termination notices for four contracts. Yesterday, a second contract driller, Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (PES:US), said four rigs had been canceled early.
Education rally set for March 30 at Capitol
Organizers of an education rally planned for March 30 at the Capitol say they’re expecting 50,000 people to attend. Oklahoma PTA President Jeffrey Corbett of Stillwater said Thursday the last such rally in March drew 25,000, but organizers did not get the results they sought from policy makers. “This year we’re coming back and we’ll be twice as strong,” Corbett said.
Oklahoma state rep John Bennett wants Muslim group to condemn part of Quran
State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, renewed his attacks on Oklahoma Muslims Thursday by calling on a state organization to repudiate sections of the Quran. Bennett also questioned the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ sincerity in condemning Wednesday’s attack on a Paris newspaper office by what appears to have been Muslim extremists.
A tale of two states (Neglected Oklahoma)
It was the best of times. Two days before Christmas last year, Juan Carlos Jackson’s foster mom helped him pack his things, strapped him into his car seat and drove him to the offices of the Missouri Department of Social Services where his birth mom waited to take him home.
Officials say Oklahoma had more earthquakes last year than in the past 30 years.
The U.S. Geological Survey says 567 earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.0 or greater were registered in Oklahoma, making it the most seismically active state in the nation, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Iowa Pacific Shares Details on Passenger Rail Trial Run
The state transportation department sold the 97.5 mile Sooner Sub line to the Watco Companies last year. Watco said then it would work with Iowa Pacific to offer passenger service on the freight line, and the company has come forward with an idea for six months of trial service. Representatives from Iowa Pacific shared their plan with Tulsa city councilors Thursday, and if they were hoping for someone enthusiastic to design the trial service between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, they got their wish.
Quote of the Day
“Extremists are extremists in any religion. People forget the history, even in our own country, less than 100 years ago we had the Ku Klux Klan, which looks a lot like ISIS.”
Number of the Day
Oklahoma residents who selected plans on Healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, 2014
The Politics of Financial Insecurity
Financial security is strongly correlated with nearly every measure of political engagement. For example, in 2014, almost all of the most financially secure Americans (94%) said they were registered to vote, while only about half (54%) of the least financially secure were registered. And although 2014 voting records are not yet available, pre-election estimates suggest that 63% of the most financially secure were “likely voters” last year, compared with just 20% of the least financially secure.
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