Oklahoma's Attorney General Mike Hunter Talks WOTUS, Opioids and Why He's Seeking ReelectionTue, 21 Aug 2018 11:35:41 CDT
Oklahoma’s current Attorney General Mike Hunter, who stepped in after former AG Scott Pruitt was named Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency by President Trump, is now seeking the Republican nomination for the upcoming election to continue serving in his interim role, this time for a full term. Whether or not Hunter secures that nomination will be known soon enough, with that poll scheduled to take place next Tuesday, August 28th. This week, Hunter visited with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays in studio to speak about some of the issues related to rural Oklahoma that he has been tackling while in office and what he hopes to continue to offer Oklahomans as their Attorney General. Listen to that complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
One issue that has certainly drawn his attention as of late, is the resurrection of the controversial Waters of the US rule, thanks to a recent decision by a district court judge in South Carolina.
“Taken literally, it would have reinstated the WOTUS rule. And so, what we’ve done is asked Judge (Claire) Eagan , to issue an injunction so that the WOTUS rule isn’t imposed on folks here in the State of Oklahoma,” he said, remarking that other states involved are following suit. “There are actually 26 states that the decision in South Carolina could affect and I think we’re all moving quickly to enjoin the WOTUS rule from going into effect.”
Read the motion filed by Hunter's office to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, by clicking here.
The WOTUS rule is something that Hunter’s predecessor, Scott Pruitt, worked on heavily in both roles as Oklahoma’s AG and as EPA Administrator to repeal and replace the flawed and burdensome regulation. Hunter insists he shares Pruitt’s and the stakeholders’ frustrations with the rule.
“Particularly, for those of us who grew up in agriculture - the idea that a mud puddle or a farm pond is going to be subject to federal regulation just doesn’t make any sense.”
Aside from WOTUS, though, Hunter is addressing other issues as well including the opioid epidemic that continues to plague rural areas in Oklahoma and across the country.
“We’re losing about a thousand Oklahomans a year to opioid overdoses,” he said. “Most of those are totally preventable.”
Hunter says his office has taken a three-pronged approach in addressing this issue. He says his first action was to hold opioid manufacturers accountable for over supplying and “brainwashing” physicians into believing that opioids weren’t addictive and has entered lawsuits against many of them. Secondly, his office has worked to shut down pill mills and is prosecuting doctors who have been reckless in their prescribed treatments employing opioids. Lastly, Hunter says his office continues to work with the Legislature to secure more tools and resources to help fight the epidemic.
As a fourth generation Oklahoman, Hunter grew up on a wheat and cattle farm near Enid and just east of Waukomis in Garfield County. He attended both Oklahoma State University and later OU Law. Since then he has split his time profession between the private and public sector representing farmers and ranchers and oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. Hunter worked a stint in the 80s as a state legislator and later as former Governor Frank Keeting’s Secretary of State and for Oklahoma politician JC Watts as well. As Attorney General, Hunter says he enjoys working for Oklahomans and hopes to continue to in his current capacity during this next term.
“My experience as a lawyer, as an administrator is a good fit for this job,” he said. “This is a great job and every day we go in and make a difference for the people in the State of Oklahoma. Our job is to keep Oklahomans safe and we wake up every morning and go to bed at night with that as our magnetic north.”
Listen to Hunter speak with Hays about these topics and others, including his thoughts on the legalization of medical marijuana in the state, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News