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Oklahoma Attorney General: North Texas Doesn’t Need Oklahoma Water

Filed by KOSU News in State Impact.
March 26, 2013

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed three briefs in Tarrant Regional Water District vs. Herrmann, an Oklahoma/Texas Supreme Court water war that could affect interstate water-sharing agreements throughout the country.

Pruitt want the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which threw out the case. The Journal Record’s M. Scott Carter described Pruitt’s most recent filing as “terse”:

In Oklahoma’s brief, Pruitt said arguments from the TRWD and the United States were flawed.

“Tarrant should not get a new opportunity to change positions, not least because the United States’ theory shares many of the same flaws as Tarrant’s,” Pruitt said in the brief.

A central part of TRWD’s argument is that the Red River Compact allows the north Texas district to claim water within the borders of Oklahoma. Pruitt and the State of Oklahoma are hoping to dismantle this claim, the paper reports:

“The negotiating history confirms that the states did not intend cross-border rights,” he wrote. “Our calculations reveal that Texas received at least 29 percent of the excess, confirm the drafters’ long-standing assumption that there was not call for an exceptional cross-border right.”

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