Recently, several newspapers and media companies across Oklahoma have voiced their opposition to State Question 777 (SQ777), citing issues on water quality, vague language, environmental effects and more.
Joining the Journal Record’s endorsement against SQ777 in July, the Tulsa World, Norman Transcript and Muskogee Phoenix have all released editorials in the last week taking a stand against the measure known as Right-to-Farm, which will be on the ballot Nov. 8.
The Tulsa World, the most recent media outlet to endorse the opposition, cites SQ777 “solves no pressing problem in the state, and it could create some.”
In its editorial, the World weighs the pros and cons, including what’s been said by supporters and opponents of the measure, but comes to the conclusion no one should control our land, water and rights:
[S]houldn’t the people through their elected representatives, be able to regulate an industry that affects land, water and food? You say the state shouldn’t regulate those things. Why not?
The first rule of constitutional amendments should be: First, do no harm, and in its potential for unintended consequences — especially in the state’s ability to protect its own environment — we fear harm in SQ 777.
Farming is very important, but SQ 777 doesn’t solve any real Oklahoma problems, and its potential to create new problems in the future makes it bad policy.
According to the Norman Transcript, “SQ 777 would freeze any new legislation directed at farming or ranching. The industry should certainly be allowed to develop and utilize new technologies, methods and practices, but the state and cities should be able to pass laws and ordinances when necessary. Restricting them from doing so takes power away from leaders elected by Oklahomans.”
The Norman Transcript‘s editorial board went on to firm its stance against SQ777, stating “a constitutional amendment is too permanent, and the language too broad and restrictive, for SQ 777 to be a good idea.”
Last week, Muskogee City Council penned an editorial in the Muskogee Phoenix against State Question 777, a stance the Phoenix‘s editorial board has joined, applauding the councilors’ efforts and encouraging voters to “take into consideration their councilors’ concerns.”