The Christian Science Monitor

Oklahoma cut taxes. Now a squeeze on public services forces a rethink.

As past president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, an industry body that his father helped to create, Dewey Bartlett Jr. is a familiar voice in policy debates.

So when he began calling this year for higher state taxes on oil producers to help fund cash-strapped public services, Oklahomans sat up and listened. “I came out of the closet,” jokes Mr. Bartlett, a two-time Republican mayor of this city, once called the Oil Capital of the World.

Many of Bartlett’s oil-industry peers didn’t like what they heard. Soon Bartlett was facing calls to stick to the group’s talking points – keep taxes low to encourage oil exploration – or resign from its board of directors. So far he’s done neither, insisting that he has a right

Echoes of Kansas‘Communities are feeling it’Effects on growth?A debate over oil incentives

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