Oklahoma has nearly 5,000 dams, more than most other states. When they were built, they were classified based on the risk their failure would pose to people and property.
But for many dams, it’s been decades since that risk was evaluated, and the potential hazard has changed because Oklahoma has changed. There are houses, roads and people where there weren’t before.
How did Oklahoma get so far behind in the dam reclassification game?
Mainly, the cost. Reclassifying dams into proper categories — low, significant or high-hazard, if loss of life could result in a dam’s failure — is expensive and time consuming. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board oversees the state’s dam safety program, and Director Yohanes Sugeng is trying to meet a pressing public safety need without a lot of money.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:14 pm
The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt is adding Oklahoma to the list of 20 states suing President Barack Obama over his executive action to spare from deportation nearly 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
Pruitt announced Tuesday that Oklahoma would join the multistate lawsuit filed in federal district court in Texas.
In a statement, Pruitt said the president's executive actions are "unlawful and unconstitutional."