Logan Layden

StateImpact Oklahoma

Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.

Ways to Connect

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Come July 1, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission will be no more.

Gov. Mary Fallin on May 11 signed a bill disbanding the small state agency, transferring its mission — and employees — to the Grand River Dam Authority, which now takes on the Commission’s role of keeping Oklahoma’s six scenic rivers clean and safe for tourists.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week chose a new leader for 2017: Charles McCall. The Republican is from Atoka in southeast Oklahoma, which could bring a unique perspective on water to the capitol.

BIG FIGHTS BACK HOME

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday approved Oklahoma Gas and Electric’s plan to install air scrubbers at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock. In order to comply with the federal Regional Haze Rule, OG&E needs to reduce emissions at the plant.

The state’s largest utility says it needs the commission’s approval for the $500 million dollar scrubber plan by early May. OG&E’s detractors, including the Sierra Club, say making a half-billion dollar investment in coal flies in the face of industry trends toward renewable forms of energy, like wind power.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Budget cuts and the death of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission were the thrust of mid-April’s regular meeting of the OSRC. But the real fireworks were around State Question 777, which you’ve probably heard referred to as ‘right-to-farm. What you probably haven’t heard it called yet is “State Question 666.”

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission is a small agency with a big job: Police the Illinois River and protect six of the state’s most delicate waterways from pollution. But budget cuts have forced the commission to plan  for its own death.

NOTHING LEFT TO CUT

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas and Electric went before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission again this week to try to get approval for environmental upgrades at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The fight over control of Sardis Lake and water across southeastern Oklahoma pits the state against Native American tribes. To the Choctaw and Chickasaw who live in the area today — and for the Caddo who preceded them — water isn’t just vital to life: It’s culturally sacred.

ADOPTED WATERS

Allison Herrera / Invisible Nations

Oklahoma’s lakes drive millions of dollars of tourism to otherwise impoverished parts of the state. But the local economy around Sardis Lake is missing out because of uncertainty about the water’s future.

‘DID YOU SEE ANYBODY?’

Allison Herrera

Sardis Lake, in southeastern Oklahoma, is at the heart of a battle between state and tribal governments over control of water. Debate has raged over whether to pipe to north Texas, Oklahoma City, or western Oklahoma ever since it was built in the early 1980s. Stuck in the middle are the people who call the Sardis area home.

Several miles down the rugged, potholed Savage Road, just past the western edge of Lake Sardis is a neighborhood in the middle of nowhere.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma could become a right-to-farm state if voters approve State Question 777this November. But opponents are gearing up for a legal fight to keep the issue off the ballot.

CHICKEN WASTE WORRIES

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