Corporation Commission

Linda N. / Flickr

Oklahoma Gas and Electric is proposing a new “demand charge” be levied on customers who install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines.

The suggested rate structure was filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has to approve so-called “distributed generation” tariffs for OG&E and Public Service Co. by the end of the year, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports. OG&E says the new billing structure will eliminate the “subsidization” of solar customers by traditional customers:

The subsidization issue was one used by OG&E and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma to push for Senate Bill 1456, which passed in 2014.

The utilities said distributed generation customers still rely on the grid for electricity when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Under current billing options, some fixed costs are captured in the kilowatt-hour energy charges that vary by customer usage. The utilities claim rooftop solar users aren’t paying their fair share for poles, transformers, transmission lines and other fixed costs at the times of the day when they’re getting most of their electricity from solar generation.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities on Monday ordered the operators of 23 disposal wells in two counties to reduce the amount of wastewater pumped underground.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells.

Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two burly ben armed with sledgehammers take turns bashing a khaki-colored steel flange fastened to a pipe in the middle of a soggy, gravely lot near Wakita in northwestern Oklahoma.

The tangle of valves and fittings, called the Christmas tree, has to come off before Jay Storm’s crew can start their work in earnest.

“Everything is a little seized up this morning, so we’re having to manually try to get a couple different components separated by hand,” says Storm, completions supervisor for Tulsa-based Eagle Energy Exploration.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to surge in Oklahoma and seismologists warn of more frequent and more damaging shaking, the state’s oil and gas regulator is issuing new orders to companies operating wells in seismically active regions of the state.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s new requirements, known as directives, were mailed March 18 to 92 people or companies operating 347 Arbuckle formation disposal wells in quake-prone regions of the state.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Tuesday ended its four-month inquiry into wind energy development in Oklahoma. The examination could lead to new rules, though it’s not clear what they might be or which agency would enforce them.

The commission heard from vocal landowners for and against wind farms. Developers lauded the economic potential of Oklahoma’s wind, while conservationists and Indian tribes warned that, left unchecked, turbines would kill threatened bird species and ruin delicate grasslands.

At a meeting Tuesday, Oklahoma Corporation Commission has stepped up monitoring and inspections of disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state.

The efforts come as regulators, scientists and energy companies gather new information on the links between earthquakes and oil and gas production.

Agency inspectors are focusing on a small fraction of the roughly 12,000 injection wells where oil and gas waste is pumped deep underground.

Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

This year, Oklahoma has had more earthquakes than California. There is a growing body of scientific research that suggests oil and gas production is fueling this increase in seismic activity.

new paper published today in the journal Science, suggests a small number of wastewater wells used in drilling operations could be responsible for many of the quakes.

High-Volume Outliers

Todd Hiett campaign / http://votetoddhiett.net/

The election to fill the 5th Congressional District seat that opened when James Lankford decided to run for U.S. Senate is going to a run-off on both the Democratic and Republican sides.