Corporation Commission

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is still experiencing an unusually large amount of shaking, but the rate of earthquakes recorded in 2016 is down from last year.

The slowdown is likely due to reductions in the amount of waste-fluid the oil industry is pumping into disposal wells, which are thought to be causing most of the shaking.

Oklahoma’s four primary environmental agencies have lost more than $15 million in state appropriations and tens of millions of dollars in legislatively directed reductions to revolving funds, OETA reports.

A Democratic state representative from south Oklahoma City is withdrawing as a candidate for a six-year term on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Term-limited state Rep. Richard Morrissette announced his withdrawal in a statement on Wednesday, citing the death of his father in April as a contributing factor.

"I believe it would be prudent for me to drop out of this race and concentrate on matters of importance which effect my life."

An attorney, Morrissette said he planned to submit a formal notice to the Oklahoma Election Board soon.

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.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed legislation that clarifies state regulators’ authority to take action on oil and gas operations linked to earthquakes.

The measure, House Bill 3158, authored by Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman of Fairview, takes effect immediately.

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.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to approve new rules specifying how agency staff and disposal well operators will settle disputes over regulatory actions issued to reduce earthquakes.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House on Monday voted to approve legislation clarifying and confirming the authority of state oil and gas regulators to take actions designed to stop industry-linked earthquakes.The measure, House Bill 3158, authored by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, gives the Oklahoma Corporation Commission exclusive jurisdiction to “take whatever action is necessary” in responding to oil-field emergencies.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has hundreds of abandoned oil and gas wells, the byproduct of a century of petroleum production. Left unrepaired, many of these wells can endanger people and the environment. The state has a fund to plug abandoned wells, but some of that money has been diverted due to budget cuts.

Jack Romine discovered natural gas without spending a dime on exploration, drilling or production.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the official budget shortfall for lawmakers grows to $1.3B, officials announce an extra $43M for education after telling schools to expect a $19M cut and the state Supreme Court upholds the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Act.