This week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about their expectation for 2016, new presidential action in an attempt to reduce gun violence and a dispute between the State Auditor and the Attorney General.

The trio also discuss the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma and the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s a $1 billion hole in the state budget that has consequences for Oklahoma’s environment and natural resources. A controversial state question could pit farmer against farmer. The ground beneath Oklahoma is shaking — figuratively and literally in 2016 — and StateImpact is on it.



State oil and gas authorities are finalizing legal action to force a “financially strapped” Oklahoma energy company to abandon disposal wells suspected of contributing to earthquakes.

Sandridge Energy has been defying directives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to shut down six disposal wells in north-central Oklahoma. Commission staff are finalizing a legal filing that, if approved, could modify permits and halt operation of the wells.

Faults are often revealed “when a series of earthquakes fire off with epicenters in a linear pattern,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.

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Oklahoma City residents woke early New Year's Day to a magnitude 4.2 quake. Earlier this week, a magnitude 4.3 quake struck the same area.

The state isn't historically known for earthquakes, but NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit that Oklahoma "has recently seen a dramatic rise in seismic activity." Here's more:

strong earthquake that woke scores of residents in the Oklahoma City area before dawn Tuesday is shaking regulators and state lawmakers.

No immediate reports of injuries or major damage, but the 4.3-magnitude temblor is blamed for a power outage that affected thousands.

Al Jazeera America’s documentary on Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry-linked earthquake surge airs Dec. 13. The doc includes an unfettered interview with former state seismologist Austin Holland on his last day at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, during which he details industry pressure and conflicts of interest by state officials tasked with studying the shaking.

Two 4.7 magnitude earthquakes have hit northern Oklahoma in the last two weeks, serving as an important reminder for those lacking earthquake insurance coverage.

State Insurance Commissioner John Doak says there’s usually a moratorium on purchasing coverage after a 2.0 or higher magnitude earthquake, but not having it is risky.

"If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you’re self-insuring, which means you’re going to take on the entire loss," says Doak.