oil

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After getting concessions, a group of small independent oil and gas producers is now endorsing a suite of tax increases and government reforms written by a group of business leaders known as the Step Up Oklahoma plan.

Oklahoma taxpayers are fed up.

Riding high on the oil boom of the late 2000s, the state followed the Kansas model and slashed taxes. But the promised prosperity never came. In many cases, it was just the opposite.

facebook.com/StepUpOklahoma

A new poll shows broad support for the Step Up Oklahoma budget plan that was introduced by local civic and business leaders.

The survey from SoonerPoll shows nearly 70 percent of likely Oklahoma voters approve of the budget fix to raise $780 million in revenue through increased taxes in cigarettes, oil and gas, fuel, wind power and income.

SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard says this shows has broad based support.

As Oklahoma lawmakers deal with the current legislative session, they are also still holding a special session.

Legislative leaders are hoping to get bills heard in committee this week. The bills, crafted on recommendations from the business coalition Step Up Oklahoma, would raise taxes and create reforms in state government.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols says he’s hearing one main theme from lawmakers and constituents alike.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced a dramatic drop in earthquakes in 2017 — a decline likely due, in part, to regulations limiting activity at oil-field disposal wells, scientists and experts say. New research suggests those regulations might be reducing some quakes more than others.

It’s been two years since state oil and gas regulators adopted a broad regional plan that limits the amount of wastewater pumped into disposal wells in quake-prone areas. The good news: It appears to be working. After peaking in 2015, earthquakes became a lot less frequent.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oil and gas firm Chesapeake Energy today started laying off hundreds of workers, a cost-cutting move concentrated on employees at the company's Oklahoma City headquarters.

Chesapeake is laying off roughly 13 percent of its workforce — about 400 people — across the company. In an email to employees, CEO Doug Lawler said layoffs were needed to reduce debt, enhance profit and improve the company's cash flow.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Federal and state authorities are investigating the cause of the deadly explosion and fire at a natural gas drilling rig in southeastern Oklahoma on Monday.  Five workers died in what appears to be one of the country’s deadliest onshore drilling accidents. The well site, located near the town of Quinton, 100 miles south of Tulsa, was operated by Oklahoma City-based Red Mountain Energy. Patterson-UTI Energy, of Houston, owns and operates the drilling rig, which exploded and caught fire about 8:45 a.m.

Updated 5:12 p.m.

State medical authorities have confirmed that five oil-field workers died after an explosion and fire at a natural gas drilling site in southeastern Oklahoma on Monday.

A preliminary investigation suggests all five men likely died on the drilling rig close to where the explosion and fire started near the town of Quinton, 100 miles south of Tulsa. One worker was burned and taken by helicopter to the hospital. 16 other workers made it off the rig site safely.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Governor's threat to veto any budget bill in the second special session which doesn't include a pay raise for teachers, the Oklahoma Education Association releases a poll showing support in Oklahoma for a teacher pay raise and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association challenges the constitutionality of an initiative petition to increase taxes on oil and gas wells to fund education.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association on Wednesday filed two separate state Supreme Court challenges to a proposed state question that would ask voters to end industry discounts and impose a broad 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher pay raises and early childhood education.

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