oil

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.

Larry Lamsa / Flickr

The U.S. government has announced it is removing the lesser prairie chicken from a federal protection list under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday the move follows recent court rulings in Texas that stripped the lesser prairie chicken of federal protection. However, federal officials say the removal didn't mean authorities had concluded the lesser prairie chicken didn't warrant federal protection for biological reasons.

In 2007, Rick Kinder was working for a contractor, building a house in southern Colorado. The workers had just finished putting in all the doors, windows and sealing the house. Kinder and a colleague were working in the crawlspace, hanging insulation.

"And we just heard this big roar and then a big boom, and it threw us against the walls, and it just blew the whole top of the roof off," Kinder says.

A bill that would bank tax revenues to cushion the state budget during energy industry downturns awaits the governor’s signature.  

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The deadline to fund state government is rapidly approaching, and legislators are struggling to bridge a $1.3 billion budget gap. One idea is to end a tax rebate for unprofitable oil and gas wells, but small oil and gas producers say their safety net shouldn’t be used to plug the state’s budget hole.

REVENUE, REBATES

The Oklahoma House of Representatives is in session, and Darlene Wallace is blocking the ornate entrance to the main floor. She’s an obstacle, an oil producer — and she’s clutching a clipboard with the names of lawmakers.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The oil boom minted millionaire executives and transformed Oklahoma City into a corporate energy hub, but industry tax breaks and funding cuts kept much of the prosperity from reaching public services, a new Reuters investigation shows.

Just a few months ago, the price of a barrel of crude oil reached a 30-year low. That price has inched up since then, but still, it remains 60 percent lower than it was in the summer of 2014.

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Grace Hood of Colorado Public Radio reports for Marketplace of a boon for auction houses during a downturn in oil and gas activity.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As crude prices limp along, a tax rebate for “economically at-risk” wells is poised to grow into one of the state’s biggest tax breaks for business and industry.

Two years ago, when Oklahoma crude was selling for about $100 a barrel, the rebates totaled just $11 million, Oklahoma Watch’s Warren Vieth reports:

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