StateImpact Oklahoma

StateImpact Oklahoma
7:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Why Oklahoma’s Wind Energy Future Could Be Shaped by Osage County

Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is moving up the national ranks in wind-generated electricity. But as wind farms expand into northeastern Oklahoma, developers are facing a team of unlikely allies: Oil interests and environmentalists. But as StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, the wind farm fight in Osage County could affect the whole state.

The males are rowdy, the females are frisky. It’s bison breeding season in Oklahoma. This is the time when horns lock and fur flies.

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Earthquakes and the Oil and Gas Industry
8:54 am
Fri June 27, 2014

StateImpact: After Earthquakes, Oklahomans Call for Accountability, Oil and Gas Regulation

A seismic hazard map of Oklahoma
Credit U.S. Geological Survey / http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/

  Oklahoma has been rattled by a surge of earthquakes, which many scientists say is likely linked to oil and gas drilling. On Thursday night, residents packed a contentious town hall meeting to demand answers from public officials. Joe Wertz from StateImpact Oklahoma reports.

There was booing and shouts for regulators to impose a moratorium on the oil and gas disposal wells. Local resident Ester D. Blaine said she had to take all the pictures off her walls. She says citizens and scientists don’t stand a chance against Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry.

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Oklahoma AG Blasts EPA's Emissions Proposal
12:00 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

StateImpact: Court Losses Won’t Deter Attorney General Scott Pruitt In His Fight With The EPA

Credit C_Nilsen / Flickr

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week proposed new rules to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — predictably — blasted the plan as another example of federal overreach in the Obama Administration’s war on fossil fuels.

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Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Incentives
9:44 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Legal Challenge to New Drilling Incentive Could Raise Big Constitutional Questions

A legal challenge to a recently signed bill authored by Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman could have wide-ranging effects.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A controversial bill setting the effective tax rate on new oil and gas wells was one of the capstones of the 2014 legislative session.

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Legislature and Environment
9:46 am
Thu May 29, 2014

What Became of the Bills StateImpact Was Watching This Legislative Session?

The Oklahoma Senate
Credit Becky McCray / Flickr

 

From the start of the legislative session on February 3rd, StateImpact Oklahoma had its eye on what was sure to be a heated issue: the coming expiration of a tax credit for horizontally drilled oil and gas wells. Without action, rates would go from one-percent for the first four years of a well’s life, back to 7 percent.

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Oil & Gas Tax Incentives
9:34 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Controversial Tax Incentive for New Oil and Gas Wells

Crews working on a drilling rig in western Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed a bill that makes permanent a generous tax incentive for new oil and gas drilling.

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Water Quality and Ecology
7:42 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Streams Removed from Impaired Waters List Because of Better Farming

Bird Creek in northeast Oklahoma is one of nine streams no longer considered impaired due to high turbidity.
Credit GRANGER MEADOR / FLICKR

The drought goes on, and resources are strained, but there is some positive news to report about Oklahoma’s water.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:44 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Drought and Passive Landowners Add Fuel to Oklahoma’s Burning Red Cedar Problem

Billy Hays in the cab of a Bobcat, which Oklahoma County modified to cut and shred Eastern Red Cedars.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The eastern red cedar tree causes allergies, crowds out other species, guzzles water, and fuels Oklahoma’s most devastating wildfires, including one near Guthrie last week. And lengthy drought has intensified the problem. But as StateImpact’s Logan Layden reports, eliminating the tree is complicated by the passive attitude of many landowners, and a state forestry service with little authority.  

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Climate Change
7:16 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Federal Report Says Climate Change is Affecting the U.S. Environmentally and Economically

A supercell near Courtney, Okla., in April 2014.
Credit RAVEDELAY / Flickr

A federal report released this week bluntly warns that climate change is already having an environmental and economic affect in every region of the United States. As StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, the magnitude of the effects is expected to increase in Oklahoma.

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Earthquakes
7:29 am
Fri January 3, 2014

A Sharp Rise In Earthquakes Puts Oklahomans On Edge

Chad Devereaux cleans up bricks that fell from his in-laws' home in Sparks, Okla., in November 2011, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours.
Sue Ogrocki AP

For the past three decades, Oklahoma averaged about 50 earthquakes a year. But that number has skyrocketed in the past few years. In 2013 — the state's most seismically active year ever — there were almost 3,000.

The quakes are small, and they're concentrated in the central part of the state, where the Erwins live.

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