carletaorg / flickr
The unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum has become a proxy in a political fight about Oklahoma City's water policy.
Balancing the state’s water needs isn’t just about permits and pipelines. It’s political. And Oklahoma City is a case study in how local water policy can have unintended consequences at the state capitol.
The city, state and tribes are wrestling over the $80 million needed to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, a $150 million project that has been derailed by cost overruns and funding issues. OKC has offered to put up $9 million, but more is needed from the state legislature.
Support for additional funding is on “razor-thin” margins at the Capitol, the Journal Record‘s M. Scott Carter reports. And the vote could come down to a few rural lawmakers who aren’t happy with OKC’s “heavy-handed” water policy — “specifically in southeastern and western Oklahoma:”
The Oklahoma City energy company installed the takeover prevention in November 2012 after a large shareholder asked for corporate governance changes.
oceanmythos / flickr
Spring rains have started to fill rivers and reservoirs, and helped bring relief to parts of drought-stricken Oklahoma.
But what falls from the sky is only part of the equation. In Oklahoma, droughts are meteorological — and agricultural. And researchers at Oklahoma State University say soil data is key to understanding drought and its impact on farming and the state’s emerging bioenergy industry, the Journal Record’s D. Ray Tuttle reports:
Much of the state has suffered under extreme drought conditions for two years. Still, despite the wet March that much of Oklahoma experienced, soil moisture levels were lower than they were in March 2011 or March 2012, Tyson Ochsner, an assistant professor of applied soil physics in the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, tells the paper.
U.S. Drought Monitor
The April 23 update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows relief in eastern Oklahoma counties, and swaths of the state where "extreme" and "exceptional" drought conditions linger.
Oklahoma’s drought has lessened a bit, data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show.
Drought conditions remain in 72 percent of the state, an improvement from the 82 percent recorded in mid-April, the latest data show. Much of the drought improvement is concentrated in eastern Oklahoma counties.
Areas of “extreme” and “exceptional” drought persist in the southwestern parts of the state, the panhandle, and in an arc that spans from the western border to the north central border, data show. Continue Reading
Another in-depth report on the OK-TX Supreme Court water case from Stateline. Lots of interesting details on how dire the drought and water situation is in the Lonestar State.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
The OK-TX water dispute centers on the Kiamichi River in near Hugo in southeastern Oklahoma.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tarrant v. Herrmann, an Oklahoma-Texas water fight with national implications.
The justices grappled with the 30-year-old Red River Compact, and whether a region of Texas can reach across state lines to access water in southeastern Oklahoma.
The two states have different interpretations of some language in the agreement. The compact gives Oklahoma and Texas “equal rights” to some of the water in southeastern Oklahoma. But “equal rights” means different things to each state.
Attorneys representing Oklahoma and Texas argued Tarrant v. Herrmann at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case concerns water in the Red River, and experts say it’s a regional water fight that could impact national water-sharing agreements.
The Supreme Court has released a transcript of today’s arguments. The above transcript is preliminary. The court’s disclaimer: “Same-day transcripts are considered official but subject to final review.”
An Iowa man was arrested Monday after he chained himself to a piece of heavy equipment during a Keystone XL Pipeline protest in Oklahoma. The protests landed on Earth Day and the final day for public comment on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, which traverses Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact
State Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valiant, opposes the sale or transfer of Oklahoma water to Texas.
The final battle in the Oklahoma-Texas water war will be fought Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas says the three decades-old Red River Compact entitles it to some of Oklahoma’s water resources. Oklahoma says it doesn’t have to let Texas tap its supply. The ripples of this regional fight could affect water policy across the entire nation.
Fresh business filings, logos, parking lot paint from former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, and a vague statement that his new venture, American Energy Partners, is “looking to acquire onshore assets” in the U.S.