A rowdy crowd of concerned residents shouted at city officials and questioned representatives of an oil company at a Thursday night meeting about a proposal to drill near Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. Continue Reading
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Brothers and business partners Fred and Wayne Schmedt stand in their family's wheat field near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
StateImpact racked up thousands of miles traveling across the state this year, filing more than 40 full-length radio features and hundreds of web posts on how government energy, environmental and economic policy affects ordinary Oklahomans. And many of those stories involve issues that are ongoing.
Center pivot irrigation in southwestern Oklahoma.
Groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation is likely responsible for substantial depletions of the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies 175,000 square miles in Oklahoma and seven other states, a report by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests. Continue Reading
“Devon Energy’s political action committee and executive chairman have poured nearly $1 million since 2006 into the campaign funds of GOP candidates for state offices and party committees supporting them,” the Tulsa World reports.
Travel Aficionado / Flickr
The 147-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center.
Oklahoma Representative Earl Sears, is planning to file legislation modifying tax credits and incentives used by wind energy developers.
The legislation by Sears, R-Bartlesville, would only affect new wind projects and would target three tax credits used by the wind industry: Zero Emission Energy Generation, the five-year ad valorem exemption for manufacturers and other firms, and investment tax credits, eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports:
“In my opinion,” said Sears, R-Bartlesville, “those tax credits are very lucrative and must be reviewed on behalf of the taxpayers.”
Explore Oklahoma’s dams with StateImpact’s interactive map detailing their age, type, owner, hazard classification and reported failures.
Oklahoma has the fifth-largest dam inventory in the United States. Ownership of the 4,700 dams is largely split between government agencies and private entities, including individual owners and other organizations like homeowner’s associations.
Speeking Wednesday to the Tulsa Rotary Club, co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy Larry Nichols acknowledged injecting drilling wastewater “into a fault zone could cause an earthquake to happen sooner.”
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt shakes hands at the state capitol after the annual State of the State address.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt confirmed Monday that he has worked with the energy industry to push back against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda, but denied how The New York Times characterized those efforts, which were detailed in a story published over the weekend.
Pruitt’s alliance with energy companies isn’t a secret at all, basically. The Oklahoman‘s Randy Ellis reports:
Katsrcool / flickr
Gov. Mary Fallin in April 2014 signed into law a measure designed to gradually lower Oklahoma’s top income tax rate to 4.85 percent from 5.25 percent.
But those income tax cuts only go into effect if Oklahoma’s revenues rise, and the slumping price of crude oil — $63.57 per barrel of West Texas Intermediate at the time of this posting — could block the tax-cut trigger, The Oklahoman‘s Rick Green reports:
Collections from the gross production tax on oil and natural gas dropped below prior year collections in November for the first time in 19 months, down by $3.72 million or 5.3 percent. However, this reflects production from September, when oil was $93 a barrel. It is now about $66, so tax collections are expected to drop further. Oil hit a peak of $106 in June.