Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People
Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.
Significant relief from the four-plus year drought has finally arrived in southwest Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Climatological Society reports this April was the 17th wettest on record, and the second wettest in history for the west-central part of the state. Continue Reading →
With concern over drought at a high point and plans to get water from southeast Oklahoma falling through, the City of Norman decided in 2014 to pursue a plan to clean water that has been used by customers and return it to Lake Thunderbird — the city’s main water source — to be used again.
There’s a growing trend toward wastewater reuse to combat drought and conserve water sources for the future, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea of drinking what is, in essence, retreated toilet water. And Norman isn’t the only city that relies on Lake Thunderbird for its drinking water. Continue Reading →
Oklahoma lawmakers are being forced to take sides on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the form of their votes on Senate Bill 676, which gives Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt a larger role in developing the state’s plan to comply with the new rules.
There’s only about a month left in Oklahoma’s 2015 legislative session, and if bills haven’t made it out of the chamber they started in by now, they’re dead.
Of the bills of interest to us at StateImpact, the highest profile place new restrictions the wind industry and reduce local control over oil and gas activities. Wind farms have been getting a reimbursement on their property taxes, but that will almost certainly end if Senate Bill 498 get’s to Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. Last Thursday, Republican Representative Earl Sears told the House his bill has the blessing of the wind industry.
Bill Mihas, owner of Coney Island in downtown Oklahoma since the late 1970s.
It’s been nearly 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. As Oklahoma City prepares to look back on the bombing, one thing is clear — downtown OKC is a far different, and much better place than it was in April 1995. And it’s hard to deny the role the bombing played in the area’s resurgence.
If passed by the Oklahoma legislature, the right-to-farm amendment to the state constitution wouldn’t appear on the ballot until November 2016. But the Humane Society of the United States is trying to kill the controversial issue in its crib. Continue Reading →
A sign along Oklahoma Highway 43 near Sardis Lake.
Moving water from where it’s plentiful to where it’s needed seems like a logical way to meet all Oklahomans’ future water needs. But water transfers are complicated, and not just because they’re expensive — but because communities with lots of water want to keep it. Nothing illustrates this tension/challenge/whatever better than Sardis Lake.
Supporters say a right-to-farm amendment to the state constitution is needed because animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States are pushing for laws that unfairly punish farmers and ranchers. Opponents say right-to-farm amounts to a ticket for big ag to do whatever it wants to animals and the environment without worrying about consequences. Continue Reading →
Continental owns plants in Texas, Alabama, and in Ponca City, Okla., that produce a powdery substance called carbon black, which is used in a variety of everyday items, including tires, plastic, printer ink. Continue Reading →
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