A booming U.S. oil industry has led to near-record amounts of oil production, which has helped drive down oil prices. The energy industry has responded by storing crude instead of selling it at discount rates. That has created a unique situation in Oklahoma, where a major oil storage hub is on track to fill up — completely.
As legislation written to prevent counties and municipalities from banning hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas activities advances through the Oklahoma House and Senate, some city leaders and their advocates say the measures go too far and could have unintended consequences.
In Oklahoma, the natural beauty of Lee Creek — one of the state’s scenic rivers — is protected by state law. In Arkansas, Lee Creek is an important water source for fast-growing Fort Smith. Now, Fort Smith has a plan to turn Lee Creek into Oklahoma’s next lake, and reignite a dispute that was settled more than 20 years ago.
Five years of drought has strangled lakes and reservoirs in southwestern Oklahoma.
The city of Lawton is considering extraordinary means to help fill water supplies. City leaders hope a man with an airplane can manipulate the weather and bring more rain.
Oklahoma voters have at least a year before seeing ads for and against state questions on the ballot in November 2016. But you might want to get used to hearing this phrase now: right-to-farm.
It’s a divisive national issue that’s made its way to the Sooner State, one that puts agriculture at odds with environmentalists and animal rights advocates.
After 5 years of drought, Oklahoma’s dwindling water resources have the attention of state lawmakers. There are competing bills to study moving water from southeast Oklahoma to the Altus area, and to encourage self-sufficient, regionally based plans to meet future water needs.
Balancing the interests of Oklahomans who have plenty of water with those who desperately need it is a political fight, but not between Republicans and Democrats.
The wind energy boom has largely evaded Oklahoma’s Panhandle, but new turbine projects and a proposal for a $2 billion transmission line could transform the prairie into a national wind energy hub.
But the projects are being planned amid uncertainty at the state Capitol, where tax credits for the wind industry are in the crosshairs.
As earthquakes continue to rattle Oklahoma and scientists study links to oil and gas production, many Oklahomans want to know what, if anything, is being done to address the shaking.
An investigation by StateImpact shows that while authorities are quietly scrutinizing wells in quake-prone parts of the state, most of the companies that operate the wells are staying silent.
Most of western Oklahoma is in its fifth year of drought with still no end in sight, despite a wetter-than-normal-end to 2014. And many of the lakes communities rely on for drinking water are now on the verge of being too low to use. The situation is most dire in Altus, Duncan and Canton.
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.Continue Reading