More than 2,500 insurance professionals in Oklahoma have completed a one-hour class on earthquake coverage, The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.
A new peer-reviewed paper published in the journal Science urges greater partnership between industry, government agencies and researchers in responding to the consequences of earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activity.
The paper, authored by the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal scientists, as well as state seismologists, including the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s Austin Holland, also endorsed more transparency:
For purposes of transparency and avoiding public distrust, it is important to put the results of these seismic network operations into the public domain in near real time. Even if a network is owned and operated by industry, regulators must ensure that seismic data are not withheld from the public.
and more public involvement: Continue Reading
Moving water from Canton Lake helped buoy Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner in 2013. But water levels at Hefner are now at their lowest point since that withdrawal, and another would mean all but completely draining Canton.
When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on fracking in 2014, Oklahoma Rep. Casey Murdock took notice. After voters in the city of Denton, Texas — just 40 miles south of the Oklahoma state line — approved a fracking ban in the Nov. 4 election, the Republican representative from Felt took action.
Habitat loss and the use of herbicides to kill butterfly-preferred milkweed plants have caused the monarch butterfly population to drop by 90 percent over the last twenty years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Now, the race is on to save the monarchs through the newly announced National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Conservation Fund, a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The campaign aimed at saving the monarchs will use public and private funds to grow milkweed. The wildlife service has pledged $2 million in immediate funding for on-the-ground conservation projects across the nation, according to a news release.
In Oklahoma, efforts to create more monarch habitats will be focused along the Interstate 35 corridor.
The daily occurrence of small earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling in Oklahoma increases the likelihood of larger earthquakes, new research suggests.
“The chances are still small, but we know that from earthquakes the real potential for trouble is in those very unlikely large-magnitude earthquakes,” says geophysicist William Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey, who, along with state and university scientists, presented findings to the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the group’s annual conference in San Jose, Calif.
The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 98 percent of Oklahoma experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions. As has been the case for the past five years, the worst of the drought is being felt in western Oklahoma, while the abundant waters of the eastern half of the state remain relatively unscathed.
There’s a geographic divide in Oklahoma between those who have plenty of water and those who desperately need it. As State Sen. Josh Brecheen put in during an interview with StateImpact Feb. 9: Continue Reading
Oklahoma is facing a budget hole of more than $600 million dollars. And what looked like state agency cuts of 6.2 percent earlier this month, could double to around 12 percent to fill the gap.
To deal with the cut, the Tourism and Recreation Department is considering state park closures, and it wouldn’t be the first time. Continue Reading
“We’re still in a very preliminary process of this right now. These layoffs are just beginning to hit and we’re still trying to get an idea of the scope of what we’re dealing with here,” Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Carpenter tells reporter Dale Denwalt.
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.