State environmental regulators shuttered a landfill near Tecumseh in May “after years of ongoing problems” that included multiple fires, dead animals and pools of standing blood, The Oklahoman‘s Brianna Bailey reports. Continue Reading
University of Oklahoma officials sought a $25 million donation from oil billionaire Harold Hamm while scientists at the school formulated a state agency’s position on earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activity, Mike Sorgahan with EnergyWire reports. “They came up with a position that squared with Hamm’s, saying most of the hundreds of earthquakes rattling the state are natural and not caused by the oil industry.”
Slow moving storms that dumped record amounts of rain on Oklahoma in April and May killed the five-year drought, but damaged wheat crops in western Oklahoma. This after one of the worst wheat harvests on record in 2014.
Now, as The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, wheat farmers are facing another hurdle: A closed Port of Catoosa on the Arkansas River that usually carries their product to markets outside of Oklahoma. Continue Reading
The vast majority of Oklahoma’s recent earthquakes occurred in areas where the energy industry pumped underground massive amounts of waste fluid byproducts of oil and gas production, scientists write in a new paper published Thursday.
May 2015 was Oklahoma’s wettest month on record. The historic rainfall washed away an economically draining drought that haunted parts of the state for five years. For many wheat farmers in southwestern Oklahoma, however, the record rainfall is too much, too late.
Oklahoma might see a surge of wind projects in the next 18 months as developers rush to install projects before tax incentives expire at the end of 2016, the Tulsa World’s Michael Overall reports.
It was around this time last year that the Norman City Council decided to stake its water future on reuse — sending cleaned wastewater back into Lake Thunderbird, the city’s main water source. It’s an ambitious, future-looking plan Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal says is in line with the state’s goal of using no more water in 2060 than it did in 2012.
But Norman isn’t the only city that relies on Lake Thunderbird for its water, and Midwest City and Del City are against the plan, which will make it more difficult to bring the idea before the Department of Environmental Quality for approval.
In 2014, Oklahoma had more than three times as many earthquakes as California, and this year, the state is on track for even more. A lot of them are small, but some towns are seeing a quake almost every day, and seismologists warn that large and damaging earthquakes are becoming more likely.
The government in the Sooner State has only recently acknowledged the scope of the oil and gas industry’s role in the problem.
OG&E’s $7.5 million test project near Mustang has two sites, one with 2,000 fixed solar panels; the other with about 8,000 panels that track the sun, Paul Monies reports.
The $7.1 billion state budget Governor Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 included deep cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation — the agency that runs the state park system. That could mean some parks will have to be closed or transferred to new operators, and some eastern Oklahoma lawmakers are fuming.