Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

“Oklahoma Insurers Receive Earthquake Coverage Education”

More than 2,500 insurance professionals in Oklahoma have completed a one-hour class on earthquake coverage, The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.


As the state’s ongoing earthquake swarm continues, insurance agents throughout the state are receiving training about earthquake insurance. More than 2,500 Oklahoma insurance professionals have completed a one-hour continuing education course on earthquake coverage, Insurance Commissioner John Doak said Friday.

Read more at: newsok.com

The Science of Oil and Gas-Related Earthquakes is ‘Ready for Application,’ USGS Says

"Coping with earthquakes induced by fluid injection," was published Feb. 20, 2014 in the journal Science.

"Coping with earthquakes induced by fluid injection," was published Feb. 20, 2014 in the journal Science.

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

“Lake Hefner Water Levels Take a Plunge”

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.


Once again, water levels at lake Hefner are becoming a concern. As of Thursday morning, Lake Hefner was down 12 ½ feet, and running just over 47,000 acre feet. The lake is considered full at just over 75,000 acre feet. At the time, Lake Hefner is at 62 percent of capacity.

Read more at: www.koco.com

As Cities Consider Tougher Drilling Rules, Oklahoma Lawmakers Eye Limits on ‘Local Control’

Protestors outside the meeting held signs and chanted "Stop fracking now" and "No more drilling."

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Protestors outside a public meeting in Oklahoma City about an oil company's proposal to drill near Lake Hefner held signs and chanted "Stop fracking now" and "No more drilling."

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.

Continue Reading

Oklahoma Part Of National Effort to Bring Battered Butterfly Population Back

20150216_Monarch001_WEB

David Levinson / Flickr

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.

From The Oklahoman‘s Robert Medley:

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.

Continue Reading

Frequent Small Earthquakes Raise Risk of Bigger Ones in Oklahoma, Study Suggests

USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth.

Michael Diggles / U.S. Geological Survey

USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth.

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.

Continue Reading

Oklahoma City Drought Problems A Microcosm Of the State’s Water Crisis

A grounded boat dock at Canton Lake, where Oklahoma City got billions of gallons of water in early 2013.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A grounded boat dock at Canton Lake, where Oklahoma City got billions of gallons of water in early 2013.

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

Budget Cuts Might Mean More State Park Closures in 2015

The word 'state' has been removed from Brushy Lake Park's entrance sign. The park, near Sallisaw, Okla., was transferred to the city's control in 2011.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The word 'state' has been removed from Brushy Lake Park's entrance sign. The park, near Sallisaw, Okla., was transferred to the city's control in 2011.

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

“Unemployment Office Prepping for Energy Layoffs”

“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.


With the price of crude oil falling by half since summer 2014, several oilfield companies already have announced layoffs in Oklahoma. Carpenter said there’s no way to know yet how many have lost their jobs, but the numbers should become apparent in employment reports due out in a few months.
“Also what makes it difficult is right now, there are a lot of companies that just don’t know whether they’re going to lay anybody off,” Carpenter said.

Read more at: www.enidnews.com

2015 Water Legislation Divides Oklahoma Politicians by Geography, Not Party

State Senator Eddie Fields' bill would create water planning districts that mirror the OWRB's membership districts.

State of Oklahoma

State Senator Eddie Fields' bill would create water planning districts that mirror the OWRB's membership districts.

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.

Continue Reading

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education