Fresh business filings, logos, parking lot paint from former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, and a vague statement that his new venture, American Energy Partners, is “looking to acquire onshore assets” in the U.S.
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an Oklahoma-Texas water case that could have ripple effects on interstate water-sharing agreements throughout the country.
To get a little insight into the state’s history at the high court, StateImpact spoke with an Oklahoma attorney who’s been there.
University of Oklahoma professor Rick Tepker fought the law — and won. Sort of.
Tulsa’s water system is one of the largest in the state, and as StateImpact has reported, serves rural water districts and communities well beyond the city limits.
And it’s been lucky. The recent drought hasn’t been as severe for the Tulsa area, and it’s in the eastern half of the state, where most of the surface water is located.
While many cities and towns across the state face millions of dollars in repairs to crumbling pipelines and treatment plants, Tulsa’s water infrastructure has no major pressing needs.
Still, Tulsa has significant water problems. The culprit? A manpower shortage. As the Tulsa World’s Kevin Canfield reports:
Water Utilities Trust Chairman Pete White says the main concern revolves around the local wildlife. Lead shot lying on the ground could poison waterfowl, making them an easy target for other predators, contaminating them with lead as well.
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The largest in the series was a 4.7-magnitude quake that rattled about 1:56 a.m. near Luther, preliminary data show. A 4.6-magnitude quake was also recorded around 5:16 a.m. More than a dozen quakes have been recorded, OGS data show.
The epicenters of the quakes are located on the “northeast edge” of region near Jones, Okla., suspected of having oil and gas disposal wells that could have triggered earthquakes in the past, University of Oklahoma seismologist Katie Keranen tells StateImpact.
Oklahoma City isn’t doing enough. That was one of the main takeaways from KOSU’s On Tap event last month that focused on water policy, drought, and conservation.
The Oklahoma City Council plans a public hearing Tuesday on measures requiring new lawn sprinkler systems to have shut-off valves and to raise fines on those who violate conservation orders.
Fines would range from $119 to $1,200 for repeat offenders.
The Water Utilities Trusts’ recommendations would be based around reservoir levels. Continue Reading
The costs of residential wind and solar energy installations are decreasing, and electricity customers around the country are excited about the possibility of pushing power back into the grid.
The promise of net metering includes tax incentives and credits that shrink electricity bills. But solar users aren’t getting credit for all the electricity they’re generating because of Oklahoma’s utility rules, which are stricter those in surrounding states, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports:
… Oklahoma doesn’t allow customers to carry forward credits for excess power for more than one month. That’s more limited than OG&E customers receive in Arkansas, which allows credits for what’s called net metering up to one year.
The American Wind Energy Association’s annual market report for 2012 is out, and U.S. wind power generation was up more than 25 percent, with Oklahoma coming in at No. 4. This despite uncertainty around whether a federal tax credit for wind energy production would be extended.
The Oklahoma Daily — the University of Oklahoma’s student paper — explores the arguments of two OU seismologists, who are divided over whether the state’s largest earthquake was triggered by oil and gas activity.
Oklahoma doesn’t like to raise taxes, and in 1992 voters passed a state question that required massive legislative majorities to do so.
But rising costs in the justice system still have to be paid for, somehow. Since then, the courts have turned to fees for funding more and more.
There’s a $50 fee for summary judgements, a $349 jury fee in civil cases, a $20 court reporter fee. If you get a DUI, there’s a $400 fee. In fact, the DUI fee is higher than the fee for a murder conviction, which is only about $100.
It’s the users of the court system, and more specifically the losers, who pay most of those fees, and many question the wisdom of that trend.