Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Trump’s Nomination of Pruitt to Lead EPA Triggers Divisive Reactions From Industry and Environmentalists

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt at the state capitol in 2016.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt at the state capitol in 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt made a name for himself fighting against the very federal agency he is poised to lead, and the pick is seen by many as a clear signal that Trump intends to dismantle the environmental legacy of President Obama. Continue Reading

From State Park to Hotel-Casino: Texoma Residents Eager for Private Progress But Question Public Process

Lake Texoma State Park is still open to the public, but much of it has been sold to Pointe Vista, which demolished the outdated lodge seven years ago.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lake Texoma State Park is still open to the public, but much of it has been sold to Pointe Vista, which demolished the outdated lodge seven years ago.

It’s been 10 years since the state of Oklahoma sold hundreds of acres at Texoma State Park to a private developer that never fulfilled its promise to build an elaborate lakeside resort. Now the Chickasaw Nation is stepping in to bring some economic activity back to the area.

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‘Oklahoma Tribes Join Oil and Gas Industry In Support of Gov. Mary Fallin for Interior Secretary’

“Gov. Mary Fallin and the state’s tribal governments have not always seen eye-to-eye,” The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel and Curtis Killman report, “but that apparently is not preventing at least some of the tribes from giving Fallin their unreserved support for secretary of the interior in President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration.”

Oklahoma tribes join oil and gas industry in support of Gov. Mary Fallin for interior secretary

“Anytime we can get anybody in as secretary of the interior who we have a history of working with and who will help advance the priorities of Indian country, I’m in,” said Cherokee Chief Bill John Baker.Related story: Oil and gas industry would welcome Mary Fallin as secretary of interior. Continue Reading

Limiting Oil-Field Wastewater Injection Effective Strategy to Reduce Earthquakes, New Research Suggests

Monthly wastewater injection into disposal wells in the Arbuckle formation from 2000 to July 2016. A team of Stanford scientists found earthquake rate changes follow changes of the injection rate with a time delay of several months.

Science Advances

Monthly wastewater injection into disposal wells in the Arbuckle formation from 2000 to July 2016. A team of Stanford scientists found earthquake rate changes follow changes of the injection rate with a time delay of several months.

Scientists may have a promising seismic forecast for Oklahoma over the next few years: A lot less shaky with a smaller chance for damaging earthquakes. Continue Reading

From Closed Doors to Open Arms, Oklahoma Oil Industry Optimistic About Business Under President Trump

Donald Trump campaigning at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Donald Trump campaigning at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

From board rooms to drilling rigs, much of the U.S. fossil fuel industry has been counting down the days until President Barack Obama turns over the keys of the White House. Donald Trump doesn’t officially take the wheel of the nation’s energy policy for a couple of months, but Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry says its prospects have already improved under the president-elect.


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‘Former Petroleum Worker Wants Industry Earthquake Fund’

The idea has been floated before but never really gained traction, The Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports: “… An industry-funded entity that taxes oil and gas production, collecting fees for earthquake-related damages.”

Former petroleum worker wants industry earthquake fund

Oklahoma Geological Survey Director Jeremy Boak said California’s geothermal industry has an indemnity fund to cover damage claims related to temblors triggered by geothermal activity. But in Oklahoma, it will be challenging to determine which damages were related to quakes, and which are the result of clay soils shrinking and expanding related to weather. Continue Reading

As Lawmakers Prepare to Confront Budget Hole, Energy Execs Champion Prolific Oil Fields and Pro-Industry Incentives

A drilling rig in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime oil and gas play.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A drilling rig in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime oil and gas play.

Oklahoma legislators are under pressure to fund teacher raises and pay for health insurance coverage, workers comp, criminal justice initiatives and state prisons from a pool of money that could be $600 million short of what’s needed.

Some energy executives appear to be responding with a proactive warning: Don’t try to fix the budget by raising the industry’s taxes or cutting its incentives. Continue Reading

Pawnee Nation Sues U.S. Claiming Oil, Gas Well Leases on Tribal Land Were Improperly Approved

The Pawnee Nation on Nov. 18 filed a lawsuit against two federal agencies. The suit mentions the 5.8-magnitude Labor Day weekend quake asks ”a judge to void recently approved drilling permits on tribal land and halt the issuance of new ones,” the World reports.

Pawnee Nation sues U.S. claiming oil, gas well leases on tribal land were improperly approved

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Tulsa federal court, claims numerous drilling permits and leases on tribal-owned lands held in trust have been improperly approved by the Interior Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Continue Reading

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