The State of Oklahoma and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation are clashing in court over the growth of a tribally controlled rural water district. The state is questioning the district’s legal status, but tribal leaders suspect the confrontation is about politics — not water pipes.
State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, and three of his House colleagues on Monday wrote a letter to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asking for his opinion on whether it’s legal for members of the state Water Resources Board to stay on the OWRB even after their positions have been eliminated.
Renegar wrote on behalf of Representatives Donnie Condit, Ed Cannaday, and Johnny Tadlock, all from southeast Oklahoma:
The language of Senate Bill 965, passed into law in 2013, states that upon expiration (May 2016) of the at-large position presently “held” by Richard Sevenoaks, he will be replaced by a member from the new Southeast Oklahoma District 9.
Southeast Oklahoma has many of the state’s largest lakes and rivers and much of the state’s water, but no one from the area serves on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the state’s water regulator. A 2013 law requires the area to have representation. But, so far, that hasn’t happened.
Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is on a mission. He wants the tribe to buy back as much land as possible in Osage County, where it owns less than 10 percent of the nearly 1.5 million acres it did in the early 1900s.
Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner has formally declared the state’s market for earthquake insurance is “uncompetitive.” The regulator says Oklahomans are unfairly limited when shopping for quake insurance.
Heavy rains delayed the 2016 wheat harvest in Oklahoma, but the yield could be better than recent years. Many farmers, however, are still making up losses from a drought that climatologists warn could be returning.
Oklahoma City Police say a two-month investigation into the fiery March 2 crash that killed former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon turned up no evidence of suicide.
Oklahoma oil and gas companies are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by members of an environmental group that seeks to reduce production waste that could be fueling a spike in earthquakes.
The lawsuit was filed under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in February by the Oklahoma chapter of the Sierra Club. Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and New Dominion have all asked the judge to dismiss the case, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:
In separate legal filings, the three companies said the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is already taking action to reduce the volumes of wastewater in disposal wells. Continue Reading
After one of the driest periods on record, 2015 was the wettest year ever in Oklahoma, and the rain still hasn’t let up. But scientists say climate conditions are aligning in a way that could bring drought back to the state.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday signed into law legislation that banks boom-time tax revenues to cushion the state during energy downturns.
The Energy Revenues Stabilization Act was created through House Bill 2763, authored by Rep. John Montgomery, R-Lawton. The measure siphons off above-average tax revenues levied on corporations and oil and gas production and saves it in an account that can be tapped during state funding emergencies. Continue Reading