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
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.
Attorneys are asking a district court judge to approve a class-action lawsuit against oil and gas companies after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled near the town of Cushing in November. Continue Reading
“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.”
“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
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 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.
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.”
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
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
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.
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