State Question 777 would create a constitutional right to farm and ranch in Oklahoma, giving the agriculture industry unique protection from the state legislature. The ballot question concerns livestock and crops, but legal experts say the statewide measure will likely come down to lawsuits and courts.
Oklahoma could become the third state to add a “right-to-farm” amendment to its constitution if voters approve State Question 777 this November. Voters in North Dakota and Missouri already adopted such a measure, but, the effects remain unclear there, even years after passage.
Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say Oklahoma oil and gas regulators should “consider a moratorium” of waste-fluid disposal in its most seismically active areas.
The suggestion was made in the federal agency’s annual review of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s oversight of disposal wells, which Energy Wire’s Mike Soraghan obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request: Continue Reading
State Question 777 — also known as ‘right-to-farm’ — would give agricultural producers in Oklahoma the constitutional right to raise livestock and grow crops without interference from future regulations by the state Legislature, without a compelling state interest.
Opposition to the state question comes from multiple sources, but a diverse coalition urging a ‘no’ vote is united by a shared concern: water.
Mid-September rains in Kansas flooded Arkansas River tributaries, pulling soil and silt into the Otoe-Missouria’s water source below Kaw Lake. The filters in the tribe’s 23-year-old treatment plant “filters “weren’t designed to handle the influx,” the Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.
A water quality inspector with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality was doing a routine inspection on Sept. 22 and measured water cloudiness 34 times higher than allowed. DEQ water quality specialist Jennifer Alig said it was unclear whether the highly cloudy water was sent through the pipes and to customers, so it was important that the agency act quickly.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy has been “named in several lawsuits alleging underpayment of royalties and defended cases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas,” the Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.
The Justice Department is also seeking information on how the company acquires and classifies its oil and gas properties. The company also received subpoenas from the U.S. Postal Service and state agencies for information on its royalty payment practices. Continue Reading
The Oklahoma Panhandle is empty and hard to get to. The region attracts few people, very little industry and none of the light pollution that accompany both. It’s a remote location that’s earning a national reputation as the perfect spot to stare deep into space.
Donald Trump is the keynote speaker at the annual Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh this week, but the energy industry isn’t opening its wallets to the Republican nominee. In a typical they election they would, reports StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips: “So what’s going on here?”
Among the many oddities in this election, the 2016 Republican candidate for president has gotten peanuts from one of the GOP’s most reliable donor base.
Industry employees contacted by StateImpact did not want to speak on the record. But it could be that they just don’t know what they’ll get with a Trump White House.
Oklahoma voters will decide in November whether to change the state constitution with new language protecting the agriculture industry.
Informally known as the right-to-farm amendment, State Question 777 raises a lot of legal, environmental and economic questions. A StateImpact analysis of state campaign finance data shows the issue has attracted more direct donations than any other ballot question, suggesting right-to-farm is high-stakes Oklahoma politics.
Though the rate of earthquakes “has declined from its peak,” the 5.8-magnitude earthquake near Pawnee has made 2016 the most seismically active year on record “as measured by seismic energy release,” Oklahoma Geological Survey Director Jeremy Boak tells the Enid News‘ Sally Asher.
ENID, Okla. – As “Earthquake!” became a household term in Oklahoma, the temblors normally associated with California or Japan produced more questions than answers. Scientists across Oklahoma are working to learn more about why the Sooner State is moving and shaking.