Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Inside the Examination of Wind Energy Tax Incentives

A NextEra Renewable Energy Resources wind farm site near Elk City, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A NextEra Renewable Energy Resources wind farm site near Elk City, Okla.

A $1.3 billion budget hole and state funding crisis fueled by low crude prices has polarized a debate on the state’s financial support of wind-generated electricity.

Wind energy opponents aligned with oil billionaire and Continental Resources founder and CEO Harold Hamm want to kill wind incentives and impose a production tax similar to those levied on oil and gas production. Wind companies and supporters, for their part, say the incentives are vital and effective.

But there’s more to this debate than competing billboards along Interstate 35, The Oklahoman‘s Randy Ellis and Paul Monies report: Continue Reading

Verbal Showdown Proves How Heated Oklahoma’s Right-to-Farm Campaign Could Get

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and audience members listen to a presentation on right-to-farm at the April 19 meeting in Tahlequah, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and audience members listen to a presentation on right-to-farm at the April 19 meeting in Tahlequah, Okla.

Budget cuts and the death of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission were the thrust of mid-April’s regular meeting of the OSRC. But the real fireworks were around State Question 777, which you’ve probably heard referred to as ‘right-to-farm. What you probably haven’t heard it called yet is “State Question 666.” Continue Reading

Why Killing the Agency Protecting Oklahoma’s Most Delicate Rivers Might Be the Only Way to Preserve Them

Grand River Dam Authority CEO Dan Sullivan speaking to the April meeting of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Grand River Dam Authority CEO Dan Sullivan speaking to the April meeting of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission is a small agency with a big job: Police the Illinois River and protect six of the state’s most delicate waterways from pollution. But budget cuts have forced the commission to plan  for its own death.

Continue Reading

“Hugo Lawsuit Against Severn Trent Alleges Fraud”

The city of Hugo and its water authority “filed a lawsuit alleging its former drinking water contractor perpetrated fraud, acted negligently, created a public nuisance and breached its contract, among other things,” The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.


Jantzen alleged in the 39-page petition that Severn Trent Environmental Services breached its contract by not providing properly treated drinking water to Hugo-area residents. The company didn’t properly maintain the water treatment plant or request money for equipment upkeep. The lawsuit also alleges the company submitted inaccurate monthly reports to the state environmental regulator.
Severn Trent Environmental Services’ actions were grossly negligent, heinous, reckless, willful and wanton, according to the petition.

Read more at: journalrecord.com

“Justice Department Drops SandRidge Energy Investigation”

The Oklahoma City energy company said Friday the U.S. government has “dropped its grand jury investigation of possible antitrust violations in the purchase or lease of land, oil or natural gas rights from 2012 and prior years,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.


SandRidge previously disclosed that in December 2013 it received a subpoena from the Justice Department concerning the federal investigation. In April 2015, the Justice Department told the company the grand jury in the western district of Oklahoma was involved.

The same federal grand jury last month indicted former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon on charges of conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma. Those charges were dismissed after McClendon died in a car crash a day later.

Read more at: newsok.com

“Oklahoma Corporation Commission Votes to Turn Down OG&E’s Rooftop Solar Tariff Plan”

“The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 3-0 Tuesday against a plan by OG&E to change the way it calculates the bills for rooftop solar users, directing the utility to fully explore the issue in its pending rate case,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.


The order came almost two weeks after the commission indicated it wasn’t happy with its options in the distributed generation tariff brought by OG&E. The utility filed the case under Senate Bill 1456, which allows regulated utilities to charge a different rate to rooftop solar users if they aren’t paying their fair share of grid costs. During deliberations on March 30, the commission indicated that OG&E’s use of 2010 cost data to make its case for a new distributed generation tariff was problematic.

Read more at: newsok.com

“Seeping Dam Is Expensive Threat to Norman Neighborhood”

Dam safety is expensive and time consuming. For this Norman dam, who that cost falls to is unclear. In the meantime, the structure continues to leak.


NORMAN – When James and Dawn Tomlins bought their home in Summit Lakes Addition in east Norman 15 years ago, they were in love with the site. Their spacious brick house had a lakeside view. Wild geese sometimes wandered across the front lawn, and a paved walk encircling the water was just feet from their front door.

Read more at: newsok.com

OG&E Again Asks Regulators to Approve Environmental Plan For Coal Plant

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant near Red Rock, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant near Red Rock, Okla.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric went before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission again this week to try to get approval for environmental upgrades at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock, Okla.

The state’s largest utility is running out of time to comply with new federal air quality standards. OG&E’s Sooner Power Plant needs to have air scrubbers installed or be converted to natural gas by January 2019 to comply with the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule. Continue Reading

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