Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

‘Why The Oil and Gas Industry is Not Giving to Trump’

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?”

Why the oil and gas industry is not giving to Trump

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.

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Heavy Fundraising on State Question 777 Suggests Right-to-Farm is High-Stakes Political Issue

Farmers Wayne and Fred Schmedt watch a combine harvest wheat on their fields near Altus, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Farmers Wayne and Fred Schmedt watch a combine harvest wheat on their fields near Altus, Okla.

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.

 

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‘Quake Frequency Declines, Seismic Energy in Oklahoma Increases’

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.

Studying seismicity: Quake frequency declines, seismic energy in Oklahoma increases

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.

 

Decades After Turning Backs on Risky Water, Tulsans Wade Into Arkansas River

Floaters navigate their homemade raft down the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Okla., during the annual Great Raft Race on Labor Day 2016.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Floaters navigate their homemade raft down the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Okla., during the annual Great Raft Race on Labor Day 2016.

The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.

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State Regulators Expand Limits on Disposal Wells Near Labor Day Weekend Quake

Oklahoma Regulators Expand Limits On Disposal Operations Near Labor Day Earthquake

Federal and state regulators on Monday expanded and modified emergency orders limiting oil and gas activity at wells near a fault line that produced Oklahoma’s strongest earthquake on record. Regulators are targeting 67 disposal wells in two counties near the damaging 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the state over the Labor Day weekend.

 

Inhofe Pledges to Fast-track Oklahoma’s Tribal Water Deal Through Congress

James Inhofe during his visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, October 27-28, 2014

U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine / Flickr /CC BY-ND 2.0

James Inhofe during his visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, October 27-28, 2014

Oklahoma officials and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations spent 5 years hammering out a deal to share control of water across southeast Oklahoma, but coming to an agreement isn’t the end of the process. A fickle U.S. Congress still has to give its approval. Continue Reading

Oklahoma Sets a New Earthquake Record as Aftershocks Jolt Residents, Researchers and Regulators

Mona Denney surveys earthquake damage inside her home near Pawnee, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Mona Denney surveys earthquake damage inside her home near Pawnee, Okla.

The U.S. Geological Survey is upgrading the strength of an earthquake that shook the state on Sept. 3 to 5.8 magnitude. That change makes the Labor Day weekend temblor the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. The quake is the latest in a seismic surge researchers say has largely been fueled by the oil industry practice of pumping waste fluid into underground disposal wells.

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Bethany Sues Aerospace Firms, Claiming Contamination Poses Public Water ‘Emergency’


The City of Bethany is suing a pair of aerospace companies after a “plume” of hazardous chemicals migrating from an airport manufacturing plant contaminated public water supplies and forced the city to shut down a pair of municipal water wells. Continue Reading

Right-to-Farm or Right-to-Harm: Oklahoma Voters Get Final Say With SQ 777

Dustin Green, owner of 10 Acre Woods farm near Norman, feeds a few of his 400 or so chickens.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Dustin Green, owner of 10 Acre Woods farm near Norman, feeds a few of his 400 or so chickens.

Oklahoma voters decide on State Question 777 in November. Supporters call the ballot initiative right-to-farm, but opponents prefer right-to-harm. It’s a divisive, national issue that’s made its way to Oklahoma, pitting agriculture against environmentalists and animal rights activists.

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Group Says Wind Credits Could Cost Billions, Industry Says Analysis Is Inaccurate

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

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A wind farm near Elk City, Okla.

An organization opposed to wind power incentives says payouts could total $5.2 billion by 2030 if Oklahoma’s zero-emissions tax credit continues, “an amount the wind industry said is highly inflated,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports:

WindWaste, a group founded by Claremore businessman Frank Robson, said its latest estimates of future wind farm developments in Oklahoma show the state’s annual outlay of rebates from the incentive could balloon to more than $500 million annually as early as 2019.

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