Oklahoma Officials Vow To Keep Fighting Obama Plan To Cut Power Plant Pollution

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt prepares to greet Gov. Mary Fallin at the 2013 State of the State address at the state capitol.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt prepares to greet Gov. Mary Fallin at the 2013 State of the State address at the state capitol.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday finalized its Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s attempt to cut carbon emissions from power plants by more than 30 percent nationwide.

Though just finalized, the plan has been in the works for two years, and Oklahoma officials have opposed it every step of the way. Continue Reading

Oil Companies Shut Down Wells Near Earthquake Swarm

A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma.

After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells.

Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away

Oklahoma City’s Devon Energy Production and Arkansas-based Stephens Energy Group agreed to shut down the two wells nearest the shaking. Stephens also agreed to cut by half the amount of waste fluid pumped into a third well, says Corporation Commission spokesperson Matt Skinner. Continue Reading

“Oklahoma Wind Farm Construction Continues During Second Quarter”

Oklahoma is expected to add an additional 1,440 megawatts in wind energy, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.


Oklahoma added 150 megawatts of wind capacity in the second quarter, according to the association’s latest market report. The addition came from the Osage Wind project in Osage County hooking up to the electric grid. The project, owned by Enel Green Power North America Inc., supplies power to Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. In the state rankings, Oklahoma remained in fourth place, putting its total wind capacity at 3,932 megawatts. The U.S. had a total of 67,870 megawatts of wind capacity by the end of the second quarter, the association said.

Read more at: newsok.com

Why Thawing Relations With Cuba Could Be A Boon To Oklahoma Wheat Farmers

Workers harvesting wheat on a farm near Altus, Okla., in June 2015.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Workers harvesting wheat on a farm near Altus, Okla., in June 2015.

The decades-old embargo on trade with communist Cuba cuts U.S. goods off from what would be one of their nearest international destinations. That could be changing now that the two countries are restoring diplomatic relations.

And as The Oklahoman business writer Leilah Naifeh reports, Oklahoma’s wheat farmers stand to benefit. A lot. Continue Reading

Oklahoma’s Economically Vital Seaport Still Struggling After Rains Scuttle Shipping

Port of Catoosa Deputy Director David Yarbrough stands at the across the the port's main dock, where a barge is being unloaded.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Port of Catoosa Deputy Director David Yarbrough stands at the across the the port's main dock, where a barge is being unloaded.

Two and a half million tons of wheat, fertilizer, steel, and manufacturing goods pass through the Port of Catoosa each year.

But not in 2015. The nation’s most inland seaport, located near Tulsa, shut down after historic spring rains and is still struggling to rebound.

Continue Reading

“Oil Industry Warns of Cost of Proposed Disposal Well Ban in Oklahoma”

A moratorium on disposal wells proposed by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club and one state lawmaker “could create economic and environmental problems throughout the state,” representatives of the oil and gas industry say, The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.


“Wastewater injection has been safely conducted in Oklahoma for nearly a century, and it’s an important component of oil and natural gas development, which itself is a critical part of Oklahoma’s economy,” said Steve Everly, Energy In Depth’s senior advisor. “Critics have suggested that injection can simply be shut down in response to earthquakes, but they fail to recognize the costs — both economic and environmental — that Oklahomans would bear if that type of policy were implemented. Science is infinitely more complex than campaign slogans, so people should be skeptical of so-called solutions that are based more on anti-drilling advocacy than effective risk management.” A moratorium effectively would ban drilling throughout the area, including wells not linked to the earthquakes, the report stated.

Read more at: newsok.com

Stillwater Approves New Oil and Gas Rules, Industry Says They Might Violate New Law

Stillwater resident Tammy Mix's sons play on the sidewalk as a drilling rig peeks above the tree line behind her Stillwater home in 2014.

Tamara Mix

Stillwater resident Tammy Mix's sons play on the sidewalk as a drilling rig peeks above the tree line behind her Stillwater home in 2014.

After months of debate, drafting and deferring, the Stillwater City Council on Monday approved a stricter oil and gas ordinance.

The council unanimously approved the new rules, which were crafted with the input of residents, the energy industry and Senate Bill 809 — legislation that goes into effect in August preventing municipalities from enacting ordinances that ban fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:

The ordinance applies only to new wells. It imposes a 660-foot setback from the property line of “protected use” properties, including homes, churches, parks, schools, libraries and hospitals. It also forbids new structures being built within 400 feet of oil and gas wells put in after the ordinance becomes effective. Continue Reading

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