Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Why the State Doesn’t Regulate Oil and Gas in Osage County

In any other county in Oklahoma, the state’s oil and gas regulator could address the dangerous hydrogen sulfide gas venting from wells.

But things are different in Osage County, the Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports. The Corporation Commission has authority in Oklahoma’s 76 other counties, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs regulates drilling in Osage County, and “landowners says the agency isn’t responding to their complaints.”

Osage County has been plagued with problems from crude oil spills and land scarred from highly salty oil-field wastewater for decades. In recent years, as more operators drill horizontally, more hydrogen sulfide gas rises to the surface with the petroleum. In one slide of the presentations, Henry showed a photo of a well site with a flare.

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