Years of cuts in funding appropriated by the Legislatures means Oklahoma is unable to replace retiring or exiting wild land fire experts and increasingly relies on other states to fight its largest, most dangerous wildfires. Continue Reading
The Center for Biological Diversity and University of Oklahoma law professor Kristen van de Biezenbos filed a grievance with the Oklahoma Bar Association over U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing testimony regarding his use of personal email when he served as Oklahoma’s attorney general, E&E News reports:
They argue Pruitt violated professional conduct rules by saying at the hearing that he only used his work email for official business as the state’s attorney general. Subsequently, emails released under open records litigation show that Pruitt had used personal email for work purposes. Continue Reading
Crews have worked for more than a week to contain a massive wildfire that has torched more than a thousand square miles and killed one person and thousands of head of livestock in northwestern parts of Oklahoma. State budget cuts mean Oklahoma increasingly depends on other states to fight its largest and most dangerous wildfires.
The Pawnee Nation on Friday filed a lawsuit against several oil and gas companies, accusing the firms of operating wastewater injection sites that triggered the record 5.8-magnitude September 2016 earthquake and caused extensive damage to the tribe’s nearly century-old buildings. Continue Reading
Oklahoma legislators are advancing a bill that outlaws trespassing on sites containing “critical infrastructure.” Supporters say the measure will help prevent damage and disruption of energy markets, electric grids and water services, but environmental activists and civil rights groups say the bill’s real purpose is to block political protests of pipelines and similar projects.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted a request by the Attorney General’s office to delay a lower court’s order requiring the agency to turn over records sought by a watchdog group.
The Center for Media and Democracy sued the agency in February to force it to handover emails sent during the tenure of former attorney general Scott Pruitt, now administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading
Crude prices are on the rise, drilling activity is ramping up, and Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator wants to limit the volume of wastewater energy companies pump into underground disposal wells, an activity scientists say is fueling the state’s earthquake boom. Continue Reading
Nearly 3/4 of Oklahoma voters oppose a half-cent tax on wind-generated electricity proposed by Gov. Mary Fallin, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports a poll sponsored by a wind advocacy group shows. “The State Chamber also is voicing opposition to the plan.”
American Wind Action commissioned polls in January and earlier this month to see how Oklahomans viewed both wind energy and a proposed wind tax, which was unveiled earlier this month by Fallin in her executive budget as one measure to plug the state’s estimated $878 million shortfall. Continue Reading
Emails made public Wednesday show newly confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt coordinated with the fossil fuel industry and political groups to fight federal environmental regulations when he served as Oklahoma’s attorney general. Continue Reading
Former Oklahoma Attorney General and new Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt addressed employees of the federal agency for the first time today.
Speaking at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Pruitt told the agency’s 15,000 workers — some of which strongly opposed his nomination — he would listen to their ideas and encourage civil debate on key environmental issues. He indicated a narrow interpretation of the agency’s authority, saying the EPA’s oversight had to be “tethered” to statute.
Pruitt said he’d rebuild the EPA’s partnership with state regulators and he pledged to ensure the environmental rule-making process is open, transparent and objective. But, he said, federal regulators have an obligation to make sure those rules provide certainty for industry. Continue Reading