Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People
Joe Wertz is multi-platform reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma. He has previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., lives in Oklahoma City, and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Graphic showing stress change after the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck near Fairview in February 2016.
Wastewater injection into clusters of high-rate disposal wells likely triggered a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck western Oklahoma in February 2016, new research suggests.
The earthquake near Fairview produced a large blast of seismic energy that spawned a series of widely felt aftershocks. The quake is now considered one of the largest ever linked to the oil industry practice of pumping toxic water produced during drilling into underground disposal wells, U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist William Leck and a team of federal and university scientists write in a paper published inGeophysical Research Letters. Continue Reading →
State Question 777 would create a constitutional right to farm and ranch in Oklahoma, giving the agriculture industry unique protection from the state legislature. The ballot question concerns livestock and crops, but legal experts say the statewide measure will likely come down to lawsuits and courts.
Mid-September rains in Kansas flooded Arkansas River tributaries, pulling soil and silt into the Otoe-Missouria’s water source below Kaw Lake. The filters in the tribe’s 23-year-old treatment plant “filters “weren’t designed to handle the influx,” the Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.
A water quality inspector with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality was doing a routine inspection on Sept. 22 and measured water cloudiness 34 times higher than allowed. DEQ water quality specialist Jennifer Alig said it was unclear whether the highly cloudy water was sent through the pipes and to customers, so it was important that the agency act quickly.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy has been “named in several lawsuits alleging underpayment of royalties and defended cases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas,” the Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.
The Justice Department is also seeking information on how the company acquires and classifies its oil and gas properties. The company also received subpoenas from the U.S. Postal Service and state agencies for information on its royalty payment practices. Continue Reading →
An amateur astronomer looks at chart on a red-filtered computer monitor at the 2016 Okie-Tex Star Party near Oklahoma's Black Mesa State Park.
The Oklahoma Panhandle is empty and hard to get to. The region attracts few people, very little industry and none of the light pollution that accompany both. It’s a remote location that’s earning a national reputation as the perfect spot to stare deep into space.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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