The Dewey County Courthouse is one of the newest in Oklahoma. The offices are spacious, and the courtroom has fresh carpet and shiny wood trim. County Commissioner M.W. “Junior” Salisbury is excited to play tour leader.
“I’m pretty proud of our little courthouse here,” he says. “I really, really am.”
Officials figured they would need 25 years to pay it off, but it took less than five. One major reason: wind farms.
Oklahoma oil and gas regulators are expanding rules designed to reduce earthquake activity triggered by fracking. Updated guidelines released Tuesday by the Oklahoma Corporation put new requirements on companies operating in two of the state’s most booming oil fields.
Environmental groups and concerned residents this week told federal officials the Oklahoma agency charged with protecting air, land and water lacked the resources and rules to manage a state-run plan to regulate coal ash.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
After getting concessions, a group of small independent oil and gas producers is now endorsing a suite of tax increases and government reforms written by a group of business leaders known as the Step Up Oklahoma plan.
Oklahoma experienced a dramatic drop in earthquakes in 2017 — a decline likely due, in part, to regulations limiting activity at oil-field disposal wells, scientists and experts say. New research suggests those regulations might be reducing some quakes more than others.
Federal and state authorities are investigating the cause of the deadly explosion and fire at a natural gas drilling rig in southeastern Oklahoma on Monday. Five workers died in what appears to be one of the country’s deadliest onshore drilling accidents. Continue Reading
The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association on Wednesday filed two separate state Supreme Court challenges to a proposed state question that would ask voters to end industry discounts and impose a broad 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher pay raises and early childhood education.
Mickey Thompson has a manila envelope tucked under his arm as he walks towards the Oklahoma Capitol. If the paperwork doesn’t start a fight, it almost certainly will add fuel to one.
Inside the envelope is the handiwork of about 10 people over a couple of months that could clear a path for Oklahoma voters to do something most lawmakers won’t consider: Enact broad tax hikes on oil and gas production to help fund public education.
Twenty-seventeen is wrapping up, but the growing group of reporters at StateImpact are following many important government policy issues that will carry on into the new year.
Senior Reporter and Managing Editor Joe Wertz brought the StateImpact team into the studio for a preview of their coverage in the year to come. Here are some excerpts from the conversation edited for clarity: