Many of the programs protecting Oklahoma’s air and land are paid for with fees and federal dollars. Oversight and inspection of local water systems, however, are funded by state revenue that has dwindled — and failed.
An obscure sales tax break authored by Sen. Brian Bingman is “subsidizing an expensive form of enhanced oil recovery for seven companies, including the senator’s employer,” Oklahoma Watch reports.
The tax break on electricity used to power old “waterflood” recovery projects was authored in 2005 by now-Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.
The first company to apply for and receive the exemption was Uplands Resources Inc. of Tulsa. At the time, Bingman was the company’s land manager. He currently works there as vice president of land and operations.
A team of volunteer experts never surveyed the buildings in Oklahoma most vulnerable to earthquakes because the legislature failed to pass legislation ensuring architects and engineers from liability for their findings, The Oklahoman’s Adam Kemp reports.
SandRidge Energy has agreed to shutter some disposal wells in earthquake-prone northern Oklahoma in a settlement that avoids legal action by state oil and gas regulators.
Financially strapped SandRidge had defied directives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to voluntary shut down disposal wells in shaky areas near the towns of Byron, Cherokee and Medford. The commission had prepared a court filing to force SandRidge to comply with the directives, but in a settlement announced Wednesday, the company agreed to shut down three wells and convert four into monitoring wells for an earthquake-related research project spearheaded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Continue Reading
A recent story by the Associated Press compares how officials in Oklahoma and Kansas reacted to oil industry-linked quakes.
A string of widely felt earthquakes is rattling residents and seismologists, who are warning that parts of Oklahoma could be primed for more severe shaking.
Fourteen Edmond residents filed a lawsuit Monday against a dozen oil and gas companies, “claiming their saltwater disposal wells were in part to blame for earthquakes that hit central Oklahoma in recent weeks,” The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports.
The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, said the companies acted negligently and their use of disposal wells constituted an “ultrahazardous activity.” The nine homeowners said disposal wells operated by the companies “caused or contributed” to earthquakes.
Thirty-six people in Oklahoma have died in crashes “involving trucks hauling oilfield wastewater and equipment” over the last eight years, The Frontier and News9 report.
Data show that 7 percent of all truck companies licensed for oil-field work in Oklahoma have been involved in fatal accidents, including crashes blamed on “bad brakes, trucks thousands of pounds overweight, failure to test drivers for drugs,” the news organizations report: Continue Reading
There’s a $1 billion hole in the state budget that has consequences for Oklahoma’s environment and natural resources. A controversial state question could pit farmer against farmer. The ground beneath Oklahoma is shaking — figuratively and literally in 2016 — and StateImpact is on it.