Joe Wertz

Joe Wertz
Joe Wertz is a senior reporter and managing editor at StateImpact Oklahoma. He reports regularly on energy and environment issues for national NPR audiences and other national outlets, and serves as president-elect of Freedom of Information Oklahoma, an open records and government transparency nonprofit. Previously, he worked as a managing editor, assistant editor and staff reporter at several major Oklahoma newspapers. He lives in Oklahoma City, and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Latest by Joe Wertz


Winter storms to heat waves, how better climate data can make us more prepared

Scientists are getting better data on the earth’s changing climate. Now there’s a push to use the information stream to help us cope with the extremes we know are coming. One leader in this is Oklahoma.

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Group readies endangered species lawsuit to block OKC from pumping water out of river

The Kiamichi River Legacy Association sent a required 60-day notice to city, state, federal and tribal governments that it intends to sue if corrections aren’t made.

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Working for sobriety: Recovery program took some clients’ disability pay

An investigation by StateImpact Oklahoma and The Frontier found problems at some work-based recovery programs, including reports of confiscated disability checks and federal scrutiny for labor practices.

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Governor-elect Stitt picks Pruitt ally for top state energy and environment post

Wagner has close personal and business ties to Scott Pruitt, who ran the EPA until he was forced out in July.

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Conservation groups criticize joint Oklahoma-Arkansas plan for sensitive watershed

Environmental groups want Oklahoma to complete a pollution plan overseen by the EPA, which the backed away from in recent years.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court sides with industry in fight over oil-field water regulation

In a 6-3 ruling, the state’s highest court agreed the state has “exclusive authority” over produced water.

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Landowners wonder if prairie chicken conservation can keep up in competitive grasslands

The federal government is once again considering whether to use the Endangered Species Act to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken, a finicky bird struggling to thrive in increasingly fragile western grasslands.

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Environmental groups sue EPA to void approval of Oklahoma’s coal waste program

Oklahoma was the first state to receive EPA approval to regulate coal ash, a toxic byproduct of power plants
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Oklahoma Wind Farms Mapped

The most complete accounting of every one of Oklahoma’s 3,736 turbines and 58 wind farm projects.

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Oil and gas group sues county officials over water line limits

The Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association seeks an injunction and a ruling that counties lack authority over oil-field wastewater.

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