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


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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Investigators see signs of gas escape and missed warnings in deadly rig explosion

Federal agency is also examining safety equipment and crew training, communication and experience.

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Updated: August 9, 2018 | 1:57 pm

OSHA cites and fines three oil and gas companies after deadly rig explosion

The companies face $118,643 in total fines.
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Oil and gas companies spent half a million dollars trying to defeat medical marijuana in Oklahoma

Energy companies were the largest business sector contributing to a PAC organized to defeat SQ 788.
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After Texas rejection, utility pulls the plug on nation’s largest wind farm under construction in Oklahoma

Wind Catcher would have been the second-largest wind farm in the world.
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The arid American West marches east, changing climate and agriculture

The 100th Meridian passes through Oklahoma and splits the continent in two. An explorer and geologist in the late-1800s suggested this map line marked the start of the arid American West. Scientists now say he was right — and that climate change is moving it, which could have profound effects on farmers and ranchers.

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