Oklahoma voters on Tuesday soundly rejected State Question 777, a ballot measure that would have made farming and ranching a state constitutional right. The final tally was roughly 60 percent against and 40 percent in favor of the amendment — a difference of more than 290,000 votes.
A strong earthquake rattled central Oklahoma over the weekend. The magnitude 5.0 temblor struck not far from one of the state’s major oil hubs. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck Oklahoma last night. It damaged buildings and knocked out power.
When Oklahoma voters go to the polls next week, they’ll decide on State Question 777, known by supporters as the right-to-farm amendment. The measure would make farming and ranching a constitutional right and make it harder for the Legislature to enact laws that further regulate the agriculture industry.
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 in Geophysical Research Letters. Continue Reading
Support for State Question 777, which would make farming and ranching a constitutional right in Oklahoma, has slipped in recent weeks, according to a SoonerPoll survey commissioned by The Oklahoman.
Forty-nine percent said they were against the state question and 14 percent remain undecided. 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.
Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say Oklahoma oil and gas regulators should “consider a moratorium” of waste-fluid disposal in its most seismically active areas.
The suggestion was made in the federal agency’s annual review of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s oversight of disposal wells, which Energy Wire’s Mike Soraghan obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request: Continue Reading
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
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.