Logan Layden

Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.

  • Email: loganlayden@ou.edu

Why Thawing Relations With Cuba Could Be A Boon To Oklahoma Wheat Farmers

Workers harvesting wheat on a farm near Altus, Okla., in June 2015.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Workers harvesting wheat on a farm near Altus, Okla., in June 2015.

The decades-old embargo on trade with communist Cuba cuts U.S. goods off from what would be one of their nearest international destinations. That could be changing now that the two countries are restoring diplomatic relations.

And as The Oklahoman business writer Leilah Naifeh reports, Oklahoma’s wheat farmers stand to benefit. A lot. Continue Reading

Oklahoma’s Economically Vital Seaport Still Struggling After Rains Scuttle Shipping

Port of Catoosa Deputy Director David Yarbrough stands at the across the the port's main dock, where a barge is being unloaded.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Port of Catoosa Deputy Director David Yarbrough stands at the across the the port's main dock, where a barge is being unloaded.

Two and a half million tons of wheat, fertilizer, steel, and manufacturing goods pass through the Port of Catoosa each year.

But not in 2015. The nation’s most inland seaport, located near Tulsa, shut down after historic spring rains and is still struggling to rebound.

Continue Reading

Emails Reveal Fallin Didn’t Want To Face Connection Between Quakes, Oil Industry

Oil-field workers tend to American Energy-Woodford's Judge South well in November 2014 well shortly after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered it temporarily shut-in.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oil-field workers tend to American Energy-Woodford's Judge South well in November 2014 well shortly after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered it temporarily shut-in.

In November 2011, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Prague, Okla., causing significant damage and injuring two people. Right away, the possibility that the disposal of wastewater by injecting it deep into the earth — part of the hydraulic fracturing process — was to blame came up.

But EnergyWire‘s Mike Soraghan routed through thousand of emails and documents he got from Fallin’s office through the Oklahoma Open Records Act, and found that the governor was in no rush to point the finger at the oil and gas industry: Continue Reading

“Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Sues EPA – Again”

Last week, Pruitt sued over the EPA’s not yet finalized Clean Power Plan. This week he’s suing of the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule. He recently got a victory in his fight against the federal agency, when the U.S. Supreme Court delayed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in June.


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed another lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, this time over the definition of water. Pruitt’s lawsuit, filed in Tulsa federal court, claims that a new rule promulgated June 29 illegally redefined the “waters of the United States” in a move that he described as executive overreach and flatly contrary to the will of Congress.

Read more at: www.tulsaworld.com

Record Rainfall Magnifies Problems For Oklahoma’s Aging Flood Control Dams

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Watershed Technitian Dennis Boney inspects damage to Wildhorse 80's spillway in Garvin County.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Watershed Technitian Dennis Boney inspects damage to Wildhorse 80's spillway in Garvin County.

More than 2,000 dams in Oklahoma have protected lives and property from flooding for decades. But age is catching up with them, and many need repairs. And this spring’s record rainfall is putting dams under even more pressure.

Continue Reading

State Seismologist Austin Holland Leaves Oklahoma For USGS Job In New Mexico

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland.

As Oklahoma’s earthquake swarm developed over the past few years, State Seismologist Austin Holland’s work days got a lot longer. That’s the main reason Holland is leaving his position in Oklahoma to be a supervisory geophysicist at the Albuquerque Seismic Lab.

From The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies:

“I have averaged about 80 hours each week for the 5 1/2 years I’ve been here,” Holland said Monday in an emailed statement. “I want to change my work-life balance, and this opportunity is a good way to do that.”

Since Holland came to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the state has seen a rapid increase in earthquakes, some of which have been linked to disposal wells used for produced water from oil and gas activity.

Continue Reading

Record Rains Leave Oklahoma’s Inland Seaport Damaged And Dangerous

The Webbers Falls Lock and Dam in May 2015.

usacetulsa / Flickr

The Webbers Falls Lock and Dam in May 2015.

The McClellan-Kerr Navigation System that connects the Port of Catoosa — the nation’s furthest inland seaport — to the Gulf of Mexico is “a hell of a mess” after the area got nearly 20 inches of rain in May and June, port director Bob Portiss tell’s the Tulsa World.

As the Tulsa World‘s Casey Smith reports, shipping barges couldn’t get in or out of the port between May 9 and June 28: Continue Reading

Oklahoma’s Largest Utility Confused As U.S. Supreme Court Scuttles EPA Rule

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Okla.

gmeador / Flickr

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Okla.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to curb mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants across the country.

Oklahoma joined nearly two dozen other states in the lawsuit against the EPA, claiming the federal agency failed to consider the high cost of complying with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), as The Washington Post‘s Robert Barnes reports: Continue Reading

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