Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

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

“Oklahoma Corporation Commission Approves OG&E’s $500M Coal Scrubber Plan”

The decision allows the state’s largest utility to continue work installing air scrubbers at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock, Okla., but environmental groups wanted OG&E to move away from coal.


Persistence paid off for Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. as regulators gave approval Thursday to the utility’s third attempt for a $500 million coal scrubber project to deal with tougher emissions regulations. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted 2-0 that the project was “reasonable,” with Commissioners Bob Anthony and Todd Hiett voting for the order.

Read more at: newsok.com

Verbal Showdown Proves How Heated Oklahoma’s Right-to-Farm Campaign Could Get

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and audience members listen to a presentation on right-to-farm at the April 19 meeting in Tahlequah, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and audience members listen to a presentation on right-to-farm at the April 19 meeting in Tahlequah, Okla.

Budget cuts and the death of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission were the thrust of mid-April’s regular meeting of the OSRC. But the real fireworks were around State Question 777, which you’ve probably heard referred to as ‘right-to-farm. What you probably haven’t heard it called yet is “State Question 666.” Continue Reading

Why Killing the Agency Protecting Oklahoma’s Most Delicate Rivers Might Be the Only Way to Preserve Them

Grand River Dam Authority CEO Dan Sullivan speaking to the April meeting of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Grand River Dam Authority CEO Dan Sullivan speaking to the April meeting of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.

The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission is a small agency with a big job: Police the Illinois River and protect six of the state’s most delicate waterways from pollution. But budget cuts have forced the commission to plan  for its own death.

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“Seeping Dam Is Expensive Threat to Norman Neighborhood”

Dam safety is expensive and time consuming. For this Norman dam, who that cost falls to is unclear. In the meantime, the structure continues to leak.


NORMAN – When James and Dawn Tomlins bought their home in Summit Lakes Addition in east Norman 15 years ago, they were in love with the site. Their spacious brick house had a lakeside view. Wild geese sometimes wandered across the front lawn, and a paved walk encircling the water was just feet from their front door.

Read more at: newsok.com

OG&E Again Asks Regulators to Approve Environmental Plan For Coal Plant

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant near Red Rock, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant near Red Rock, Okla.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric went before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission again this week to try to get approval for environmental upgrades at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock, Okla.

The state’s largest utility is running out of time to comply with new federal air quality standards. OG&E’s Sooner Power Plant needs to have air scrubbers installed or be converted to natural gas by January 2019 to comply with the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule. Continue Reading

Fight Over Sardis Lake Entangled in Ancient History, Indian Culture and Sacred Water

Grave sites at the Sardis Cemetery go back well into the 19th century and many of them are homemade.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Grave sites at the Sardis Cemetery go back well into the 19th century and many of them are homemade.

The fight over control of Sardis Lake and water across southeastern Oklahoma pits the state against Native American tribes. To the Choctaw and Chickasaw who live in the area today — and for the Caddo who preceded them — water isn’t just vital to life: It’s culturally sacred.


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Sardis Locals Say Lake Economy Suffers As Southeast Oklahoma Water Fight Drags On

Donna McFadden in her closed convenience store along the north shore of Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Allison Herrera / Invisible Nations

Donna McFadden in her closed convenience store along the north shore of Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s lakes drive millions of dollars of tourism to otherwise impoverished parts of the state. But the local economy around Sardis Lake is missing out because of uncertainty about the water’s future.

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The People Stuck In the Middle Of the Fight Over Southeast Oklahoma’s Water

Pat Starbuck outside the Choctaw Nation Community Center in Talihina.

Allison Herrera / Invisible Nations

Pat Starbuck outside the Choctaw Nation Community Center in Talihina.

Sardis Lake, in southeastern Oklahoma, is at the heart of a battle between state and tribal governments over control of water. Debate has raged over whether to pipe to north Texas, Oklahoma City, or western Oklahoma ever since it was built in the early 1980s. Stuck in the middle are the people who call the Sardis area home.


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“Settlement Reached For $955K In Hugo Water Quality Case”

More than $900,000 of Severn Trent’s fine will go to help other small towns with water infrastructure needs.


The private company that has been operating Hugo’s water supply system has agreed to pay $955,000 to settle $3.17 million in proposed fines levied for drinking water quality violations, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday. The agreement calls for Severn Trent Environmental Services Inc.

Read more at: newsok.com

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