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

Southeast Oklahoma Lawmakers Ask Attorney General to Weigh In On Water Board Beef

Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester

Oklahoma House

Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester

State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, and three of his House colleagues on Monday wrote a letter to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asking for his opinion on whether it’s legal for members of the state Water Resources Board to stay on the OWRB even after their positions have been eliminated.

Renegar wrote on behalf of Representatives Donnie Condit, Ed Cannaday, and Johnny Tadlock, all from southeast Oklahoma:

The language of Senate Bill 965, passed into law in 2013, states that upon expiration (May 2016) of the at-large position presently “held” by Richard Sevenoaks, he will be replaced by a member from the new Southeast Oklahoma District 9.

Continue Reading

Fallin Gave Southeast Oklahoma a Seat on Water Board, But Skips Deadline to Fill It

Atoka Lake in southeast Oklahoma, a focal point of the controversy over who controls water in that part of the state.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Atoka Lake in southeast Oklahoma, a focal point of the controversy over who controls water in that part of the state.

Southeast Oklahoma has many of the state’s largest lakes and rivers and much of the state’s water, but no one from the area serves on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the state’s water regulator. A 2013 law requires the area to have representation. But, so far, that hasn’t happened.


Continue Reading

Osage Nation Buys Ted Turner’s Oklahoma Ranch As Part Of Effort To Reclaim County

Bison on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Bison on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Okla. The nearby ranch the Osage Nation is purchasing also has bison.

Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is on a mission. He wants the tribe to buy back as much land as possible in Osage County, where it owns less than 10 percent of the nearly 1.5 million acres it did in the early 1900s.

The latest move in that effort is a big one. As the Tulsa World’s Michael Overall reports, the Osage Nation reached a deal to purchase Ted Turner’s 43,000-acre ranch near Pawhuska: Continue Reading

Oklahoma Agency Protecting Scenic Rivers Dissolved As State Funding Dries Up

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Executive Director Ed Fite next to a mountain of life vests at the War Eagle Resort near Tahlequah, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission's Fite next to a mountain of life vests at the War Eagle Resort near Tahlequah, Okla.

Come July 1, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission will be no more.

Gov. Mary Fallin on May 11 signed a bill disbanding the small state agency, transferring its mission — and employees — to the Grand River Dam Authority, which now takes on the Commission’s role of keeping Oklahoma’s six scenic rivers clean and safe for tourists. Continue Reading

Next Republican House Leader Has Roots in Southeastern Oklahoma Water

Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, in early May was tapped by his republican colleagues to be their next leader.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, in early May was tapped by his republican colleagues to be their next leader.

Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week chose a new leader for 2017: Charles McCall. The Republican is from Atoka in southeast Oklahoma, which could bring a unique perspective on water to the capitol.

Continue Reading

“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.

Continue Reading

“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

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education