Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People


The metrics on the state economy, what’s changing in the job landscape, and how Oklahoma stacks up.

Latest Posts

The Cost of Oklahoma’s Drought: $2 Billion in Two Years

Parched Ground

Researchers at Oklahoma State University have been analyzing the ongoing drought and estimating the state’s tab of overall economic losses. The financial impact from drought-related crop and livestock losses, wildfire damage and other municipal costs totaled more than $426 million in 2012, researchers found: Combined with last year’s $1.6 billion setback, the state has suffered more [...]

Why Oklahoma’s Drought Might Ruin Christmas

Christmas Tree

The 2011 holiday season was really tough on Oklahoma Christmas tree farmers, but you probably didn’t notice. Severe drought killed Christmas trees, which meant “no cutting” and “no business” for Oklahoma tree farmers — at least five of which went out of business, the Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports: A second consecutive year of drought [...]

Oklahoma’s Crude Boom is Bringing Out ‘Oil-Field Outlaws’

Oil Security

Theft of crude and oil-field equipment is on the rise in western and central Oklahoma, the Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports. Such theft is difficult to detect because well sites are concentrated in sparsely populated parts of rural Oklahoma. A multi-county response is being organized with state investigators, county sheriffs and corporate security officials, the [...]

Bacon Inflation: What You Need to Know


The Oklahoma Pork Council has issued a dire warning: “Pork prices are going to rise in 2013, there’s just no way around it,” executive director Ron Lindsey tells the Shawnee News-Star‘s Carmen Bourlon. Bacon will be most affected by the porcine price hike, though customers in the United States probably won’t suffer any pork shortages, [...]

Move Over Moonshine, Oklahoma’s Beer Buzz is Now a ‘Boom’

Marshall Beer Flight

Moonshining might be on the rise in Oklahoma, but legal liquor also appears to be surging. And while the rise in outlaw alcohol in southeastern parts of the state is tied to high unemployment and pronounced poverty, Oklahoma’s craft beer boom is symptom of craftsmanship and local pride. Boutique brewers in Krebs, Oklahoma City and [...]

State Question 766: What An Oklahoma Hamburger Chain Can Teach Us About Intangible Property Taxes

Sonic Drive-In

Intangible property is everywhere. An item’s intangible value is determined by its non-physical attributes. Telecommunications and utility companies’ transmission lines are worth more than the material they’re made up of. They have an intangible value. In November, Oklahoma voters will decide State Question 766, which would ban the taxation of intangible property. The failure of [...]

Texas Needs Oklahoma Limestone, Bores Into Sensitive Aquifer to Get It

A gate into a silica sand mining operation near Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma.

There are about a dozen operations currently mining or planning to mine in the area of Mill Creek in Northern Johnston County, which is fed by the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, perhaps the state’s most sensitive water resource. The limestone in the aquifer is some of the best in world. So good, it’s even an ingredient in [...]

Energy Boom Fuels Record-High International Exports from Oklahoma

Oklahoma exports reached record levels during the first half of 2012, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The outflow of more than $3.4 billion worth of goods is an increase of 12 percent, markedly higher than the national average of 7 percent, reports the Tulsa World‘s Kyle Arnold. Thirty-four states set [...]

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