Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People


‘Mad Scientists’ at Oklahoma March Urge Lawmakers to Stop Underfunding and Undermining Research

Oklahomans joined thousands of people in more than 600 cities on Saturday in a march for scientific freedom organized to send a message to state and national lawmakers. Continue Reading

Oklahoma City Residents Question Lake Hefner Drilling Plan at Contentious Public Meeting

A rowdy crowd of concerned residents shouted at city officials and questioned representatives of an oil company at a Thursday night meeting about a proposal to drill near Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. Continue Reading

Burned Out: In the Field With Overworked and Unpaid Oklahoma Firefighters

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Christie Smith, a full-time nurse and volunteer firefighter with the Cedar Country Fire Department, and David Thompson, safety officer with the Slaughterville Fire Department, cool down after extinguishing a hotspot that flared east of Noble, Okla.

Oklahoma has more than 4,000 paid, professional firefighters at departments throughout the state, data from the state Firefighters Pension and Retirement System show.

But its unpaid firefighting force is more than three times that size.

“Volunteering right now is a full-time job,” says Maj. David Thompson, safety officer for the Slaughterville Fire Department. “And it’s wearing us down.”

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Oklahoma, Where Wind and Jobs Sweep Down the Plains

Joe Wertz / NPR StateImpact

Jessie Bean, a wind technology student, peers out of the top of a 13-story training tower in El Reno.

The amount of wind energy has increased dramatically over the last decade, along with the number of wind farms around the country and in Oklahoma.

The industry is building more turbines than it can maintain, officials say, and Oklahoma is working fast to fill the job gap.


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