Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

“Earthquakes Shake Out Data Showing Unknown Fault Line in Edmond Area”

Faults are often revealed “when a series of earthquakes fire off with epicenters in a linear pattern,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.


This week’s quakes indicate a fault that runs northeast at least two miles from near Interstate 35 and Second Street, McNamara said. Because the newly revealed fault is not on any existing fault map, it’s difficult to tell how far it extends or whether it underlies more of Edmond or connects to a larger fault, he said. “The fault may continue on, but we don’t know,” he said. Another concern is whether the fault connects to a larger, deeper fault, such as the Nemaha Ridge — which runs roughly parallel to I-35 from central Oklahoma to southern Kansas — or the Wizetta Fault, which produced the magnitude 5.6 Prague earthquake in 2011.

Read more at: newsok.com

“Strong Oklahoma Earthquake Knocks Out Power to 4,400 Homes”

No immediate reports of injuries or major damage, but the 4.3-magnitude temblor is blamed for a power outage that affected thousands.


The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3. The quake struck at 5:39 a.m. Tuesday with an epicenter 5 miles east-northeast of Edmond. A smaller earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4 hit the same area about 10 minutes later. Edmond city officials say about 4,400 homes and businesses lost power because of the quake but electricity was restored quickly.

Read more at: www.csmonitor.com

Debate Over Tariff Exposes Rift on Cost of Electricity and Value of Solar Energy

Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists

Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the state’s largest electricity utility, wants regulators to approve new fees for customers who install solar panels. The request is now in the hands of Oklahoma’s three-member Corporation Commission, which has to weigh the real cost of reliable electricity and put a fair value on power from the sun.

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“Judge Says Corporation Commission Should Support OG&E’s Solar Tariff”

Judge Jacqueline Miller “also said the commission should direct OG&E to provide further evidence of the costs distributed generation customers impose on the grid in its upcoming rate case,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.


The three-member Corporation Commission will have the final say in the matter. A vote has not yet been scheduled.

OG&E filed its case under Senate Bill 1456, which Gov. Mary Fallin signed last year. It allows regulated utilities to propose new tariffs if they can show distributed generation customers are being subsidized for their grid-connection costs by other customers. The law applies to customers who install solar or small wind turbines after Nov. 1, 2014.

Read more at: newsok.com

EPA’s Haze Rule for Texas Meant to Clear the Air In Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains

Meers area resident Bill Cunningham looks for haze over the Wichita Mountains from the top of Mt. Scott.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Meers area resident Bill Cunningham looks for haze over the Wichita Mountains from the top of Mt. Scott.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gone state by state to enforce its Regional Haze Rule, which means to increase visibility at national parks and wilderness areas by cutting haze-causing emissions at coal-fired power plants. Continue Reading

Bigfoot is Scaring Up Stories and Tourism Dollars in Southeastern Oklahoma

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.

The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.


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Pennsylvania Attorney General Sues Chesapeake Energy for ‘Deceptive’ Gas Leases

Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City headquarters.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City headquarters.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Chesapeake Energy, seeking millions of dollars for landowners who leased land to the Oklahoma City company, our partners at StateImpact Pennsylvania report.

From Marie Cusick:

The Oklahoma City-based driller is one of the most active in Pennsylvania. It was an early adopter of fracking and touts itself as the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas. It’s also been widely accused of unfair business practices – including using below-market gas prices, making improper deductions from royalty payments, and misreporting gas production data.

Kane spokesman Jeff Johnson says the lawsuit could affect more than 4,000 Pennsylvania landowners who signed leases with the company.

“It could conceivably be in the tens of millions of dollars,” he said.

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