The crippling five-year drought Oklahoma finally broke out of in 2015 is still fresh in the memory of the state’s water regulators, which is looking for ways the state can better withstand future dry spells. The Water Resources Board this week approved new rules to allow water to be stored underground, in aquifers.
Nearly 3/4 of Oklahoma voters oppose a half-cent tax on wind-generated electricity proposed by Gov. Mary Fallin, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports a poll sponsored by a wind advocacy group shows. “The State Chamber also is voicing opposition to the plan.”
American Wind Action commissioned polls in January and earlier this month to see how Oklahomans viewed both wind energy and a proposed wind tax, which was unveiled earlier this month by Fallin in her executive budget as one measure to plug the state’s estimated $878 million shortfall. Continue Reading
Emails made public Wednesday show newly confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt coordinated with the fossil fuel industry and political groups to fight federal environmental regulations when he served as Oklahoma’s attorney general. Continue Reading
Former Oklahoma Attorney General and new Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt addressed employees of the federal agency for the first time today.
Speaking at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., Pruitt told the agency’s 15,000 workers — some of which strongly opposed his nomination — he would listen to their ideas and encourage civil debate on key environmental issues. He indicated a narrow interpretation of the agency’s authority, saying the EPA’s oversight had to be “tethered” to statute.
Pruitt said he’d rebuild the EPA’s partnership with state regulators and he pledged to ensure the environmental rule-making process is open, transparent and objective. But, he said, federal regulators have an obligation to make sure those rules provide certainty for industry. Continue Reading
The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory agency the Oklahoma politician has built his brand fighting against. Continue Reading
An Oklahoma County District judge on Thursday ordered Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office to turn over emails and other documents requested two years ago by a watchdog group. Continue Reading
State Representative Leslie Osborn is the new chair of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee, an influential position that gives her bills extra weight. StateImpact talked to Osborn about legislation she’s pushing to increase mining fees, and to explore the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.
The latest market report from the American Wind Energy Association comes as lawmakers start discussions over the future of state incentives for wind generation “and the possibility of a new tax on wind production proposed by Gov. Mary Fallin,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
Oklahoma added almost 1,200 megawatts of wind capacity in the last three months of 2016 as it leapfrogged California to take third place among the states for wind capacity. Continue Reading
Federal authorities are investigating the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million dollars from an obscure Oklahoma board that promotes the beef industry. The investigation and related lawsuits add to questions about oversight of a national program funded by fees charged to ordinary farmers and ranchers.
The Center for Media and Democracy on Tuesday filed an open records lawsuit against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, accusing the Trump administration’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of failing to provide public access to emails and other documents for more than two years. Continue Reading