Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Legislature Approves ‘Critical Infrastructure’ Bill Critics Say Could Curb Public Protest

A bill that adds steep criminal penalties for trespassing on sites containing “critical infrastructure” cleared its final legislative hurdle Wednesday and now awaits Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

For more on House Bill 1123, here’s our story from March 2017.

Oklahoma Bill To Protect ‘Critical Infrastructure’ Could Curb Public Protest, Critics Say

Oklahoma legislators are advancing a bill that outlaws trespassing on sites containing “critical infrastructure.” Supporters say the measure will help prevent damage and disruption of energy markets, electric grids and water services, but environmental activists and civil rights groups say the bill’s real purpose is to block political protests of pipelines and similar projects. Continue Reading

‘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

Legislature Approves Measure to Lure Healthier Grocery Options to Fill Oklahoma Food Deserts

Geary, Oklahoma, Family Dollar manager Jacquie Hogue running the register in her store.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Geary, Oklahoma, Family Dollar manager Jacquie Hogue running the register in her store.

Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are epidemic in Oklahoma, and lack of access to fresh, healthy food is a big reason why. Scarcity is most severe in regions known as food deserts, where going to the grocery store often means taking a road trip. But new legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could bring more healthy food to areas that need it.

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Energy Industry Divided as Public Calls to Increase Oil and Gas Taxes Grow Louder

Lights from a drilling rig near Watonga, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lights from a drilling rig near Watonga, Okla.

The 2017 legislative session is beyond the halfway point and the clock is ticking on lawmakers who have until the end of May to set the state’s budget and plug an $870 million funding hole. Legislators say every option is on the table, including one with growing public support: Increasing taxes on oil and gas.

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‘Oklahoma Governor to Decide Fate of Wind Energy Tax Credits’

A bill that brings an early end to the last major tax incentive for the wind industry has cleared its last legislative hurdle and now awaits Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

Oklahoma governor to decide fate of wind energy tax credits

Leadership in both chambers have praised the bill, citing it as one way the state can reclaim revenue in future budget years. Oklahoma law allows owners of wind turbines that begin operation before 2021 to claim a credit on the income earned from energy production. HB 2298 would end the credit July 1 … Continue Reading

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