Aubrey McClendon, the founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Energy was charged Tuesday with orchestrating a conspiracy not to compete for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma, the Justice Department said.
The lawsuit by Denver-based DCP Midstream claims tax assessors in nine Oklahoma counties “charged them the wrong amount in property taxes,” KOCO’s Crystal Price reports.
Tourism is Oklahoma’s third largest industry behind energy and agriculture. State parks are big reason why. But the number of parks is dwindling after years of budget cuts at the Department of Tourism. And more cuts are on the way.
“Environmental and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich brought a message of community empowerment to a packed forum Tuesday evening on the escalating number of earthquakes in Oklahoma,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill in May 2015 ending a program that afforded many wind developers a five-year exemption on property taxes. The measure, Senate Bill 498, authored by Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, was projected to save the state $500 million over 10 years by sunsetting an ad valorem exemption on Jan. 1 2017.
In signing the bill — filed during a legislative session where incentives for the wind industry were the subject of frequent lawmaker scrutiny and strident negotiation from the wind industry — Fallin noted that wind developers “still would have millions of dollars in benefits from the zero-emission tax credit, tied to pollution-free energy.”
Crashing crude oil prices are fueling big bargains for American motorists, who are driving away with tanks full of inexpensive gasoline. Today, the national average is $1.71 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Oklahoma could be one of the first places in the country to see gas prices dip below $1 a gallon.
The Sierra Club filed a federal lawsuit today against three Oklahoma energy companies over earthquakes linked to oil and gas production.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Oklahoma City, accuses Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and New Dominion of operating wastewater injection wells that have contributed to a massive spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas.
The environmental group wants the court to order cutbacks at injection wells and force oil companies to reinforce vulnerable buildings. The suit also seeks the creation of an independent earthquake monitoring center.
Steve Foster, the emergency manager for Woods County, said no injuries or major damage were reported from the intense Saturday quake or its aftershocks.
It costs a lot of money to clean, transport and dispose of water. Big cities can spread the cost of multi-million dollar sewer or treatment projects across thousands of customers. But many small Oklahoma towns don’t have that option, and often rely on a state-funded grant program that’s being squeezed by budget cuts.
The Clean Power Plan — President Barack Obama’s push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants — won’t be implemented until after a lawsuit from 27 states, including Oklahoma, is resolved. Continue Reading