Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

“WATCH: Oklahoma Oil Tycoon Harold Hamm Criticizes Clinton During RNC Energy Speech”

Billionaire Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm sharply criticized environmental regulations in a pro-Donald Trump speech on energy policy at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.


The Continental Resources CEO’s remarks came amid reports he would be named energy secretary if the Republican candidate is elected in November. Hamm is a supporter and one of Trump’s most important energy influencers. The fossil fuel mogul warned that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would continue President Obama’s legacy of smothering oil and gas producers with punitive regulations. Hamm said electing Trump would reverse those government hurdles, untether the energy industry, and create millions of jobs.

Read more at: kgou.org

As Cities in Oklahoma Update Streetlights With LEDs, Doctors Warn About Road Ahead

Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineers are testing an LED interchange light tower in the parking lot of its Oklahoma City headquarters.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineers are testing an LED interchange light tower in the parking lot of the agency's Oklahoma City headquarters.

Cities across the state are hoping to cut down their electricity and maintenance bills by updating street and highway lights with new technology. LEDs save energy and money, but doctors say the lights could have unintended health and environmental consequences.


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“PSO Drops Distributed Generation Case”

Public Service Co. filed an application July 14 “to withdraw its proposed tariff for distributed generation sources such as rooftop solar or small wind turbines,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.


PSO spokeswoman Tiffini Jackson said circumstances have changed since the initial application was filed.

“We believe collaborative efforts of the industry and other interested parties, in addition to the ability for a more in-depth review of data specific to distributed generation customers, present an opportunity for us to potentially present an even better approach,” Jackson said Thursday. “For these reasons, in the interest of making sure we get this right for all customers and to make the most effective and efficient use of time for everyone involved in the case, we are asking the commission to delay considering changes to our rate structures on distributed generation.”

Read more at: newsok.com

Settlement Over Texoma Park Privatization Worries Locals, Costs State

Sheldon Stauffer outside the Lighthouse Bait and Tackle shop in Kingston, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Sheldon Stauffer outside the Lighthouse Bait and Tackle shop in Kingston, Okla.

Lake Texoma State Park was once one of Oklahoma’s most popular parks. Then much of it was sold to a private development firm that has yet to fulfill its promise to build multi-million dollar resort. The matter was recently settled in court, but many local residents don’t like the result.

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“Bittersweet Harvest: Weak Market Greets State’s Banner Wheat Crop”

Oklahoma had one of the best wheat harvests in years, but “tremendous yields” hit a poor market paying just $3.44 per bushel instead of the $5.48 paid out on the same day last year, The Oklahoman’s Jesse Pound Reports.


“We basically … had two crops in one [in 2016] because of the tremendous yields,” said Joe Neal Hampton, president and CEO of Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association in Enid. The Agriculture Department has the state with a yield of 40 bushels per harvested acre, which would be the best since the turn of the century.

Wheat prices have been low for a long time, and many farmers did not sell all of their crop last year, with prices depressed by international production. This year’s harvest is just being added to the pile, leaving storage tight across the southern plains, Hampton said.

Read more at: newsok.com

“State Budget Crisis Forces DEQ to Delay Cleanup Projects”

Oklahoma’s budget crisis has forced the state’s primary environmental regulator to delay cleanup projects across the state, KOCO’s Crystal Price reports.


Givens said that the following projects will be delayed as a result of the recent budget cuts: Pink tire dump cleanup, Catoosa tire dump cleanup, Hugo Water Treatment Plant improvements, Wagoner County road project, Oklahoma State’s University’s research on wastewater plants and septic assistance grants. Department officials said leaving the Pink tire dump unattended can pose a fire risk and the smoke can be hazardous.

Read more at: www.koco.com

Why OKC’s Electric Transformer House Is On the National List Of Historic Places

The restored Electric Transformer House at 2412 North Olie Ave. in Oklahoma City.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The restored Electric Transformer House at 2412 North Olie Ave. in Oklahoma City.

The latest update of the National Register of Historic Places includes the kinds of Oklahoma buildings you’d expect to be on such a list: a school in Atoka built for black students during the New Deal era, a church in Garfield County barely altered since its construction in 1928, a hotel in Guymon that’s been the tallest building in town for nearly 70 years.

But not all of the properties on the list immediately flash their historic value, like a nondescript one-room brick building in Oklahoma City called the Electric Transformer House.

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How Oklahoma’s Giant Spring Wildfire Helped the Environment

Fire crews work to reduce wildfire danger by clear brush through a prescribed burn in northwestern Oklahoma in April 2016.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Fire crews work to reduce wildfire danger by clear brush through a prescribed burn in northwestern Oklahoma in April 2016.

Fire crews worked for nearly a week to contain a wildfire that started on March 22 and torched 574 square miles of land near the Oklahoma-Kansas state line, where it destroyed homes, killed livestock and damaged thousands of miles of fence.

But the Anderson Creek fire “cleared out more eastern red cedars in a week than local efforts to eradicate the invasive species could have accomplished in decades,” conservation experts tell the Associated Press. Continue Reading

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