The federal government is once again considering whether to use the Endangered Species Act to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken, a finicky bird struggling to thrive in increasingly fragile western grasslands.
On paper, it looks like two environmental agencies received funding boosts, but a closer look at the numbers shows the increases aren’t what they appear.
The $6.8 billion presumptive budget agreement has been praised for preserving money for education, prisons and Medicaid, but some of the sharpest cuts are aimed at agencies that regulate industry and protect the environment.
Oil and gas are endangering the state’s streams, soil, and wetlands. Not by polluting them — that’s a different argument — but because plummeting oil prices have blown a billion dollar hole in Oklahoma’s budget.
Governor Mary Fallin on Tuesday announced $1.8 million from the state emergency fund — which will qualify Oklahoma for even more in federal money — to fix 65 dams.
The solution is to stop tilling and rotate wheat with cover crops — assortments of plants that cover the field and restore organic matter into the soil when they die.