Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People


Tribal Impact

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Wind Projects in Osage County Dividing ‘Neighbors and Families’

Wind energy companies have high hopes for Osage County. It’s windy, of course, but unlike other windy areas of western Oklahoma, Osage County is a lot closer to the heavy-duty electrical infrastructure needed to transport power from turbines to the grid. Wind farms have met resistance in other Oklahoma communities, but opposition to the Osage [...]

The Evolving Politics of Oklahoma Water Policy

Illinois River

Oklahoma’s water needs are increasing, and its water policies are evolving. Many of the changes are physical: fixing aging infrastructure, adding capacity to keep up with growth, and addressing drought. But Oklahoma’s evolving water policy is also very political. And while the Texas dispute has been settled, legally, there are other fights on the horizon. [...]

Oklahoma’s Kiowa Tribe Says Gravel Mining Will Ruin Sacred Mountain

For almost 150 years, the Kiowa Tribe has used Longhorn Mountain for ceremonies and to gather the cedar used to purify their homes. But tribal leaders say the sacred site is being threatened by gravel mining. Two of the mountain’s five private landowners have leased water and property rights to Cushing-based Material Service of Oklahoma, [...]

American Indian Museum a Proxy in Political Fight over OKC Water Policy

The unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum has become a proxy in a political fight about Oklahoma City's water policy.

Balancing the state’s water needs isn’t just about permits and pipelines. It’s political. And Oklahoma City is a case study in how local water policy can have unintended consequences at the state capitol. The city, state and tribes are wrestling over the $80 million needed to complete the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, a $150 million project that [...]

Tribal Firefighters Say They’ve Been Burned by Federal Budget Cuts

The number of wildfires on the Cherokee Nation has remained steady in recent years, but tribal fire crews are battling tribal blazes with fewer men, no headquarters and no money for equipment maintenance. Unlike municipal and volunteer firefighting teams in other Oklahoma communities and counties, the Cherokee Nation Fire Rangers are federally funded, reports the [...]

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