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.
EPA Administrator and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was back in the Sooner State last week — to talk about what his agency plans to do about saltwater contamination in Bird Creek in Osage County that could be tied to the oil and gas industry.
The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.
Early indications in Oklahoma seem to show a big battle brewing.
Chandler, a city of about 3,000 residents, like many small communities in Oklahoma, has struggled with deteriorating pipes and pumps, limited funding to make repairs and upgrades, and increasing demands to provide clean water to more and more customers.
It’s up to the state to make sure Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are safe, but budget cuts are threatening that mission.
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.
The report cites two specific examples of when the EPA went too far in promoting the Waters of the U.S. rule online.