Oklahoma has experienced an increase in earthquakes in recent years, a phenomenon many geophysicists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.
The 5.7-magnitude quake that injured two people and destroyed 14 homes in November 2011 was Oklahoma’s largest on record and is likely the largest triggered by wastewater injection, a team of geophysicists concluded in a report released in March.
Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon is planning to release a list of legislative studies that lawmakers will take up before the 2014 Legislature convenes in February.
Shannon is expected to release the list on Friday, the deadline for study requests by lawmakers to be approved or denied. Former House Speaker Kris Steele approved studies on 59 topics out of 89 individual requests last year.
Interim studies give lawmakers an opportunity to receive testimony and examine issues in depth to decide whether to draft legislation on a particular topic.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:55 am
The morning's major economic news:
-- Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.
The House has passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month.
All five members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation joined their GOP colleagues in voting for the bill.
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He said in a statement he was pleased the bill made it through his chamber.
Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’
Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.
Oklahoma finance officials say major tax breaks handed out to the oil and gas industry during the economic downturn in 2010 cost the state $321 million last fiscal year.
Secretary of Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger released figures Wednesday that show tax rebates and refunds for drilling totaled $173 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, while state tax credits cost an additional $148 million.