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 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.
The federal government on Monday filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric, accusing the electric utility of violating the Clean Air Act by improperly estimating the amount of emissions that could come from upgrades at two coal-fired power plants.
While the State of Oklahoma won the Supreme Court Water War with Texas, its in-state skirmish is still simmering.
This battle — between the state and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations — is being waged within Oklahoma’s borders. But unlike the Red River water dispute, reports from the front lines of Oklahoma’s tribal water war are sketchy and scarce. The Associated Press’ Tim Talley explains news drought:
EXCO Resources is spending about $1 billion to acquire assets from Chesapeake Energy in Texas and Louisiana.
The land provides EXCO both with producing fields and potentially lucrative drilling sites in the future.
Chesapeake Energy Corp., based in Oklahoma City, is selling approximately 55,000 net acres in Zavala, Dimmit, La Salle and Frio counties in Texas — part of the Northern Eagle Ford Shale. There are 120 producing wells there.
The Sierra Club on Thursday said two Oklahoma Gas & Electric coal-fired power plants are releasing too much sulfur dioxide, a compound that can cause respiratory disease, which they said endangers residents near Muskogee and Red Rock.
The environmental group commissioned a study that modeled the amount of sulfur dioxide released by the Sooner and Muskogee plants, and says both will violate federal clean air standards — when those standards are implemented.