Joe Wertz

Reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma

Joe has previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., lives in Oklahoma City, and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Pages

StateImpact Oklahoma
7:37 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Experts Meet In Oklahoma To Update U.S. Maps With Manmade Earthquake Hazards

A panel of state geological surveys and oil and gas regulators at the National Seismic Hazard Workshop on Induced Seismicity, held in November at a conference center in Midwest City, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists, regulators and technical experts from the energy industry met in Oklahoma to discuss how earthquakes triggered by oil and gas operations should be accounted for on national seismic hazard maps, which are used by the construction and insurance industries and pubic safety planners.

The three-day workshop started Nov. 17 and was co-hosted by the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
7:38 am
Thu November 13, 2014

What Oklahoma Can Learn From A Municipal Ban On Fracking In Texas

A Frack Free Denton booth at the University of North Texas. On Nov. 4, voters approved a citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Crystal J. Hollis Flickr

Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states around the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
11:15 am
Tue November 11, 2014

As Oklahoma Economists Eye Slumping Oil Prices, Energy Executives Urge Calm

A drilling rig in far northwest Oklahoma City.
Kool Cats Photography Flickr Creative Commons

Crude oil prices have plummeted to the lowest level in three years, a slump analysts say is fueled by reduced demand due to stalling growth in Europe and China, andbooming supply from domestic production in the U.S.

In Oklahoma — a state where, historically, finances have risen and fallen with the fortunes of the energy industry — the tumbling oil price has been met with different reactions from oil and gas company executives, economists and state finance officials.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
7:25 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Rush of Small Wind and Solar Installations as Regulators Prepare for Fee Requests

Credit Brian Kusler / Flickr Creative Commons

Customers wanting to generate power from small wind turbines and solar panels without being assessed fees rushed to make sure such installations were fully operational by Saturday, Nov. 1. 

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
8:47 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Hearing On Disposal Well Rules Exposes Gaps In Oklahoma’s Earthquake Response

Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, questions Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague at an interim study and hearing about earthquakes and disposal well oversight held in October 2014.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s earthquake surge is unrelenting. The shaking is rattling residents and cracking the foundations of homes.

The quakes have also strained state agencies, which are struggling to keep up with the ongoing swarm while simultaneously developing a longer-term plan to analyze and address factors that might be triggering the earthquakes.

'Meaningful Action'

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
8:28 am
Wed October 29, 2014

House Interim Study Looks At Injection Wells And Earthquakes

A water disposal well injection site.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

State lawmakers on Tuesday questioned regulators, academics and anti-fracking activists at a capitol hearing examining Oklahoma’s surge of earthquakes. The interim House study centered on oversight of injection wells, which scientists have linked to the quakes.

Read more
Energy
1:09 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Debate About Competition And Cost At Senate Panel On Wind Incentives

Frank Robson, a wind farm opponent and property developer from Claremore, Okla., at an Oct. 21 Senate hearing on tax incentives for the wind industry.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Members of the state Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on Tuesday from the wind industry and a representative of a group of property owners pushing for stricter regulation of wind farms.

The Senate study centered on the cost-benefit of tax credits and incentives used by the wind industry. Supporters said Oklahoma’s incentives attract projects that might otherwise be built in other states with similar wind potential, including sites in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
7:36 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Rumbles Of New Scrutiny As Quakes Continue To Surge In Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin and Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague at the Governor's Energy Conference September 4, 2014 in Oklahoma CIty.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s earthquake surge and possible links to oil and gas activity have been studied in scientific papers, discussed at heated town-hall meetings and explored regulatory hearings.

The quakes are now triggering some rumblings at the state Capitol.

About 4,000 earthquakes have shaken Oklahoma this year, data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey show. Most of the quakes have been small — roughly 10 percent were 3.0-magnitude or greater, the threshold at which seismologists say the temblors are likely perceivable.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
8:38 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Why The U.S. Government Might Take Over Oklahoma’s Pipeline Safety Program

Three pipelines already cross the Kelso family farm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of few states with no dedicated agency charged with regulating the safety of oil and gas pipelines, a gap the U.S. Department of Transportation started scrutinizing in the wake of pipeline explosions across the country.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
9:55 am
Thu October 9, 2014

How A Wind Farm Is Helping Save The Family Farm In Western Oklahoma

Monte Tucker, left, stands with his son and dad on the family's farm near Sweetwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

In the ongoing debate about Oklahoma’s wind industry and whether it needs stricter regulation, two types of property owners have been the most vocal: those who hate the idea of turbines next door, and those eager to lease land to a wind company.

But there’s a voice that’s been largely absent from the discussion so far: Landowners who have wind farms and like them.

Family, Factory

Read more

Pages