Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gone state by state to enforce its Regional Haze Rule, which means to increase visibility at national parks and wilderness areas by cutting haze-causing emissions at coal-fired power plants.
The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.
Bigfoot Getting Bigger
Charles Benton says he knows what he saw five years ago a few miles north of Broken Bow, deep in the woods near Hochatown. It’s where he says a turkey hunt turned into the scare of a lifetime.
“Behind me I could hear this moaning, this grunting. And I could feel it almost,” Benton says.
The 36th annual Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference in Norman included the usual fare: updates on regional water plans, drought mitigation, and experts from other states sharing their water insights. But Gov. Mary Fallin came with a new idea to save water — and reduce earthquakes.
Oklahoma’s lakes weren’t built to last forever. Over time, dirt and debris are slowly filling them in. Right now, there’s no good way to solve the problem, but cities that rely on Waurika Lake are turning to costly and complicated efforts tosave their water supply from silt.
This spring, Oklahoma faced a problem it hadn’t in a while: too much water. Much of that floodwater flowed into rivers and out of Oklahoma — and that’s sparking big new ideas at the state capitol, and rousing an old fight.
A report in The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday raised questions about whether Gov. Mary Fallin and then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry improperly colluded in 2013 to pressure the Oklahoma Board of Medical Examiners to drop an investigation into a spinal surgeon accused of bungling operations.
Oklahoma Democrats are now asking for an investigation since Perry had political ties to Dr. Steven Anagnost.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday officially published its controversial Clean Power Plan — meant to reduce carbon emissions from power plants — and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is already taking the first step toward challenging it in court.
Oklahoma’s small water systems face a big problem: Drinking water standards are getting stricter, their treatment plants are becoming obsolete, and many cities and towns can’t get the loans and grants needed for expensive upgrades.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency attempt to update the Clean Water Rule — also known as the waters of the U.S. rule — hit a snag today, with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to temporarily block its implementation.
It’s been decades since Tulsa decided the portion of the Arkansas River that runs through the city was too dirty and dangerous to swim in. The river is much cleaner now, but convincing the public it’s OK to hop in won’t be easy.
The Arkansas River is an iconic feature of Tulsa, cutting across downtown and winding through the west side of the city. But it has a bad reputation.
More than 500 Oklahoma employees of Chesapeake Energy are out of a job following the latest layoffs Sept. 29, as oil prices stay below $50 a barrel. Gasoline is cheap, but that relief at the pump can fuel widespread worry about Oklahoma’s oil and gas-reliant economy.
Oklahoma County District Judge Barbara Swinton on Wednesday ordered the long disputed limits on how much water can be taken from one of the state’s most sensitive aquifers — the Arbuckle-Simpson in south-central Oklahoma — to go forward.
The court was hearing an appeal of the limit from groups including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, Oklahoma Aggregates Association, and mining company TXI — all petitioners in the case.
Generations of tilling and planting on the same land have left Oklahoma’s soil in poor shape. And if farmers don’t change the way they grow crops, feeding the future won’t be easy. As Slapout, Okla., farmer Jordan Shearer puts it: “We’re creating a desert environment by plowing the damn ground.”
The company that runs Hugo’s water treatment plant is contesting the $3.17 million fine the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality levied against it for — as the Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reported in August — not using “enough chlorine for more than 300 days over the course of two years.”
This year’s El Niño might be the strongest ever. The phenomenon — marked by unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America — means more precipitation could be on the way for Oklahoma. The state’s wheat farmers are hopeful, but know too much rain at the wrong time can be ruinous.
Mike Rosen runs a grain elevator near Kingfisher. He says Oklahoma’s wheat farmers can’t seem to catch a break.
Even before the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan was finalized, politicians in Oklahoma were already fighting it in the court of public opinion, and in real court, too. And Gov. Mary Fallin has vowed that Oklahoma will not submit a state compliance plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.