StateImpact

8:39 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Is Coal Mining Making a Comeback in Eastern Oklahoma?

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Coal mining plays a key role in the history of eastern Oklahoma. Without immigrant miners flooding into the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some towns might not even exist.
When coal mining began to die off, so did many of the towns founded around it. Oklahoma’s coal is just too high in sulfur to be of much use in the U.S. Burning it in large quantities is against federal clean air regulations.
8:30 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Inside the Arguments in Oklahoma’s Supreme Court Water Case

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tarrant v. Herrmann, an Oklahoma-Texas water fight with national implications. The justices grappled with the 30-year-old Red River Compact, and whether a region of Texas can reach across state lines to access water in southeastern Oklahoma.
The two states have different interpretations of some language in the agreement. The compact gives Oklahoma and Texas “equal rights” to some of the water in southeastern Oklahoma. But “equal rights” means different things to each state.
6:32 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Fees Attacked By Legislature, But Is It Smart To Cut Off Another Revenue Source?

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House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) says the moratorium is necessary because Oklahoma has raised fees by more than $100 million since 2007. During the recession, it was the easiest way Oklahoma had to raise revenues to fill budget gaps. Increasing taxes in Oklahoma requires a three-fourths supermajority in both houses of the legislature, or a vote of the people.
It's already nearly impossible to raise taxes in Oklahoma. Now, the legislature is poised to ban raising fees for drivers' licenses, state parks and other state services, too. A bill placing a moratorium on fee increases through 2016 has passed both houses of the state legislature.
4:49 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Cause and Client: An Oklahoma Attorney’s Experience at the U.S. Supreme Court

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Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an Oklahoma-Texas water case that could have ripple effects on interstate water-sharing agreements throughout the country.
To get a little insight into the state's history at the high court, StateImpact spoke with an Oklahoma attorney who's been there.
11:00 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Tax Break for Big Corporations Could Mean Even Less Money for Oklahoma Schools

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State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property: business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Five months later, a new estimate predicts the impact could be double that, and administrators are wondering what it means for their districts.
  • Source: Npr
  • | Via: StateImpact Oklahoma
State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property: business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Before the election, the state Tax Commission estimated 766 would mean revenue losses of around $30 million for Oklahoma public schools.
8:15 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Oklahoma Earthquake Was Largest Linked to Injection Wells, New Study Suggests

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Katie Keranen’s findings, published Tuesday in the geoscience journal Geology, adds to a growing chorus of scientific evidence suggesting that injection and disposal wells are likely causing an uptick of earthquakes in the continental United States.
A University of Oklahoma seismologist's research, released today, provides further evidence that Oklahoma's largest-recorded earthquake was triggered by injection wells used by the oil and gas industry.
3:34 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

What's Next for an Oklahoma Lake that Never Filled?

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Even if you build it, water won't necessarily come. For people living in northwest Oklahoma a reservoir intended to bring water to the dry land is now a wildlife refuge.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built more lakes in Oklahoma than any other state. Some of those reservoirs struggle to fill, especially during drought, or end up holding more silt than water. But none have been a bigger failure than Lake Optima.
12:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Residents Pay Widely Ranging Rates for Water

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You turn the tap and out comes water, but what does it cost? It's a common resource that is priced in ways that may be surprising.
Municipal Water Rates - 2012 There are more than 750 local water authorities in Oklahoma. There isn't a comprehensive database of water costs, but data from the Oklahoma Municipal League offers a snapshot of the rates residential and business customers pay each month.
Earthquake
8:15 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Latest Earthquake May Link to Disposal Well

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 3.4 magnitude  earthquake has been recorded near Prague in central Oklahoma. The Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management says there were no injuries  or damage reported.

The USGS says the quake was recorded at 12:24 p.m. yesterday about 6 miles  northwest of Prague. That's about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.

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