About 60 demonstrators gathered in front of the Norman City Hall Wednesday evening before the city council’s oversight committee met to discuss changes to the Norman’s oil and gas drilling regulations.
The Central Oklahoma Clean Water Coalition hosted the rally. Organizer Casey Holcolm says the current ordinances were written before fracking became so widespread.
The 2015 session is still months away, but the newly elected Oklahoma Legislature has already started talking about how to divvy up roughly $7 billion in state appropriations.
Some prominent lawmakers are promising to re-examine tax credits and economic incentives worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of those incentives are used for wind energy, which the industry says are working.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for stricter ozone standards has been praised by environmentalists as a step in the right direction and derided by industry groups, which argue the rules will cost jobs and lead to higher prices for electricity and natural gas.
The cost of producing and providing electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines has plunged in recent years, and are on track to meet — and in some markets are already beating — the generation costs of conventional sources like coal and natural gas.
The lowest holiday gasoline prices in five years are expected to result in an increased number of Oklahomans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
AAA Oklahoma estimates nearly 602,000 Oklahomans will travel this year during the holiday — the highest volume since 2007 and a nearly 5 percent increase over 2013.
The agency estimates 90 percent of the travelers — 542,000 people —will get to Thanksgiving destinations by car, pickup or RV — 4.8 percent more than last year. Another 49,000 residents will fly — a 3.4 percent jump.
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.
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.