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StateImpact Oklahoma

A coal-fired power plant near Oologah, Okla.
Roadhunter / Flickr Creative Commons

Carbon dioxide emission rules proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollution from power plants “are poorly formulated and impractical,” executives from Western Farmers Electric Cooperative said Tuesday.

seismograph
Ray Bouknight / Flickr

While a growing chorus of scientific research has linked Oklahoma’s recent spike in earthquake activity to oil and gas industry disposal wells, a new study suggests such artificial earthquakes are less intense than naturally occurring temblors.

StateImpact Oklahoma

I just completed a final report for the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for their support of the third year of StateImpact Oklahoma.

I want to highlight the great year we had with StateImpact Oklahoma.

Last year, StateImpact Oklahoma reporters Joe Wertz and Logan Layden created 47 radio stories, appeared on OETA or other TV outlets 18 times, created 254 regular web posts and 27 multi-media web stories with interactive maps and visualizations.

For the third year in a row, a large-scale fish-kill has been reported on the Salt Fork River in north-central Oklahoma.

“Hundreds and maybe thousands” of catfish, carp, buffalo and other bottom-feeding fish were likely killed, says Skylar McElhaney, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

The cause of these fish-kills is mysterious, but a pattern is emerging.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

This year, Oklahoma has had more earthquakes than California. There is a growing body of scientific research that suggests oil and gas production is fueling this increase in seismic activity.

new paper published today in the journal Science, suggests a small number of wastewater wells used in drilling operations could be responsible for many of the quakes.

KGOU/Laura Knoll

June 1, 2014

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

This week, I’m touring KGOU’s services in digital spaces.  Start with the web page at KGOU!  Of course the local news and programs from KGOU are there, plus NPR news, but the Calendar section of local non-profit events is amazing. 

There is an easy way to view the site on your mobile phone or tablet, and an RSS feed for each of KGOU’s regular features.  Stay here and look around, bookmark the site, subscribe to the RSS feeds, listen to the live stream, and make a donation.

KGOU also maintains Facebook pages for KGOU News, the Weekend Blues, and Indian Times, and Twitter feeds for KGOU News and World Views.

StateImpact Oklahoma reporter Joe Wertz appeared on OETA-The ​Oklahoma Network's Oklahoma News Report last week to discuss a possible constitutional challenge to the controversial tax incentive for oil and gas wells, which Gov. Mary Fallin signed this week.

Corey Taratuta / Flickr Creative Commons

Hundreds of visual, culinary and performing artists gather in downtown Oklahoma City for one of the state’s most anticipated annual attractions. The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts continues through Sunday, April 27.

With nearly 50 years of history, the festival has developed into one of Oklahoma’s largest spring traditions.  This year, the Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Festival Plaza hosts nearly 300 entertainers, exhibitions by 144 visual artists and an international mix of more than two dozen food vendors.  

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Many of the 1,500 or so residents of Konawa, in Seminole County, are once again without water as the town continues to grapple with the ongoing breakdown of the pipes, mains, and pumps that deliver water to homes and businesses.

USDAgov / Flickr Creative Commons

The declining population of lesser prairie chickens has been an issue for years. It was during the 1990s — and another drought — that the species was first proposed for federal protection.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Thousands of federal workers in Oklahoma were furloughed because of the budget stalemate in Washington, D.C., including those in charge of operating and maintaining dozens of campsites and parks run by the U.S. government.

dead fish in dry riverbed
OakleyOriginals / Flickr Creative Commons

Tulsa has been spared the worst effects of Oklahoma’s drought, which has been concentrated in western and southwestern regions of the state.

350.org / Flickr Creative Commons

A Sept. 21 protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline attracted 74 people who walked a portion of the pipeline’s proposed route, The Journal Record reports.

State Farm / Flickr Creative Commons

When the massive EF5 tornado ripped through Moore on May 20, it took out homes and business alike. Since then, the Moore City Council has been considering updating building codes to make homes safer. But as the Journal Record‘s Molly M. Flemming reports, the city’s construction standards for commercial buildings aren’t being altered much:

Those codes are likely to stay the same, with one slight change.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The clash between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oklahoma Gas & Electric over pollution from coal-fired power plants continues to escalate.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and OG&E both asked the 10thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its July decision in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was whether EPA has the authority to usurp the state’s plan for limiting haze on federal land; a plan EPA has deemed inadequate.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Many Oklahomans are excited about the promise of wind energy, and the state is moving up the national ranks in wind power capacity.

But some are turning their backs on wind turbines, and the struggle highlights the challenges of regulating renewable energy.

When Tammy and Rick Huffstutlar bought their home and acreage 35 years ago, they were excited about living on a farm. But for the last year, Tammy says she’s been living in the middle of an industrial park.

A worker inspects a segment of the Keystone Pipeline before it's lowered into a trench near Stroud, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Obama is still deciding whether to approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would unlock vast supplies of Canadian tar sands oil for the U.S. and global markets.

During a major climate speech in June, Obama reiterated his support for the project, with one stipulation:

Global Energy Network Institute

Oklahoma has a lot of wind energy potential, and the state’s overall capacity for wind-powered electricity generation is growing.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s a report out from a group of environmental organizations including Waterkeeper Alliance and the Sierra Club that says there are “essentially no limits” on the amounts toxic metals coal-fired power plants can dump into Oklahoma’s waterways.

RANDOMTRUTH / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma’s environment is under attack.

Crops, pastures, trees and wildlife habitats are being threatened. Even cemetery headstones are in the line of fire, Reuters reports.

The Pig Army has declared war on Oklahoma, and farmers and ranchers are doing their best to fight back. But the ranks of this battalion of wild boars aren’t filled with pot-bellies, the news services’ Kevin Murphy reports:

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