oil

Oil and gas companies spent more than half a million dollars to defeat State Question 788, a statewide ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

Companies from Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas collectively contributed $590,100 to “SQ 788 is Not Medical,” a political action committee established to defeat the measure, state ethics records show.

It's the summer driving season, when millions of Americans take road trips to the beach, big cities, national parks and beyond.

And what goes along with an increase in road trips? A hike in gas prices.

Indeed, historically summer is the time of year gas prices go up because more people are on the road, increasing demand. Oil refineries also introduce special fuel blends during the summer, which emit fewer emissions than winter blends but are more expensive to produce.

Ranking U.S. House Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. They want to know more about a land deal between Zinke's family foundation and a real estate project with ties to the oil and gas giant Halliburton.

A district court judge has approved class-action status for a lawsuit accusing an Tulsa oil company of being responsible for damage caused by earthquakes.

The judge ruled that residents and business owners with property in nine counties — Cleveland, Creek, Lincoln, Logan, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne, Pottawatomie and Seminole — can join a 2015 lawsuit brought by resident Jennifer Lin Cooper after a string of earthquakes shook near the city of Prague in 2011.

President Trump's goal of achieving "energy dominance" for the United States includes producing more oil and gas on federal land, but new government statistics show a mixed record on this front during his first year in office.

Trump has cast himself as an ally of fossil fuel industries. At a 2017 event he told energy industry leaders, "You've gone through eight years of hell," referring to the time former President Obama was in office.

Updated 8:58 p.m.

After more than three hours of discussions behind closed doors, the Oklahoma Senate made quick work of three bills that would help fund a teacher pay raise package and potentially avoid next week’s teacher walkout.

Senators passed three bills Wednesday night:

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate is now considering a package of bills to increase tax revenue to give raises to teachers and public employees. Among the targeted increases are taxes on oil and gas.

On Tuesday, the energy industry showed up to the capitol to rally against the proposal.

Outside the capitol, oil-field workers arrived early in the morning to set up and stoke enormous trailer-pulled grills and smokers to feed the public and legislators, and remind them of the oil industry’s status as a top job-maker.

A lot of smart people spend a lot of time trying to predict how much oil and gas is going to come out of the ground in the future.

Lately, they've been getting it wrong.

"Unpredictability, measured as the frequency of extreme errors in ... projections, has increased in the most recent decade," according to an unusual new study by a team at Carnegie Mellon University that found analysts are getting worse at predicting both how much oil and gas will be produced and how much Americans will need.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday ruled a proposed state question that would ask voters to approve tax hikes on oil and gas production to help fund education can move forward.

The proposed State Question 795 was written by a group called Restore Oklahoma Now, which is led by a former president of the OIPA. It would ask voters to end discounts on many wells and impose an across-the-board 7 percent tax on oil and gas production to fund teacher raises and early childhood education.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Dewey County Courthouse is one of the newest in Oklahoma. The offices are spacious, and the courtroom has fresh carpet and shiny wood trim. County Commissioner M.W. “Junior” Salisbury is excited to play tour leader.

“I’m pretty proud of our little courthouse here,” he says. “I really, really am.”

Officials figured they would need 25 years to pay it off, but it took less than five. One major reason: wind farms.

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