In The Know: 25 disposal wells stopped or reduced after earthquakes

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

25 disposal wells stopped or reduced after earthquakes, including state’s largest since 2011: A series of Thursday morning earthquakes, including a 4.7 magnitude that was the state’s biggest since 2011, has prompted officials to temporarily scale back or cease operations at 25 injection wells located near the two centers of the seismic activity. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 4.7 magnitude earthquake at 1:42 a.m. about eight miles southwest of Cherokee in Alfalfa County. It was Oklahoma’s 25th temblor of at least 4.0 magnitude in 2015 [Tulsa World]. Dr. Peter Michael, a geologist at the University of Tulsa, said all the earthquakes in Oklahoma make for one big science experiment [NewsOn6].

Oklahoma’s youth drug overdose death rate has tripled over the past decade: Oklahoma had the 14th highest rate of youth drug overdose deaths in the nation from 2011 to 2013, with a rate of nine deaths per 100,000 youth, ages 12 to 25, according to a report released Thursday. Meanwhile, the national rate was seven deaths per 100,000. Additionally, Oklahoma was one of 12 states that saw its youth drug overdose death rate triple over the past 10 years [NewsOK].

Oklahoma Governor Seeks to End Planned Parenthood Funding: Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday asked Oklahoma’s Health Care Authority to cut its contracts with two Planned Parenthood affilates, citing high rates of billing errors. The request by Ms. Fallin, a Republican, comes as Republican governors of several states have moved to cut funding for Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion group released videos that it said showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissue from abortions [New York Times]. 

Oklahoma referee hears arguments in education tax challenge: A proposal for a statewide vote on a one-cent sales tax to help fund education and teacher pay raises doesn’t violate the Oklahoma Constitution’s single-subject rule because it deals with the general topic of improving the state’s public education, an attorney for supporters of the plan argued Thursday. Attorney D. Kent Meyers defended the initiative petition before an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee, who heard arguments from both sides over a legal challenge to the plan [Education Week].

Schools need accurate, reliable grading system: Accountability is important to help ensure high quality — particularly when it comes to something as critical as education — but accountability must itself be held accountable. Oklahoma’s A-F school grading system is deeply flawed in its current form. But its overarching aim, to provide reliable and easy-to-understand information about how our schools are doing, is not [Supt. Joy Hofmeister / The Oklahoman].

OCPA’s ‘alternative’ for funding teacher raises proves it can’t be done without new taxes: Last month, a group of Oklahomans led by University of Oklahoma President David Boren launched an effort to put an initiative petition on the ballot that would restore funding to education in Oklahoma through a 1 percent statewide sales tax increase. Even before the effort has begun gathering signatures, the ballot initiative has been challenged in courtby OCPA Impact, a lobbying group associated with the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs [OK Policy].

Here we go again: Kansas trying to figure out how to handle a budget on the brink: With state coffers effectively zeroed out, state lawmakers aren’t sure what’s next in trying to fix another looming Kansas budget crisis. One thing is fairly certain: New tax increases, the savior last legislative session, can’t come to the rescue in time [Kansas City Star].

Southwest Oklahoma Cities Turn to Dredging as Silt Slowly Strangles Lakes: 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 to save their water supply from silt [StateImpact Oklahoma].

Quote of the Day

“More than 90 percent of adults who develop a substance use disorder began using before they were 18. Achieving any major reduction in substance misuse will require a reboot in our approach – starting with a greater emphasis on preventing use before it starts, intervening and providing support earlier and viewing treatment and recovery as a long-term commitment.”

– Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, which recently released a report that found Oklahoma’s youth drug overdose death rate has tripled over the last decade (Source)

Number of the Day


Decrease in the number of Oklahoma youth committed to juvenile justice facilities from 2001 to 2013.

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Who Took Care of Rosie the Riveter’s Kids? Outfitted in dark blue uniforms, their heads wrapped in polka-dotted red bandanas, more than 2,000 people recently broke the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed up as Rosie the Riveter. These record-breakers embodied the iconic depiction of Rosie: the fierce-eyed, muscular worker ready to contribute to the war effort. But there is a less familiar image that circulated during World War II, in which Rosie, along with her rivet gun, carried a wailing child on her back. This image prompts a question the more familiar one doesn’t draw attention to: What happened to the children of all those real-life Rosies? [The Atlantic].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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