In The Know: Deadline arrives for earthquake-linked injection wells to install monitoring equipment

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Today is deadline for earthquake-linked injection wells to install monitoring equipment: Friday will mark the first of four deadlines for certain wastewater injection well operators in Oklahoma and Logan Counties as the State Corporation Commission attempts to reduce the risk of earthquakes potentially triggered by them. The operators are required to have gauges and flow meters in place by today so that Commission Field Inspectors can verify pressues and volumes [OK Energy Today].

Drought returns in southeast Oklahoma: The newest drought area makes up only 1.32 percent of the state. At the same time, the latest Drought Monitor showed a spreading area of abnormally dry conditions in the southeast and now 9 counties fall under the condition or 12.04 percent of the state [OK Energy Today].

Samson Resources expected to file bankruptcy soon: Tulsa-based Samson is more than $4 billion in debt. The company must pay a $110 million interest payment on its bonds Aug. 15, but according to a story from Business Insider, Samson “doesn’t have the money, can’t pay, and won’t pay.” After recent layoffs, the company employs fewer than 400 people in Tulsa [Tulsa World].

Senator Lankford says undocumented immigrant students should be allowed to stay: What faces Congress, he said, is how to solve the problem of people who want to live and work in the country but cannot because of the expense or red tape. “For individuals who want to come into this country, which there are many, their biggest problem is our current structure of the law,” Lankford said. “I get really frustrated when people say we can fix immigration if we just enforce the law. The law is outdated.” [Journal Record

Oklahoma Health Care Authority launches program to combat prescription drug abuse: In the coming months, the organization plans to roll out a toolkit for medical providers that will help them better understand how to properly deliver pain management. In 2012, Oklahoma had the fifth-highest unintentional poisoning death rate in the United States, with the majority of those deaths the result of prescription drug overdoses [NewsOK].

Watch This: Causes and Consequences of the Growth of Incarceration in the United States: After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. A recent report from the National Research Council, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States, examines what’s behind America’s dramatic rise of incarceration. This short video summarizes the study and what we can do to improve criminal justice policies [OK Policy].

Fallin scolds Judicial Nominating Commission for sending two names: Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered the Judicial Nominating Commission to resubmit three names for a vacant Pottawatomie County judgeship after the panel sent only two candidates instead of the required three. Commission Chairman Stephen Beam said that of the four applicants, only two were qualified. The two nominated to the governor were Democrats, and the others left off the list were Republicans [Journal Record].

Audit find money used inappropriately by Wagoner County Sheriff: According to the report, Sheriff Bob Colbert bought ornamental hats, coloring books, medallions and 40 Glock handguns all engraved with his name, for promotional purposes. The auditor also said $450 given to the sheriff for an undercover operation was unaccounted for [NewsOn6].

We can, must do better for Oklahoma’s children: The recently issued Kids Count Profile by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Oklahoma a disappointing 39th in the nation in the overall well-being of children. Sadly, the state is 42nd in the education category. We Oklahomans, who often talk about how important our children are and who say we will do anything to help and protect them, can and must do better [Jim Priest and Terry Smith / NewsOK].

Quote of the Day

“Over 100 years ago, a young woman named Kate Barnard took our state by storm and motivated the people of Oklahoma to improve children’s lives. Thanks to Barnard’s efforts, the Oklahoma Constitution banned child labor and required public education. The welfare of Oklahoma children was addressed and the lives of poor and working poor children were improved. It’s time for another ‘Kate Storm.”

-Jim Priest, CEO of Sunbeam Family Services, and Terry Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, writing about Oklahoma’s high poverty, food insecurity, and child abuse that rank the state low for the well-being of children (Source)

Number of the Day


How many active members there are in Oklahoma’s state and local public pension systems.

Source: U.S. Census 2014 Annual Survey of Public Pensions

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

What Do the Poor Need? Try Asking Them: For decades, policy makers have treated poverty as a sign of helplessness and ineptitude. The worse off the neighborhood — the higher the rate of poverty, crime, and juvenile delinquency — the less influence it would have over its future. Social service agencies conducted “needs assessments” rather than asking residents what would strengthen their community. It seldom worked [New York Times].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

One thought on “In The Know: Deadline arrives for earthquake-linked injection wells to install monitoring equipment

  1. When Ferguson happened, the feds called in the usual suspects to explain and recommend regarding policing and its reform. Very predictably, those experts produced a document that could have been written in the 1990s. Actually, WAS written in the 1990s. Now, once again, regarding overincarceration, we get yet another report from truly concerned but conventional wisdom-locked experts saying what was said 20-25 years ago, just with updated stats. Documenting our problems isn’t unworthy, but ignoring the work done by law school “outsiders” such as Bibas, Stuntz, Pfaff, and Bell on the overuse and “professionalization” of prosecutorial discretion and of counties charging their inflated senses of justice on the state credit card with every verdict rendered just shows that they not only have nothing new to say but are sucking the attention and air away from those who do. We won’t solve the problems they have yet again detailed without confronting the major elephants outlined well by the authors above. Cherry-picking low-hanging fruit as they recommend and as processes such as Justice Reinvestment make wonderful livings for the consultants pushing them always do without addressing the actual drivers of those prison population increases just means that 20-25 years from now, we’ll be reading this report again. And again.

    OTOH, this recent report describes how states, including specifically OK, could make major inroads with policy changes that would force policymakers to confront the powers-that-be who drive those prison population increases:

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