Tag Archives: Oklahoma

A thought for the day

From a news story about the recent tornadoes (something I never saw in my three years of living in central Oklahoma):

Urban sprawl into the countryside has increased the odds that tornadoes will affect more people, said Joshua Wurman, president of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo. He likened the situation to barrier islands, where more and more homes are being built in areas prone to hurricanes.

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NY Times blows the Dust Bowl story

And the paper of record nearly failed to even alert readers of its feature-length piece on Oklahoma’s Panhandle that Boise City is pronounced “Voice” City, unlike Boise, idaho, which is pronounced “boysee.” In any case, the Times blew its coverage of the panhandle’s ongoing drought, as this article nicely explains. And what about mentioning Timothy Egan’s recent book on the Dust Bowl? Or did I just miss it.

The lowdown on Senator James Inhofe, denier-in-chief

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OIL) claims hydraulic fracturing has “never” contaminated the water supply — one day after spill contaminates stream.

Think Progress has the story on the Senate’s denier-in-chief.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is perhaps Congress’ most reliable defender of dirty energy and evangelizer against the “hoax” of global warming. This morning, he took his message to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show, where he extolled the virtues of hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas known widely as “fracking.” Fracking is a relatively new and untested technique, but Inhofe insisted that there’s nothing to worry about, as he claimed fracking has “never poisoned anyone” nor ever contaminated groundwater:

INHOFE: [There’s] never been one case — documented case — of groundwater contamination in the history of the thousands and thousands of hydraulic fracturing. […]

KILMEADE: Senator, has it ever poisoned anybody?

INHOFE: It’s never poisoned anyone.

While fracking has the potential to create vast new American energy supplies, Inhofe’s claim that it is completely without risk is either stunningly ignorant or intentionally dishonest. Just yesterday, a blowout at a Pennsylvania natural gas well engaged in fracking spilled thousands of gallons of toxic chemical-laced water, “contaminating a stream and forcing the evacuation of seven families who live nearby as crews struggled to stop the gusher,” the AP reported. Inhofe referenced the Pennsylvania spill in his interview, but said that it has “nothing to do with fracking” because it was a stream, not groundwater that was contaminated.

But fracking has contaminated groundwater. As a recent New York Times investigation confirmed, waste from fracking has contaminated groundwater and even drinking water with toxic and radioactive chemicals. The process relies on pumping toxic chemicals deep underground to break rock, and between 2005 and 2009, “hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals” have been pumped into wells. Large amounts of radioactive materialhave been found in water supplies near fracking sites, many Pennsylvanians have gotten sick, the tap water in homes near fracking sites have caught on fire, and a home in Celveland, Ohio, blew up.

It’s worth noting that the oil and gas industry has been Inhofe’s top contributor over his political career, giving him over $450,000 in the last election cycle alone, even though Inhofe wasn’t up for reelection. Inhofe’s single largest campaign donor is oil conglomerate Koch Industries.

– A Think Progress repost.

Oklahoma set to close some state parks

This is a great way to disconnect people from nature — just take it away from them. There’s always Tee Vee to watch or a video game to play. I’ve read of similar efforts to save a few tax dollars in other states, like New York. Here’s a solution: Stop spending gazillions to pave over nature with road-building/maintenance projects and spend the money instead to preserve some wild places.

Okla. still balking at EPA clean air rules

And I once lived and worked in the Sooner State. Come on, Oklahoma, get with the program already. This article explains the mess.

Tick populations exploding across continent

Our changing climate – fewer killing frosts, longer growing seasons, more heat waves, etc. – will only make it worse. In my three years in the mid 0s as an Oklahoma resident, I never had a problem. But there’s a problem now and it’s worsening, as this Daily Oklahoman article points out.

Weather bane

Timothy Egan, in this fine op-ed, pokes much fun at Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe. And rightly so.