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Energy

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that's nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The U.S. could become a net exporter of energy in coming years, according to the federal government's Annual Energy Outlook 2017. This continues a trend the Energy Information Administration has highlighted before in its annual report.

Even though most of the protesters fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have left, hundreds still remain here atop what is essentially a sheet of ice.

One group of campers say there's a change taking hold at camp, which was once overrun by thousands who felt a sense of excitement about the gathering.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

From West Virginia to Wyoming, coal country overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump and his message that he will bring coal jobs back. Now, those same voters are eyeing his incoming administration closely, careful to see if he will keep his promises to revive the coal industry and get miners back to work.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Throughout 2016, the fallout continued from the downturn in energy prices that started more than two years ago. Commodity prices bottomed out at a 13-year-low earlier this year, but it’ll still be a long time before Oklahoma’s oil and gas sector fully recovers.

Several Oklahoma energy stories made national headlines earlier this year, from bankruptcies, stock exchange de-listings, and even the unexpected death of an industry godfather.

SandRidge Saga

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed several Cabinet members with strong ties to oil and gas. And he's been clear about his support for coal. That could leave renewable energy companies out in the cold.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Two Democratic members of Congress want three federal agencies to work together to get a more accurate count of coal miners suffering from progressive massive fibrosis, the worst stage of the fatal disease known as black lung.

The request is a response to an NPR investigation that shows 10 times as many cases of the advanced stage of black lung as identified and reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Signage at Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City campus.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

For the second time in as many weeks, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy found a buyer for thousands of leasehold acres, and analysts are reacting positively to the transaction.

Chesapeake already sold about 40,000 profitable acres in northern Louisiana, so it wasn’t a surprise when the company announced this week it found a buyer for another swath of land in the Haynesville Shale.

President Obama has indefinitely blocked offshore drilling in areas of the Atlantic Ocean and in Arctic waters, a move aimed at advancing environmental protection during his final days in office.

The Arctic protections are a joint partnership with Canada. "These actions, and Canada's parallel actions, protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region on earth," the White House said in a statement.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Oklahoma oil and gas regulators on Tuesday released details on new guidelines created to reduce earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing in two of the state’s most-booming oil and gas fields.

In a technological tour de force, scientists have developed a new way to probe antimatter.

For the first time, researchers were able to zap antimatter atoms with a laser, then precisely measure the light let off by these strange anti-atoms. By comparing the light from anti-atoms with the light from regular atoms, they hope to answer one of the big mysteries of our universe: Why, in the early universe, did antimatter lose out to regular old matter?

California is the first state to adopt efficiency standards for computers and monitors, the state's energy commission announced this week.

The commission approved regulations that limit the amount of energy computers and small servers can use when they are idling, asleep or turned off. The regulations for monitors will also limit the amount of energy the apparatus uses when it is turned on.

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