Energy

Parallels
4:20 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Idle No More: Japan Plans To Restart Closed Nuclear Reactors

Japan's draft of a new energy proposal calls for opening nuclear power plants that were shut down after the nuclear disaster in 2011.
Greg Webb/IAEA AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:57 pm

In the wake of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant three years ago, Japan's government decided to phase out nuclear power. Other governments, notably Germany's, followed Japan's lead.

But Wednesday, Tokyo reversed course. It issued a draft energy plan that includes restarting idled nuclear reactors. Now, the energy issue looms large over Japan's efforts to stage a comeback from two decades of economic stagnation.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:51 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

VIDEO: Propane Prices Continue Drop, But Remain Much Higher Than In Any Other Year

After reaching a national average of just over $4 per gallon, and around $5 in some spots in the midwest, propane prices are falling, mainly because of lighter demand amid warming temperatures.

Still, though, the current average of $3.48 per gallon is more than a dollar higher than the price this time last year.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:09 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Reason Toxic ‘Releases’ Are Up In Oklahoma, And Why It’s Not That Scary

Toxic waste from New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin is brought by rail to Oklahoma, where it's treated and stored at the Lone Mountain Landfill.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

New data from the federal government show a drop in the amount of toxic chemicals being released into the nation’s air, water and land. In Oklahoma, however, so-called toxic “releases” have soared.

But it’s not as scary as it sounds.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:19 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Effort To Allow New Tax On Mining Companies Gains Ground In Oklahoma House

An active aggregate mining operation near Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

This isn’t the first legislative session some Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing for a severance tax for mining limestone and sand, but it’s the first time the idea has gotten this far.

On Monday, the House Appropriations and Budget Committee passed HB1876, which would allow up to a five percent tax on the production of limestone, sand, and other aggregates. It now moves to the full House for consideration.

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Environment
4:11 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Colorado Becomes First State To Restrict Methane Emissions

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:06 am

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas production. The rules require companies to find and repair equipment leaks. The rules also will reduce air pollution that contributes to smog.

Architecture
2:38 am
Tue February 25, 2014

A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers

View of central crossing of the central hub island, one of dozens of man-made islands envisioned by Rice University architecture students. The islands would serve as a floating city for oil workers off the coast of Brazil.
Rice School of Architecture

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:58 am

Imagine you're in a college-level architecture class and your assignment is to come up with an idea so revolutionary that it could be considered an important advance in industrial design.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:56 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Proposed Law Would Limit Construction Of Wind Farms In Eastern Oklahoma

A wind farm outside of Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Western Oklahoma is on the forefront of U.S. wind energy development, and has been for more than a decade. But as wind farm projects creep east, they’re meeting more resistance from landowners and increased involvement from the state legislature.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Bill To Change Permit Process For Mines In Sensitive Aquifer Clears Senate Committee

A gate into a silica sand mining operation near Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

When Oklahomans apply for a permit from most state agencies to, say, dam a river or build a wind farm, formal public hearings are held before the permit is issued, where evidence is presented, concerns are voiced, and legally binding decisions are made.

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Science
2:28 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court

Not all energy producers find fault with the EPA's rules. Calpine, which helped build the Delta Energy Center in Pittsburg, Calif., says the permitting regulations aren't overly cumbersome.
JAKUB MOSUR AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:35 am

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.

The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.

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Energy
4:31 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Scientist Switches Position, Now Supports Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:29 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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