Energy

StateImpact Oklahoma
3:17 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Oklahoma Moves Up the Ranks By Adding More Wind Energy To Its Electricity Mix

Credit Gabriel Pollard / Flickr Creative Commons

Wind energy accounted for 14.8 percent of the electricity generated in Oklahoma in 2013, an American Wind Energy analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency show.

Oklahoma now ranks No. 7 nationally, a step up from the No. 9 ranking the state earned in 2012 when wind power comprised 10.5 percent of the state’s energy mix, according to the wind industry trade group.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:27 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Lawmakers Join Landowners Who Think Getting A Mining Permit Is Too Easy

Johnston County Landowner Clyde Runyon just outside a limestone mining operation near Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Limestone and sand miners are getting a lot of attention lately. The amount of groundwater they can displace from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer was recently capped, and the state House could authorize a new tax on the industry.

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Chesapeake
8:48 am
Thu March 6, 2014

OKC's Cheseapeake Energy Accused Of Collusion

Credit Chesapeake Energy

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he's filed criminal charges Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corporation for colluding to avoid bidding against each other for Michigan oil and gas leases.

Schuette said Wednesday that the antitrust violations happened in 2010, when Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake and Calgary, Alberta-based Encana bought natural gas leases in Michigan.

He says collusion is suspected of depressing the per-acre cost of leases from $1,510 in May 2010 to under $40 in October 2010.

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All Tech Considered
12:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Automakers Eye Laser Lights To Let Drivers See Farther At Night

The i8, which has the optional laser headlights, will be on sale in Europe this summer. BMW is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get it approved for a U.S. release.
BMW

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

If you thought LED headlights were bright enough, automakers are looking ahead to even more powerful beams using lasers.

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NPR Story
4:14 am
Fri February 28, 2014

13 Workers Exposed To Radiation At N.M. Nuclear Waste Dump

A hunk of salt from the underground nuclear waste dump in Carlsbad, New Mexico. A piece of salt is believed to have fallen from a cavern ceiling and crushed drums of waste.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:21 pm

There's never a good week for nuclear waste, but this week has been a particularly bad one. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico have disclosed that 13 employees inhaled radioactive material after a major accident earlier this month.

While there's no risk to the public and the exposed workers did not need immediate medical treatment, the incident is shaping up to be a major setback for the nation's only dedicated nuclear waste dump.

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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.

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