The looming Dec. 31 expiration of the federal production tax credit for renewable energy helped drive a last-minute rush to start construction on wind energy projects around the country and in Oklahoma.
Developers had to start construction by 2013 to qualify, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports, “but the wind industry fears another bust if the credit isn’t renewed.”
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
There is an oil rush in North Dakota right now. That state is pumping out 10 times the crude oil it did just 10 years ago. Fortunes are being made and once-sleepy towns are now bursting at the seams. This week, NPR is exploring how this oil-drilling boom is changing North Dakota.
NPR's Jeff Brady is one of the reporters working on the series, and he joins me. Jeff, why is this rush for oil happening in North Dakota?
Bloomberg News reports the State Department's document on the pipeline will "likely disappoint" opponents of the Keystone XL. Several people familiar with the report have told Bloomberg News the study will say that the pipeline will have only a minimal affect on carbon emissions. President Obama has said he would take the report's conclusion on the Keystone XL's impact on climate change while deciding whether to allow construction. Once the State Department is released, it kicks off another review for the President focused on whether the pipeline is in the U-S national interest.
The U.S. State Department is preparing a report that will probably disappoint environmentalists and opponents of the Keystone pipeline, according to people who have been briefed on the draft of the document.
Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.
Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Often, he makes the trip on a plane his company charters to shuttle workers between here and the Northwest.
"It's no fun coming over to North Dakota," he says, clutching a duffel bag and a cooler of food as he walks out of Williston's one-room airport and into the biting North Dakota winter.
The economy of eastern Montana is surging and oil and gas development is the driver. Last year alone, the oil industry brought in $200 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. Unemployment in counties near the oil fields is well below the state average. This week, we're reporting on effects of the fracking boom in the region known as the Bakken. And today, Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce tells us that that activity comes with a cost.
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Oklahoma’s largest utility company, OG&E,have been fighting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule since the federal agency rejected Oklahoma’s plan to reduce sulfur dioxide pollution at its coal-fired power plants in 2011.
A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.
North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.