Energy

StateImpact Pennsylvania
1:00 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Penn. State Senator Asks For Investigation Into Chesapeake Energy Royalty Payments

Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw (R- Bradford) is asking for an investigation into Chesapeake Energy.
Credit Provided / Senator Gene Yaw

The chairman of the state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Gene Yaw (R- Bradford) is asking state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to investigate allegations of fraud against Pennsylvania’s biggest natural gas driller, Chesapeake Energy.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
11:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Oklahoma’s Earthquake ‘Swarm’ In One Chart

Magnitude 2.0 and greater Oklahoma earthquakes from 1990-2014.
Credit EQ Charts

EQ Charts has created a really great visual of Oklahoma’s earthquake “swarm.” The chart was built with data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and shows quakes of 2.0-magnitude or greater. Most people can feel earthquakes that are 3.0-magnitude or greater.

Earthquakes have increased exponentially in Oklahoma, a phenomenon federal and university seismologists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:41 pm

The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
10:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Cleanup Of Hazardous Oklahoma Refinery Site Went Unfunded Until People Moved In

Tyler Lane pulls up a wooden marker covered with oily sludge in the land behind his Bristow home. Lane uses stakes and rope to keep his two children out of the oiliest, most dangerous parts of his property, which sits atop the abandoned Wilcox Refinery, Oklahoma’s newest Superfund site.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

You can’t see it from street, or when you look out the window of Glen Jones’ parents’ house, but the Wilcox Refinery is still here. Parts of it, anyway.

In December 2013, the abandoned refinery complex near Bristow became Oklahoma’s newest federal Superfund site. The Wilcox Refinery closed more than 50 years ago, but lead and other toxic chemicals remain, and residents are uneasy about the long cleanup ahead.

Read more
Environment
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Risky Tech Fixes For Climate Becoming Likelier, Critic Warns

Clive Hamilton's new book Earthmasters.
Courtesy of Yale University Press

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:06 pm

Some strategists still see a small window of opportunity to address climate change before the effects become damaging and costly. At least one economist, for example, says we can make a lot of progress if at least half the world agrees to put a price tag on the carbon we dump into the atmosphere.

But some big thinkers also see a grim, potentially dangerous world ahead — one where nations, confronting a climate crisis, will instead reach for a risky technological fix.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
1:19 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Lawmakers Question Governors’ Deal To Let Texas Pump Water From Oklahoma

Credit K. Latham / Flickr Creative Commons

When Gov. Mary Fallin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in January agreed a north Texas water district could take water out of the Red River using a pump station in Oklahoma, they avoided what could’ve been a long legal battle over the exact location of the state’s southern boundary.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target.
LLNL

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

Read more
Science
3:45 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It

The Climate Casino by William Nordhaus looks at the economics and politics of global warming.
Courtesy of Yale University Press

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:24 pm

We often talk about climate change as a matter of science. But the biggest questions are really about money. How much would it cost to fix the problem — and what price will we pay if we don't?

The man who invented the field of climate economics 40 years ago says there's actually a straightforward way to solve the problem. William Nordhaus has written a book that lays it out in simple terms.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
9:11 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Federal Government Approves PSO’s Plan To Retire Coal-Fired Power Plants

Credit Mark Turnauckas / Flickr Creative Commons

Public Service Company of Oklahoma — which provides electricity to more than a half-million Oklahomans — can move ahead with plans to retire its coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The agreement between the utility, state, and EPA is expected to bring PSO into compliance with regional haze regulations, the federal government’s effort to clear the air at national parks and wildlife refuges.

Read more
Business
3:55 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Pipeline Regulators Move To Ease Propane Distribution Issue

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

and we've been hearing in recent weeks about a propane shortage, which is really more about distribution. Companies are having trouble transporting their gas from where it's stored to where it's needed. Now the agency that regulates pipelines is taking an unprecedented step to try to fix that problem.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Read more

Pages