The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Organic Cat Litter Chief Suspect In Nuclear Waste Accident

Workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are still investigating what caused a radioactive release at the site, but organic cat litter may be the culprit.

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:12 am

In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad.

"It was the wrong kitty litter," says James Conca, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:57 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Oklahoma Legislature Passes Controversial Tax Incentive For New Oil And Gas Wells

Credit Joseph Novak / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday approved a bill that makes permanent a generous tax incentive for oil and gas production.

The votes followed a heated debate at the Capitol, and months of disagreement between lawmakers, industry lobbyists and energy executives, which are divided on the measure.

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5:59 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Political Rhetoric Bogs Down Future Of Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:52 am



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Last month the Obama administration put off a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The project has been enormously controversial. It would carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This morning we examine what's at stake for the oil industry and for energy production. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Horizontal Drilling
11:16 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Oklahoma Legislative Panels Agree On Drilling Incentive

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill that would adjust a generous tax incentive for horizontally drilled oil and gas wells and extend it to all wells drilled in Oklahoma has cleared budget committees in the House and Senate.

The full House and Senate will consider the measure that the committees approved Tuesday.

The bill would increase the tax rate on horizontal wells from 1 percent to 2 percent for the first three years of a well's production. After that, the rate would increase to the standard production tax rate of 7 percent.

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7:36 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Possible Change in Tax Incentive for Oil and Gas Drilling

Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

State legislators are expected to consider a bill this week that would adjust a generous tax incentive for the oil and gas industry and extend it to all wells drilled in Oklahoma.

A bill drafted on Monday calls for a new 2 percent tax rate on oil and gas produced in Oklahoma. The 2 percent rate would be in effect for the first 36 months of a well's production. After that, the rate would increase to the standard tax rate of 7 percent.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:25 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Chickasha Sells Water To Oil Driller To Help Pay For Water Infrastructure Needs

Chickasha, Oklahoma
J. Stephen Conn Flickr Creative Commons

When a city needs $150 million over the next half-century for upgrades and repairs to its aging water infrastructure system, its leaders might have to get creative to find the money.

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Middle East
3:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

What Might Have Prevented The Soma Mining Disaster?

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 7:18 pm



Since the explosion on Tuesday, mine safety expert Davitt McAteer has been looking into what went wrong at the Soma mine and how the disaster could have been prevented. McAteer is the former head of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and he joins me now here in our studios. Welcome to the program.


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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Thu May 15, 2014

10,000 Gallons Of Oil Spill In LA Neighborhood

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:30 pm

Crude oil geysered high into the air in northeast Los Angeles early Thursday morning, creating a spill that fire officials say was knee-deep in some spots. The spill happened in an industrial section of Atwater Village, causing the evacuation of a nearby strip club.

Update at 8:10 a.m. ET: Oil Estimate Downgraded

After initially saying that "over 50,000" gallons of oil had spilled from a ruptured pipeline, Los Angeles Fire Department officials now say the correct figure is about 10,000 gallons.

Our original post continues:

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4:15 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Past Disasters Haunt Modern-Day Coal Mining Accidents

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

More than 280 miners have died in Turkey with another 150 still missing. It's hard to imagine how so many can perish in a mine accident in modern times.

3:19 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Russia's Energy Giant Turns Up The Heat On Ukraine

A monument to Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko is silhouetted against a sign advertising Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom in Moscow. Gazprom has dramatically increased the price it charges Ukraine in recent months.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:59 pm

If Russia was aiming to target one of Ukraine's vulnerabilities, natural gas would be the bull's-eye. Ukraine gets about 60 percent of its gas from Russia.

Clifford Gaddy, a Russia specialist at the Brookings Institution, says as the dispute between the two countries grows, Moscow is more willing to use natural gas as a weapon.

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