It’s hard to imagine a worse setting: A seemingly endless horizon of giant steel storage tanks holding 50 million barrels of crude oil, a spiderweb of pipelines, pumps, compressors and terminals, and a critical confluence of big corporations and international energy market money.
And a city of about 8,000 nearby.
Law enforcement has long feared the Cushing oil terminal would make an ideal target of terrorists, but what about a tornado? Just two weeks before the May 20 tornados devastated Moore, authorities held a worst-case-scenario F5 twister drill in Cushing.
Two ports, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, handle almost half of all of the consumer goods being shipped into the United States. Together, these two ports are also the single largest polluter in Southern California, a region famous for its smog.
NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on a new California law that will soon require some of the largest diesel-guzzling ships to kill their engines and plug in to shore power at the docks.
Next week, voters in Falmouth, Massachusetts decide whether to spend $14 million to tear down two wind turbines - or turbines if you prefer. The Cape Cod town installed these turbines just three years ago in an effort to produce renewable energy and cut costs. Nearby residents says the turbines are a health hazard and that the only cure is to take them down.
With supplies high and prices at historic lows, there's debate whether companies should be allowed to export the gas overseas for a higher price. Many energy companies have applied for government approval to ship liquefied natural gas worldwide. So far, only one company has gotten a license to do that in the past 30 years..
In a broadcast story last week, StateImpact talked about how Oklahoma relies heavily on six major coal-fired power plants and the Wyoming coal that’s needed to run them — despite sitting on one of the largest supplies of natural gas in the country.
We wanted to find out what explains this paradox. So we did some research and called some power companies.
Roger Root stands next to a wastewater holding tank near an injection well on his Newton, Ohio farm. Ohio banned wastewater injection wells in risky areas after a series of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
A number of seismologists have concluded that the 5.7-magnitude earthquake that hit near Prague a year and a half ago was caused by injecting wastewater from oil and gas production deep underground.
Earthquakes in other states have been linked to disposal wells, but Oklahoma’s is the largest. Yet Oklahoma’s regulatory response has been one of the smallest.
Seismologists have linked wastewater disposal wells to earthquakes in at least a half-dozen states. On a geologic scale, the tremors are small. And the quakes — in states like Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio — have all been smaller than the November 2011 quake that shook Oklahoma near Prague.