Energy

StateImpact Oklahoma
1:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

State Officials: Oklahoma Needs Oil Industry’s Help To Meet Water Goals

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Insufficient rains and increasing demand put enormous pressure on Oklahoma’s water resources both on the surface and underground. But it’s also hard to overstate the role evaporation plays in the drought.

The oil and gas industry has been part of the problem, storing tens of millions of gallons of water needed for the hydraulic fracturing process in large, open pits, leaving it to be ravaged by evaporation until the water is needed.

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Energy
3:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:18 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Attorney Asks Oklahoma Supreme Court To Dismiss His Challenge To Oil And Gas Law

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenge laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City attorney who challenged the constitutionality of a bill that changed the effective tax rate levied on oil and gas drillers asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday to dismiss his lawsuit.

From The Oklahoman‘s Rick Green:

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Energy
2:43 am
Tue September 16, 2014

With U.S. Oil Supply Climbing, Some Call For End To Export Ban

Pump jacks are seen in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation near Lost Hills, Calif. Much of the U.S. oil industry wants to lift an export ban that followed the 1970s energy crisis.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:37 am

An oil drilling boom that has made the U.S. the world's leading oil and petroleum product producer has some people urging an end to the four-decade ban on exporting domestic crude.

Some in the oil industry are launching a campaign to lift the ban, and they hope to win over a skeptical public.

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Business
4:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

With Turmoil Roiling Abroad, Why Aren't Oil Prices Bubbling Up?

A soldier guards a pipe en route to the Kawergosk Refinery near Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, in July. Fighting in northern Iraq forced the closure of the country's largest oil refinery, Baiji, and cut production from the Kirkuk oil field this summer.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:32 am

The price of oil has been falling — a drop that you may already have noticed at the pump. Gasoline prices have dropped noticeably since June, and oil is now well below $100 a barrel.

That decline has happened even as conflicts have flared in or near oil-producing regions. Normally, oil prices are expected to spike higher amid turmoil — so why have they been trending lower?

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Asia
5:03 am
Mon September 15, 2014

No Gas Guzzlers Here; Beijing Hosts First All-Electric Car Race

German driver Nick Heidfeld of Venturi Formula E Team. The all-electric cars can go from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds, and reach top speeds of over 150 mph.
How Hwee Young EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:32 pm

Some of the world's top race-car drivers put the pedal to the metal in Formula E this weekend, the first-ever all-electric automobile race. It was held in the Chinese capital, the first of 10 cities that will host the races between now and next June.

The championship is aimed to generate interest in — and boost sales of — electric cars.

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Hydrochloric Acid Spill
1:17 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Texas Company Objects To $5,000 Fine For 21,000-Gallon Spill

Credit maticulous / Flickr.com

A hearing is planned for next month in a Texas company's appeal of a $5,000 fine it received for a 21,000-gallon hydrochloric acid spill in north-central Oklahoma.

Blake Production Co. Inc. is fighting the fee levied against it by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The commission cited the company for failing to prevent pollution in the July 28 incident in Kingfisher County.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:34 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Regulator Stepping Up Monitoring And Inspections Of Disposal Wells In Quake Country

Austin Holland with the Oklahoma Geological Survey briefs Corporation Commissioners on new earthquake research.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has stepped up monitoring and inspections of disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state as regulators, scientists and energy companies gather new information on the links between earthquakes and oil and gas production.

Officials with the Corporation Commission — the state’s oil and gas regulator — are focusing on a small fraction of the roughly 12,000 injection wells where oil and gas waste is pumped deep underground, said the agency’s Tim Baker.

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Energy
7:45 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Vaughan: Lawmakers Should Reexamine Disposal Well Regulations

State Rep. Steve Vaughan (R-Ponca City) speaking during Tuesday's interim study on oil and gas regulation.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

At an interim hearing at the state Capitol Tuesday, a state representative from north-central Oklahoma questioned whether the state was properly inspecting oil and gas wells and had the rules necessary to prevent contamination of water supplies.

State Rep. Steve Vaughan (R-Ponca City) conducted the interim study and held the hearing. He’s concerned about saltwater pollution in Kay and Noble Counties, which has had large-scale fish-kills for three years in a row.

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Business
2:21 am
Wed September 10, 2014

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:18 am

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

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