Energy

The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Radioactive Leak At U.S. Waste Dump Was Preventable, Report Says

A worker drives an electric cart past air monitoring equipment inside a storage room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M., shown in this undated photo.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:02 pm

A February accident at a nuclear waste dump that resulted in the contamination of 21 workers resulted in part from "poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight," a Department of Energy report concludes.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel says the report, released Thursday, says the release of radioactive material into the environment from the Feb. 14 accident at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., could have been prevented. The facility is a repository for defense-related nuclear waste.

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Baker Hughes Will reveal chemicals used
4:41 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Major Supplier Is First Company To List Fracking Ingredients

Credit Lock The Gate Alliance / Flickr.com

A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a major shift; it's unclear if other firms will follow suit.

Environmental and health groups have criticized the industry for not disclosing all of the chemicals used in drilling.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:18 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Distributed Electricity Generation Bill

Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed Senate Bill 1456, a measure that would allow regulated electric utilities to charge customers who generate electricity from rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:36 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Why Regulators Are ‘Scratching Their Heads’ Over Northeast Oklahoma Coal Mine

Credit Geoffrey Rhodes / Flickr Creative Commons

A new coal mining operation near Oologah Lake in northeast Oklahoma would disturb 11,000 feet of streambed and drain a pond in the Panther Creek watershed. But that’s not the problem.

The issue is over how to restore the damaged land after mining ends — and that depends on whose rules apply: the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’.

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All Tech Considered
5:01 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud

MidAmerican Energy's wind farm in Adair, Iowa. Facebook is working with MidAmerican to build a similar wind farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, where it will help power Facebook's planned data center.
Courtesy of MidAmerican Energy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:55 am

You hear the term "the cloud" or "cloud computing," and you picture something puffy, white, clean and quiet. Cloud computing is anything but.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:31 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Solar And Wind Surcharge Bill Passes Legislature, Awaits Governor’s Signature

Credit Brian Kusler / Flickr Creative Commons

A legislative measure that would allow electricity utilities to charge higher rates to customers who generate electricity with small solar installations or wind turbines has passed an Oklahoma House committee and now awaits Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

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Environment
10:07 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Telltale Rainbow Sheens Show Thousands Of Spills Across The Gulf

The 300,000 wells drilled in Louisiana are connected by tens of thousands of miles of pipelines that are vulnerable to leaks, like this one in a coastal marsh.
Gulf Restoration Network

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 11:26 am

Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.

"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."

It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.

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Environment
3:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department

A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Neb. The State Department is extending the review period for the pipeline, given ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the project.
Lane Hickenbottom Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 7:58 am

  • Tamara Keith's Report For 'All Things Considered'
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.

The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The additional time was given "based on the uncertainty created" by an ongoing legal battle in Nebraska, according to a State Department statement.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Red Tape, Not Rules, Used To Manage Disposal Wells In Oklahoma's Earthquake Country

Rig crews in Oklahoma City fracking a well.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to shake the state and researchers study links to drilling, Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator has changed the way it approves permits for injection wells.

Oil and water have long mixed in Oklahoma and other petroleum states. In the early days of the U.S. oil boom, drillers were focused on finding ways to separate water from the oil they were pumping to the surface.

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