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energy

Col. Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy and the Environment
Oklahoma Governor's Office

Gov. Mary Fallin on Aug. 16 appointed Col. Michael Teague as secretary of energy and environment.

Fallin’s choice for the cabinet position — which was created by combining the vacant offices of secretaries of energy and environment — was immediately criticized by the president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, the state’s largest industry trade organization.

Provided / The Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., the state’s largest electric utility, alleging the company violated the federal Clean Air Act by modifying a coal burner at its Muskogee power plant without “planning for increased levels of air pollution and failing to obtain a permit from state regulators.”

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm
Provided / Continental Resources

Oil billionaire Harold Hamm, the CEO and Chairman of Oklahoma energy giant Continental Resources has been tapped to lead state Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s re-election campaign.

The Associated Press reports:

Pruitt described Hamm as a “dedicated businessman, visionary, and icon here in Oklahoma.”

OETA

StateImpact joined OETA journalists Dick Pryor and Bob Sands and Journal Record energy reporter Sarah Terry-Cobo for an Oklahoma Forum discussion about threats to the state’s air, land and water.

Cali2Okie / Flickr Creative Commons

There were 951 oil spills reported in Oklahoma last year, more than every other major energy state state except North Dakota, EnergyWire reports.

The news service has been trying to count the number of spills in the U.S. and measure their impact, but has been stymied by haphazard reporting of spills, which “are scattered amid databases, websites and even file drawers of state agencies across the country”

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has experienced an increase in earthquakes in recent years, a phenomenon many geophysicists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

The 5.7-magnitude quake that injured two people and destroyed 14 homes in November 2011 was Oklahoma’s largest on record and is likely the largest triggered by wastewater injection, a team of geophysicists concluded in a report released in March.

StateImpact Oklahoma

The federal government on Monday filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric, accusing the electric utility of violating the Clean Air Act by improperly estimating the amount of emissions that could come from upgrades at two coal-fired power plants.

A copy of the government’s complaint, which was made through the Environmental Protection Agency, is included on StateImpact Oklahoma's website.

Sierra Club of Oklahoma

The Sierra Club on Thursday said two Oklahoma Gas & Electric coal-fired power plants are releasing too much sulfur dioxide, a compound that can cause respiratory disease, which they said endangers residents near Muskogee and Red Rock.

The environmental group commissioned a study that modeled the amount of sulfur dioxide released by the Sooner and Muskogee plants, and says both will violate federal clean air standards — when those standards are implemented.

President Obama speaking in Cushing, Oklahoma in March 2012.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s hard to know where President Barack Obama stands on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which still awaits his approval.

Obama has rejected Transcanada’s permit for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline in the past, but championed parts of the project during a 2012 trip to the pipeline’s hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Provided

Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy fired its founder, chairman, and CEO Wednesday. The board voted to replace Tom Ward with Chief Financial Officer James Bennett.

Ward founded the company in 2006 after leaving Chesapeake Energy - another Oklahoma City energy giant he helped start.

Phil Masturzo / Akron Beacon Journal

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.

Oklahoma has more natural gas reserves than all but three other states. And it now accounts for about 40 percent of the state's power generation.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm
Provided / Continental Resources

Many energy company executives are afraid to talk about oil, according to Continental Resoures CEO Harold Hamm.

“Energy has treated Oklahoma so well,” said Hamm speaking at the Governor’s Energy Conference last fall. “A third of production comes from Oklahoma. That’s tremendous.”

Fallin: Oklahoma’s Energy Plan Showing Success

Apr 15, 2013
CALI2OKIE / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Building new markets for Oklahoma energy products is a goal of Gov. Mary Fallin’s energy plan.

Several speakers at the Governor’s Energy Conference praised Fallin’s administration for developing a plan for the state energy sector.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the death and legacy of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the heightened tensions between North Korea, the U.S., and its allies as the reclusive country threatens to launch a medium-range ballistic missile.

Retired State Department official and former U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson returns to World Views for a conversation about Iran, the energy industry, and nuclear security.

A painting on the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran
David Holt London / Flickr

Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic inaugurated two key nuclear-related projects Tuesday, just days after another round of talks with world powers seeking to limit Tehran’s atomic program.

Retired State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson described what he calls “delusional security” in foreign policy that’s bubbled up in both Tehran and Washington, D.C. over the last three to five years.

“It's come to a peak ostensibly over the nuclear issue, but what it's coming to a peak over really is a power struggle in the Gulf for who's going to be the power to be reckoned with outside the United States,” Wilkerson says.

Katie Keranen’s findings, published Tuesday in the geoscience journal Geology, adds to a growing chorus of scientific evidence suggesting that injection and disposal wells are likely causing an uptick of earthquakes in the continental United States.

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