energy

StateImpact Oklahoma
1:51 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

VIDEO: Propane Prices Continue Drop, But Remain Much Higher Than In Any Other Year

After reaching a national average of just over $4 per gallon, and around $5 in some spots in the midwest, propane prices are falling, mainly because of lighter demand amid warming temperatures.

Still, though, the current average of $3.48 per gallon is more than a dollar higher than the price this time last year.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:56 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Proposed Law Would Limit Construction Of Wind Farms In Eastern Oklahoma

A wind farm outside of Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Western Oklahoma is on the forefront of U.S. wind energy development, and has been for more than a decade. But as wind farm projects creep east, they’re meeting more resistance from landowners and increased involvement from the state legislature.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:08 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Small And Large Drillers Square-Off Over Well-Spacing Rules

Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

Horizontal drilling has revolutionized the energy industry, and helped unlock oil and gas trapped in tight shale formations that had, for decades, eluded petroleum producers.

But Oklahoma’s oil and gas rules were established when traditional, vertical drilling was the norm. Balancing the regulatory needs of horizontal drillers and vertical drillers — especially those producing in the same formation — can be tricky.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:45 am
Thu February 20, 2014

How Corn, Cold Weather, And A Nuclear Disaster Caused Propane Prices To Explode

Propane customer Shawn Davies vowed not to refill his tank until prices drop significantly.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 400,000 or so Oklahomans who rely on propane for heat know the routine: When the weather is warm, propane is cheap. When it gets cold, and demand goes up, so does the price.

But what happened this winter is unprecedented. Prices are starting to ease after blowing past all-time records in January, reaching a national average of more than $4 a gallon.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:32 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Why An Oil Boom Is Sometimes Bad For Business

Credit Sarah Nichols / Flickr Creative Commons

The shale gas drilling boom has been a blessing to energy states like Oklahoma, which has low unemployment and an economy that, thanks in part to oil and gas production, was insulated from the worst effects of the Great Recession.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Oklahoma’s Earthquake ‘Swarm’ In One Chart

Magnitude 2.0 and greater Oklahoma earthquakes from 1990-2014.
Credit EQ Charts

EQ Charts has created a really great visual of Oklahoma’s earthquake “swarm.” The chart was built with data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and shows quakes of 2.0-magnitude or greater. Most people can feel earthquakes that are 3.0-magnitude or greater.

Earthquakes have increased exponentially in Oklahoma, a phenomenon federal and university seismologists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Cleanup Of Hazardous Oklahoma Refinery Site Went Unfunded Until People Moved In

Tyler Lane pulls up a wooden marker covered with oily sludge in the land behind his Bristow home. Lane uses stakes and rope to keep his two children out of the oiliest, most dangerous parts of his property, which sits atop the abandoned Wilcox Refinery, Oklahoma’s newest Superfund site.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

You can’t see it from street, or when you look out the window of Glen Jones’ parents’ house, but the Wilcox Refinery is still here. Parts of it, anyway.

In December 2013, the abandoned refinery complex near Bristow became Oklahoma’s newest federal Superfund site. The Wilcox Refinery closed more than 50 years ago, but lead and other toxic chemicals remain, and residents are uneasy about the long cleanup ahead.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:11 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Federal Government Approves PSO’s Plan To Retire Coal-Fired Power Plants

Credit Mark Turnauckas / Flickr Creative Commons

Public Service Company of Oklahoma — which provides electricity to more than a half-million Oklahomans — can move ahead with plans to retire its coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The agreement between the utility, state, and EPA is expected to bring PSO into compliance with regional haze regulations, the federal government’s effort to clear the air at national parks and wildlife refuges.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:25 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Wind Energy Construction Boom Fueled By Threat Of Expiring Federal Tax Credit

Windmills near Weatherford, Okla.
Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

The looming Dec. 31 expiration of the federal production tax credit for renewable energy helped drive a last-minute rush to start construction on wind energy projects around the country and in Oklahoma.

Developers had to start construction by 2013 to qualify, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports, “but the wind industry fears another bust if the credit isn’t renewed.”

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

The Legacy And Challenges Of A State Question That Shapes Bills Decades Later

Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

When the 2014 legislative session starts Feb. 3, state lawmakers will face more than 2,000 bills and resolutions, and are expected to have $170 million less to spend than last year. They will also be confronted by agency heads, most of which will argue, publicly, for more money.

Many of the bills under consideration this year address revenue and spending, directly. Republican measures to cut the income tax, for example, or gross production taxes on oil and gas activity the energy industry would like to reduce.

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