Environment

Parallels
12:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

As Oil Prices Fall, Who Wins And Who Loses?

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, shown in Kuwait last month, has played down the drop in oil prices. The country continues to pump oil at high levels, saying it wants to preserve its market share. But this has also contributed to a 25 percent drop in oil prices since June.
Yasser Al-Zayyat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 2:47 pm

With oil around $85 a barrel and tumbling to its lowest levels in several years, here's the upside: Gasoline prices are down, the U.S. is feeling less dependent on foreign crude, and serious economic pressure is growing on oil producers such as Iran and Russia.

Here's the downside: The low demand for oil reflects a fragile global economy that's vulnerable to additional shocks, like falling stock markets around the world.

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Environment
7:01 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

New GMOs Get A Regulatory Green Light, With A Hint Of Yellow

Corn farmer Jerry McCulley sprays the weedkiller glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill., in 2010. An increasing number of weeds have now evolved resistance to the chemical.
Seth Perlman AP

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

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Environment
9:50 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Monitoring Water for Pollution

The Jay High School Blue Thumb stream team takes a closer look at Brush Creek in Delaware County.
Credit ok.gov/conservation

Local volunteer organization Blue Thumb is helping keep our water clean.

KOSU’s Savannah Titus reports.

Blue Thumb, a part of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, monitors local streams and educates the public about non-point source pollution.

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Energy
11:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access

Vera Cole is president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a group arguing against proposed rules in Pennsylvania that would put stricter limits on how much grid-connected solar power homeowners can produce on their property.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 1:46 pm

The solar power business is growing quickly in the U.S. More than 500,000 homeowners and businesses installed solar panels in just the first half of this year, according to a Solar Energy Industries Association report.

When people get electricity from the sun, they don't buy it from their local power company. But that utility still must have the generators and power lines to provide electricity when the sun is not shining. That's creating conflicts across the country.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama Calls For More Ambitious Approach To Climate Change In U.N. Speech

President Obama speaks at the U.N. Climate Summit on Tuesday. Discussing America's past, Obama told the group, "We recognize our role in creating this problem."
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 4:29 pm

In a speech at the U.N. Climate Summit, President Obama called for a more ambitious global approach to environmental issues, and noted a new push to boost what the White House calls "global resilience" in the face of climate change.

We embedded video of the president's speech here and posted updates below.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:07 am

Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.

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Environment
7:30 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Interim Study Focuses on Inspections of Oklahoma Oil and Gas Wells

Rep. Steve Vaughan of Ponca City
Joe Wertz / State Impact 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.

Republican Representative Steve Vaughan of Ponca City conducted the interim study and held the hearing. Vaughan is 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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Environment
7:00 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Corporation Commission Increases Monitoring and Inspections of Disposal Wells

At a meeting Tuesday, Oklahoma Corporation Commission has stepped up monitoring and inspections of disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state.

The efforts come as regulators, scientists and energy companies gather new information on the links between earthquakes and oil and gas production.

Agency inspectors are focusing on a small fraction of the roughly 12,000 injection wells where oil and gas waste is pumped deep underground.

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Environment
12:23 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Woman Injured in 2011 Earthquake Suing Disposal Well Operators

A disposal well near Prague, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck near Prague, Okla., in November 2011 toppled Sandra Ladra’s chimney, raining rocks “on her lap and legs.”

Ladra on Aug. 4 filed a lawsuit against energy companies that operate disposal wells she claims caused the quake. She is seeking $75,000 in actual damages plus punitive damages, the Journal Record‘s D. Ray Tuttle reports.

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Public Discussion on Fracking and Wastewater Wells
8:44 am
Mon August 11, 2014

StateImpact's Logan Layden to Moderate Norman Fracking Forum

Will Goree "Norman Fracking Forum" Facebook event page

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," remains a much-talked-about topic in Oklahoma.

Norman Public Library hosts a public forum on the subject tonight at 7:00 p.m. and StateImpact’s Logan Layden will be moderating. He sat down with KOSU’s Nikole Robinson Carroll for this preview of the event.

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