Environment

StateImpact Oklahoma
10:37 am
Thu November 20, 2014

EPA In the Crosshairs as Oklahoma’s Inhofe Gains Sway Over Climate Policy

Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe at an impromptu news conference during climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009.
Andrew Revkin / Flickr

The Republican wave that put the party back in full control of Congress also put Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe back in charge of the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policies.

The political shift in Washington comes at time when — from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to enforcement of the Regional Haze Rule that’s riled Oklahoma officials— the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of things in the air.

Election night was a rough one in general for the left, but some of the tears spilled on November 4th were over the specific issue of climate change, and what a fully Republican controlled Congress might do to thwart President Obama’s environmental efforts.

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Environment
10:30 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Experts Meet in Oklahoma to Update U.S. Maps With Manmade Earthquake Hazards

A panel of state geological surveys and oil and gas regulators at the National Seismic Hazard Workshop on Induced Seismicity, held in November at a conference center in Midwest City, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists, regulators and technical experts from the energy industry met in Oklahoma to discuss how earthquakes triggered by oil and gas operations should be accounted for on national seismic hazard maps, which are used by the construction and insurance industries and pubic safety planners.

The three-day workshop started Nov. 17 and was co-hosted by the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:52 am
Thu November 13, 2014

What Oklahoma Can Learn From a Municipal Ban on Fracking in Texas

A Frack Free Denton booth at the University of North Texas. On Nov. 4, voters approved a citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Crystal J. Hollis / Flickr

Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states other the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.

Using local referendums, residents in states like California, Colorado, New York and Ohio have successfully banned fracking. The anti-fracking fervor has even spread to Texas, the country’s No. 1 crude oil producer. On Election Day, voters in Denton approved a citywide ban on fracking.

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Environment
9:36 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China, U.S. Pledge To Limit Greenhouse Gases

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Environment
7:15 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Stillwater Plans for Earthquakes

Credit facebook.com/StwSema

Stillwater’s Emergency Management Office is working with a new list of priorities focused on earthquakes.  

Working in unchartered territory, the office developed recommendations based on California protocol, a state with longstanding and time tested earthquake safety practices.

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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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