fracking

StateImpact Oklahoma
11:12 am
Thu July 2, 2015

As Communities Prepare for New State Fracking Rules, One City Will Wait and See

Sarah Nichols / Flickr

Gov. Mary Fallin signed controversial legislation in May outlawing municipal bans on fracking and other oil and gas activities. Officials in some communities are re-examining their local drilling ordinances to comply with the law, which goes into effect later this summer.

One city in southeastern Oklahoma, however, isn’t budging.

MEET ‘ORDIE’

When McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison first heard state lawmakers were writing a law to end citywide bans on fracking and drilling, he contacted his state representative. He then called local leaders in other cities and, later, penned a protest letter to Fallin.

It didn’t work. The bill was signed into law May 29. Harrison’s final move was writing a eulogy, dubbed “Requiem for an Ordinance: 1974-2015.”

“Ordie, as I like to call him, never caused trouble for anyone while he was here. Leastwise, I never heard a complaint,” Harrison says, reciting the sarcastic ode, which was published in the mayor’s newsletter.

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US News
5:02 am
Tue June 23, 2015

How Fracking Is Fueling A Power Shift From Coal To Gas

Bill Pentak of Panda Power Funds (left), Plant Manager John Martin (center) and Construction Manager Rob Risher (right) stand in front of the construction site for the new Panda Liberty gas power plant in Towanda, Penn. The plant, expected to come online in early 2016, was deliberately sited on top of the Marcellus Shale to take advantage of the cheap, abundant gas.
Marie Cusick WITF

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 8:10 am

When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you're burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation's electric grid is changing. Power plants are increasingly turning to this low-cost, cleaner-burning fossil fuel.

Bill Pentak stands in the middle of a construction site, looking up at his company's latest project towering overhead — a new natural gas power plant.

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Environment
6:42 pm
Sat June 20, 2015

Residents Fight To Block Fracked Gas In New York's Finger Lakes

At an October protest, hundreds of "We Are Seneca Lake" members block the gates of Crestwood Midstream to protest against the expansion of fracked gas storage in the Finger Lakes.
PR Newswire AP

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:45 pm

New York state's Seneca Lake is the heart of the Finger Lakes, a beautiful countryside of steep glacier-carved hills and long slivers of water with deep beds of salt. It's been mined on Seneca's shore for more than a century.

The Texas company Crestwood Midstream owns the mine now, and stores natural gas in the emptied-out caverns. It has federal approval to increase the amount, and it's seeking New York's OK to store 88 million gallons of propane as well.

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Environment
1:33 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Power Struggle: The Oil and Gas Boom and an Outbreak of Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Lawrence Stasyszen, abbott of St. Gregory's Abbey, stands inside the monastery's condemned workshop in Shawnee, Okla. The monastery and nearby college are still reeling from millions in damage from a 5.7-magnitude quake that struck in 2011.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In 2014, Oklahoma had more than three times as many earthquakes as California, and this year, the state is on track for even more. A lot of them are small, but some towns are seeing a quake almost every day, and seismologists warn that large and damaging earthquakes are becoming more likely.

The government in the Sooner State has only recently acknowledged the scope of the oil and gas industry’s role in the problem.

Reveal’s Michael Corey and Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma hop in a car and drive toward the epicenter of two earthquakes that had just struck near the town of Guthrie, Oklahoma, to see the after-effects for themselves and talk to the people who live in the area. Are residents troubled by or numb to the earthquakes?

In this story, the reporters travel throughout the state speaking to experts, helping us gain a better picture of Oklahoma’s man-made earthquakes.

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Economy
5:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

America's Next Economic Boom Could Be Lying Underground

Pump jacks and wells work in an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation in California. Economist Michael Porter says that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a "game changer" for the U.S. economy.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 2:42 pm

There's a serious problem in the American economy: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data.

"That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our ultimate vitality as a nation."

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Environment
7:40 am
Sun June 7, 2015

Both Sides Claim Victory Over EPA Fracking Study

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 12:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Environment
11:56 am
Mon June 1, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Bill to Prevent Towns, Cities and Counties from Banning Fracking

Gov. Mary Fallin at a state capitol press conference in Oklahoma City.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin on May 29 signed into law a bill preventing towns, cities and counties from banning hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas activities.

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Politics
9:04 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Measure Preventing Local Fracking Bans

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:47 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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3:33 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

Pickens: ‘They’re not even earthquakes’

Frontier reports on T. Boone Pickens' comments on the link between fracking and the increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY - In the face of volumes of contrary evidence, billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens said Friday that Oklahoma's increase in earthquakes isn't due to the energy industry, just to better monitoring.
Law
8:17 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

New Texas Law Makes Local Fracking Bans Illegal

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:08 pm

Legislation was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott after the city of Denton voted to restrict fracking. Denton officials say oil companies should not wield more power than citizens.

Editor's Note: Sharon Wilson, an organizer interviewed in this story, began advocating for fracking reform in Denton in 2009 as an unpaid citizen leader. In 2011, she was hired as a full-time organizer by the environmental group Earthworks to continue her anti-fracking work in Denton.

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