Joe Wertz is multi-platform reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma. He has previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., lives in Oklahoma City, and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Researchers acknowledge that underground fluid disposal can trigger or induce earthquakes, but there is debate on some of the scientific details, and some dissent over whether there’s enough evidence to conclude that Oklahoma’s quakes are drilling-related.
There’s another way to get more data: Create a small earthquake — and that’s what the state’s official seismologist, Austin Holland at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, is seeking permission to do in Love County, Reuters’ Carey Gillam reports: Continue Reading →
Oklahoma already has highest average cost for homeowner’s insurance, thanks, in part, to frequent hail, floods, high winds, tornadoes and wildfires — disasters many Oklahomans are well-versed in. But earthquakes are a new experience for many Oklahomans, as are the the related financial costs of preparedness.
Here are five things Oklahomans should know about earthquake insurance. Continue Reading →
Pruitt said after the hearing that no new coal plants are being proposed anyway because natural gas is cheap and new natural gas plants don’t face the same regulatory hurdles. However, he said, the EPA is planning to propose new standards for existing power plants. The draft regulations are expected next summer and a final rule a year later. “It’s all about existing power,” Pruitt said in an interview after the hearing. “This is a meaningful concern for states. This is not just about coal. This isn’t coal versus natural gas. This is just anti-fossil fuel.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday announced is would retire six coal-fired power plants in Alabama and replace two in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.
TVA CEO Bill Johnson cited stricter environmental regulations and a “flat demand” for electricity, NPR’s Scott Neuman reports.
But the move could be a boon for Oklahoma wind energy, specifically plans for a $2 billion heavy-duty power line that would help close a transmission gap, and connect western Oklahoma wind projects with the TVA grid in Memphis. The Oklahoman‘s Jay Marks reports:
TVA provides power for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. The government-owned utility is looking to diversify its power generating mix, as evidenced by its move away from coal.
Cornell University professor Katie Keranen, who began looking at the Jones swarm while teaching at Oklahoma University, said the quakes appear to be linked to oil and gas activities in the area. “These most recent earthquakes highlight the continuing seismic activity near Jones and the east Oklahoma City metro area, in a swarm which appears linked to high-volume water production and injection wells in central Oklahoma,” Keranen said.
The trust and the APCO Missing Stockholder Trust agreed to pay $14 million for cleanup of the Oklahoma Refining Company site in Cyril. The trust is a successor in interest to APCO Oil Corporation. The site was operated by Anderson-Prichard Oil Corporation and APCO Oil as an oil refinery from 1920 until about 1978, then in a limited capacity by Oklahoma Refining Company until 1987. The Environmental Protection Agency later found contaminated surface water, soil and sediments and other issues at the site. The next phase of cleanup at the site is to begin in 2014.
More than two-dozen small earthquakes shook central Oklahoma over the weekend, including several temblors that were 3.0-magnitude or higher, which people can generally feel. No damage or injuries have been reported. » UPDATED: 12/09/2013
“Oklahoma is really leading the country for new wind builds over the next few years,” said Emily Williams, senior policy analyst with the association. “Oklahoma and Texas are really going to be the heartland of a lot of wind activity.”
Oklahoma and Texas have a long history of squabbling over the 540-mile border that divides the two states.
The boundary generally follows the path of the Red River, the focal point in the recent U.S. Supreme Court water battle over a 1980 interstate water-sharing agreement, which Oklahoma won.
But the line separating the two states gets a little fuzzy in the waters of Lake Texoma, which hide the original riverbank border, as defined by another agreement, the Red River Boundary Compact, which both states signed and Congress ratified.