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Oklahoma State Bans Oklahoma Towns From Banning Fracking

An 80-year-old staute allowing local control of drilling was just overturned by state legislators.

Mixing water with hydraulic fracturing fluids to be injected into the ground. Image by Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma residents have been looking for ways to protect themselves after an alarming and unprecedented number of earthquakes—widely believed to be a direct result of oil and gas drilling operations—have rocked the state over the last year. But now, Reuters reports, state lawmakers are finalizing legislation to actually block towns and cities from enacting their own local bans or regulations on drilling activity.

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Local Power: Boulder Considers Moving Off the Grid

For decades, Xcel Energy has provided Boulder, Colorado, with electricity. But the city wasn't getting what it wanted—enough clean energy.


For decades, Xcel Energy has provided Boulder, Colorado, with electricity. But over time, people in the city began to want more electricity from clean, renewable sources than the utility was willing to provide. So this week, city residents voted to explore alternative methods of getting sustainable power.

Boulder has been toying with the idea of taking energy management local for the past few years. Instead of paying Xcel for power, the city could create a public, municipally run utility that would prioritize clean energy and cut the city’s carbon emissions. Progress moves slowly in the energy world, so the city won’t make the final decision on local power for another few years. But this week's vote was the energy equivalent of closing an account at a national bank in order to buy into a local credit union. Instead of just one person leaving the utility, though, this is an entire community.

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Jersey Barriers to Get an Artist's Makeover in NYC

It's a smart move to transform the constant construction sites inherent in infrastructure upgrades into a canvas for local expression.


The New York City Department of Transportation wants to spruce up its less aesthetically endowed elements: construction sites. So the local Department of Transportation held a contest to find artistic designs to decorate that ubiquitous and visually insidious component of construction: the Jersey barrier.

They announced their Jersey Barrier Design Winners this week.

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