Business briefs: Nov. 24

Business briefs: Nov. 24
Published: November 24, 2012
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Business briefs

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Wildlife groups, drilling industry talk about conservation

As a natural gas drilling boom sweeps Pennsylvania and other states, conservation groups are debating whether it makes sense to work with the industry to minimize impacts to the environment — and whether to accept industry donations. The Pennsylvania chapter of the Audubon Society and the Ruffed Grouse Society worked with a gas industry group to hold public meetings for bird-watchers, anglers, hunters and hikers to ask questions about drilling. Don Williams, a Harleysville, Pa., resident who attended one meeting, say the idea of the drilling industry making donations to an independent conservation fund came up several times. Audubon and the Ruffed Grouse Society say they aren't seeking such donations but are talking with the industry about ways to strengthen rules and restore habitat after drilling.

Corps of Engineers reduces flow from Missouri River reservoir

The Army Corps of Engineers has begun reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially halt barge traffic at St. Louis within weeks. Monique Farmer of the corps office in Omaha, Neb., confirmed that reduction of outflow from the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota began Friday. She says the reduction is necessary because of drought on the upper Missouri River. The Missouri flows into the Mississippi near St. Louis. Barge traffic at St. Louis could be halted if the Mississippi drops another 4.5 feet. The governors of Missouri and Illinois and 15 senators have urged the corps to reconsider the flow reduction or risk economic catastrophe for firms that rely on the Mississippi for shipping.

Indian drugmaker recalls generic version of Lipitor

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled dozens of lots of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor because some may contain tiny glass particles, the latest in a string of manufacturing deficiencies that once led U.S. regulators to bar imports of the Indian company's medicines. Ranbaxy, a subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., India's biggest drugmaker, is operating under increased scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of quality lapses at multiple Ranbaxy factories over the past several years. The FDA also has alleged the company lied about test results for more than two dozen of its generic drugs several years ago. On Friday, Ranbaxy posted a notice on its U.S. website, saying it's recalling 10-, 20- and 40-milligram doses of tablets of atorvastatin calcium. That's generic Lipitor, the cholesterol fighter that reigned for years as the world's top-selling drug.

Entrepreneur plans party train from S. California to Las Vegas

As if a weekend in Las Vegas isn't wild enough for Southern Californians, a Nevada entrepreneur is about to add five more hours of party to either end. After striking an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad last week, the Las Vegas Railway Express is one step closer to bringing to life the X Train, a luxurious “party train” complete with big screen TVs, recliners and two ultra lounges. Tourists can't get from Southern California to Las Vegas by rail alone, and Barron's company isn't the first to try and fix that. The much-talked-about XpressWest project proposes a high-speed train connecting Sin City to the region from which it draws 25 percent of its tourists.



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