Top Stories

  • What happens if the Keystone XL Pipeline isn't built?

    Published: Mon, Mar 24, 2014

    After five years, it appears the Obama administration will soon issue a decision on whether to build the long-delayed and controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would cross an environmentally sensitive area of the Great Plains and move nearly a million gallons of oil a day to Gulf Coast refineries, reports NBC News. Backers of the project say it would stimulate the U.S. economy and enhance energy security, stressing that a new pipeline is the cheapest, safest way to transport dirty tar-sands crude from Canada’s booming oil fields to U.S. refineries. Environmentalists, who earlier this month chained themselves to the White House fence in protest, counter that it would endanger the water supply in several states and exacerbate climate change. They want to stop or slow the exploitation of an energy source the Sierra Club calls “the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet.” But what happens if, after all the shouting, the pipeline isn’t built?

  • SandRidge to let its oil leases expire on much of its acreage in Oklahoma, Kansas

    Published: Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    A lot of land will hit the oil-lease market this year, the Wichita Eagle reports. SandRidge Energy has said it will allow leases on about 700,000 gross acres of land in Kansas and Oklahoma to expire this year, and hundreds of thousands of acres more in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it has 1,026,000 gross acres set to expire this year in northern Oklahoma and southern and western Kansas. The company said it expects to hold on to about 30 percent of that by either paying to exercise the options or by holding them by producing oil and gas.

  • Zuckerberg Says Obama Steps on NSA Spying Not Enough

    Published: Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    Facebook Inc. (FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg left a meeting with President Barack Obama unsatisfied with administration assurances that the government can protect privacy while continuing surveillance. Zuckerberg and five other Internet and technology executives were invited to the White House yesterday to discuss National Security Agency spying following revelations the NSA may have infected millions of computers globally with malware to advance surveillance.

  • Rising energy demand a threat to strained water supplies, UN report says

    Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Rising demand for energy, from biofuels to shale gas, is a threat to freshwater supplies that are already under strain from climate change, the United Nations said in a report on Friday, according to Reuters. It urged energy companies to do more to limit use of water in everything from cooling coal-fired power plants to irrigation for crops grown to produce biofuels. "Demand for energy and freshwater will increase significantly in the coming decades," U.N. agencies said in the World Water Development Report. "This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions."

  • Hobby Lobby vs. Obamacare before the Supreme Court next week

    Published: Thu, Mar 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama's health care law gets a return engagement at the Supreme Court next week in a case full of hot-button issues: religious freedom, corporate rights, federal regulation, abortion and contraception. On one side is the Obama administration, insistent that health policies written under the Affordable Care Act include full coverage for all methods of birth control. On the other side are two family-owned corporations — the Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Mennonite-owned cabinet maker. They cite religious objections to intrauterine devices (IUDs) and "morning-after" pills, which they say can cause abortions.

  • U.S. risks national blackout from small-scale attack

    Published: Thu, Mar 13, 2014

    The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis, the Wall Street Journal reports. The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said.

  • Female TSA officers say pat-down duty leads to workplace discrimination - Washington Times

    Published: Wed, Mar 12, 2014

    Female TSA officers are in such high demand to conduct pat-downs that they get pigeonholed as checkpoint workers and miss out on chances for other experience that would earn them promotions, a top member of Congress said Tuesday. Female officers are required to pat down women travelers and also are preferred for pat-downs for children, which means that they end up conducting more than half of the pat-downs, even though they are just a third of the TSA workforce, said Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

  • Chesapeake accused of underpaying gas royalties

    Published: Wed, Mar 12, 2014

    Some property owners in Pennsylvania, one of the states caught up in a natural-gas drilling boom, are accusing Chesapeake Energy of shortchanging them on royalty payments for pumping oil and gas from their land, the Wall Street Journal reports. The public outcry has grown so loud that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, a longtime industry supporter who has received campaign contributions from the company, wrote an open letter last month asking the state attorney general to investigate. Chesapeake declined to comment on the royalty disputes, but said in a recent letter to the governor that it is abiding by the terms of its contracts with landowners.

  • Behind the Preplanned Oscar Selfie: Samsung's Ad Strategy

    Published: Tue, Mar 4, 2014

    Samsung Electronics Co. spent an estimated $20 million on ads to run during breaks in the Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday night. But Samsung may have got more promotional mileage from Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres during the show itself. Ms. DeGeneres toyed with a white Samsung phone during the broadcast, including when she handed a Galaxy Note 3 to actor Bradley Cooper so he could take a "selfie" photo of himself and other stars including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Lawrence surrounding the host.

  • Two million Calif. adults living with parents

    Published: Mon, Mar 3, 2014

    More than 2.3 million adult children are living with their parents in California, a 63 percent increase since the Great Recession began seven years ago and a phenomenon straining budgets and pushing some families to the brink of poverty, according to a study released Thursday. Researchers from UCLA and the Oakland-based Insight Center for Community Economic Development say job losses, home foreclosures, and divorces are among the factors driving hundreds of thousands of adults to return to their childhood homes. In many cases, those homes are headed by parents who are approaching or in retirement, and are living on fixed incomes themselves.

  • GOP tax plan singles out violent video game makers

    Published: Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    In another example of the government picking winners and losers, the House Ways and Means Committee, in its long-awaited tax reform bill, singles out violent video game makers for tax increases. On page 19 of the executive summary, the committee mentions an improved and permanent research and development tax credit, which has benefitted countless industries from manufacturers to software creators to food producers.

  • Obama to detail 'My Brother's Keeper' to help minority youth

    Published: Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce details for what he is dubbing his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative on Thursday, a new government partnership with businesses and philanthropic organizations that he hopes will help high-risk minority men gain the skills they need to succeed as adults and stay out of jail, USA Today reports. Obama, who will unveil the initiative at an afternoon event at the White House, wants to adopt best practices from communities throughout the country where businesses and foundations are already working together to mentor young minority men.

  • Ben & Jerry's new invention could change ice cream forever

    Published: Wed, Feb 26, 2014

    Why has no one thought of this yet? asks the Huffington Post. Ben & Jerry's Cores is a new ice cream that features a column running down the middle of the pint that is a core center of fudge, caramel or raspberry jam. HP says it's genius.

  • Chesapeake, Encana near settlements on Michigan collusion probe

    Published: Wed, Feb 26, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp. are negotiating civil settlements with the state of Michigan to try to end its criminal investigation into whether the energy companies colluded to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state, Reuters reports. Encana and Chesapeake have been the subject of state and U.S. Department of Justice antitrust probes since 2012, when Reuters published an investigation showing the companies' executives exchanged emails to discuss how they could cooperate to suppress lease prices in the state.

  • Ousted CEO McClendon tries to force Chesapeake into new drilling

    Published: Tue, Feb 25, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. ousted its former chief executive Aubrey McClendon last April after a governance scandal and a liquidity crisis. But the former boss retains financial ties to the second-largest U.S. natural gas company, and he is using them to try to change company plans, Reuters reports. A firm run by McClendon is attempting to force Chesapeake to drill 12 multi-million dollar wells in Louisiana's Haynesville Shale at a time when Chesapeake is trying to rein in spending and cut debt to focus on other shales, according to a lawyer for Chesapeake.

  • GE to spend another $10 billion on energy research by 2020

    Published: Mon, Feb 24, 2014

    General Electric Co plans to intensify research focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10 billion through 2020 for its "ecoimagination" budget, Reuters reports. The company is building an oil and natural gas research center in Oklahoma City. Its research budget shows how reliant GE has become on the energy industry, its fastest growth area, as it works to become a dominant supplier of equipment and services to oil, natural gas and alternative power companies at a time when the United States undergoes an unprecedented energy boom.

  • ConocoPhillips CEO: Skeptics warnings of shale bubble are unfounded

    Published: Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance targeted shale boom skeptics Friday, refuting arguments that the surge in oil and gas production will be short-lived, the Houston Chronicle reported. Speaking at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Lance said he believes the country’s shale revolution is only in the “first inning of a nine inning game,” and critics shouldn’t assume growing shale production will stop any time soon.

  • News 9: New Chesapeake CEO discusses challenges, vision for future

    Published: Thu, Feb 20, 2014

    "A little bit uncomfortable," that's how the CEO of Chesapeake Energy says it felt taking the reins of the oil and gas company from Aubrey McClendon last spring," reports News 9. Not only was Doug Lawler assuming control of a company that was struggling with both performance and governance issues, he was stepping into the shoes of a man he calls ...

  • Chevron gives residents near fracking explosion free pizza

    Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    After a Chevron hydraulic fracturing well exploded in rural Dunkard Township, Pennsylvania, last Tuesday, and burned for four days straight, the energy company knew just the way to soothe nearby residents: free pizza. The flames that billowed out of the Marcellus Shale natural gas well were so hot they caused a nearby propane truck to explode, and first responders were forced to retreat to avoid injury. The fire burned for four days, and Chevron currently has tanks of water standing by in case it reignites. Of the twenty contractors on the well site, one is still missing, and is presumed dead. Seconds before the explosion, John Kuis, 57, who lives less than a half-mile away in Dilliner, said he felt rumbling.

  • American Airlines not laying off 400 in Tulsa this year but asking for retirements, changed shifts

    BY KYLE ARNOLD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    American Airlines has taken its projected 400 layoffs at the Tulsa maintenance base off the table for this year, but will ask for voluntary retirements and shift work to weekends, the company reported Wednesday. American Airlines announced that it will bring in MD-80s for rib checks and take brand new Boeing 737 aircraft for acceptance work to help avoid involuntary layoffs at the plant this year. “As we’re revitalizing our fleet and completing several aircraft modification incentives in anticipation of American’s changing operational needs, we continue to collaborate with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to find ways to mitigate any potential labor surplus in Tulsa and at the Alliance Airport maintenance base (Dallas),” said a statement from American Airlines. “These efforts to rebalance operations through work schedules and workload will ensure that the impact to our Tulsa and TAESL operations remains minimal.” Read the rest of this story at .