• Texas jury awards municipal utility $30 million

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — A Central Texas jury has delivered a nearly $30 million verdict against the Lower Colorado River Authority. A Comal County jury on Tuesday returned the verdict in favor of New Braunfels Utilities. The Austin-based river authority manages water resources and provides electricity. New Braunfels Utilities says the LCRA violated their 1999 wholesale power contract by overcharging for electricity. The LCRA says New Braunfels Utilities and other utilities have unlawfully broken their contracts. The New Braunfels Utilities CEO tells the Austin American-Statesman that the money will go toward reducing electricity costs and expanding energy efficiency programs. A LCRA spokesman says the author

  • Oklahoma business briefs for July 23

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Oklahoma business briefs for July 23, 2013

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for July 23

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Tuesday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $100.75 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $88.75 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted July 3: COMPLETION Creek: Yale Oil Association Inc.; Moore No. 1-30 Well; C NW1/4 NW1/4 of 30-14N-09E; 5 barrels oil per day; TD 2,534. Garfield: Devon Energy Production Co. LP; Getty 21-21N-3W No. 1WH Well; NW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 15-21N-03W; 34 barrels oil per day, 90,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,639. Hughes: Grant Petroleum Corp.; Chestnut No. 2 Well; N1/2 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 of 02-07N-10E; 100,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 2,586. Kay: Range Production Co. LLC; Oakland SWD No.

  • Compressco Partners to buy larger competitor for $825 million

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: 2 hr ago

    Compressco Partners LP executives expect the company’s planned $825 million purchase of Midland, Texas-based Compressor Systems Inc. to help it expand the Oklahoma City company quickly throughout the region.

  • Geopolitical tensions keep oil prices high

    By PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press | Published: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery fell 17 cents to $104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

  • Aubrey McClendon plans day care and fitness center on unfinished wine cellar site

    By Brianna Bailey, Business Writer | Updated: 4 hr ago

    Designs submitted to the Oklahoma City Planning Department show plans for a 18,000-square-foot American Energy Partners day care center on the southwest corner of NW 68 and Classen Boulevard.

  • Opponents petition against Vermont Gas pipeline

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — About 40 protesters converged Tuesday outside Vermont Public Service Board offices to demand a halt to the natural gas pipeline expansion in western Vermont. Anti-pipeline activists staged a "fish-in" — complete with poles, a canoe and a petition with 500 signatures to protest what they allege was a bait-and-switch tactic by project developer Vermont Gas. The company this month increased the estimated cost of the first phase of the project by 40 percent, to more than $121 million, citing the cost of route changes to accommodate landowners. Protesters said the revised cost would mean higher rates for customers.

  • Court endorses Illinois electricity surcharge

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois regulators can force electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6 billion FutureGen clean-coal project, a state appeals court said in a ruling Tuesday. The 2-1 decision handed down by the Illinois Appellate Court OKs a state plan to charge electricity customers an estimated $1 to $1.40 a month to help pay for the long-delayed project. FutureGen would refit a western Illinois coal plant with technology to remove carbon dioxide before the coal is burned and store the CO2 underground. Ken Humphreys is CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, a group of five coal companies working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the long-planned project. Humphreys said the decision "will keep the FutureGen 2.

  • W.Va. gas price tumble

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia gas prices are down about a nickel a gallon. The Triple A says gas prices nationwide are tumbling because of abundant refinery production. That has led to declining pump prices in the U.S. for 25 consecutive days. In West Virginia, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas now goes for $3.67. Last week's average was $3.72. Pump prices range from a low of $3.47 in Huntington to a high of $3.76 in Bridgeport.

  • Geopolitical tensions seen keeping oil prices high

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The price of oil fell slightly Tuesday but experts see geopolitical tensions preventing any significant short-term declines. U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery fell 17 cents to $104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more heavily traded September contract slipped 47 cents to $102.39. Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, dropped 35 cents to $107.33 on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Fighting between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza has added to the risk of instability in the oil-rich Middle East just as tensions have intensified between the West and Russia, a major oil and gas producer, over the Ukraine crisis.

  • Pa. auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday. Eugene DePasquale released a performance audit report that says the Department of Environmental Protection lacks a clear policy on the timeliness and frequency of inspections of the thousands of wells and does not routinely verify information the industry provides about waste disposal.

  • Corn extends slump; grain price at four-year low

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    The price of corn dropped again on Tuesday as a mix of sunshine, rain and moderate temperatures increased the likelihood of a record crop this year. Corn for delivery in September dropped 3.75 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.68 a bushel on Tuesday. The price of corn has slumped 30 percent since the end of April as the favorable weather has boosted the outlook for this year's crop. The US Department of Agriculture predicts that this year's crop, forecast to yield 13.9 million bushels, will come close to matching last year's record. "The weather conditions are beyond good," said Sterling Smith, a commodities analyst at Citigroup. "We've had quite possibly the best weather conditions that we've seen in 30 years." Wheat an

  • Senate panel approves Vietnam nuclear agreement

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam, as Washington looks to expand its relationship with its former Southeast Asian foe. The agreement would allow U.S. companies into Vietnam's expanding market for nuclear power. The U.S. and Vietnamese governments reached the agreement in October, and it was approved by President Barack Obama in February this year. It now has to be endorsed by the full Senate. The prospects for passage remain uncertain. Nonproliferation activists and some lawmakers are concerned the agreement does not forbid Vietnam from enriching uranium itself or reprocessing plutonium. Those capabilities can be us

  • Lawsuit expected after vote to ban tar sands oil

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — With a potential lawsuit targeting a decision to ban tar sands oil in South Portland, the governor's energy chief said Tuesday that he hopes the state can eventually have a conversation about managing the flow of petroleum products rather than having it decided locally. Crude from the tar sands of western Canada is fueling a surge in North American production, but environmentalists say tar sands oil is difficult to clean if spilled and dangerous to ship. Patrick Woodcock, director of the governor's energy office, said the state is reviewing the South Portland City Council's action to keep out crude oil from western Canada.

  • Missouri governor tours Iowa ethanol plant

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon traveled to Iowa to get a personal look at the latest methods in ethanol production. Nixon took the state plane Tuesday to tour a cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. He was accompanied by the Missouri agriculture and economic development directors. The plant is a joint venture of Poet and Royal DSM and will use corncobs, leaves, husks and stalks to produce ethanol. Poet also operates ethanol plants in Laddonia and Macon, Missouri, and is looking to expand its cellulosic ethanol production. Iowa is often a destination for aspiring presidential candidates because of its early caucuses. But Nixon's office says there were no politics involved in the trip.

  • Regulators OK Emera investment in First Wind

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Using new guidance from the state supreme court, Maine utility regulators on Tuesday approved for a second time a deal that gave Canadian utility Emera a stake in First Wind, the state's largest wind developer. The court in March ordered the Maine Public Utilities Commission to re-examine a deal in which Nova Scotia-based Emera invested more than $300 million to have a 49 percent stake in Boston-based First Wind's Northeast project portfolio. Maine law restricts relationships between transmission companies, like Emera, and power producers, like First Wind, to prevent favoritism of one power producer over another on the grid. But the commission decided Tuesday that the deal passes muster, even under ne

  • Ex-miner asks Congress for help on black lung

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A retired coal miner who suffers from black lung disease urged Congress on Tuesday to help clear a backlog of claims of fellow miners who have the disease. "I look to y'all to help us to get that which we need," Robert Bailey of Princeton, West Virginia told senators at a Capitol Hill hearing. "I would like to see that Congress step in and do make some changes to help process these claims" that are taking too long. The Senate Health Committee's employment and workplace safety subcommittee held the hearing in response to a series by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News on black lung benefits claims for miners.

  • UAF solicits contractors for new power plant

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking for a company to build its new heat and power plant. The university is seeking proposals from firms interested in providing construction management and general contracting services. State lawmakers earlier this year approved a funding package for a new plant, considered a priority for the university. The solicitation estimates the total construction cost at $150 million.

  • Grimes jabs McConnell on jobs issue in new TV ad

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes went on the attack again Tuesday with a new TV ad featuring an out-of-work Appalachian coal miner who questions Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's commitment to job growth. The 30-second ad airing across Kentucky seeks to capitalize on McConnell's off-the-cuff comments to an eastern Kentucky newspaper in the spring. The Beattyville Enterprise reported that the five-term Republican senator said it is "not my job" to bring employment to struggling Lee County, where the jobless rate was 11.1 percent in May. McConnell said his comments were taken out of context, but the newspaper editor stood by his story.

  • Utilities get more time to gauge nuke flood risks

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Federal regulators have given Nebraska's two biggest utilities more time to evaluate flooding hazards at their two nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the Nebraska and Omaha Public Power Districts will now have until next Feb. 4 to complete their review. The original deadline was March 12, but the utilities didn't receive key flood data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until earlier this year. The utilities are re-evaluating unlikely flood risks at Cooper and Fort Calhoun nuclear power plants as part of the industry's response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Both nuclear power plants in Nebraska sit on the banks of the Missouri River.