• Grand River Dam Authority signs contract for more wind generation in Oklahoma

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Tue, Sep 2, 2014

    The Grand River Dam Authority in Oklahoma has signed a 20-year contract to take 100 megawatts of wind capacity from Apex Clean Energy Inc.’s Kay County wind farm.

  • Halliburton reaches $1B Gulf oil spill settlement

    Updated: 52 min ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. That same judge has rulings pending on the extent to which parties, including Halliburton, were negligent in the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. Those rulings could affect plaintiffs' decisions on whether to participate in the settlement, which was announced Tuesday. Pending action by the Supreme Court over interpretations of an earlier BP settlement with businesses also com

  • Judges recommend $1.4B penalty against PG&E

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulatory judges recommended a $1.4 billion penalty on Tuesday — the largest safety-related levy ever against a public utility in the state — for a fiery 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in a suburban San Francisco neighborhood. The California Public Utilities Commission said the figure reached by two administrative law judges over the San Bruno pipeline explosion reflected nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal law, regulations and standards by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the operation of its gas pipelines.

  • Cory Gardner says he's 'a new kind of Republican'

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner on Tuesday released the second of two ads touting his support for renewable energy and over-the-counter birth control pills, calling himself "a new kind of Republican" as he tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in a state that has become increasingly reluctant to elect members of the GOP. The ads come during the traditional post-Labor Day campaign home stretch and show Gardner's attempt to extract himself from the bind on Republicans in this swing state where coastal transplants have pushed the politics to the left. Democrats have won every top-of-the-ticket statewide race in Colorado since 2004, and Udall and his allies have followed the established playbook by attacking Gardner a

  • EPA OKs FutureGen plan for CO2 storage

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said it has approved permits for the FutureGen clean coal project to store carbon dioxide underground, a key step in the longstanding plan to build the project. FutureGen plans to store carbon dioxide, a greenhouse linked to climate change, after capturing it from a power plant in western Illinois. "The issuance of the permit is a major milestone that will allow FutureGen 2.0 to stay on track to develop the first ever commercial-scale, near-zero emissions coal-fueled power plant with integrated carbon capture and storage," FutureGen Alliance CEO Ken Humphreys said in a printed statement. The FutureGen Alliance is a group of coal companies that

  • 5 protesters arrested after blocking oil train

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Five people were arrested Tuesday after tying themselves to poles erected over the railroad tracks at a Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard in Everett that about a dozen demonstrators blocked to protest train shipments of oil and coal and proposed export terminals in the Northwest. Two women and three men who refused to leave the more than eight-hour protest were taken to the Snohomish County Jail, railroad spokesman Gus Melonas said. He expected they would be charged with trespassing. Three trains were delayed and others were diverted around the blocked tracks, Melonas said, but no railroad property was damaged.

  • McCrory praises eastern NC natural gas pipeline

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    PEMBROKE, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory says a proposed natural gas pipeline traveling through eastern North Carolina will serve as a tool to attract more jobs and industries to the state. McCrory visited Pembroke on Tuesday to highlight the announced construction of a 550-mile pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina, ending at current Piedmont Natural Gas facilities in Robeson County. The Robesonian of Lumberton reported (http://bit.ly/1pFENK ) McCrory told 150 local business leaders the North Carolina section will help areas where economic recruitment has been hindered by a lack of natural gas. McCrory's office says the $4.

  • Utility, firm form partnership on energy projects

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    ESSEX, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's largest electric utility is teaming up with a national renewable energy business to implement a series of state-of-the-art energy saving projects, including a new local electrical system in the Rutland area that will eventually be spread across the state. While Green Mountain Power is Vermont's largest electric utility, it is still small and nimble enough to implement new energy saving ideas that could be proposed by NRG Energy, Green Mountain President Mary Powell said Tuesday in Essex, where she announced the partnership. "We can get stuff done, we're partnering on the big picture," Powell said.

  • Noranda laying off employees, suspending expansion

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) — Noranda Aluminum Inc. announced Tuesday that it is laying off up to 200 employees and suspending an expansion project at its southeast Missouri smelter because state regulators refused to lower its electricity rates. The cutbacks by Noranda come less than two weeks after the Missouri Public Service Commission denied its request for a roughly 25 percent reduction in electricity rates that it pays to Ameren Missouri. "It is heartbreaking to me to be forced to take actions that eliminate jobs, but these actions are necessary to help us remain competitive in the near-term," Noranda President and CEO Kip Smith said in prepared remarks for a press conference at its New Madrid aluminum smelter.

  • US stock market ends slightly lower

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Concerns over weaker global economic growth appeared to outweigh a pair of strong reports on the U.S. economy Tuesday, nudging stocks to a tiny loss. Crude oil prices sank 3 percent, pulling down stocks of oil producers. Small-companies, which have fewer ties to the world economy, made gains. Meanwhile, the dollar reached a one-year high against the euro as short-term interest rates edged up. "It's the picture of U.S. strength against the backdrop of global weakness," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. The S&P 500 index slipped 1.09 point, less than 0.1 percent, to 2,002.28. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 30.89 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,067.56.

  • Landrieu slammed for stopping Venezuela sanctions

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing increased pressure to stop blocking a bill that would impose sanctions against human-rights abusers in Venezuela's government. Landrieu's main Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, co-wrote an opinion piece Tuesday with Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio that criticizes Landrieu as siding with Venezuelan leaders who have jailed and killed protesters. "Venezuelan regime officials have been oppressing innocent Venezuelans, pillaging that country's wealth, traveling to the U.S. to splurge, and then return to Venezuela to carry on with their repression. At the very least, it should be U.S. policy to not allow these practices to continue," the lawmakers wrote in a column for The

  • ERCOT: Ample electric capacity for fall, winter

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The operator of the electric distribution grid for most of Texas says it expects to have ample electricity available to keep up with periods of peak demand in the fall and winter, according to projections released Tuesday. Ken McIntyre, the vice president of grid planning and operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, said in a release that the state has the capacity to generate 2,100 more megawatts available now than at this time last year. One megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes at a given time during peak periods and 500 homes at a given time under normal conditions. ERCOT has more than 75,500 megawatts of available power generation overall.

  • California regulatory judges issue $1.4B fine against PG&E for deadly 2010 gas line blast

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulatory judges issue $1.4B fine against PG&E for deadly 2010 gas line blast .

  • Port of Portland reaches deal on propane terminal

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Port of Portland said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with a company that wants to build a terminal to temporarily house propane imported by rail from Canada then exported by ship to Asia. The port said the Pembina Pipeline Corp. terminal could go online in 2018 and handle 37,000 barrels a day of propane. Its cost is estimated at more than $500 million in private investments. Pembina, based on Calgary, Alberta, will construct and operate the facility intended to handle propane derived from natural gas in western Canada. The company says most of the propane would be used for residential and industrial purposes overseas. The development marks another effort to export fuels through the North

  • Fire forces partial shutdown of N. Ill. coal plant

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    HENNEPIN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are investigating what caused a transformer fire at a northern Illinois power plant that forced one of two power-generating units to shut down. The (LaSalle) News-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1rL3pU1 ) that firefighters were called to the Dynegy Power Station in Hennepin around 11 a.m. Tuesday as thick black smoke rose from the site along the Illinois River. Smoke was no longer visible by noon. Dynegy Inc. spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the fire occurred in an area of the plant where electricity from the generating unit is transferred to the power grid for distribution. She says nobody was hurt. She says the company will investigate the cause of the fire and whether there was any da

  • New Mexico utility plans to request rate increase

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider plans to ask state regulators to raise rates for their customers. PNM wants to recover costs for investment in power plants and other infrastructure and to make up for a decrease in power consumption. The drop in consumption is attributed to factors such as the state's weak economy, energy conservation and renewable sources such as rooftop solar. The utility expects to file a case for a rate increase with the Public Regulation Commission by December, PNM Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Gerard Ortiz told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1lwe9CZ). PNM hasn't yet decided how big of an increase it will request.

  • Study to look at financial impact of gas boom

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Researchers are looking at whether money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom helps children and families in regions where companies are drilling. Penn State University sociology professor Molly Martin said there is a unique opportunity to compare northeastern Pennsylvania communities that have experienced the boom during the last six years with nearby ones in New York state that haven't. New York has a moratorium on shale drilling, which uses hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to break underground rocks apart and free the gas, while Pennsylvania has become the second-largest producer in the nation. Some families in fracking communities get millions of dollars in royalties, many get tens of thousands

  • Group presents state energy strategy

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A group entrusted with developing a state energy strategy for New Hampshire has focused on four areas: modernizing the electric grid, increasing efficiency, diversifying the fuel supply, and increasing transportation choices. The group is made up of the Office of Energy Planning, in consultation with a state Energy Advisory Council created last year and with input from the public and legislators. The report was released Tuesday. Many of the recommendations are in transportation, including the expansion of charging areas for electric vehicles, with the possibility of offering tax credits for businesses that install public charging stations; and the expansion of mass transit options including local, inter

  • Gas prices hold steady at $3.52 per gallon in RI

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gas prices are holding steady in Rhode Island, with an average price of $3.52 per gallon for self-serve regular, the same as a week ago. AAA of Southern New England says its weekly survey released Tuesday that prices are 21 cents lower than at this time last year, when gas was averaging $3.73 per gallon in Rhode Island. But the average price in the Ocean State is 9 cents more than the national average of $3.43 per gallon for regular.

  • Dominion, Duke propose $5B natural gas pipeline

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and because natural gas burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal. The 550-mile project, called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, would begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch through Virginia and North Carolina to Robeson County, near the South Carolina border.