• US stocks gain as Greece appears to be willing to negotiate

    Updated: 36 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday on hopes that a deal between Greece and its creditors could be put together to prevent the country from exiting the euro. In deal news, Chubb Corp. surged after agreeing to be acquired by rival insurance company Ace Ltd. Investors also got some encouraging news on hiring and manufacturing a day before the government's monthly jobs report. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,075, as of 12:10 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 113 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,732. The Nasdaq composite gained 26 points, or 0.5 percent, 5,013.

  • SUVs, muscle cars help auto industry maintain momentum

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Americans again bought vehicles that sit up high and come loaded with features like backup cameras and smartphone capabilities in June. Horsepower was also in; gas-sipping not so much. SUVs of all sizes continued to fly off dealer lots. Sales of the larger Ford Explorer rose 30 percent; Nissan's Rogue small SUV posted a 54 percent jump; and sales of the Jeep Cherokee gained 39 percent. The Edmunds.com auto website predicts that by the time all automakers report sales on Wednesday, the total will rise about 5 percent to 1.48 million for the best June since 2006. Buoyed by the momentum, the National Automobile Dealers Association this week raised its full-year sales forecast to 17.2 million vehicles from

  • NY environmental commissioner Martens resigns

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A day after enacting a promised ban on fracking, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens has announced that he'll step down during July. Martens said in an email sent to DEC staff Tuesday evening that his executive deputy, Marc Gerstman, will serve as acting commissioner until Gov. Andrew Cuomo appoints a successor. On Monday, Martens finalized the state's ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a decision he had announced in December. Martens is a former president of Manhattan-based Open Space Institute, a non-profit land preservation group He was appointed by Cuomo to head the DEC in 2011. Martens also worked as deputy secretary for energy an

  • Survey: US political and generation gaps on science issues

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Age divides Americans on science issues just as much as political ideology, a new analysis of recent polling shows. There are dramatic generation gaps in opinions on global warming, offshore drilling, nuclear power, childhood vaccines, gene modification to reduce a baby's disease risk, untested medicine use, lab tests on animals, and evolution, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew analyzed 22 different science issues in a survey of 2,002 people nationwide last August and a few later polls to see what demographic factors divide the nation on science issues. "The striking story is how different the patterns are depending on what the issue is," said Lee Rainie, Pew's director of science issues rese

  • Legislature passes $16.1 billion transportation revenue bill

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A $16.1 billion transportation revenue bill that includes an 11.9-cent increase in the gas tax over the next two years passed the Legislature early Wednesday, though the House still must approve key accompanying bills. A dispute between Senate Democrats and Republicans over unrelated bills led to a hourslong overnight delay in the vote. Senators returned to the floor around dawn to vote on changes made in the House, passing the bipartisan compromise revenue bill on a 37-8 vote and sending it to the governor. To complete the package, the House still needs to pass a Senate-approved bonding bill and spending bill, which designates the money to specific projects. Republican Sen.

  • US manufacturing growth improves in June; hiring jumps

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing growth improved in June, helped by a jump in employment. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose to 53.5 last month from 52.8 in May. Manufacturing activity matched January's level for the highest this year. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. Manufacturing growth has accelerated for the past two months, evidence that U.S. factories are beginning to adapt and overcome the drags caused by a rise in the dollar's value and cheaper oil prices, two trends that date back to last fall. The gauge of new orders rose slightly to 56 from 55.8.

  • US stocks open higher following gains in European markets

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are opening higher following gains in Europe as investors hope Greece can find a way to remain in the eurozone. Greece's government appeared to be softening its stance toward its creditors, but European officials ruled out any deal before a Greek referendum this weekend. Chubb Corp. soared 32 percent after the insurance company agreed to be acquired by Ace for about $28 billion. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,782 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,079. The Nasdaq composite climbed 45 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,033. European markets also rose. Germany's DAX inc

  • Russia halts gas supply to Ukraine amid pricing dispute

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian gas company Gazprom halted supplies to neighboring Ukraine on Wednesday after the collapse of pricing talks, a company official said — but an EU official said the dispute would not affect the flow of Russian gas to Europe. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Russia stopped deliveries at 10 a.m. because Ukraine didn't make an advance payment for July's gas. "Gazprom is not going to send gas to Ukraine at any price without the advance payment," Miller said in comments carried by Russian news agencies. The latest energy dispute comes as Russian support to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine has strained the relations between Russia and Ukraine.

  • Ex-Arch Coal employee sentenced in mine kickback scheme

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Arch Coal employee will spend six months in prison for lying to investigators about a kickback scheme at a mine. Gary Griffith had pleaded guilty in July 2014 to making a materially false statement in a federal matter. The 63-year-old Oceana resident was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says Griffith admitted lying about receiving kickbacks when he was maintenance manager at Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel Mining Complex in Logan County. Goodwin says in a news release that an unnamed person associated with North American Rebuild Company, Inc. paid kickbacks to Griffith and the mine's former general manager for each shuttle car ordered fro

  • Michigan Senate to vote on $1.5 billion road-funding plan

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate plans to vote on a $1.5 billion road-funding plan that would raise fuel taxes and redirect other government revenues to transportation infrastructure. Votes scheduled for Wednesday come a day after the Republican-backed legislation was unveiled and quickly approved by a committee. The proposal includes increasing the state gasoline tax by 15 cents a gallon to generate $800 million annually. Michigan's income tax would drop each year that general funds grow more than the inflation rate. The plan also calls for dedicating $700 million more a year to roads through future unspecified spending cuts. If Republicans can muster support for their legislation opposed by Democrats,

  • Toyota, Nissan, Honda back hydrogen stations for fuel cells

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota, Nissan and Honda are working together to get more fuel cell vehicles on roads in what they call Japan's big push toward "a hydrogen society." Fuel cell vehicles emit no pollution. They run on the power created when hydrogen stored as fuel combines with oxygen in the air to make water. Hydrogen fueling stations are needed to make the technology a viable option. The automakers pledged up to 11 million yen ($90,000) per hydrogen station per year, to build and maintain them. Officials appeared together in a news conference in Tokyo Wednesday. The stations already get government subsidies.

  • Armenia whacked by protests over electricity price hike

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Street protests in Armenia against a hike in electricity prices, which have been roiling the capital for nearly two weeks, are the most serious unrest the Caucasus nation has seen in years. The protests are continuing despite the president's decision to suspend the price rise. Armenia is allied closely with Russia, where some fear the protests could follow the pattern of massive demonstrations in Ukraine that swept a pro-Moscow president from power last year. The action organizers, however, describe it as a purely social protest and strongly deny affiliation with any political forces.

  • Commission's hearing examines OG&E SmartHours remuneration

    By Paul Monies Business Writerpmonies@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    OG&E's calculation for how it should be reimbursed for lost net revenues in 2013 from the SmartHours program is at issue. The public utility division came up with about $4.9 million, but OG&E's calculations were $11.2 million.

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court allows earthquake lawsuit to continue

    BY ADAM WILMOTH Energy Editorawilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    A resident of Prague is seeking damages after she was injured in her home by a 2011 earthquake that was magnitude 5.6 and caused widespread damage. The Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed a lower-court ruling, saying Cynthia Ferrell's case could continue in Lincoln County District Court.

  • Kasich signs $71B, 2-year budget after vetoing 44 items

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday signed a $71.2 billion, two-year state budget that continues his expansion of the Medicaid health program and provides an income-tax cut. The Republican governor made extensive use of his line-item veto ahead of the signing, striking 44 provisions from the sweeping spending blueprint. Several vetoes targeted benefits lawmakers had sought to provide to large businesses or industries, including power plants, big box retailers and nursing homes. At a signing event at his Statehouse office, Kasich said the budget delivers more money to people in need without breaking into a "party time" of loose spending. "Here in this state, we're minding the store," he told the pack

  • Environmentalists want California to stop offshore fracking

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Environmentalists Tuesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. State regulators this month approved nine permits for operator Thums Long Beach Co. for so-called fracking operations between August and December in Long Beach Harbor. Kevin Tougas, oil operations manager for the city of Long Beach, said the state action was a preliminary step and "several factors, including the market price of oil, will be taken into consideration before submitting some or all of these permits to the state for the next and final step of approval.

  • The Latest: Pennsylvania governor vetoes GOP's budget bill

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The latest news from efforts by Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to send various pieces of major legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk (all times local): ___ 10:38 p.m. Gov. Tom Wolf's office says he's officially vetoed a Republican-penned budget bill, after calling it full of gimmicks that leave it unbalanced. Wolf vetoed the bill Tuesday night, just hours after the Senate approved a $30.2 billion budget plan and sent it to his desk. Every Democratic lawmaker voted against the legislation, which the majority Republicans passed after negotiations with Wolf stalled. Republicans say it's a responsible plan. It boosts spending by about $1.1 billion, including more money for educati

  • Tough budget decisions remain in Alaska

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — It took two special sessions for Alaska legislators to agree to a budget after a crash in oil prices contributed to a severe reduction in the state's available revenue. Barring a huge rebound in oil prices, things aren't expected to get much easier next session. While legislators made big cuts in spending, they likely won't be able to repeat the same level of cuts to Alaska's infrastructure budget, for which the use of unrestricted state funds was reduced largely to the amount needed to meet federal matching-grant requirements. Cuts to agency operations are always tough, Legislative Finance Division Director David Teal said.

  • Michigan Senate panel OKs 15-cent gas tax hike for roads

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican-led Senate committee approved a $1.4 billion-plus road-funding plan Tuesday that would raise the state gasoline tax by 15 cents a gallon and trim the income tax if Michigan's general revenues rise above inflation in any given year. The proposal also would redirect $700 million in general funds annually toward road and bridge infrastructure, though specific spending cuts were not outlined, and eliminate a tax credit for low-wage earners. The full Senate could vote Wednesday after the Government Operations Committee passed the legislation 3-2 along party lines, with Democrats in opposition. GOP senators discussed the plan behind closed doors earlier Tuesday.

  • Shell secures new authorization in pursuing Arctic drilling

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has secured another federal authorization as it pursues plans to drill exploration wells in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coast. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday issued a letter of authorization allowing for the possible harassment of polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to Shell's drilling program work. Intentional harassment is not permitted. The authorization includes measures that Shell must take to minimize the effect of its work on the animals, including a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all drill rigs or seismic survey vessels, something conservation groups had sought. Nonetheless, some of those groups still called on President Barack Obama's administra