• Cheaper gas sends consumers back to big vehicles

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    Tumbling gasoline prices have reversed recent vehicle purchase trends.

  • Groups tell US: Don't extend Fermi 2 plant license

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Environmentalists have told federal officials they oppose a renewal of DTE Energy Co.'s license to operate the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant near Monroe. Several groups spoke Thursday to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board at the Monroe County Courthouse. The Monroe News reports that among them were Citizens Resistance at Fermi 2, Beyond Nuclear and Don't Waste Michigan. The utility is seeking permission to renewing the license so the plant in Frenchtown Township can operate until 2045.

  • Oklahoma energy briefs, Nov. 21, 2014

    Published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    Oklahoma energy briefs, Nov. 21, 2014

  • Solar power backers: leave friendly NC laws alone

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Solar energy advocates urged North Carolina legislators on Thursday to resist pressure from big energy interests and leave in place incentives that have sprouted an industry that employs 3,000 statewide. The sun could generate 20 percent of the electricity North Carolina uses by 2030 if lawmakers make no changes after returning to work in January, solar power boosters said. Solar power now makes up about 1 percent of the state's energy use, said Maya Gold of the advocacy group Environment North Carolina. "To take solar power to the next level, our leaders just have to keep the foot on the accelerator and certainly not put on the brakes," Gold said at a news conference at the Legislative Building.

  • Inslee to GOP senators: Bring solutions on climate

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Responding to criticism leveled at him last week, Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday challenged two Republican senators to "do more than just criticize and mischaracterize" actions being considered to reduce carbon pollution. The governor sent a letter to Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Curtis King, R-Yakima, disputing their assertions that the Legislature has been cut out of the process of evaluating potential requirements for cleaner transportation fuels. The legislators wrote to Inslee last week, saying it was "extremely troubling" that he seems to have skipped lawmakers on such a major policy decision. They said a low-carbon fuel standard would hurt consumers and warned that Inslee's climate proposal

  • Drug lab explosion kills 1, hurts 2; house gutted

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say an explosion that tore apart a Southern California shack, killing one person and critically injuring two others, was caused by a lab illegally making hash oil. The blast shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Muscoy destroyed a 500-square-foot home. Authorities say the body of 61-year-old Adrian Curiel of Chino was found buried in wreckage in the basement. A critically injured woman with a head injury was found partially buried by debris in the basement and a burned man, also critically injured, was found walking near the home. The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.

  • Cramer appointed to Energy and Commerce Committee

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer has been appointed to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce for the upcoming 114th Congress. The committee has a broad jurisdiction. It is responsible for the nation's telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy, and interstate and foreign commerce. Cramer says "the biggest issues" affecting North Dakota and the country "will be deliberated" on this committee. Cramer is a former energy and telecommunications regulator. He served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission before he became a congressman.

  • Senator: Obama climate plan unfair to Pennsylvania

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania's Democratic senator is criticizing President Barack Obama's proposed climate change rules, urging revisions to a plan that he says imposes unfair costs and burdens on the state. In a 22-page letter sent Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Bob Casey makes clear he supports broad goals of combating global warming and agrees an EPA plan is necessary. But Casey said the carbon emissions target for the state is unreasonably high and could lead to higher electricity prices. "Our Commonwealth powers the electricity needs of states across the mid-Atlantic. We should be treated sensibly and fairly," said Casey, the state's senior senator.

  • Dow, S&P 500 edge back up to record highs

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index back into record territory. It was the second record-high close for the Dow this week and the third for the S&P 500. The modest gains erased losses from the day before, pushing the three major stock indexes further ahead for the week. Good news on housing, the job market and another dash of strong corporate earnings helped drive stocks higher, reversing a decline earlier in the day. Energy stocks led the gainers in the S&P 500 as oil prices rose. Discouraging economic data out of Europe and China stoked worries of a global economic slowdown and sent stocks lower in early trading. But investors shrugged off those conc

  • Ex-coal exec pleads not guilty in W.Va. mine blast

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Ex-coal company chief executive Don Blankenship pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiracy and other charges in the deadliest U.S. mine accident in four decades. It was the first appearance in federal court for the former Massey Energy CEO since he was indicted last week. He is accused of ignoring safety and health regulations to make more money at the Upper Big Branch mine and lying to investigators about his company's safety practices. In April 2010, an explosion at the mine in Montcoal killed 29 men, and the indictment said Blankenship could have prevented most of the violations the mine was committing. Blankenship, 64, could face up to 31 years in prison if convicted.

  • Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant's costs

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Consumers will pay about $3.3 billion and shareholders will pay about $1.4 billion under a settlement approved Thursday on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The vote by the California Public Utilities Commission was 5-0. At issue has been who should take the financial hit for the early demise of the plant located between Los Angeles and San Diego — company shareholders or customers. The settlement of who should pay the $4.7 billion cost of the closure stems from negotiations among operator Southern California Edison, minority owner San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and consumer advocates. Critics argued that the deal shortchanged ratepayers. Consumer

  • PG&E fined over alleged secret dealings

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State regulators Thursday fined Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and required its shareholders to cover as much as $400 million of a planned gas rate increase because of backroom negotiations between the utility and regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 in favor of the penalty, which stems from recently released emails that show a PG&E executive and CPUC officials discussing which judge to appoint to a case over gas rates. The executive objects to one judge for having a history of being hard on the utility. The emails are the latest in a series released by the utility and others that allegedly show PG&E executives privately negotiating with CPUC officials.

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $2.78 per gallon

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona keep gown down at the pumps. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $2.78 a gallon. That's almost 6 cents lower than last week and lowest prices in the state since March 2010. This week's national average is $2.85 per gallon, down by nearly 7 cents from last week. Triple-A analysts say 37 states now have average gasoline prices below $3 per gallon. They say prices should remain low through Thanksgiving, barring unforeseen circumstances. Peoria has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $2.65 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $3.08. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices

  • Regulators approve deal to divide billions in costs from closed San Onofre nuclear power plant

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Regulators approve deal to divide billions in costs from closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

  • Corruption saps enthusiasm for east Ukraine rebels

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — As battle raged in rebellion-wracked eastern Ukraine, cargo trains piled high with coal thundered along rail tracks to keep heating and power going to households in rebel-held territory. Coal is the lifeblood of this region dominated by pro-Russian separatists — and now the source of its first corruption scandal. The former energy minister of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic has accused a top rebel official of pocketing money from the sale of coal to power plants. Both men are now languishing in jail in connection with an investigation into abuse of authority.

  • Apache selling assets for $1.4B

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — Apache Corp. said Thursday that it will sell some of its oil and gas assets for $1.4 billion. The Houston-based company is selling its interest in approximately 90,000 acres in southern Louisiana and roughly 115,000 acres in the Anadarko Basin in Texas and Oklahoma in two separate deals. Both deals are expected to close by the end of this year. Apache said proceeds from the sales will be used to pay to acquire leases on new acreage. The oil and gas exploration and production company has operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom and Australia. Shares of the company rose $1.39, or 1.9 percent, to $73.44 in midday trading Thursday.

  • Low gas prices to bring out more holiday travelers

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The lowest holiday gasoline prices in five years are expected to result in an increased number of Oklahomans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. AAA Oklahoma estimates nearly 602,000 Oklahomans will travel this year during the holiday — the highest volume since 2007 and a nearly 5 percent increase over 2013. The agency estimates 90 percent of the travelers — 542,000 people —will get to Thanksgiving destinations by car, pickup or RV — 4.8 percent more than last year. Another 49,000 residents will fly — a 3.4 percent jump. Thursday's Oklahoma average pump price for regular gasoline is $2.68 per gallon — down 26 cents from the same time last year. The national average stands a

  • Harvard sued over push for fossil fuels divestment

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Seven Harvard University students have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force the university's governing body to divest from fossil fuel companies. The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges investment in those companies violates the university's duties as a public charity. The complaint asks the court to compel the Harvard Corporation, the governing body, to stop investing any of its $36.4 billion endowment in gas, coal and oil companies. Harvard students have pressed the university to divest from fossil fuels as a way to slow climate change. "Climate change is now causing harm through mortality, economic damage and political instability," said Benjamin Franta, one of the students who filed the lawsuit.

  • Retail gasoline prices across Texas down 7 cents

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Retail gasoline prices across Texas and nationwide have dropped an average 7 cents per gallon this week. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the statewide average settled at $2.66 per gallon. Drivers nationwide are paying an average $2.85 per gallon. The most expensive gasoline in Texas was in Beaumont and Houston, at $2.67 per gallon. Amarillo has the cheapest gasoline statewide at $2.57 per gallon. Association experts say falling global oil prices over the last couple of months have contributed to drops in retail gasoline prices, marking the longest streak of declines since 2008. AAA Texas on Thursday projected 3.6 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holi

  • Block Island wind farm gets final permits

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — An offshore wind farm that could be the nation's first has gotten its final lease and permits from state coastal regulators. The Coastal Resources Management Council last week unanimously approved the paperwork for Deepwater Wind's project off Block Island. The five-turbine project is three miles off Block Island and is competing with the larger Cape Wind off Cape Cod to become the nation's first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski (grih-BOW'-skee) tells Rhode Island Public Radio that the company now has all the leases and permits it needs for the project, and they can start construction next year. He says more than 20 local, state and federal government agencies ha