• Jury awards $1.4M in ethanol plant harassment case

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former lab manager at a northeastern Iowa ethanol plant says last week's $1.4 million verdict in her favor sends a message that workplace sexual harassment cannot be tolerated. Tina Haskenhoff said she hopes the Chickasaw County jury's decision changes a culture that allowed Homeland Energy Solutions plant manager Kevin Howes to make inappropriate comments about her and other women's breasts and to discipline Haskenhoff after she complained. "When I complained, excuses were made for Kevin and nothing was ever done. They made me feel like it was my fault," Haskenhoff, 46, said Tuesday. "By their verdict, the jurors said, 'No, you cannot do that. That was wrong. She didn't deserve it.' I had been wait

  • Black Hills opens new gas-fired plant in Cheyenne

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Black Hills Corp. is opening of a new gas-fired power plant in Cheyenne. Company officials and others plan an opening ceremony for the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station Tuesday afternoon in Cheyenne. Wyoming is the nation's leading coal-producing state. But company officials say current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations make it difficult and expensive to build new coal-fired plants. Black Hills earlier this year closed down a coal-fired power plant outside Gillette, a move the company said was in response to recent federal emissions regulations. It says the Cheyenne plant will replace much of that lost power.

  • Texas amends waste disposal rules for fracking

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Railroad Commission has amended rules for disposal well operators amid concerns that high-pressure injections can trigger earthquakes. As of Nov. 17, disposal well operators must research U.S. Geological Survey data for a history of earthquakes within 100 square miles of a proposed well site before applying for a permit. The commission, the state's oil and gas regulator, can also modify or rescind a well permit if scientists determine a well is likely contributing to seismic activity. The amendments come as states grapple with how to respond to public anxiety over the risks of disposing of vast amounts of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

  • Price of gasoline rising in Oklahoma

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The cost of gasoline has risen across Oklahoma during the past week while prices elsewhere were dropping. AAA Oklahoma said Tuesday that the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gas in the state is $3.02 per gallon — up from $2.92 per gallon a week ago. AAA spokesman Chuck Mai says the increase is due to factors including a refinery near Amarillo, Texas, being out of operation and fuel demands of the harvest season leading to diesel replacing gas in some pipelines. The national average is $3.03 per gallon — down from $3.09 last week. Prices in selected cities in Oklahoma range from $2.80 per gallon in Idabel to $3.26 in Altus. Drivers in Oklahoma City are paying $3.05 per gal

  • GM to move production of Volt part to US

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is moving production of the Chevrolet Volt's electric drive unit from Mexico to a Detroit-area factory as it updates the slow-selling car to increase its electric range and make it perform better. The Volt can go about 38 miles on battery power before a small gasoline generator kicks in. In the revamped version, coming in the second half of next year, the battery will store more energy yet be smaller, allowing the car to go farther on battery power, CEO Mary Barra said in a speech delivered at the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday.

  • US House District 7 candidates answer questions

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, a Wausau Republican, faces Democrat Kelly Westlund, an Ashland councilwoman, and Green Party candidate Lawrence Dale, an Eagle River insurance salesman, on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Associated Press asked them to answer the same 10 questions in 130 words or less. Their responses follow. ___ Question: The latest favorability rating for members of Congress is 13 percent. What would you do to improve the functioning of the body? Duffy: I share that frustration. The US House of Representatives has passed more than 40 pro-jobs bills that could have kick-started our sluggish economy. Those bills are piling up like lumber at the Senate door where Harry Reid refuses to bring them up for a

  • 18 miners trapped in coal mine accident in Turkey

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in a coal mine in Turkey, officials and reports said — an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the Has Sekerler mine near the town of Ermenek in Karaman province caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. Turkey's emergency management agency, AFAD, said a broken pipe in the mine caused the flooding but did not elaborate. Gov.

  • Virginia gas prices continue decline

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia motorists are continuing to enjoy a drop in gasoline prices. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.81 on Tuesday. That's 1 cent less per gallon compared to the previous week and 33 cents less compared with the same week a year ago. Average prices range from $2.70 per gallon in Richmond to $2.88 in Charlottesville. Motorists in the Norfolk area are paying on average $2.85 per gallon. The average price in Roanoke is $2.79. Nationally, gas prices average $3.03 this week.

  • US consumer confidence rose in October

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence rebounded strongly in October, hitting a seven-year high as solid job gains raised expectations for economic growth. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index climbed to 94.5, the strongest reading since October 2007 and the start of the Great Recession a few months later. This month's gains reversed a revised decline to 89 in September from 93.4 in August. Job gains and falling gasoline prices have helped to improve sentiment, despite muted economic growth in Europe and China that has fueled volatility in financial markets. Consumer confidence has been trending higher from lows during the worst downturn since the 1930s.

  • Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The European Union's environment agency says the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by nearly 2 percent last year, putting the EU very close to reaching its emissions target for 2020. That goal is to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 20 percent compared to 1990 levels. The European Environment Agency said Tuesday that emissions already have fallen 19 percent, meaning the 28-nation bloc is likely to exceed its target. The EEA projected that 2020 emissions will be 21 percent or 24 percent lower than they were in 1990, depending on whether planned climate action is implemented in full. However, Germany and Spain were among some countries that weren't on track to m

  • Report: coal mine collapses in Turkey, trapping 23 people

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Report: coal mine collapses in Turkey, trapping 23 people.

  • Ribbon-cutting planned for Cross Winds Energy Park

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    UNIONVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A ribbon-cutting is planned for Friday for a wind power project in Michigan that will expand Consumers Energy's renewable energy options. The utility says the event to celebrate the Cross Winds Energy Park project is planned for the American Legion Hall in Unionville. The unit of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. broke ground last year on the project in Tuscola County's Akron and Columbia townships, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit. The Cross Winds Energy Park will be a 105-megawatt wind farm with 62 wind turbines. The turbines will have enough capacity to supply electricity to about 31,000 homes. ___ Online: http://www.consumersenergy.

  • Judge won't block St. Tammany anti-fracking suit

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A state district judge in Baton Rouge has refused to block a lawsuit filed by St. Tammany Parish officials who hope to stop a proposed oil drilling and fracking project. Parish officials filed the lawsuit in June. They argue that the well is proposed for an area zoned residential and that the parish has the authority to ban hydrauling fracturing. The state Department of Natural Resources' Office of Conservation wants the suit thrown out. But Judge William Morvant, of the 19th Judicial District, told attorneys Monday that the case has enough merit to be heard. Fracking extracts oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals.

  • Astorino postpones tour of Penn. fracking site

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Republican candidate for governor in New York is putting off a visit to a Pennsylvania drilling site designed to highlight the benefits of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. A spokeswoman for Rob Astorino says the drilling operator didn't want reporters to be included and that the visit will be postponed until after Election Day. Astorino is seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in next week's election. Cuomo has said he will wait on a state study on the health effects of the drilling practice, known as fracking, before deciding whether it should be allowed in New York. Astorino says fracking can be done safely and would be a boon to the economy in the state's Southern Tier.

  • Citations issued to 64 during gas pipeline protest

    Updated: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — State police say they've issued citations to 64 people who converged on the governor's office to protest the expansion of a natural gas pipeline and refused to leave. The protesters began arriving at the governor's office late Monday afternoon. Authorities told them they'd have to leave by 6:30 p.m. or they would be considered trespassers. A half-hour later, law enforcement officers began escorting protesters from the building, where they were arrested and issued citations. Gov. Peter Shumlin wasn't at the building. He issued a statement Monday night saying he appreciated the protesters' decision to "act respectfully.

  • PSO implements higher interim rates for smart meter project, but lowers fuel charge

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    As it awaits regulatory approval of a $130 million project to install smart meters, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said it will begin adding a $3 per month charge on customer bills. The higher charge will be offset by a decline in the price of fuel, PSO said.

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for Oct. 28

    Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Monday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $77.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $65.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Oct. 9: COMPLETION Canadian: Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Hancock 36-13N-10W No. 3H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 36-13N-10W; 660,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 17,925. Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Hancock 36-13N-10W No. 6H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 36-13N-10W; 11 barrels oil per day, 1,794,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 17,897. Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Hofman 4-11N-8W No. 1H Well; N1/2 N1/2 NW1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 04-11N-08W; 703 barrels oil per day, 381,000 cu-ft gas

  • The Williams Cos. sees modest gain after finishing midstream merger deal

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Williams Cos. Inc. saw only a modest rise in its stock price Monday, a day after announcing a deal to merge the midstream partnerships in controls.

  • ONEOK Partners to buy pipeline system for $800 million

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    ONEOK Partners LP on Monday agreed to buy two natural gas liquids pipeline systems in Texas and New Mexico from affiliates of Chevron Corp. for $800 million.

  • Asian stocks muted after US, Europe declines

    Updated: Mon, Oct 27, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were muted Tuesday after declines in Wall Street and Europe as investors looked ahead to this week's meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent to 15,292.64 while China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to 2,308.64. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent to 23,239.83. Taiwan's benchmark gained while Seoul, Singapore and Sydney declined. FED WATCH: Investors were looking ahead to Wednesday's meeting of the Fed's policymaking body, the Federal Open Market Committee, for signs about a possible timeline for interest rate hikes. The Fed is winding down its $4 trillion bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing. That is heightening concern