• Garcia: Block Venezuela's sale of Citgo

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    MIAMI (AP) — U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Venezuelan opposition leaders in Miami called on the Obama administration Wednesday to block Venezuela's sale of U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp. Garcia said the sale of Venezuela's oil refining and distribution network in the U.S. would hurt national interests, noting a number of American corporations are owed large amounts of money by the Venezuelan government and that the country has few significant remaining assets in the U.S. "The last thing we want them to do is delink themselves from the United States and then not pay their debtors," Garcia said. He said Citgo's value is also "severely diminished" when no longer tied to Venezuelan oil reserves, hurting both nations' assets

  • Kentucky gets $20 million grant for energy study

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky toward new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry. Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr joined Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and state House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins to announce a federal grant that will be distributed among the state's eight public colleges and universities. The money will pay for researchers to explore new ways to generate energy from plants and chemicals.

  • Alaska voters reject repeal of 2013 petroleum tax

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska voters have retained a new petroleum production tax system that offers hope of increased investment and jobs but drew criticism as a giveaway to already profitable oil companies. The state Division of Elections counted 17,721 absentee and early votes Tuesday, giving repeal opponents the victory. The "no" side increased its lead from 6,880 to 8,443 votes. The unofficial overall count was 90,150 to 81,707, giving the no side a 52.5 percent edge. "The results confirm that voters decided to give the oil tax structure a chance to work," said Willis Lyford, spokesman for the Vote No on 1 campaign. Gov. Sean Parnell's "More Alaska Production Act" took effect Jan. 1. It replaced the syste

  • Alaska voters reject repeal of 2013 petroleum production tax

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska voters reject repeal of 2013 petroleum production tax .

  • Water heater project helps W.Va. church go solar

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Water heaters are helping a Shepherdstown church reduce its electricity costs. A community-funded project involving water heaters will pay the $55,000 cost of a 60-panel solar energy system installed on the roof of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church. About 100 Shepherdstown area residents and businesses have agreed to have demand-response controllers installed on their electric water heaters, media outlets reported. The controllers are managed by Maryland-based Mosaic Power., which will sell electricity saved with the devices to the power grid during peak-use times, company co-founder Greg Vaudreuil said Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting for the church's solar energy system. Mosaic Power pays cust

  • Report: Iran redesigning reactor as part of deal

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's nuclear chief said Wednesday that workers have begun redesigning its nearly completed Arak heavy water reactor to limit the amount of plutonium it can make as part of the country's interim deal over its nuclear program with world powers. A video posted on Iranian state television's website showed nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi saying the work had begun as part of routine maintenance at the reactor in Arak in the country's northwest. Officials have said redesigning the reactor will delay its launch by about three years. As originally designed, the reactor at Arak could have produced substantial amounts of plutonium, material that can be used as the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.

  • Southern Indiana hospital has full power back

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    SEYMOUR, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana hospital has resumed normal operations after having to rely on generators for a day because of an electrical breakdown. A spokeswoman says repairs were completed early Wednesday at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. An electrical breaker panel failed early Tuesday and patients and employees were left in the dark without air conditioning for about 40 minutes until backup generators restored power. Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas tells The Tribune that the equipment problem in the hospital's basement caused smoke but no flames. Hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Furlow tells The Associated Press that five patients were diverted from its emergency room to other hospitals.

  • Latest Oneok gas plant in North Dakota operational

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    TIOGA, N.D. (AP) — Oklahoma-based Oneok Partners is increasing its natural gas processing capacity in the western North Dakota oil patch. The Garden Creek II plant in eastern McKenzie County is now operational and capable of processing 100 million cubic feet of natural gas daily, the company said in a statement Tuesday. It cost more than $300 million to build. About one-third of North Dakota's natural gas is burned off and wasted in a process called flaring, because the development of pipelines and processing facilities has not kept up with the pace of oil drilling. Natural gas is a byproduct of oil production.

  • Large solar project to be built at Camp Ripley

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power are joining forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley. The Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power on Wednesday announced a $25 million plan to build a 10-megawatt solar array spanning 100 acres at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota. They say the project will be the largest solar energy installation on any National Guard base in the country. Minnesota Power will also install backup generation for additional energy security at Camp Ripley. The solar farm and backup generation will be designed to allow Camp Ripley to use the energy produced by the project in emergencies when the electric grid is down.

  • ExxonMobil to pay civil penalty for 2012 oil spill

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — ExxonMobil Pipeline Company has agreed to pay a $1.4 million civil penalty for an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act stemming from a 2012 crude oil spill from its "North Line" pipeline near Torbert in Pointe Coupee Parish. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday the company will pay the penalty to resolve the government's claim. The federal complaint alleged that ExxonMobil discharged at least 117,000 gallons of crude oil when its pipeline ruptured April 28, 2012, about 20 miles west of Baton Rouge, spilling oil into the surrounding area and into an unnamed tributary connected to Bayou Cholpe.

  • Oldham Co. schools get energy efficiency rating

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Seven schools in Oldham County have been recognized by the state for energy efficiency. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Kentucky School Boards Association say the schools have earned an energy star rating. The district's most recent renovation project at Centerfield Elementary has netted an almost 50 percent reduction in energy usage. To earn the rating, a building must receive at least 75 out of 100 points in the EPA's national energy-performance rating system. Schools recognized at a recent school board meeting were Centerfield Elementary, Goshen Elementary, Camden Station Elementary, North Oldham Middle, North Oldham High, Oldham County High School and South Oldham Hi

  • West Virginia gas prices dip 2 cents in past week

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gasoline prices in West Virginia have dropped about 2 cents in the past week. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular in the state is $3.48. That's about 6 cents less per gallon compared with the same week a year ago. Prices range from $3.31 in Parkersburg to $3.52 in Weirton. Nationally, gas prices average $3.43 this week, down about 2 cents from the previous week and the lowest average since Feb. 26.

  • Tom Horne falls in GOP attorney general primary

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    PHOENIX (AP) — Attorney General Tom Horne was thrown out of office Tuesday in the Republican primary after a rocky first term that resulted in several misconduct investigations. Horne lost the primary to the state's former top gambling regulator, Mark Brnovich, who pounced on the allegations against his incumbent rival. In the November general election, Brnovich will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini, who ran unopposed. "Taking on an incumbent is not easy," Brnovich said. "Sometimes doing the right thing is the hard thing." Horne, who defeated Rotellini in 2010, has been dogged for three years by allegations of campaign finance violations, an FBI investigation and a hit-and-run where he pleaded no contest.

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for Aug. 27

    Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Tuesday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $90.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $78.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Aug. 8: COMPLETION Canadian: Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Yager 31-13N-9W No. 6H Well; SE1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 31-13N-09W; 2,909,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 17,517. Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Yager 31-13N-9W No. 8H Well; SE1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 31-13N-09W; 70 barrels oil per day, 2,002,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 17,542. Devon Energy Production Co., LP; Yager 31-13N-9W No. 9H Well; SE1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 31-13N-09W; 56 barrels oil per day, 3,072,000 cu-ft gas

  • Attorneys general say federal regulators post incomplete data on proposed carbon dioxide rules

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is among 13 attorneys general who wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency. The group took issue with how EPA came up with its proposed rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants.

  • More Oklahomans seek to power their own homes and businesses

    BY PAULA BURKES | Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    Former Oklahoma Corporation Commision member and attorney Jim Roth, of Phillips Murrah, discusses the benefits of distributed generation.

  • Feds: Backhoe nicked pipe before Wyoming oil spill

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A 25,000-gallon oil spill in the Powder River Basin occurred after a backhoe nicked a 6-inch underground pipeline and, over time, corrosion turned the minor damage into an oil-spewing hole, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday. It remained unclear how long ago the backhoe damaged the crude oil pipeline owned by Casper-based Belle Fourche Pipeline, and what sort of construction work the backhoe was doing at the time, BLM officials said. The company's environmental coordinator, Bob Dundas, declined comment when asked if he could provide that information. "I'm just not going to discuss that," Dundas said.

  • Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An environmental group asked federal regulators Tuesday to idle California's last operating nuclear plant to review whether its reactors can withstand strong shaking from nearby earthquake faults. Friends of the Earth, an advocacy group critical of the nuclear power industry, filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking for a hearing on seismic risks at the Diablo Canyon plant. The group says the plant is violating its federal operating license. Neighboring faults, one about 650 yards from the plant, pose "a serious safety risk to the public and the environment," the 92-page petition said. The NRC, which oversees the nation's commercial nuclear power industry, and Diablo Canyon own

  • NC moves to fine Duke over coal ash pollution

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina environmental officials moved Tuesday to fine Duke Energy over pollution that has been seeping into the groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash dumps at a retired power plant outside Wilmington. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a notice of violation to Duke over the ongoing contamination at the L.V. Sutton Electric Plant in New Hanover County. The site includes a pair of unlined dumps estimated to hold 2.6 million tons of ash. The notice of violation is the first regulatory step toward fining the utility for violating the state's groundwater contamination laws.

  • GE opens fuel cell facility in upstate New York

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    MALTA, N.Y. (AP) — General Electric Co. has a new facility north of Albany devoted to the development of fuel cells. The facility in Malta that opened Tuesday will be devoted to the development of high-efficiency fuel cells that take in natural gas. GE believes these so-called oxide fuel cells could generate from one to 10 megawatts of power. The Fairfield, Connecticut, company says it has reached a deal with Hudson Valley Community College to install and operate a smaller, 50 kilowatt fuel cell generator. GE officials say the installation at the community college brings their low-emission fuel cell technology a step closer to the commercial market. Hudson Valley college officials say the deal will open the door to ne