• Finnish president urges personal climate pledges from nation

    Updated: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's president, who will head the country's delegation at the Paris climate talks, has urged Finns to cut their carbon footprint by half within 10 years. Sauli Niinisto said he has signed the citizens' climate pledge, converting his private home to geothermal energy and cutting the household's electricity consumption by half. Niinisto said Thursday that his family also switched to using utilities that provide only carbon-free electricity and converted lighting to low-energy LED lamps. The Finnish climate pledge campaign, launched in August by prominent artists, is backed by various organizations and the Finnish Environment Ministry.

  • Russia strikes back at Turkey with economic sanctions

    Updated: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties and scrapping major investment projects. Since the plane was shot down Tuesday on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has already restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border and confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports. On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered his government to also draft sanctions against Turkey within two days in response to what he described as an "act of aggression against our country.

  • Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

    Updated: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed — curly top gumweed — was growing along the road to the future. Now, scientists who've been cultivating gumweed on the Reno campus think they are on the verge of producing diesel fuel, and perhaps someday jet fuel, from the sticky cousin of the sunflower that grows across much of Nevada's high desert and doesn't compete for acreage with animal feed or food crops used to make ethanol.

  • Japan announces $10.6 billion in climate financing for 2020

    Updated: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — Gearing up for global warming talks in Paris next week, Japan said Thursday it plans to provide 1.3 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) in climate financing a year for developing countries from 2020, including public and private funds. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement as he prepared to join more than 100 world leaders who will assemble in Paris to try to negotiate an agreement to limit climate change. Japan said the financing plan is an increase from its current assistance of about 1 trillion yen ($8.2 billion) a year. The increase is meant to help industrialized countries fulfill a commitment to extend a total of $100 billion a year to help developing countries cope with or stave off climate change.

  • Russian helicopter crashes in Siberia, killing 10

    Updated: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian helicopter carrying oil workers has crashed in eastern Siberia, and officials say 10 of the 25 people on board were killed. Russian news agencies say the Mi-8 helicopter took off from Igarka in the Krasnoyarsk region and crashed 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away along the banks of the Yenisei River. It was transporting workers to the remote Vankor oil and gas field, which can be reached only by helicopter or, in winter, by land along the frozen river. The news agencies quoted prosecutors as saying 10 were killed and 15 injured in Thursday's crash. Investigators were still trying to determine what caused the crash of the helicopter, which is owned by the local Turukhan air company.

  • Oil prices

    Published: Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    OIL PRICES Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Nov. 11: COMPLETION Blaine: Carrera Energy LLC; Robison-Payday No. 16-1H Well; SE1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 16-19N-12W; 501 barrels oil per day, 2,524,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 13,817. Continental Resources Inc.; Ireta No. 1-4-9XH Well; NW1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 04-13N-13W; 2,511,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 24,944. Continental Resources Inc.; Ludwig No. 1-22-15XH Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (BHL) of 15-16N-10W; 2,058 barrels oil per day, 3,968,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 19,912. Carter: XTO Energy Inc.; Ginger No. 8-36H31X32 Well; SW1/4 SE1/4 NE1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 36-03S-03E; 494 barrels oil per day, 3,003,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD

  • Native Americans in Louisiana swamps seek tribal recognition

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    LAFITTE, La. (AP) — Giovanni R. Santini has done just about all he could to prove he's an American Indian over the decades he's lived in his Louisiana bayou town — even fighting with his fists to defend his bloodline with the Houma tribe. "Every day at school they'd beat me up, bloody me up, for being Indian," recalled the 80-year-old Santini, who's worked on tugboats, laid pipelines and built homes. "We became good fighters because they beat us up so much. Even teachers didn't like me ... We earned our respect with fights!" Today the folks in Lafitte, this town of fishermen and oilfield workers, don't doubt he's a proud member of the 17,000-strong tribe of Houma Indians scattered over south Louisiana's bayou communities

  • Asian stocks rise on expectations for Europe stimulus

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stocks were higher Thursday on expectations for additional European Central Bank stimulus as jitters about tensions between Russia and Turkey faded. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent to 19,959.26 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1 percent to 2,029.13. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 percent to 22,728.93. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.6 percent to 5,224.10. Stocks in mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also rose. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. They will reopen Friday but will close at 1 p.m. Eastern. EUROPE FOCUS: Reports ECB officials are considering options for additional easing weighed on Europe's common currency.

  • Coal railroad plans on hold due to mine permitting delays

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Plans to build a $400 million railroad to haul coal from a proposed mine on the Montana-Wyoming border were put on indefinite hold Wednesday because of delays in obtaining a mining permit and a weakening coal market, officials said. The Tongue River Railroad Co. requested that the Surface Transportation Board suspend the permitting process for the 42-mile line that would run from the proposed Otter Creek Mine in Powder River Basin to Colstrip. From there, coal trains would connect with existing railways to U.S. markets and West Coast ports for export, according to the company's preferred route. The Tongue River Railroad Co. is jointly owned by BNSF Railway, Otter Creek mine owner Arch Coal Inc. and a li

  • Travelers take to the roads and the skies for Thanksgiving

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fears and long lines at security checkpoints. At the White House, President Barack Obama said there is no "specific and credible" intelligence indicating a plot against the U.S. and assured anxious Americans: "While the threat of terrorism is a troubling reality of our age, we are both equipped to prevent attacks and we are resilient in the face of those who would try to do us harm." "And that's something we can all be thankful for," he added as one of the biggest travel periods of the year got under way.

  • How to make sure your green home upgrades pay off

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Investing in making your home more energy efficient can help the environment, lower your utility bills and possibly help you fetch a higher sale price. But homeowners considering a green remodel should also weigh how long it will take for the improvements to reap savings. Some pricey features, like replacing windows or buying a solar power system, could take many years to ultimately pay for themselves. "You have to make a decision: 'How environmentally friendly do I want to get if it takes me 16 years to break even on my investment?'" said Sid Davis, a home renovator and author of "Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building or Remodeling Green.

  • Ukraine stops buying Russian gas, closes airspace

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated Wednesday as Ukraine decided to stop buying Russian natural gas — hoping to rely on supplies from other countries — and closed its airspace to its eastern neighbor. Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 and its support for separatist rebels in the east has brought relations between the two countries to a post-Soviet low. Ukraine has since been trying to cut its dependence on Russian gas. Russia's state-controlled gas company, Gazprom, said Wednesday that it stopped sending gas to Ukraine on Wednesday morning and will supply no more because Ukraine has not paid in advance for more deliveries.

  • Putin sends air-defense missiles to Syria to deter Turkey

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MOSCOW (AP) — In a move raising the potential threat of a Russia-NATO conflict, Russia said Wednesday it will deploy long-range air defense missiles to its base in Syria and destroy any target that may threaten its warplanes following the downing of a Russian military jet by Turkey. The incident was the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane. If Russia responds by downing a Turkish plane, NATO member Turkey could proclaim itself under attack and ask the alliance for military assistance. Most observers believe that a direct military confrontation is unlikely, but that the shooting down of the plane will further fuel the Syrian conflict and complicate international peace efforts.

  • Signs of steady US economy: Rising pay and solid job market

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' pay is up, fewer people need unemployment aid, more are buying new homes and business spending is rebounding. A flurry of data released Wednesday signaled that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain solid, if unspectacular, three weeks before the Federal Reserve will likely begin raising interest rates. Consumers appear relatively confident in the economy and may be poised to spend a decent chunk of their rising incomes during the holiday shopping season. In addition, businesses are stepping up their investment in machinery and equipment, removing a persistent drag on the economy.

  • US rig count declines by 13 this week to 744

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. this week declined by 13 to 744. Houston's Baker Hughes said Wednesday that 555 rigs were seeking oil and 189 explored for natural gas. A year ago, with oil prices almost double the prices now, 1,917 rigs were active. The tally, normally released on Friday, was advanced this week because of Thanksgiving. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost six rigs while Alaska, California, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each lost one. New Mexico gained two rigs and Oklahoma gained one. Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged. T

  • Correction: Cannabis Oil-Obstacles story

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — In a story Nov. 22 about efforts to make cannabis oil available to treat epilepsy in Missouri, The Associated Press erroneously reported that neurosurgeons can certify patients to receive the oil. Only Neurologists can do so. A corrected version of the story is below: Effort to get cannabis oil to Missouri residents starts slow Effort to provide cannabis oil to some Missouri residents with severe epilepsy starts slowly By MARGARET STAFFORD Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Efforts to make cannabis oil available to Missourians with a severe type of epilepsy are off to a slow start, mostly because neurologists are reluctant to certify patients to try a treatment that do

  • Thousands in Washington to spend Thanksgiving in dark, cold

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of households around Washington state's second-largest city faced a cold, dark Thanksgiving, worsening more than a week of misery for those who lost power when a windstorm devastated the electrical grid. About 11,900 customers still lacked electricity early Wednesday, and crews were working around the clock to make repairs as temperatures plunged and winds were expected to pick up. Scott Morris, the chairman of Avista, the region's largest utility, estimated that some 5,000 customers will not have power to bake turkeys and pumpkin pies Thursday. And there will be no holiday for more than 700 workers from six states and Canada.

  • Gov. Matt Mead not ready for tax increases despite coal drop

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead says he's not ready to support other tax increases to cover what state analysts say will likely be a steep decline in coal revenues over coming years. Mead is scheduled to present his draft budget for the coming two-year funding period to state lawmakers on Dec. 7. In anticipation of falling state revenues, he already has imposed a state hiring freeze and ordered cost-cutting measures. Although Mead declined to go into detail about his budget recommendations before his briefing to lawmakers, he said this week that the budget takes into account lower prices of coal, natural gas and other commodities.

  • OGE Energy names Trauschke chairman

    By Paul Monies Business Writer pmonies@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    He will succeed Pete Delaney, who is retiring.

  • Lithuania leads way in reducing Russia's clout in energy

    Updated: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    KLAIPEDA, Lithuania (AP) — Andrius Petraitis watches the flickering blue flame on his cooker and sighs with relief. This winter, he won't have to worry about supplies of gas for heating or cooking. Since last year, a floating gas terminal called Independence has protected thousands of Lithuanians from the risk of sudden cutoffs in gas supplies from Russia, a regional heavyweight that has long used its near monopoly on energy in Eastern Europe as a political weapon. "This terminal has brought a strong sense of self-confidence," said Petraitis, a 34-year-old logistics manager who is married with a 9-month old daughter.