• Conservation group appeals San Diego power plant

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A conservation group is challenging a proposed natural gas power plant in San Diego. The Protect Our Communities Foundation filed a petition with the 4th District Court of Appeal on Monday asking it to overturn the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of the plant. The state commission voted unanimously earlier this year to approve it despite concerns from environmentalists. The plant's supporters say it is particularly needed because the San Onofre Nuclear power plant went offline last year. Opponents say the approval undermines the state's commitment to green energy and will cost taxpayers $1.6 billion during its first 25 years. The plant would be in Otay Mesa, about 20 mile

  • Mining deaths on rise, 22 in first half of 2014

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Twenty-two miners were killed in accidents during the first half of 2014, compared to 18 for the same period last year and 19 in 2012. The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration on Monday released its mid-year summary of fatal accidents. The report shows eight coal miners died in the first half of the year. Fourteen workers in other types of mines — including gypsum, silver and gravel — were killed. The accidents included miners who were pinned or crushed by heavy equipment. Others fell or were struck by falling objects. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main said in a statement that the fatalities are preventable.

  • Rule aims to help clear air around Grand Canyon

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The largest coal-fired power plant in the West will produce one-third less energy by 2020 and could close in 2044 under a proposal that the federal government adopted to cut haze-causing emissions of nitrogen oxide at places like the Grand Canyon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the owners of the Navajo Generating Station could either shut down one of the plant's 750-megawatt units or reduce power generation by an equal amount by 2020. The owners would have until 2030 to install pollution controls that would cut nitrogen-oxide emissions by 80 percent. The power plant near Page on the Navajo Nation would close in 2044 unless the tribe opts to take over the operation.

  • City: Emails show 'cozy' ties of PG&E, regulator

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Top California regulators communicated often and enthusiastically with executives at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., even offering unsolicited advice on handling the media while they presided over a case to decide how much the utility should pay for a deadly explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area suburb, according to a trove of emails released Monday. The 7,000 pages of emails between leaders at PG&E and California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and his staff were released as the result of a lawsuit filed by the city of San Bruno.

  • 3 jailed for blocking tracks to Anacortes refinery

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — The Skagit County Sheriff's Office says three oil-train protesters have been arrested for blocking the railroad tracks at the Tesoro refinery near Anacortes. About two dozen people were taking part in the demonstration Monday morning when deputies arrived. Most agreed to leave, but three remained locked to each other on the tracks. The sheriff's office says they ultimately unlocked themselves and were arrested for criminal trespass. Emily Johnston, a spokeswoman for the protesters, identified the three as 62-year-old Annette Klapstein, a retired lawyer from Bainbridge Island; 28-year-old Adam Gaya, of Seattle; and 60-year-old Jan Woodruff, of Anacortes.

  • SC congressmen say SRS has money for fuel project

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, S.C. (AP) — Federal legislators have secured enough money to make sure a nuclear fuel project at the Savannah River Site goes forward, according to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and members of the state's congressional delegation. But the governmental leaders also told news reporters during a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz they want to ensure that the state doesn't become a permanent home for the world's nuclear trash. Last fall, Haley invited Moniz to visit the Savannah River Site, a sprawling complex along the South Carolina-Georgia border. The 310-square mile site once produced components for nuclear weapons, but its primary focus now is on repurposing and cleanup.

  • Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — After dawdling between small gains and losses in a slow day of summer trading, the stock market ended little changed on Monday. Instead of worrying about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine or trouble in the world's other hot spots, investors appeared to sit tight. The main reason, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners, a wealth management firm, is that the news that's most likely to move the market comes out later in the week. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting then issues a statement that investors will study for any hints about the Fed's next interest-rate move. On Friday, the government releases its closely watched monthly jobs report.

  • Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin's government must pay $50 billion for using tax claims to destroy Yukos, once the country's largest oil producer, and its Kremlin-critical CEO, an international court has ruled. Monday's verdict by the Permanent Court for Arbitration increases the economic and diplomatic isolation of Russia at a time when it faces new, potentially painful sanctions from Western powers. The court, a body that rules on corporate disputes, said the Russian government owes the money — a huge sum, even for such an oil-rich nation— to the former majority shareholders in Yukos Oil Co.

  • Ala utility regulators supporting coal industry

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's utility regulators are supporting coal and opposing federal efforts to limit fossil fuel emissions. Alabama Public Service commissioners Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Jeremy Oden and commissioner-elect Chip Beeker spoke at a news conference Monday ahead of hearings on new federal rules to limit coal. The say the changes could cost jobs and result in higher utility bills. Al.com (http://bit.ly/1qHBxQi ) quotes Beeker as saying God created coal in Alabama, and no one has a right to push a policy that runs against God's plan. Cavanaugh called on people to pray for the right thing to be done. And Oden says President Obama should worry about the potential for a world at war instead o

  • Duke agrees to $1.2B deal with ElectriCities

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy Progress has agreed to purchase the generating capacity of ElectriCities in a $1.2 billion deal expected to translate into lower power bills for thousands of eastern North Carolina residents. Duke announced its deal Monday with the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, which includes 32 towns in the eastern part of the state. Formed in 1978, the regional power agency has 270,000 retail customers and is managed by ElectriCities of North Carolina, headquartered in Raleigh.

  • Officials: Funds secured for nuclear fuel project

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and members of her state's congressional delegation say federal lawmakers have secured enough money to ensure a nuclear fuel project at the Savannah River Site goes forward. U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott said Monday that congressional budgets have the money to keep the mixed oxide fuel project from being suspended. Construction began on the plant in 2007. It is part of an agreement with Russia to turn nuclear weapons into reactor fuel. President Barack Obama's administration had said it wanted to put the project on hold, citing years of cost overruns and delays. South Carolina sued, saying money meant to build the plant couldn't shut it down.

  • Arkansas AG asks to help defend drilling tax break

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants to help defend in court a $5 million tax break legislators gave natural gas drillers earlier this year, asking to step in and assist in the case after the state's chief finance officer said he believed the exemption was unconstitutional. McDaniel on Friday asked a Pulaski County judge to allow him to intervene in the lawsuit over a measure that exempts sand used in natural gas drilling from state sales taxes, which was approved earlier this year as part of a state agency's budget despite objections from the governor.

  • Gas prices down 4 cents in Massachusetts

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Gas prices in Massachusetts have dropped another 4 cents in the past week. AAA Southern New England says the price for self-serve regular is currently averaging $3.58 cents per gallon and has fallen 12 cents in the past month. The state is 6 cents higher than the current national average of $3.52 per gallon. A year ago at this time, the average price was $3.71 per gallon in Massachusetts.

  • Gas prices drop 4 cents in Rhode Island

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gas prices in Rhode Island have fallen another 4 cents, but they're still a lot higher than the national average. AAA Southern New England says Monday the latest weekly price survey shows the average cost of a gallon of self-serve regular in the state is $3.64. That's down 11 cents from a month ago. Still, the current local price is 12 cents more than the national per-gallon average of $3.52. Rhode Islanders were paying an average of $3.80, or 16 cents more, per gallon on average a year ago. The AAA survey found a 55-cent range in prices, from a low of $3.32 a gallon to a high of $3.87 a gallon.

  • Owls found dead, coated in liquid in Oklahoma oil field

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    FAIRVIEW — Oklahoma Wildlife and Corporation Commission officials are investigating an oil field where two owls were found coated in the liquid and others were found dead. A local newspaper reports that one of the two rescue owls has died. A couple in Fairview had been rehabilitating the owls since they were discovered on Tuesday. A caregiver says the surviving owl is eating and they’re watching it for signs of decline. A commission game warden says the birds were found in a field located on the Major and Garfield County line. He says the birds got into a saltwater tank topped with oil scum. He says it’s unclear who is responsible for the tank. He says state and federal rules require the tanks are

  • Company finds natural gas in southeastern ND

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A company exploring for natural gas outside of western North Dakota's oil patch says it has found the resource but is far from determining whether it would be economical to start production. Strata-X Energy received four drilling permits from the state last year for Emmons and McIntosh counties in southeastern North Dakota. It was a move that state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms called "rare" at the time. The Denver-based company drilled a well about 10 miles east of Linton in June and said in a statement last month that it hit gas.

  • Maine gas prices keep falling

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Average gas prices in Maine have fallen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week. The average price of a gallon of gas in Maine on Monday was $3.64 a gallon — down 9.6 cents from one month ago, according to gasbuddy.com. The average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.51 a gallon, which fell 4.9 cents in the past week. The price is down 16.5 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 11.7 4 cents per gallon lower from a year ago. Gas prices in Maine are 12.5 cents a gallon lower than they were one year ago.

  • Gas prices still falling in New Hampshire

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gas prices in New Hampshire have fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week. The average price of a gallon of gas Monday was $3.58 a gallon, according to gasbuddy.com. That's still 7 cents higher than the national average, which fell nearly a nickel per gallon in the last week to $3.51. Gas prices in New Hampshire 9.8 cents a gallon lower than they were a year ago, and are 6.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average decreased 16.5 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 11.7 cents a gallon less compared to a year ago.

  • In war-struck Gaza, civilians struggle to get by

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Caught in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, Gaza's civilians are increasingly struggling to get by. There is no electricity 21 hours a day because power lines have been hit. Water taps have run dry because there's no power to their fuel pumps and tens of thousands of displaced sleep on the floors of schools and hospitals. The hardship is felt more keenly as Muslims on Monday start observing the Eid el-Fitr holiday, which is meant to be a joyous time of festive meals, shared traditional sweets and family visits. Here is a glimpse of life in wartime Gaza. ___ Men kneel in prayer on blankets laid out in the courtyard of a U.N.

  • Britain reopens way for fracking

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Energy firms will be able to bid for licenses Monday to explore for shale gas in Britain, three years after the controversial fracking process caused seismic tremors which led the government to suspend operations. Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said shale gas has the potential to increase the country's energy supply but stressed national parks will be protected. "Done right, speeding up shale will mean more jobs and opportunities for people and help ensure long-term economic and energy security for our country," he said. The new licenses allow firms to start exploring for shale gas, with further permits required before drilling can begin.