• Hoeven lauds North Dakota transmission line


    GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is applauding the completion of a 250-mile transmission line from Center to Grand Forks. The Republican member of the Senate Energy Committee said Monday the $353 million project is "a good example of energy infrastructure investments" the state and nation need. The 345-kilovolt line operated by Minnkota Power Cooperative took more than two years to build and is the largest transmission project in the state's history. The line started service on Aug. 7 and is intended to provide grid reliability and support long-term growth in the region. Minnkota serves 34,500 square miles in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

  • Fire officials: Texas man killed by sand bag


    SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Fire officials say a man has died after a 3,500-pound bag of sand fell on him at a San Antonio warehouse. San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove says the accident happened Monday morning and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was spotting for a forklift driver when the bag fell from an unspecified location and height. The sand is used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Authorities say the man was in his early 60s. He hasn't been identified. He worked for Chalk Mountain Services, an oilfield transportation company leasing space in the building. The San Antonio Police Department is investigating what caused the bag to fall.

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for Aug. 19

    Published: Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Monday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $93 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $81 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted July 31: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Lodge Trust 18-27-10 No. 2H Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 SW1/4 (BHL) of 18-27N-10W; 58 barrels oil per day, 653,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 7,786. SandRidge Exploration & Production LLC; Bernard Trust 2412 No. 2-24H Well; SE1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 24-24N-12W; 557.7 barrels oil per day, 1,144,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 11,361. Carter: XTO Energy Inc.; Eva Mae No. 1-35H Well; NE1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 35-03S-03E; 194 barrels oil per day,

  • Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources stock to split

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    Continental Resources Inc. will conduct a two-for-one stock split next month.

  • Environmentalist group says health registry needed

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said Monday it has enhanced the state health department's handling of complaints involving natural-gas drilling, prompting environmentalists to renew their demand for more aggressive action. Health Secretary Michael Wolf said steps recommended by a departmental working group include implementation of a written-letter response policy to better document correspondence between the department and people who file drilling-related health complaints. Other changes include providing information to doctors about how to file environmental health complaints and making the department's website easier to use, he said.

  • State hearing focuses on cutting greenhouse gases

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois regulators on Monday began formal hearings on how the state should meet tougher federal limits on pollutants blamed for global warming, saying they will consult with environmentalists and industry and will consider working other states on regional solutions. The Illinois Commerce Commission hearing in Chicago and Springfield was the first step toward submitting a required plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlining how the state will contribute to a sweeping Obama administration proposal to curb carbon dioxide emitted by the nation's power plants by 30 percent by 2030. Each state was given a customized goal — Illinois' is a 33 percent reduction from its 2012 levels — and the flexibility

  • Court: New Jersey must reconsider windmill plan

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A company that wants to build a windmill power project off the coast of Atlantic City has won a victory in court. A New Jersey appeals ruled in favor of Fishermen's Energy in a dispute over the company's plan. The state Board of Public Utilities had denied approval for the project in April. The board ruled that a Chinese company that would own 70 percent of the project did not demonstrate financial integrity and hadn't shown it could get the necessary federal subsidies. Fisherman's Energy appealed the rejection, and Monday's ruling will require the board to reconsider the project.

  • Less shake from artificial quakes, fed study says

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes — those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground— report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. Distance matters in this shaking gap, however. For people within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said.

  • PG&E pleads not guilty to charges in deadly blast

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in a new indictment that accuses the utility of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood. Steve Bauer, an attorney for the company, entered the plea in federal court to all 28 counts, including obstruction of justice. The new indictment — announced last month — replaced a 12-count indictment that related to PG&E's safety practices but did not include an obstruction charge. Prosecutors say PG&E tried to mislead federal investigators about pipeline testing and maintenance procedures it was following at the time of the 2010 explosion in the city of San Bruno and for six

  • Would drilling hurt Md. tourism? Report unclear

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — A Towson University study of the potential economic impact of shale gas drilling in far western Maryland fails to answer what some critics said Monday is their biggest question: How would hydraulic fracturing for natural gas affect the tourism that accounts for a large share of the economy in Garrett County, where most of the drilling would occur? Several members of the state panel that commissioned the study, including state Delegate Heather Mizeur, asked the authors to include language in their final report next month highlighting their lack of information about the tourism impact, as well their lack of cost analysis of a potential disaster such as widespread contamination of drinking water.

  • Oil pipeline opponents plan concert in cornfield

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    NELIGH, Neb. (AP) — Willie Nelson and Neil Young will headline a concert next month in a Nebraska cornfield organized by opponents of a proposed pipeline that would carry oil from Canada south to the Gulf Coast. Bold Nebraska said Monday the concert will be held Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh in northeast Nebraska. Tickets go on sale Wednesday. Earlier this year, protesters carved an anti-pipeline message into the cornfield, which is in the path of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Pipeline critics hope the project will be rejected because they fear it could contaminate groundwater and contribute to pollution. TransCanada has said the pipeline will have upgraded safety measures and should be allowed.

  • United Mine Workers president Roberts re-elected

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    TRIANGLE, Va. (AP) — United Mine Workers union President Cecil Roberts has been re-elected to a new five-year term. The Triangle, Virginia-based union said Monday that Roberts' re-election was certified last week. He has served as the union's international president since 1995. Robert says he's humbled to receive the continued confidence of the union membership. Secretary-treasurer Daniel J. Kane also received a new five-year term. Nine others were elected as international at-large and district vice presidents. The union's membership includes thousands of coal miners, health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing workers and public employees throughout the United States and Canada. ___ Online:

  • Mexico to offer $4.9 billion in electric projects

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico says it expects to put out for bid $4.9 billion in electrical generation and natural gas pipeline projects as part of the opening of the nation's state-run energy sector. The Federal Electricity Commission wants to build several power plants, but didn't set a date for the opening of bidding. Commission director Enrique Ochoa said Monday the bidding will be open to private and foreign firms. The government wants to build more natural gas-fired plants, to reduce costs. Mexico has high electricity rates, which officials say limits the growth of some businesses. Some of the pipelines would be built in Texas, to take advantage of cheaper U.S. gas.

  • Study charts health risks of Md. gas drilling

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) — University of Maryland researchers say there's a high likelihood that shale gas production in far western Maryland would negatively affect air quality in the region. The report (http://bit.ly/1oKrWGI ) released Monday also found a high likelihood of negative impacts on occupational health and local medical systems due to surging employment in an industry with relatively high risks for respiratory ailments and truck accidents. The report says there's a moderately high risk that water pollution from hydraulic fracturing would have public health consequences. It says there's a low risk to public health from earthquakes associated with the injection deep underground of wastewater from the drilling pr

  • Oil spills from pipe found floating in Hudson

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    GERMANTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — New York state authorities are investigating an oil spill from a pipe found floating in the Hudson River south of Albany. State police say there were called to assist local firefighters with a reported oil spill Sunday near a boat launch in Germanton, 35 miles south of Albany. Troopers say a boater spotted a 50-foot-long flexible transfer pipe floating in the river with oil spilled nearby. The state Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that 50 to 100 gallons of fuel oil spilled. Police say the contamination appears to have been limited to about 300 feet along the shoreline near the boat launch. Hazardous material teams were cleaning up the area Monday. DEC investigator

  • Thousands rally in Yemen over ended fuel subsidies

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Tens of thousands rallied in Yemen's capital and across the country on Monday, answering a Shiite rebel call for protests over authorities ending fuel subsidies while threatening to stage prolonged sit-ins to challenge the government. Abdel al-Malek al-Hawthi, a top leader of Yemen's Hawthi tribe, had urged people to rise up against what he described as the country's "corrupt" government. Thousands streamed into Change Square in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. "Oh Yemeni people, we call upon you to rally in the streets against the corrupt government which failed in carrying any reforms," al-Hawthi said, vowing to hold sit-ins while giving the government a Friday ultimatum to review its policies. He urged the mil

  • Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair. Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version. The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for B

  • Tucson Electric proposes solar-panel program

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A second major Arizona utility wants to launch a new program to provide customers with company-owned rooftop solar panels. Tucson Electric Power is asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to let it provide customers with the panels without up-front charges in exchange for the customers paying a fixed monthly electric rate guaranteed for 25 years. Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service Co. recently proposed a similar program but with different terms. APS' program would run 20 years and provide a $30 monthly credit. The Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1p5LkwZ ) reports that Tucson Electric would own the systems it provides its customers and that the fixed monthly electric rate would be based on hi

  • Gas prices fall to $3.54 per gallon in RI

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Rhode Island has fallen to an average of $3.54 per gallon. That's according to a weekly survey released Monday by AAA Southern New England. It says the price has fallen 4 cents since last week. AAA says the price in Rhode Island is still 9 cents more than the national average of $3.45. But it's 21 cents less than last year at this time, when the price was $3.75 per gallon.

  • Maine gas prices dropping

    Updated: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Average gas prices in Maine have fallen 7 cents per gallon in the last week. The average price of a gallon of gas in Maine on Monday was $3.49 a gallon — down nearly 20 cents from one month ago, according to gasbuddy.com. That's still a few cents higher than the price as a gallon of gas nationally, which fell 2 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.45. The national price is down 13.2 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 8.5 cents per gallon lower from a year ago. Gas prices in Maine are 20.3 cents a gallon lower than they were one year ago.