Top Stories

  • Amid budget woes, gas drilling tax turns GOP heads

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Slapping Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry with a new tax has long been the currency of Democrats, and now an increasingly grim budget picture is turning Republican heads in the GOP-controlled state Legislature. Some Republicans in the Capitol are predicting that a tax on natural gas extraction could end up in whatever final budget legislation emerges, probably in late June. The multinational industry has been a lightning rod since it arrived in Pennsylvania five years ago, and raising taxes on it would be preferable to cutting aid to schools or the poor, some Republicans say. One obstacle is Gov. Tom Corbett.

  • Oil transport draws cry for disaster training help

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    STAPLES, Minn. (AP) — North Dakota's oil boom has safety on the minds of many Minnesota towns as the volatile crude rumbles through town aboard long trains. Officials are mindful of fiery derailments in the past year, including one in Quebec that killed 47 people. State lawmakers are mulling bills that would have railroads help pay to train and equip emergency responders. Scott Braith leads a volunteer fire department in Staples, where trains were passing before the town even existed. He says nothing would get his force ready for a catastrophe like the one in Quebec, but it would help if railroads were more proactive. Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific aren't fighting the Minnesota legislation.

  • Farley Nuclear Plant conducting exercise

    Updated: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Officials at the Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan are telling people not to get excited if they see a lot of law enforcement and emergency vehicles around the plant next week. It's only a drill. Farley official Cheryl Gayheart says the nuclear power plant will be conducting a hostile action exercise Wednesday afternoon along with federal, state and local emergency officials. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires nuclear power plants to conduct the exercises at least once every eight years. Gayheart says people may see law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles and law enforcement helicopters at the plant and in the community. The Farley Nuclear Plant is part of the Southern Co., the parent c

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for April 19

    Published: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted April 2: COMPLETION Alfalfa: SandRidge Exploration & Production, LLC; Carol 2810 No. 2-34H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 03-27N-10W; 151 barrels oil per day, 357,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,302. Beaver: Chaparral Energy, LLC; Baggett No. 2H-22 Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (BHL) of 22-01N-20E; 48 barrels oil per day, 9,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 11,329. Chaparral Energy, LLC; Bowles No. 2H-21-16 Well; NE1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 21-01N-20E; 70 barrels oil per day, 19,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 11,025. Chaparral Energy, LLC; Bowles No. 4H 21-16 Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (BHL) of 16-01N-20E; 160 barrels oil per day,

  • U.S. delays Keystone XL pipeline decision

    By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press | Published: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Obama administration indefinitely extends review of Keystone XL pipeline amid legal controversy in Nebraska.

  • Aubrey McClendon leases drilling rigs from Chesapeake Energy

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Former Chesapeake CEO and founder Aubrey McClendon’s new company, American Energy Partners LP, is leasing seven drilling rigs from Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., according to a regulatory filing.

  • Tulsa businessman George Kaiser buys stake in Oklahoma City Thunder

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Kaiser is buying out the ownership interest of Tom Ward, who had a reported 19.23 percent stake in the team.

  • House Finance advances gas line bill

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House Finance Committee on Friday advanced a bill setting the state's participation in a major liquefied natural gas project, with members expressing a mix of both optimism and skepticism about whether the process would yield a long hoped-for gas line. Co-chair Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, said he saw a lot of will and desire to get a project done but noted the process is still in its early stages. Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks, said he wants a project to be successful because of the positive impact that could have on state revenue. But he said he worried about another "false start." SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set at about 25 percent state participation in the project also being pursued

  • Judge strikes down part of Minnesota energy law

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional because it attempts to control business that takes place outside state borders — and she barred Minnesota officials from enforcing it. The ruling was a victory for North Dakota officials and representatives of that state's coal industry, who sued Minnesota in 2011, claiming that the law unfairly blocked them from exporting electricity into its neighbor. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he strongly disagreed with the decision and the state will appeal. "I will defend the state of Minnesota's right to protect the quality of the air our citizens breathe," Dayton said in a statement.<

  • Oklahoma universities offer energy education programs

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Universities across Oklahoma have developed energy management programs to support the growing oil and gas industry.

  • Illinois' mining-oversight official fired

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A top administrator with the Illinois state agency that regulates coal mining and other energy interests has been fired, becoming the latest official to depart in the last two months. Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young confirmed Friday that Tony Mayville was dismissed this week from his position as supervisor of mine safety enforcement with the DNR's Office and Mines and Minerals. Young declined to elaborate, calling Mayville's ouster a private personnel matter.

  • Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — A legal dispute over a western Maryland wind farm has ended. A U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore dismissed the case Tuesday at the request of both sides. The citizen group Save Western Maryland filed the lawsuit in 2010 against developers of the 28-turbine Criterion wind farm in Garrett County. The project owned by Chicago-based Exelon Corp has been operating since 2010. The lawsuit alleged that the operator needed permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill federally endangered Indiana bats injured in collisions with the turbine blades. In December, the federal agency approved operational changes Exelon had proposed to minimize harm to the bats.

  • AP Sources: Obama administration extending agency review of Keystone XL oil pipeline

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — AP Sources: Obama administration extending agency review of Keystone XL oil pipeline.

  • Seaboard Foods, Guymon-based subsidiary embracing CNG

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Seaboard Foods and subsidiary High Plains Bioenergy continue to add trucks that run on compressed natural gas, so they have signed a contract with TruStar Energy to build a large new fueling station in Guymon.

  • Report: Pennsylvania forests impacted by drilling

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report. The 268-page Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report issued this week concluded that "shale-gas production on state forest lands is neither benign nor catastrophic" and that there are clearly impacts and trade-offs. "The question is what trade-offs are acceptable," the report said. The report found that about 1,486 acres of forest have been converted to various types of drilling-related development since 2008, including roads, well pads, and pipelines, out o

  • Mo. House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature. The bill would create a new sales tax exemption on the utilities used to produce food that is sold to customers at restaurants, bakeries, and grocery and convenience stores. The proposed tax break is intended to effectively overturn a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling that denied a utility sales tax exemption for the food warmed and served at Schnucks grocery stores. The Department of Revenue estimates the legislation could reduce total state revenues by between $4 million and $20 million annually.

  • Vermont Yankee nuke seeks to end emergency zone

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    VERNON, Vt. (AP) — The company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant wants to do away with the 10-mile emergency planning zone surrounding the reactor after it ceases operation later this year. The zone around the Vernon reactor includes towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In the formal request filed by the Entergy Nuclear, Site Vice President Christopher J. Wamser says that within just under 16 months of the shutdown, the spent fuel pool will have decayed to the extent that no additional actions will be needed. The Greenfield Recorder ( reports that if Entergy's request is approved, the zone would be eliminated in April 2016.

  • 64 businesses using NY clean energy training funds

    Updated: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a state program designed to boost New York's green energy industry has helped 64 businesses. The governor's office said Thursday that more than $2.2 million in job training grants have been awarded to the companies. The grants are intended to pay for the on-the-job training in renewable energy technology, home weatherization and other fields involving energy efficiency. Cuomo's office says more than 250 workers have been hired using grant funds. More than $500,000 remains available.

  • Colombia investigating increases in earthquakes

    By Andrew Willis and Matthew Bristow, Bloomberg News | Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    The seismic activity in a formerly stable region is occurring in the country’s oil-producing region.

  • Oil and gas prices for April 18

    Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $100.75 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $88.75 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted April 1: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Citation 23-27-11 No. 1H Well; NW1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 23-27N-11W; 265 barrels oil per day, 1,040,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,062. Chesapeake Operating Inc.; McGeevy 15-25-12 No. 1H Well; S1/2 S1/2 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 15-25N-12W; 329 barrels oil per day, 2,274,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,720. Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Packard 13-26-11 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 13-26N-11W; 182 barrels oil per day, 792,000