• Clean-air rules assailed as too much, too little

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Hundreds of people across the country lined up Tuesday to tell the Environmental Protection Agency that its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough. The agency is holding hearings this week in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, with 2005 levels as the starting point. The rules are intended to curb global warming. Coal mines, electric utilities, labor unions, environmental groups, renewable-energy companies, government agencies, religious and civil rights organizations and others sent representatives to the hearings.

  • Attorney: Oklahoma drilling tax unconstitutional

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An attorney claims a state law that sets Oklahoma's tax on oil and gas production is unconstitutional. Attorney Jerry Fent told a state Supreme Court referee Tuesday the measure does not comply with constitutional guidelines for the passage of revenue bills. Fent says the law was approved in the final days of this year's legislative session and was not approved by at least three-fourths of the House and Senate. Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick says the measure does not meet the definition of a revenue bill because it cuts tax rates. It taxes oil and gas wells at 2 percent for the first three years of production. The rate then jumps to 7 percent. Referee Daniel Karim will submit a report on the cas

  • 4 workers injured in Kansas oil refinery fire

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    COFFEYVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Four workers at an oil refinery in southeast Kansas were burned Tuesday in an early morning fire, the Texas company said. CVR Refining said in a news release that the fire at its Coffeyville refinery was reported at 12:30 a.m. and extinguished by 1:18 a.m. The refinery was shut down and initial reports indicate there was no impact to the surrounding community. The company isn't naming the workers who were hurt and taken to an area hospital, but said all other employees were accounted for at this time. "CVR Refining personnel express their deepest concern for and are currently providing assistance to the injured employees and their families," the company said.

  • 9 solar projects getting more than $442K in grants

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WAITSFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Nine solar projects in Vermont are going to get more than $442,000 in grants to help provide power for schools and communities. The money is coming from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which was created to increase cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources. Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the grants Tuesday during a visit to Northern Reliability, a solar business in Waitsfield. A grant of $80,000 is going to that town to install a 102-kilowatt solar project on the town garage to power Waitsfield's municipal buildings. Other grants are going to Richford, South Strafford, Thetford, Warren, Sharon, North Thetford, Berlin and Shrewsbury.

  • Gas prices continue downward slide in Oklahoma

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day. On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.30 in Oklahoma. That's down 22 cents over the past month. The agency says only four states have a lower statewide average than Oklahoma, led by South Carolina's average of $3.26 per gallon. AAA Oklahoma says Tuesday's gas prices are the lowest average the state has seen since February. Bartlesville had the lowest average price among the state's cities, coming in at $3.20 per gallon. In Oklahoma City, the average price is $3.27 per gallon, while Tulsa reported an average of $3.22 per gallon.

  • Report: More acidic seawater poses risks in Alaska

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The release of carbon dioxide into the air from power plant smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska, a new report says. Ocean water becomes more acidic when it absorbs carbon dioxide released by human sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels. Increased ocean acidification could harm important Alaska commercial and subsistence fisheries and communities that rely heavily on them, according to the new research aimed at spurring discussion on how to address the changes. The research, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was to be published Tuesday in the online journal Progress in Oceanography.

  • TD Ameritrade building earns efficiency award

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — TD Ameritrade's new headquarters tower in Omaha has been recognized for its efficient design that includes numerous features to conserve energy. The $250 million, 12-story tower opened last year in west Omaha. TD Ameritrade said Tuesday the U.S. Green Building Council gave the building its highest platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The building includes sensors to turn off LED lighting when workers aren't at their desk or if sunlight is available, and rainwater is captured and reused in toilets. There are also solar panels on the tower's roof, a rooftop garden on another part of the building and four wind turbines.

  • Referee to hear Oklahoma drilling tax cut lawsuit

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    A lawsuit that challenges a new state law that sets Oklahoma’s tax on oil and natural gas production is headed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. A Supreme Court referee is scheduled to hear oral presentations Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent. The lawsuit alleges the law is unconstitutional because it was approved in the final days of the 2014 Oklahoma Legislature and was not approved by at least three-fourths of the members of the House and Senate. The Oklahoma Constitution says revenue bills cannot be passed during the last five days of a legislative session and must receive a three-fourths vote. The legislation taxes oil and gas wells at 2 percent for the first three years of

  • Capito to speak at EPA hearing


    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is among the dozens of scheduled speakers at a public hearing on President Barack Obama's new plan to order big and lasting cuts in the pollution discharged by coal-fired power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting the hearing Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Other hearings this week are in Denver, Atlanta and Pittsburgh on Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030, with 2005 levels as the starting point. Capito and others in West Virginia's congressional delegation have been critical of the EPA's plan. Gov.

  • Grand Canyon haze measures may close Arizona power plant

    By FELICIA FONSECA | Published: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    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.

  • Film of oil on open salt water tank kills birds, Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    Several dead birds found in uncovered salt water tank in northwest Oklahoma.

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for July 29

    Published: Tue, Jul 29, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Monday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $98.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $86.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted July 10: COMPLETION Alfalfa: SandRidge Exploration & Production LLC; Karen 2610 No. 1-20H Well; SE1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 20-26N-10W; 83,000 cu-ft gas per day, 5.52 barrels oil per day; TD 10,211. SandRidge Exploration & Production LLC; Roland 2811 No. 4-35H Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 35-28N-11W; 146 barrels oil per day, 733,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 9,835. SandRidge Exploration & Production LLC; Smith 2611 No. 3-22H Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of

  • Asia stocks rise modestly ahead of US, China data

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets posted modest gains Tuesday as investors treaded cautiously ahead of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 15,604.80 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,061.95. Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.2 percent to 24,483.85 while China's benchmark Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 percent to 2,180.52. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1 percent to 5,570.90. Markets in India, Indonesia and Malaysia were closed for holidays. EARNINGS: Companies are in the middle of corporate earnings season. Later Tuesday, Japanese carmaker Honda will report its quarterly financial results after the market close. Asian tech heavy

  • Conservation group appeals San Diego power plant

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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.

  • Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

    Updated: Mon, Jul 28, 2014

    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.