• Entergy plans annual drawdown of Garland Co. lakes


    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Entergy Arkansas says the annual drawdowns of water levels in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine will begin Nov. 1. Lake levels will be reduced by about 6 inches per day through Nov. 9. The water released at the dams will be used to generate hydroelectric power. Entergy Arkansas coordinates the annual winter drawdown with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to help with shoreline maintenance and inspections and to help control nuisance aquatic vegetation. Lake Catherine is formed by Remmel Dam and Lake Hamilton is formed by Carpenter Dam. Both are located in Garland County and were built more than 60 years ago for hydroelectric generation. Entergy Arkansas manages the reservoirs and oper

  • Arkansas' Honorable nominated to federal post


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated the chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The White House announced Thursday its nomination of Colette Honorable as a commissioner on the agency that regulates the transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. Honorable has served on the Arkansas Public Service Commission since 2007 when she was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe. She also served as chief of staff for Beebe when he was the state's attorney general. Honorable is also president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. The U.S. Senate must confirm the appointment.

  • Ala gas prices lower than for Labor Day 2013


    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Driving to the lake or beach for Labor Day will be a little cheaper than last year. AAA of Alabama reports that the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.20 on Thursday. That's 14 cents less than at the same time last year, and AAA says it's 7 cents lower than just a month ago. Birmingham is the metropolitan area with the state's most expensive gas at $3.23 a gallon for regular. Tuscaloosa is cheapest at $3.13.

  • Man cited for mining coal without a permit


    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials have cited an eastern Kentucky man for illegally mining coal in Letcher County. The Kentucky Division of Mine Safety and the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement say Bryan Lee Wagner mined about 700 tons of coal at a surface mine. He has been charged with mining without a permit and mining without a license. In a violation notice, Wagner, who headed the small operation, was directed to immediately cease mining operations and begin reclaiming the land and install temporary sediment control. The civil penalty for illegal mining under surface mining reclamation regulations is from $5,000 up to $25,000 per day. Officials say Wagner's penalty is being calculated.

  • 190 citations issued during MSHA mine inspections


    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal impact inspections at U.S. mine operations in July resulted in 190 citations and eight orders. The Mine Safety and Health Administration conducted the inspections at 15 coal mines and three other mines. There have been nearly 800 impact inspections since April 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 coal miners. The increased enforcement is conducted at mines that have a poor compliance history or specific compliance concerns. MSHA chief Joe Main says a review shows that safer conditions exist in mines that underwent impact inspections between September 2010 and March 2014 along with at least one follow-up inspection.

  • Oil and gas prices for Aug. 29

    Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $91 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $79 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Aug. 12: COMPLETION Beckham: Apache Corp.; Puryear No. 2-19 Well; C SE1/4 of 19-11N-26W; TD 16,800. Samson Resources Co.; Mills No. 7-19H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 19-10N-26W; 117 barrels oil per day, 1,046,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 16,325. Samson Resources Co.; Mills No. 8-19H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 19-10N-26W; 63 barrels oil per day, 385,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 15,612. Dewey: Mewbourne Oil Co.; Leedey Heights 17 PA No.

  • Officials say oil ill effects reach MT reservation

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    POPLAR, Mont. (AP) — Tribal officials say eastern Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation is feeling the adverse effects of the drilling boom on the nearby Bakken oil fields. Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes chairman Rusty Stafne says crime has increased but the reservation isn't seeing the economic gains of neighbors in North Dakota and far eastern Montana. He spoke at a listening session hosted by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. Several members of North Dakota's Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation attended the meeting. Their Fort Berthold Indian Reservation produces 300,000 barrels of oil a day. The oil has brought money to the reservation, but Jodi Lee Spotted Bear says it has also come with violence and drugs.

  • Collaboration works to get electricity to remote Oklahoma oil field

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Published: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    A unique collaboration is making it easier for an Oklahoma electric cooperative to provide power for drilling operations in remote areas.

  • Online list IDs water wells harmed by drilling

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells. The Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday posted online links to the documents after the agency conducted a "thorough review" of paper files stored among its regional offices. The Associated Press and other news outlets have filed lawsuits and numerous open-records requests over the last several years seeking records of the DEP's investigations into gas-drilling complaints.

  • US regulators rap faulty water pump at Millstone

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday it could impose more inspections and greater oversight of the state's nuclear power plant due to repeated problems with a critical water pump. The agency issued its findings from an inspection of Millstone Power Plant's unit 3, saying problems associated with a turbine-driven auxiliary water pump three times last year and in January was of low to moderate safety significance. The pump cools the reactor in emergencies if offsite power and diesel generators fail. Millstone, which is owned by Dominion Resources Inc., may request a conference with regulators, submit a written response or accept the finding. Spokesman Ken Holt says plant officials

  • Resolution to oppose nuke waste near Lake Huron

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A member of Congress from Michigan says he'll sponsor a resolution opposing a Canadian power company's plan to bury waste from nuclear plants less than a mile from Lake Huron. Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee announced his plan Thursday during a boat trip on Saginaw Bay. His district includes a section of the lake's shoreline. The nonbinding resolution will urge President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take up the matter with the Canadian government. Ontario Power Generation wants to entomb radioactive waste from in rock chambers 2,230 feet below the earth's surface near Kincardine, Ontario. The company says the facility would be safe and wouldn't leak.

  • Shell files revised Arctic offshore drilling plan

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC has filed a revised Arctic offshore drilling plan with federal regulators but says the company hasn't decided whether to return to waters off the coast of northwest Alaska in 2015. The revised exploration plan submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage calls for two drilling vessels to operate simultaneously in the Chukchi Sea rather than one in the Chukchi and one in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north Coast. The presence of two vessels is required so one can drill a relief well in the event of damage from a blowout. Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc.'s revised plan calls for the return of the Noble Discoverer, which performed top hole work at the company's B

  • Los Angeles utility worker shocked by power line

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee is in critical condition after he was shocked by a 4,800-volt power line. The agency says the employee was working on overhead electrical lines in Encino when he touched a wire shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The agency says the man was rescued by co-workers and paramedics. City News Service says he was taken to a hospital in critical condition. About 460 customers were briefly left without power after the accident.

  • Feds to resume leasing for fracking in California

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume issuing oil and gas leases next year for federal lands in California after a new study found limited environmental impacts from fracking and other enhanced drilling techniques, the agency said Thursday. The move will end a halt that has stood since a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the federal agency failed to follow environmental law in allowing an oil extraction method known as fracking on public land in Monterey County. The study released Thursday was conducted for the BLM by the state-created California Council on Science and Technology.

  • Future of 'Big Oil' suit at stake as panel meets

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a south Louisiana flood board that's suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies. The panel that nominates members for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East discussed plans to fill two expired terms Thursday. But members said a vote cannot legally take place until September. One of the expired terms is that of Paul Kemp, a supporter of the lawsuit, which Jindal opposes. Kemp has applied for another term. However, even if he is re-nominated, Jindal would likely seek to replace him with a lawsuit opponent. Kemp continues to serve until a successor is named. Meanwhile, the law

  • Blast at BP refinery sparks fire, rattles homes

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    WHITING, Ind. (AP) — An explosion at BP oil refinery in northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan rattled nearby homes and sparked a fire that was later extinguished, but it didn't cause any major injuries or halt production at the facility, a company official said Thursday. The explosion Wednesday night at the Whiting refinery, which is just east of Chicago, was caused by a fire in a compressor on a processing unit, BP America spokesman Scott Dean said. It happened about 9 p.m. and was extinguished by the plant's fire department within a couple of hours. One employee was taken to a hospital as a precaution, but was later released, Dean said. Refinery operations were "minimally" affected by the fire, he said.

  • UW collects $50.7 million in private donations

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming saw a slight dip in private contributions in the last fiscal year but still collected the second-highest amount ever despite turmoil in the university's top administrative post. For the fiscal year ending June 30, private giving to UW reached $50.7 million, with contributions coming from more than 24,000 individuals, corporations and foundations. While down from the previous year's record of $56 million, it is still only the second time in the school's history that fundraising has exceeded $50 million.

  • BP explosion causes sulfur dioxide release

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    WHITING, Ind. (AP) — BP officials have notified the state of Indiana that more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide were released into the air following an explosion at refinery in northwestern Indiana. Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan Goldblatt says the agency is still preparing a report but the initial indication is that the release didn't cause any air quality problems. BP spokesman Scott Dean says there's no indication the explosion had any environmental impact. Dean says the explosion Wednesday night was caused by a compressor in one of the units of the refinery. He says the plant was continuing to operate Thursday. He wouldn't comment on whether it affected the production at the plant.

  • Ukraine conflict weighs on markets; Retailers fall

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    U.S. financial markets ended slightly lower Thursday, marking their first loss in a week of record highs. The escalating conflict in Ukraine, disappointing retail earnings and profit outlooks combined to weigh down the market, eclipsing some good news on the U.S. economy and labor market. "The key driver was largely the Ukraine news and the uncertainty of what that means," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank. U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening in premarket trading Thursday, following a downward turn in global stock markets as traders reacted to the developments in Ukraine. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said Russian forces had entered his country.

  • Construction time uncertain for Ga. nuclear plant

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Power says its construction budget for a nuclear plant near the South Carolina line remains steady but costs could change in the future. The Southern Co. subsidiary estimates it will spend $6.7 billion for its share of the cost of building two reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl). That projection came Thursday in a company report sent to Georgia's utility regulators. The new reactors at Plant Vogtle and a sister project in South Carolina are the first in a new generation of nuclear plants. The Georgia reactors are supposed to start operating in late 2017 and late 2018. However, Southern Co. says its builders face "challenges" sticking to the schedule. Southern Co.