• Shell to revive plans to drill in Arctic

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to resume drilling in Alaska this year even as it plans to cut spending by $15 billion over the next three years because of the drop in oil prices. Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said the Western Chukchi Sea had the potential to produce billions of barrels of oil. "We're planning on drilling in Alaska in 2015 subject to getting the permits and legal clearance," van Beurden said on a conference call with reporters. The company, which suspended operations in Alaska in 2013 after one of its oil rigs ran aground, plans to spend about $1 billion in Alaska this year, even as it holds global capital investment at 2014 levels. "We always said we were going to just pause

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $1.90 per gallon

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona are down only slightly at the pumps this week. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday that the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $1.90 a gallon. That's less than a penny lower than last week. This week's national average is $2.04 per gallon, up by less than a penny from last week. Tucson has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $1.78 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $2.21. Oklahoma has the lowest average gas prices among states in the continental U.S. at $1.82 a gallon with California the highest at $2.43 a gallon.

  • Bill would ban government contracting with Iran-linked firms

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Some House lawmakers want to ban Mississippi's state and local governments from contracting with anyone who does business with Iran's oil and gas industry. The House Appropriations Committee Thursday passed House Bill 1127, sending it to the full House for more debate. The bill bans contracting with any firm that sells $20 million or more of goods and services to Iran's oil and gas sector. The bill would have also banned contracting with any banks loaning more than $20 million to anyone doing business in Iran's energy sector, but that clause was removed from the bill by its sponsor, Baldwyn Republican Jerry Turner. Under the measure, the Mississippi would make a list of banned companies.

  • Environmental advocates push solar, energy efficiency bills

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Environmental advocates called on the divided Maine Legislature on Thursday to back a series of bill this session they say will expand the use of solar power, help residents cut their heating bills and bolster wildlife protections. The six-bill package outlined by the Environmental Priorities Coalition includes measures that would provide incentives for solar power investments, a $30 million bond to help families pay for home upgrades like insulation and heat pumps and add several species to the endangered list. While Republican Gov. Paul LePage has clashed with environmental groups in the past over efforts like increasing solar power, the group emphasized their desire to find common ground this year.

  • Ford beats estimates despite declines in earnings, revenue

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. is putting a tough year behind it and promising big things despite a bumpy global market. The Dearborn-based automaker's net income fell 56 percent to $3.2 billion in 2014. Sales were down slightly, to 6.32 million cars and trucks, and revenue dropped 2 percent to $144.1 billion. Ford had repeatedly warned that earnings would be lower as it invested for the future. The company spent heavily to introduce 24 vehicles worldwide, including a redesigned Mustang and the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck. Ford plowed money into five new plants in Asia and racked up expenses for closing plants in Europe and Australia. It also launched the Lincoln luxury brand in China.

  • Oil producers push to export US crude even as prices drop

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Dropping oil prices aren't slowing a push from U.S. producers to ship their crude oil overseas and change a decades-long ban on exports. The cost incentive may not be obvious, with oil prices are as low as they've been since 2009 and with some analysts predicting they'll drop further. But oil producers are confident of long-term demand and believe that new markets will eventually offer big profits. Backers see a changing landscape that includes a Congress controlled by Republicans generally viewed as more receptive to oil exports, and some signs the Obama administration will consider modifications to the longstanding policy that bans exports of raw crude.

  • Battle of the big phones: Samsung down in China, Apple gains

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung lost the battle of the big phones last quarter as Apple's copycat large iPhone lured buyers in the crucial Chinese market. The South Korean company said Thursday its October-December profit sank, with an improvement in its semiconductor business insufficient to mask its mobile problems. It was in China, the world's largest market for smartphones, where Samsung's dramatic decline was most evident. Its weakness there is a key reason why Samsung's share of global smartphone sales dropped to about one quarter last year from a one-third share in 2013. Apple Inc. contributed to Samsung's latest reversal in fortune, launching iPhones with bigger screens that robbed Samsung's Galaxy phones of

  • Study launched on restoring salmon runs to upper Columbia

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Indian tribes from Washington and Idaho who live near the upper Columbia River are beginning a study of whether salmon runs can be restored above Grand Coulee Dam, which blocked those runs more than 70 years ago. The tribes want to study what it would take to restore salmon runs to the 100 river miles between the dam, the nation's greatest producer of hydropower, and the U.S.-Canadian border. The study proposal was released this week by the Upper Columbia United Tribes, which represents the Colville, Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Kalispel and Kootenai tribes of Idaho and Washington. "Grand Coulee Dam should have been built with fish passage," said John Osborn of Spokane, a leader of the local Sierra Cl

  • Even with low prices, US oil industry pushing for exports

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Never mind dropping oil prices. U.S. producers are pushing harder than ever for the right to sell U.S. crude oil overseas. It might seem counterintuitive: Oil prices are as low as they have been at any point since 2009 at the height of the Great Recession, and some say they could drop even further. But oil producers are playing a longer game, betting that long-term demand will be strong and new markets will offer lucrative rewards for U.S. producers. Supporters see possible inroads in a Congress controlled by Republicans who generally are considered more receptive to oil exports, as well as some signs that the Obama administration may at least be open to considering changes to longstanding policy, which ba

  • AAA survey finds retail gasoline prices up penny in Texas

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Retail gasoline prices have gone up in Texas for the first time since early October. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump rose a penny to reach $1.85 per gallon. Gas prices nationwide held steady at $2.04 per gallon. Retail gasoline prices had declined for nearly four months across Texas. AAA Texas on Oct. 2 reported a 2-cent increase, to average $3.17 per gallon. The most expensive gasoline this week statewide was in Dallas at $1.88 per gallon. San Antonio has the cheapest gasoline, at $1.80 per gallon. AAA experts say the trend of falling weekly averages has started to ease in some states.

  • Maine Senate confirms Public Utilities Commission nominee

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Senate has confirmed Republican Gov. Paul LePage's pick for the Public Utilities Commission. The Republican-controlled Senate voted unanimously in favor of Carlie McLean's nomination to the board on Thursday. She was unanimously endorsed by the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee last week. The three-member PUC is in charge of regulating electric and natural gas utilities, as well as Casco Bay water taxis. McClean has served as LePage's general counsel since 2013. Prior to that, she served as the governor's senior natural resources policy adviser. She's replacing former Chairman Thomas Welch, who resigned before his term ended in 2017. Commissioner Mark Vannoy will no

  • Alibaba shares tumble on 4Q revenue miss

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Alibaba's Group shares dropped 10 percent on Thursday after the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse reported holiday-quarter revenue that surged 40 percent but missed analyst expectations. It was the second day of stock decline following news Wednesday that the Chinese government had issued a report critical about Alibaba's efforts to deal with counterfeiting. The two-day decline has shaved about $38 billion off the company's previous $264 billion market capitalization and is making some wonder if the bloom is off the rose for investors, who had clamored to buy the stock in September when Alibaba went public in the biggest IPO ever.

  • Nokia turns to fourth quarter profit buoyed by strong growth

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia made a net profit of 443 million euros ($502 million) in the fourth quarter and sales grew nearly 10 percent, but its share price fell Thursday as the results were offset by a poor performance in some regions, higher costs and a low dividend. The Finland-based company said revenue grew to 3.8 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in the period from 3.48 billion euros a year earlier, when it reported a net loss of 26 million euros. CEO Rajeev Suri noted strong growth in all operations — networks, mapping services and technologies and licenses — after selling its loss-making devices and services to Microsoft in April.

  • For traders, oil's plunge takes a toll on egos and accounts

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The plunge in oil has crushed the Russian ruble, erased $80 billion from Exxon Mobil's market value and pushed Venezuela to the brink of economic collapse. But to Justin Thomas, the real drama in oil unfolds on a smaller scale, a story told in tiny, second-by-second moves in prices on his computer screen. Lately, most of the moves have been down, taking a toll on him and other traders who believe oil should have turned up by now. "It was quiet, then there was chaos," said Thomas after a few losing bets earlier this month from his one-man office in Boise, Idaho. "The market changes, and you lose your confidence.

  • Wolf bans new gas drilling leases on public land as promised

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday signed an order Thursday banning new drilling leases on public land, ending a short-lived effort by his Republican predecessor to expand the extraction of natural gas from rock buried deep beneath state parks and forests. The new Democratic governor signed the executive order before a small group of people who braved frigid temperatures to witness the event at Philadelphia's Benjamin Rush State Park. He said the moratorium was rooted in a "deep-seated and profound respect" for state parks. "This is a beautiful state and this is one way we can promote that and protect it," he said.

  • ConocoPhillips posts 4Q loss as oil prices fall

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — Hurt by falling oil prices, ConocoPhillips reported a loss during its fourth quarter and said it would cut spending on drilling and exploration projects in parts of the U.S. "We are responding decisively to a weak price outlook in 2015," said CEO and Chairman Ryan Lance, in a statement. Oil prices have fallen below $50 a barrel, down from as much as $100 a barrel in June, due to an oversupply of oil. The Houston oil and gas company reported Thursday a loss of $39 million, or 3 cents per share during the quarter, compared with a net income of $2.5 billion, or $2 per share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted to remove one-time items, the company had earnings of 60 cents per share.

  • Malaysia says MH370 crash an accident to clear compensation

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government formally declared still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 an accident on Thursday and said all those on board were presumed dead, paving the way for compensation claims but angering victims' families still waiting for evidence of the plane's fate. Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the search for the jet would continue and "remains a priority." The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The plane is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, off the coast of western Australia. No confirmed debris has ever been found.

  • Oklahoma State University ranked as top Green Power Partner

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has placed Oklahoma State University on the list of the nation's top Green Power Partners. OSU is listed sixth on the EPA's top 30 college and university list for green power use and 48th on the national top 100 list of green power purchasers. The EPA says OSU's Stillwater campus uses more than 100 million kilowatt hours of green power annually, which is about 71 percent of its electricity needs. The university entered into a 20-year agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric in late 2011 to provide wind power. The wind power is generated from the 26-turbine, 60 megawatt Cowboy Wind Farm near Blackwell.

  • Alibaba run-in with China regulator signals tougher scrutiny

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — For years, Alibaba faced complaints it failed to stamp out sales of counterfeit goods on its e-commerce websites. But Chinese regulators stayed silent, apparently reluctant to disrupt the rise of an Internet star even as they accused foreign automakers, dairies and others of violating anti-monopoly or consumer protection rules. That honeymoon ended this week. In a stinging report, a Cabinet agency accused Alibaba Group Ltd. of allowing sales of fake goods and hurting consumers. It was a warning that Alibaba and other private Chinese companies face tougher scrutiny at a time when they are moving into new markets from retailing to banking to taxi hailing.

  • Hershey dips into meat market with Krave Jerky

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Hershey has a sudden hankering for protein, with plans to add jerky to its lineup. The maker of sugar-high inducing treats like Reese's, Kit Kat and Twizzlers says it's buying Krave Jerky for an undisclosed sum. Krave, based in Sonoma, California, positions itself as a premium jerky with no artificial ingredients and comes in flavors like black cherry barbecue, basil citrus and lemon garlic. Michele Buck, president of Hershey North America, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that the company plans to continue expanding its offerings across the "snacking continuum" through acquisitions and in-house development. While The Hershey Co.




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