• Drug lab explosion kills 1, hurts 2; house gutted

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say an explosion that tore apart a Southern California shack, killing one person and critically injuring two others, was caused by a lab illegally making hash oil. The blast shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Muscoy destroyed a 500-square-foot home. Authorities say the body of 61-year-old Adrian Curiel of Chino was found buried in wreckage in the basement. A critically injured woman with a head injury was found partially buried by debris in the basement and a burned man, also critically injured, was found walking near the home. The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.

  • Cramer appointed to Energy and Commerce Committee

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer has been appointed to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce for the upcoming 114th Congress. The committee has a broad jurisdiction. It is responsible for the nation's telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy, and interstate and foreign commerce. Cramer says "the biggest issues" affecting North Dakota and the country "will be deliberated" on this committee. Cramer is a former energy and telecommunications regulator. He served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission before he became a congressman.

  • Senator: Obama climate plan unfair to Pennsylvania

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania's Democratic senator is criticizing President Barack Obama's proposed climate change rules, urging revisions to a plan that he says imposes unfair costs and burdens on the state. In a 22-page letter sent Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency, Sen. Bob Casey makes clear he supports broad goals of combating global warming and agrees an EPA plan is necessary. But Casey said the carbon emissions target for the state is unreasonably high and could lead to higher electricity prices. "Our Commonwealth powers the electricity needs of states across the mid-Atlantic. We should be treated sensibly and fairly," said Casey, the state's senior senator.

  • Ex-coal exec pleads not guilty in W.Va. mine blast

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Ex-coal company chief executive Don Blankenship pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiracy and other charges in the deadliest U.S. mine accident in four decades. It was the first appearance in federal court for the former Massey Energy CEO since he was indicted last week. He is accused of ignoring safety and health regulations to make more money at the Upper Big Branch mine and lying to investigators about his company's safety practices. In April 2010, an explosion at the mine in Montcoal killed 29 men, and the indictment said Blankenship could have prevented most of the violations the mine was committing. Blankenship, 64, could face up to 31 years in prison if convicted.

  • Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant's costs

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Consumers will pay about $3.3 billion and shareholders will pay about $1.4 billion under a settlement approved Thursday on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The vote by the California Public Utilities Commission was 5-0. At issue has been who should take the financial hit for the early demise of the plant located between Los Angeles and San Diego — company shareholders or customers. The settlement of who should pay the $4.7 billion cost of the closure stems from negotiations among operator Southern California Edison, minority owner San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and consumer advocates. Critics argued that the deal shortchanged ratepayers. Consumer

  • PG&E fined over alleged secret dealings

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State regulators Thursday fined Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and required its shareholders to cover as much as $400 million of a planned gas rate increase because of backroom negotiations between the utility and regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 in favor of the penalty, which stems from recently released emails that show a PG&E executive and CPUC officials discussing which judge to appoint to a case over gas rates. The executive objects to one judge for having a history of being hard on the utility. The emails are the latest in a series released by the utility and others that allegedly show PG&E executives privately negotiating with CPUC officials.

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $2.78 per gallon

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona keep gown down at the pumps. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $2.78 a gallon. That's almost 6 cents lower than last week and lowest prices in the state since March 2010. This week's national average is $2.85 per gallon, down by nearly 7 cents from last week. Triple-A analysts say 37 states now have average gasoline prices below $3 per gallon. They say prices should remain low through Thanksgiving, barring unforeseen circumstances. Peoria has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $2.65 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $3.08. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices

  • Regulators approve deal to divide billions in costs from closed San Onofre nuclear power plant

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Regulators approve deal to divide billions in costs from closed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

  • Chesapeake accused of not paying for natural gas produced from invalid leases

    Published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy may face a class-action lawsuit that claims it has cheated North Texas landowners of at least $100 million by pumping gas from properties that had gone through foreclosure, invalidating the oil and gas leases, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Chesapeake continued to tap reserves beneath the various properties in Johnson and Tarrant counties even after the Oklahoma City-based energy giant discovered it had troubled leases following the economic downturn in 2008, choosing instead to “ignore the problem,” the lawsuit asserts. Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/19/6302714/chesapeake-accused-of-not-paying.html#storylink=cpy

  • Corruption saps enthusiasm for east Ukraine rebels

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — As battle raged in rebellion-wracked eastern Ukraine, cargo trains piled high with coal thundered along rail tracks to keep heating and power going to households in rebel-held territory. Coal is the lifeblood of this region dominated by pro-Russian separatists — and now the source of its first corruption scandal. The former energy minister of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic has accused a top rebel official of pocketing money from the sale of coal to power plants. Both men are now languishing in jail in connection with an investigation into abuse of authority.

  • Apache selling assets for $1.4B

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    HOUSTON (AP) — Apache Corp. said Thursday that it will sell some of its oil and gas assets for $1.4 billion. The Houston-based company is selling its interest in approximately 90,000 acres in southern Louisiana and roughly 115,000 acres in the Anadarko Basin in Texas and Oklahoma in two separate deals. Both deals are expected to close by the end of this year. Apache said proceeds from the sales will be used to pay to acquire leases on new acreage. The oil and gas exploration and production company has operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom and Australia. Shares of the company rose $1.39, or 1.9 percent, to $73.44 in midday trading Thursday.

  • Low gas prices to bring out more holiday travelers

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The lowest holiday gasoline prices in five years are expected to result in an increased number of Oklahomans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. AAA Oklahoma estimates nearly 602,000 Oklahomans will travel this year during the holiday — the highest volume since 2007 and a nearly 5 percent increase over 2013. The agency estimates 90 percent of the travelers — 542,000 people —will get to Thanksgiving destinations by car, pickup or RV — 4.8 percent more than last year. Another 49,000 residents will fly — a 3.4 percent jump. Thursday's Oklahoma average pump price for regular gasoline is $2.68 per gallon — down 26 cents from the same time last year. The national average stands a

  • Harvard sued over push for fossil fuels divestment

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — Seven Harvard University students have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force the university's governing body to divest from fossil fuel companies. The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges investment in those companies violates the university's duties as a public charity. The complaint asks the court to compel the Harvard Corporation, the governing body, to stop investing any of its $36.4 billion endowment in gas, coal and oil companies. Harvard students have pressed the university to divest from fossil fuels as a way to slow climate change. "Climate change is now causing harm through mortality, economic damage and political instability," said Benjamin Franta, one of the students who filed the lawsuit.

  • Retail gasoline prices across Texas down 7 cents

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Retail gasoline prices across Texas and nationwide have dropped an average 7 cents per gallon this week. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the statewide average settled at $2.66 per gallon. Drivers nationwide are paying an average $2.85 per gallon. The most expensive gasoline in Texas was in Beaumont and Houston, at $2.67 per gallon. Amarillo has the cheapest gasoline statewide at $2.57 per gallon. Association experts say falling global oil prices over the last couple of months have contributed to drops in retail gasoline prices, marking the longest streak of declines since 2008. AAA Texas on Thursday projected 3.6 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holi

  • Block Island wind farm gets final permits

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — An offshore wind farm that could be the nation's first has gotten its final lease and permits from state coastal regulators. The Coastal Resources Management Council last week unanimously approved the paperwork for Deepwater Wind's project off Block Island. The five-turbine project is three miles off Block Island and is competing with the larger Cape Wind off Cape Cod to become the nation's first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski (grih-BOW'-skee) tells Rhode Island Public Radio that the company now has all the leases and permits it needs for the project, and they can start construction next year. He says more than 20 local, state and federal government agencies ha

  • CA-Winners

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    By The Associated Press Here is a list of winners of races in California.

  • Average cost of gallon of gas in ND falls below $3

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in North Dakota has dropped below $3 for the first time in nearly four years. AAA says the statewide average is about $2.99 per gallon, down 8 cents from last week and down 18 cents from the same time last year. The last time the statewide average was below $3 per gallon was in December 2010. The current national average is $2.86 per gallon. It has been below $3 since Nov. 1. AAA cites falling global oil prices as the primary reason for the drop in the price of gas at the pump. The downward pressure on prices is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Ineos to invest $1B in UK shale gas exploration

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Chemicals firm Ineos has announced plans to invest 640 million pounds ($1 billion) in shale gas exploration in Britain. The company is applying for more licenses to expand its operations in Scotland and in northern England. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe says he wants the company to become the biggest player in the industry in the country. He said Thursday he believes shale gas could revolutionize British manufacturing, and that Ineos has the resources and skills to extract the gas safely. Shale gas is extracted through a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas. Environmental groups criticized the

  • Vermont Yankee makes pending layoffs official

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    VERNON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has officially notified the state that it will be laying off 165 employees starting in January. News of the layoffs had been out before, but plant officials made the formal notification to the state on Wednesday under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act — or WARN Act for short. The plant's workforce already has shrunk from the 625 who were employed there in August of 2013, when it announced it would close at the end of this year. Currently there are 554 active employees. Plant spokesman Marty Cohn says 79 employees have moved or will move to another Entergy Corp. plant. Of those facing termination Jan. 19, 69 live in Vermont, 48 in N

  • Oil and gas prices for Nov. 20

    Published: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Wednesday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $71 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $59 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Nov. 3: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating, LLC; TJ Allison 30-27-10 No. 1H Well; S1/2 S1/2 S1/2 SW1/4 (SL) of 30-27N-10W; 242 barrels oil per day, 1,200,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 9,915. Beckham: Chesapeake Operating, LLC; Lonsdale 6-10-26 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 06-10N-26W; 249 barrels oil per day, 6,699,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 17,708. Enervest Operating, LLC; McEntire 27 No. 3HB Well; E1/2 NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 27-11N-26W; TD 15,697. Carter: Citation Oil