• Stocks turn lower after weak global economic surveys

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — Shares turned lower in European trading on Thursday, sapped by gloomy manufacturing data from the eurozone, China and Japan. Asian markets closed mostly higher, however, on hopes for economic stimulus. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent to 11,710.91 and France's CAC 40 lost 0.9 percent to 5,164.04. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,030.32. Wall Street likewise looked set for a slow start, with Dow futures down 0.3 percent and S&P futures 0.2 percent lower. WEAK SURVEYS: A preliminary survey of the manufacturing and services sectors in the eurozone showed activity slowed in April from March's four-year high, reflecting weaker rates of expansion for France and Germany despite accelerating growth elsewhe

  • 21 confirmed dead in north China coal mine flood

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Search teams have recovered the bodies of 21 Chinese coal miners who died when the shaft where they were working filled with water, an official said Thursday. After days of rescue efforts following the accident Sunday, the final death toll of 21 was confirmed by a Datong city government official who gave only his surname, Meng. More than 600 rescuers had been working to pump water from the shaft and drill holes from the surface at the Jiangjiawan mine near the northern city of Datong. A total of 247 miners were underground when water rushed into the shaft Sunday evening. Of those, 223 people made it safely to the surface while three of those trapped were rescued and were recovering in a hospital.

  • W.Va. man get probation in mine kickbacks scheme

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Logan County man has been sentenced to three years' probation for his role in a kickback scheme at a West Virginia coal mine. Forty-five-year-old Scott Ellis also was fined $3,000 Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. He had faced up to five years in prison. Ellis each pleaded guilty last year to structuring a transaction in order to evade federal reporting requirements. He was among 10 people accused of participating in the scheme at Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County. Federal prosecutors say companies had to pay kickbacks to Arch employees for business at Mountain Laurel. U.S.

  • 21 confirmed dead in north China coal mine flood

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Search teams have recovered the bodies of 21 Chinese coal miners who died when the shaft where they were working filled with water, an official said Thursday. After days of frantic rescue efforts following the accident Sunday, the final death toll of 21 was confirmed Friday by a Datong city government official who gave only his surname, Meng. More than 600 rescuers had been working to pump water from the shaft and drill holes from the surface at the Jiangjiawan mine near the northern city of Datong. A total of 247 miners were underground when water rushed into the shaft Sunday evening. Of those, 223 people made it safely to the surface while three of those trapped were rescued and were recovering in ho

  • Vermont Gas Systems changes pipeline construction deadline

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gas Systems officials say the company is once again changing its plans for a natural gas pipeline scheduled to be built from Chittenden County to Addison County. The South Burlington company told the Vermont Public Service Board that construction on the pipeline will take a year longer than its initially planned completion date. Vermont Gas spokeswoman Beth Parent says the company has known since December that the original late-2015 deadline wouldn't be met. WVPS-FM reports project cost of $153.6 million won't be changed. But another year of project management will cost more than $4 million. The company will reorganize funds and take new cost breaks into consideration to account for the

  • US to announce plans to reduce agricultural carbon emissions

    Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    DETROIT (AP) — Federal agricultural officials are planning to announce voluntary programs and initiatives for farmers, ranchers and foresters meant to build on President Barack Obama's efforts to combat global warming — and don't require congressional approval. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to unveil plans Thursday at Michigan State University, where Obama signed the sweeping farm bill into law last year. The efforts, many of which have their roots in that law, aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, boost carbon capture and storage and come with various enticements, including grants, low-interest loans and technical assistance. Vilsack said the agriculture industry accounts for about 9 percent of U.S.

  • Asian markets mostly higher despite weak China, Japan data

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Thursday despite fresh data showing economic weakness in China and Japan, as investors pinned their hopes on further stimulus measures. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 remained above the 20,000 mark it broached for the first time in 15 years the day before, gaining 0.3 percent to 20,202.08. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent to 28,040.37 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8 percent to 2,160.90. However, Australia's S&P ASX/200 dipped 0.1 percent to 5,831.60. Markets in Southeast Asia were mixed. CHINA MANUFACTURING: HSBC said Thursday that a preliminary version of its index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers fell to 49.2 in April, its lowest point in a year, from 49.6

  • Competing budget plans show depth of legislative differences

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has registered support for a rewrite of state energy law. As part of a budget bill that passed Wednesday night, the GOP-led chamber revises the state's renewable energy objectives right down to renaming them the "advanced energy standard" and relaxing solar power requirements. Minnesota has been working to meet a goal of generating 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The bill that passed on a 73-56 vote would include large-scale hydropower as a recognized form of clean power. It also repeal's a 20-year-old moratorium on construction of new nuclear power. The House bill differs from a companion Senate bill, which makes smaller energy policy changes. That

  • Bill passes Oklahoma House to prohibit local bans on oil drilling

    BY RICK M. GREEN, Capitol Bureau | Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman said he expects the Senate to provide final approval and send Senate Bill 809 to the governor. An earlier version of the bill already was approved in the Senate.

  • GE executives tout long-term vision for oil and gas unit, research at shareholder meeting in Oklahoma City

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    GE, which is building an oil and gas research center in Oklahoma City, held its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center.

  • Devon Energy lays off employees in one department

    Adam Wilmoth | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    The company did not detail how many employees lost their jobs or which department was affected by the changes.

  • Oklahoma business briefs for April 23, 2015

    Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Oklahoma business briefs for April 23, 2015

  • Brazil's Petrobras: Graft scheme cost $2.1B in losses

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras said Wednesday that it lost $2.1 billion in an eight-year kickback scheme that saw the firm's executives taking bribes for awarding inflated contracts to suppliers. The company released its long-delayed fourth quarter financial results that included a write down of 6.2 billion reais — about $2.1 billion at the current conversion rate to the U.S. dollar. It attributed the losses to a series of inflated contracts and other graft during the scheme it says ran from 2004 to 2012.

  • ND Legislature changes state's oil tax distribution formula

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature on Wednesday endorsed a change to a formula that's used to distribute tax revenue from oil and gas production to help communities deal with the impacts of energy development. The House voted 91-1 and the Senate 46-1 on the formula that would give more funding to counties, cities, schools and townships in and around western North Dakota's oil patch. The legislation is less than what has been proposed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and sought by leaders in the region. The bill, one of the most debated of the session, has been the subject of weeks of negotiations between House and Senate representatives. It now heads to the governor.

  • Another measure to block advance of NC renewables law falls

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina electric companies must keep planning to generate more power through alternative sources and other measures after an effort to freeze those requirements failed to advance Wednesday through a House committee. The House Public Utilities Committee narrowly defeated an effort to freeze the percentage of retail sales that utilities must create using sources like solar, wind and animal waste and through efficiency efforts at the current 6 percent. A 2007 law directs the percentage to grow to 10 percent for electric cooperatives and city-owned power companies later this decade and 12.5 percent for big utilities like subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corp. There is no expiration date on that law.

  • Park tourism helps offset Wyoming's oil, gas drilling slump

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A steady stream of visitors to national parks promises to help absorb the hit Wyoming's economy has suffered as a result of low oil prices, a National Park Service report released Wednesday suggests. Oil prices down around half of what they were a year ago has led to a slump in drilling and surge in layoffs in Wyoming's petroleum industry. At the same time, low oil prices mean low gasoline prices. Cheap gasoline encourages automobile tourism to places a bit remote for most Americans, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and Devils Tower National Monument.

  • Gas leak at west Georgia refinery kills 1; 3 others injured

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say one man has died and three others were injured in a gas leak at a refinery west of Atlanta. Matthew Kent with the Douglas County Fire Department says crews were called shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Kent says there was a hydrogen sulfide leak at Young Refining in Douglasville. Kent says one man died after falling from a height of 20 feet after his mental state was altered by gas inhalation. His name was not immediately released. Kent says three other people were injured. One suffered gas inhalation, one suffered cardiac arrest and the third had a minor injury. A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Young Refining said the company had changed its name to ART

  • Oklahoma House passes measure banning local drilling rules

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that prohibits cities and towns from regulating oil and natural gas drilling operations was approved by the House on Wednesday, one day after the Oklahoma Geological Survey said it is "very likely" that a swarm of recent earthquakes were triggered by the subsurface injection of wastewater from drilling operations. House members passed the bill despite pleas from opponents who said the survey's report is among many reasons that local communities should have the right to set rules for local drilling activities. "It's about a municipality being able to regulate themselves," said Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater.

  • Regulators inch closer to final decision on coal power plant

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The future of an aging coal-fired power plant that provides electricity to more than 2 million people in New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest rests in the hands of state regulators. The Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday received a briefing from a hearing examiner on his recommendations regarding a plan by the state's largest electric provider to replace part of the San Juan Generating Station with a mix of more coal, natural gas, nuclear and solar power. Hearing examiner Ashley Schannauer told commissioners they shouldn't approve the plan unless some changes are made. His concerns center on uncertainties surrounding the ownership makeup of the plant and the lack of a coal-supply contract

  • Blackfeet launch campaign to cancel energy leases

    Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    BROWNING, Mont. (AP) — Blackfeet tribal leaders have joined with environmental groups, other American Indian tribes and the band Pearl Jam to campaign for the cancellation of oil and gas leases near Glacier National Park. Tribal leaders on Wednesday said they plan to erect billboards to raise awareness and encourage the Interior Department to cancel the 18 leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area. Tribal historic preservation officer John Murray says the leases are in the vicinity of sites continuously occupied by Blackfeet for thousands of years. The area is the home of the creation story of the four Blackfoot tribes. Pearl Jam posted a message on Twitter urging its fans to support the tribe's effort, which has backing




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