• Analysis: Holes and worries emerge in Louisiana's budget

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As lawmakers patched their way through this year's budget, many of them talked as if they had drawn up a six-month plan, fully expecting Louisiana's next governor to come in with a broader blueprint for fixing the state's financial mess. They may have been too generous. This budget may not even hold for six months. One modest cut's already been required, other gaps have emerged and nose-diving oil prices could upend everything. If Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration manages to exit in January without more budget-slashing, it could be leaving a heck of a mess for the governor coming in that month. (Jindal's term-limited and cannot run for re-election. His successor will be chosen this fall.

  • General Mills sets ambitious goal for greenhouse gas cuts

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — General Mills says it's eager to do its part to fight climate change, so it's setting a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade — from farm to fork to landfill. The giant food company outlined its plans to The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement Monday. General Mills says it will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy in its own operations. But its plan appears to stand apart from other companies' efforts by getting its suppliers and consumers into the act. Those suppliers will be encouraged to do things like engage in more sustainable agriculture.

  • Exelon mulls closure of unprofitable Quad Cities nuke plant

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — The owner of Illinois' 11 nuclear reactors must decide next month whether to close its Quad Cities plant, one of three generating stations Exelon Corp. has said are in danger of closing if lawmakers don't approve a surcharge on electric bills to boost profits. Exelon says it should be rewarded for producing reliable, carbon-free electricity that will help Illinois meet an Obama administration mandate to reduce greenhouse gases. But opponents say ratepayers should not have to bail out an unprofitable plant for a private company that's still making money.

  • Fire at Saudi oil company residence kills 11

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A large fire broke out Sunday in the basement of a sprawling residential complex in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich east, killing at least 11 people and injuring more than 200, officials in the kingdom said. The blaze began early in the morning in a multistory residential compound known as Radium in the eastern city of Khobar. The complex houses workers for state oil giant Saudi Aramco, which oversees petroleum production in the OPEC powerhouse. The company said an investigation has begun into the cause of the fire, which sent thick black smoke billowing from the pink-and-tan colored building. The Interior Ministry's General Directorate of Civil Defense said victims were of various nationali

  • Cost, length of Exxon's cleanup still unclear after deal

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The $225 million settlement between ExxonMobil and New Jersey reached this week confirms the oil giant must clean up more than 1,500 contaminated properties from gas stations to refineries. But exactly how much they'll spend or how long it'll take remains murky. Tuesday's settlement between the Department of Environmental Protection and ExxonMobil is a payment for the public's loss of the use of land. But the company is also required to clean up the sites, which include oil refineries in Bayonne and Linden, 16 other facilities and gas stations across New Jersey. The state previously oversaw site cleanup but a 2009 law established the Licensed Site Remediation Program and aimed to loosen a ba

  • Vote tally for Iran nuclear deal rises to 31 in Senate

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Oregon's Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran. Merkley's backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Republicans are unanimously against the deal.

  • Eagle & Beagle for Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015

    By Don Mecoy Business Editor | Published: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    Don Mecoy: Eagle & Beagle is a weekly look at Oklahoma-based companies' high-performing (eagle) and low-performing (beagle) stocks.

  • Editorials from around New England

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from New England newspapers: The Providence Journal (R.I.), Aug. 23, 2015 President Obama's Iran nuclear deal, even in the outline initially revealed to the American people, seemed to substitute appeasement for firmness against an enemy that supports terrorism while vowing to annihilate Israel and attack the United States. It is not surprising that polls show a majority of Americans oppose the deal. But a frightening report by the Associated Press last week cannot help but further erode the public's trust in the president's position. The AP discovered a secret side deal with a U.N.

  • Berkshire Hathaway builds stake in refiner Phillips 66

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company has amassed a stake worth nearly $4.5 billion in Phillips 66 more than a year after trading a chunk of its holding in the oil refiner for a chemical business investment. A regulatory filing says Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has accumulated about 58 million shares, which amounts to more than 10 percent of the Houston company's stock. In late 2013, the Omaha, Nebraska, company agreed to trade about $1.4 billion of its Phillips 66 stock for one of the refiner's businesses that makes additives to help crude oil flow through pipelines. Many investors watch Berkshire Hathaway filings closely because they like to copy Buffett's moves given his successful record. Phillips 66 shares

  • In Alaska, Obama to walk fine line on climate change, energy

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — With melting glaciers and rising seas as his backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Alaska next week to press for urgent global action to combat climate change, even as he carefully calibrates his message in a state heavily dependent on oil. Obama will become the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic when he travels to Kotzebue — population 3,153 — just north of the Arctic Circle at the end of his three-day trip. He'll kick off the visit Monday with a speech to a State Department-hosted conference on climate change and the Arctic. The unambiguous goal of the president's trip is to use dramatic and alarming changes to Alaska's climate to instill fresh urgency into his global warming ag

  • Oregon hemp farmer says startup going slow

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — One of Oregon's first hemp farmers says a lack of seed is making it tough to get going. Josephine County Commissioner Cheryl Walker says that fertile seed is expensive and hard to come by, because the federal government prohibits imports. Harvesting machinery is expensive, and there is no plant in Oregon to process the plants into fiber, seed and oil. "We are at the beginning stages of an industry," she said. "It will probably be years before you see significant production. It might take five to seven years from that before we have an operating industry." This is the first year Oregon farmers can grow hemp, following the Legislature's approval in 2009.

  • Wyoming Ethanol to suspend operations

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    TORRINGTON, Wyo. (AP) — The only ethanol plant in Wyoming will shut down because it can't compete with lower gasoline prices. The Wyoming Ethanol plant is located in Torrington, and the shutdown is expected to affect about 20 workers. Terry Oldfield is chief executive officer for Renova Energy, which is the parent company of Wyoming Ethanol. Oldfield tells the Torrington Telegram (http://bit.ly/1PW0TCv) that the plant will be going into an "indefinite suspension of operations" by the end of this coming week. Wyoming has subsidized ethanol production since 1995, but the Wyoming Legislature decided to end the tax credit this year. However, Oldfield says the plant could have survived the tax credit loss if oi

  • Sandoval's back from European trade mission. What's next?

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval and more than 60 business, government and education officials recently returned from a three-week trade mission to England, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Italy. The visit included meetings with dignitaries, tours of car factories and receptions bringing together Nevada and European tourism officials. As a result of their visit, state officials vow to put some things in place: EXCHANGE PROGRAMS Sandoval signed three separate agreements calling for worker exchange programs between Nevadan and German advanced manufacturing companies in Leipzig, the state of Saxony, and Saxony Anhelt.

  • In reversal, abundant grain trains available for harvest

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    STERLING, N.D. (AP) — With a record fall harvest fast approaching, farmers are expecting to get the trains they need to move crops to market. It's a turnaround from the past two years when elevators across the Upper Great Plains were overflowing and mountains of grain were piled on the ground awaiting rail cars. The recent reversal is attributed to unprecedented spending on track upgrades, political pressure from farm-state politicians and a drastic decrease in trains hauling crude and freight to and from western North Dakota's oil-producing region. BNSF Railway Co. says it has invested billions of dollars in upgrades across its rail network since 2013, including $1 billion in North Dakota alone.

  • Norwegian TV to air fictional series about Russian invasion

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — In a move that has annoyed Russia, a Norwegian television channel says it will air a fictional TV drama depicting a Russian invasion of Norway after radical environmentalists seize power and freeze the Scandinavian nation's oil and gas industry. TV2 drama chief Christopher Haug said Saturday the 10-episode drama that starts Oct. 4 is "foremost about Norway and Norwegians, not Russia or Russians." In "Occupy," Russia partly occupies Norway to resume the oil industry following a secret deal with the European Union. The series is the most expensive drama in Norwegian television history, costing 90 million Norwegian kroner ($11 million), according to TV2, which said the production company has already

  • Workers overcome by gases at China paper mill, 7 die, 2 hurt

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Workers were overcome with toxic gas from a paper mill's waste pool and seven of them died, authorities said Saturday, in China's latest deadly accident involving dangerous chemicals. A worker who was cleaning the pool filled with pulp paper waste fell in and his co-workers rushed to help but were overcome with the noxious gas themselves, a statement from the Anxiang county government in Hunan province said. Seven workers died and two were injured. The statement on Friday's accident didn't say what type of toxic gas was involved. Separately, firefighters and environmental response crews were rushing to clean up about 15 tons of sulfuric acid spilled early Saturday from a crashed tanker truck in the east

  • Obama: US-Israel ties will improve after Iran deal in place

    Updated: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is comparing tensions between the U.S. and Israel over the Iranian nuclear deal to a family feud and says he expects quick improvements in ties between the longtime allies once the accord is implemented. "Like all families, sometimes there are going to be disagreements," Obama said Friday in a webcast with Jewish Americans. "And sometimes people get angrier about disagreements in families than with folks that aren't family." The president's comments came as momentum for the nuclear accord grew on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will vote next month on a resolution to disapprove of the deal. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

  • OIL AND GAS PRICES FOR AUG. 29

    Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Friday: Oklahoma Sweet:                               Sunoco Inc. — $42 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $30 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Aug. 14: COMPLETION No postings. INTENT TO DRILL Garfield: M M Energy Inc.; Simmering No. 50 Well; NE/4 SW/4 SW/4 NW/4 of 13-22N-04W; TD 4,850. Payne: American Energy - Woodford LLC; Boomer 35-26-19N-2E No. 1WH Well; NE/4 NW/4 NW/4 NW/4 (BHL) of 26-19N-02E; TD 14,500. SOURCE:  OIL-LAW RECORDS CORP.

  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission reviews other states' opt-outs for smart meters in Public Service Co. of Oklahoma case

    By Paul Monies Business Writer pmonies@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Public Service Co. of Oklahoma is seeking approval to charge customers a one-time fee of $183 and $28 per month to opt-out of using its smart meters. After that, the utility's one-time fee for opting out would rise to $261.

  • Oil prices rebound for second straight day

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    Despite news that the country's drilling activity has slowed, those in Oklahoma's energy industry had to be heartened as prices rose 16 percent Thursday and Friday.




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