• Iraq imposes curfew in Ramadi, fearing militants

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq imposed a curfew in the western city of Ramadi on Friday amid fears that the Islamic State group was looking to advance on the strategically important city as attacks in Baghdad killed 28 people, officials said. The curfew, which began before dawn, is part of an effort to limit movement in and out of the city as government forces prepared to combat pockets of resistance there, said Sabah Karhout, the chairman of the Anbar provincial council. Ramadi, the capital of the vast Sunni-dominated province of Anbar, is located 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad. The Islamic State group has in recent weeks been making gains against the embattled Iraqi military around Ramadi despite ongoing, U.S.-led coaliti

  • US stocks end dramatic week with rally

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market capped a turbulent week with a big gain Friday, a sign of renewed investor confidence after days of gloomy economic news. It was the latest large move for a market which, with a few exceptions, has been on a mostly downward track since last month. Stocks have had four weeks of declines, leaving the Standard & Poor's 500 index 6 percent below the record high from Sept. 18. Investors rode wild market swings for much of the week. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged as much as 460 points Wednesday, then had one of its best days of the year on Friday, when it soared more than 260 points following strong earnings from big-name companies Morgan Stanley and General Electric, as well as some enc

  • Convict must change where he gets wife from work

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man has been told to change where he picks his wife up from work at a nuclear power plant after he pleaded guilty to unwanted sexual contact of another employee. Superior Court Judge Christine Allen Jackson on Friday ordered 56-year-old Michael Ford, of Hi-Nella, not to have contact with the victim and to pick up his wife at a different parking lot at the Salem nuclear power plant in southwest New Jersey. Ford pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. He was sentenced to three years' probation and told to undergo a psychological evaluation. The charge stemmed from an occasion when the woman drove Ford home on Interstate 295 from his then-job at the plant.

  • Colorado governor candidates highlight differences

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    DENVER (AP) — After five debates and months of campaigning, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez are locked in a tight race. It's been a contest dominated by clashes over how the state regulates fracking, the governor's controversial decision to halt an execution and the candidates' disagreement over how well Colorado has weathered economic woes. Now the ballots have been mailed and the candidates have less than three weeks to convince voters. Both campaigns and outside groups are spending millions of dollars on the race they believe is tied. This is the state's first general election where every registered voter will receive a ballot by mail. It's possible the bulk of the votes wil

  • Vermont Yankee: Shutdown to cost $1.24 billion

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Officials with the soon-to-close Vermont Yankee nuclear plant said Friday it could cost up to $1.24 billion to decommission the reactor, and that they currently have about half that much in a fund dedicated to paying for that work. The figure was contained in a "site assessment study" drafted by officials at the Vernon plant, which will cease operations at the end of this year. Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, a subsidiary of Vermont Yankee owner Entergy Corp., said the tally is based on federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules allowing a reactor owner to mothball the plant for up to 60 years to allow radioactive components to become less so and to allow the fund to grow.

  • Pentagon readying for long war in Iraq, Syria

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten weeks into its war against Islamic State extremists, the Pentagon is settling in for the long haul, short on big early successes but still banking on enlisting Syrians and Iraqis to fight the ground war so that U.S. troops won't have to. The U.S. general overseeing the campaign on Friday predicted that the jihadists will be "much degraded" by airstrikes a year from now, in part because he is focusing attacks on those resources that enable IS to sustain itself and resupply its fighters. On Friday, for example, the U.S. military said one of its six airstrikes overnight in Syria hit several IS petroleum storage tanks and a pumping station — sites that are central to the militants' ability to resupply th

  • US rig count down 12 to 1,918

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 this week to 1,918. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,590 rigs were exploring for oil and 328 for gas. A year ago there were 1,739 active rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained two rigs, while West Virginia and Wyoming each increased by one. Oklahoma decreased by seven rigs, New Mexico was down four, Alaska was off two and Arkansas, California and North Dakota each dropped one. Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999

  • Japan reactor near active volcanos called unsafe

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — A prominent volcanologist disputed Japanese regulators' conclusion that two nuclear reactors were safe from a volcanic eruption in the next few decades, saying Friday that such a prediction was impossible. A cauldron eruption at one of several volcanos surrounding the Sendai nuclear power plant in southern Japan could not only hit the reactors but could cause a nationwide disaster, said Toshitsugu Fujii, University of Tokyo professor emeritus who heads a government-commissioned panel on volcanic eruption prediction. Nuclear regulators last month said two Sendai reactors fulfilled tougher safety requirements set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

  • Eagle Materials drills further into energy sector

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    DALLAS (AP) — Eagle Materials is moving further into the energy sector by buying a company that sells an ingredient crucial to the hydraulic fracturing techniques now widely used to extract oil and natural gas. The building materials company announced the a $225 million acquisition of CRS Proppants LLC and its subsidiaries, which it said Friday will roughly double its frack sand production and expand its reserves of the material. Frack sand is a high-purity quartz material that is pumped into shale formations to free oil and gas that is trapped there. Demand for the sand has skyrocketed over the past decade with the rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing in places like the Permian basin, which spans western Texas and parts

  • Va. regs: New rules would raise electricity costs

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The cost of electricity would increase substantially and service reliability could be significantly affected under proposed federal environmental rules, the staff of the Virginia State Corporation Commission said in comments filed this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week. Federal officials are calling for cutting carbon emissions from existing power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 in an effort to fight climate change, improve public health and provide affordable energy. Those rules would lead to a rise in electricity prices because they would much of today's electricity production be replaced with costly generation and expensive programs to decrease energy use, the S

  • Biofuels plant harbinger of renewable fuel future

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new biofuels plant in southwest Kansas represents the future of ethanol production in the United States, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The $500 million biorefinery in Hugoton is one of only three commercially sized plants in the country that use only plant waste, such as stalks and leaves, for production and thus do not compete for food crops. The second-generation ethanol plant operated by Abengoa, a Spanish multinational corporation, began operating in late September and has the capacity to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol per year. Moniz said the biorefinery was built in the spirit of next-generation biofuels, solar and fossil technologies that reduce greenhouse emissions.

  • Bowdoin completes solar system

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — Construction of Maine's largest solar power complex is complete with the installation of a ground-mount array at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The system comprised of more than 4,000 solar panels at four locations will produce 1.2 megawatts of power, or about 8 percent of the needs of Bowdoin College. College President Barry Mills said the partnership with SolarCity "reduces Bowdoin's dependence on fossil fuels and makes sense for the college economically." Under the arrangement, SolarCity financed and built the system and will own and maintain the solar installations, while Bowdoin will purchase all generated power.

  • Wading news conference set on climate change

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A coalition of advocates for clean energy plans to wade into Baltimore Harbor to call attention to climate change. The group will be calling on Maryland lawmakers Friday to double wind and solar power in Maryland next year. Participants will wade into the harbor in waist-high boots. Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland Sierra Club, is scheduled to attend. Mike Tidwell, director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network also is scheduled to attend. Gerald Stansbury, president at the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP, is also expected to attend.

  • Va. gov urges energy savings by state government

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is stressing energy efficiency throughout Virginia state government. The Democrat signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the energy footprint of state government, and named a chief energy officer to oversee the effort. McAuliffe has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his four-year energy plan released this month. The executive order instructs executive branch agencies, authorities and departments to actively pursue energy efficiencies. The order extends to higher education, as well. In issuing the order, McAuliffe singled out the Department of Motor Vehicles as an example.

  • Asia stocks find footing after global gyrations

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Asian stock markets mostly steadied Friday after a fall in U.S. unemployment applications and comments from a Federal Reserve official eased nerves about a stalling economic recovery. KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2 percent to 22,956.27 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4 percent at 5,276.50. Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 0.8 percent to 14,617.74 as a rise in the yen against the dollar hurt exporter stocks. Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher. China's Shanghai Composite dropped 1.2 percent to 2,239.34. THE QUOTE: "Large daily moves are a good reminder to investors that the superior long term gains in shares are accompanied by higher risk," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC in Sydney. "

  • Chesapeake to sell natural gas assets in Pennsylvania, West Virginia

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. is selling more than 400,000 acres in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for more than $5 billion.

  • Oklahoma energy briefs, Oct.17

    Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Oklahoma energy briefs, Oct.17, 2014

  • Oklahoma production boosts global energy security, U.S. State Department official says

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    American natural gas producers already have significantly helped European energy security even though the first planned liquified natural gas export tanker is likely at least a year away, a U.S. State Department representative said this week.

  • Oil and gas prices for Oct. 17

    Published: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $79.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $67.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Sept. 30: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating, LLC; Buckles Trust 9-25-12 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 09-25N-12W; 202 barrels oil per day, 923,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,633. Chesapeake Operating, LLC; Tom 16-27-12 No. 1H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 (BHL) of 16-27N-12W; 126 barrels oil per day, 1,237,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,595. Beaver: Apache Corp.; McGarraugh 5-1-20 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NE1/4 (SL) of 08-01N-20E; 145 barrels oil per day, 44,000 cu-ft

  • Corporation Commission hears concerns, praise over Oklahoma wind farms

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    The second of two meetings to discuss wind farm development was conducted Wednesday at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.