• For Delaware drivers, gas up a penny to $2.60

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorists in Delaware are paying a penny more at the pump when compared with a week ago. AAA Mid-Atlantic said Friday that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Delaware was $2.60. That's up a penny from a week ago. Motorists in the region are paying 99 cents less per gallon than a year ago. At this time last year Delaware drivers were paying $3.59 per gallon. The price of gas in the state is 14 cents below the national average of $2.74 per gallon.

  • Why many experts missed this: Cheap oil can hurt US economy

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — If there was one thing most economists agreed on at the start of the year, it was this: Plunging oil prices would boost the U.S. economy. It hasn't worked out that way. The economy is thought to have shrunk in the January-March quarter and may barely grow for the first half of 2015 — thanks in part to sharp cuts in energy drilling. And despite their savings at the gas pump, consumers have slowed rather than increased their spending. At $2.74 a gallon, the average price of gas nationwide is nearly $1 lower than it was a year ago. In January, the average briefly reached $2.03, the lowest in five years.

  • OPPD nearly done with refueling maintenance at nuclear plant

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    BLAIR, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha Public Power District is nearly done with the maintenance tasks it planned to complete while the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is being refueled. The nuclear power plant, which sits about 20 miles north of Omaha, has been offline since April 11 so the work could be completed. Workers had planned to replace one-third of the fuel assemblies inside the plant and complete several thousand maintenance tasks. OPPD said Thursday that 133 new nuclear fuel bundles had been successfully loaded into the reactor core. The planned outage was expected to last about 45 days. The nuclear plant typically goes offline for refueling about every 18 months. The utility has more than 360,000 cust

  • US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops —some are operating artillery and other heavy weapons — in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials say. Two U.S. defense officials said Iranian forces have taken a significant offensive role in the Beiji operation in recent days, in conjunction with Iraqi Shiite militia. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity. One official said Iranians are operating artillery, 122mm rocket systems and surveillance and reconnaissance drones to help the Iraqi counteroffensive. The Iranian role

  • Another patch put in place for highway and transit funding

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states for another two months and prevent shutdown of summer construction projects. The Senate approved the bill by voice vote early Saturday; the measure passed the House earlier in the week. Authority to spend money from the federal Highway Trust Fund, which finances most aid to states, was due to expire May 31. It's the 33rd time in more than six years that Congress has resorted to a temporary patch to keep transportation programs going, 12 bills specific to highway and transit programs and 21 other more general measures designed to keep the Transportation Department and other government agencies open.

  • NC conservation groups show cautionary films on fracking

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Environmental advocacy groups are touring North Carolina with a series of short cautionary films about hydraulic fracturing drilling. The groups are showing the documentaries in Fayetteville on Saturday. By the end of the tour that runs through June, they will have visited a dozen communities from Wilmington to Asheville. They say the documentaries show the health and environmental effects of the drilling method also known as fracking. The groups presenting the films include Clean Water for North Carolina, The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Appalachian Voices and Working Films. North Carolina's Legislature and governor have cleared the way for fracking in the state, though a legal battle

  • Congress passes 2-month highway, transit aid extension

    Updated: Sat, May 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has cleared a bill to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states for another two months and prevent shutdown of summer construction projects under a bill. The Senate on Saturday approved the bill by a voice vote and sent it to President Barack Obama. It's the 12th such temporary patch in more than six years, and a reflection of lawmakers' continuing lack of consensus on how to solve the nation's infrastructure financing woes. While Obama is expected to sign the measure, the White House urged lawmakers to use the two months "to make meaningful and demonstrable progress" toward a long-term bill in 2015." The current authorization to spend money from the federal Highway Trust Fund, which fi

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for May 23

    Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Friday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $56.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $44.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted May 8: COMPLETION Kingfisher: PayRock Energy LLC; McCarthy 1506 No. 1-35WH Well; S1/2 SW1/4 SE1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 35-15N-06W; 254 barrels oil per day 210,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 13,230. Logan: Sundance Energy Oklahoma LLC dba SEO LLC; Datin 16-3-7 No. 1HM Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 07-16N-03W; 47 barrels oil per day 192,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,596. Okfuskee: Watkins J L; Simms No. 1 Well; NE1/4 SE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 of 06-11N-09E; 10 barrels oil per day 15,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD

  • Oilman Boone Pickens celebrated his 87th birthday.

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Boone Pickens celebrated his 87th birthday in Oklahoma City on Friday with a party at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

  • Choppy slick is harder to clean up; more oily animals found

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 10-square-mile oil slick off the coast of California is thinner than a coat of paint and it's becoming harder to skim from choppy waters, officials said Friday as more dead animals were discovered on the Santa Barbara coast. The combination of sunlight and waves helped evaporate and dissolve some of the oil that blackened beaches and covered wildlife in thick goo after a pipeline on shore leaked up to 105,000 gallons Tuesday. Federal regulators ordered Plains All American Pipeline to drain the pipe that leaked, test the metal in the damaged section of pipe, and complete a series of steps before it can ask to resume pumping oil through the pipe to inland refineries.

  • Federal energy regulations criticized at GOP leadership conference in Oklahoma City

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Federal regulations on energy production are limiting investments and entrepreneurship, an oil executive and attorney told attendees at Friday’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.

  • Coast Guard: Fire on Gulf oil platform; 28 workers evacuated

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An early morning fire forced evacuation of 28 workers from an oil rig off Louisiana's coast early Friday. The fire was still burning Friday evening, the Coast Guard and an environmentalist who flew over the site said. No injuries were reported. Workers were evacuated by an offshore supply vessel that reported the fire at 2:50 a.m. in state waters near Breton Island off Louisiana's southeastern coast, the Coast Guard said in a news release. Texas Petroleum Investment Co., the owner and operator of the platform, estimated that no more than 120 barrels of crude oil — about 5,040 gallons — were stored on the platform. Coast Guard officials later estimated the maximum potential release at 130 barrels

  • Credit rater to downgrade Mississippi Power on Kemper woes

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The decision by a group of electrical cooperatives to pull out of planned purchase of 15 percent of a Kemper County power plant is likely to mean a credit downgrade for Mississippi Power Co. Fitch Ratings said Friday that it plans to review the credit rating of the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. and the rating is "likely" to fall at least one notch, possibly two. The action comes because South Mississippi Electric Power Association is pulling out of a planned $600 million purchase of a share of the $6.2 billion plant that Mississippi Power is building in Kemper County. Hattiesburg-based SMEPA, which buys and generates power for 11 electrical cooperatives in southern and western Mississippi, a

  • Murray Energy expects more than 1,800 coal mine layoffs

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Appalachian coal mining suffered a double blow Friday, as Murray Energy announced plans to lay off more than 1,800 miners, most from West Virginia, and Alpha Natural Resources told another 439 Mountain State miners they could be out of work. The announcements continue a grim employment trend for the Appalachian coalfields. Mines are being shuttered and thousands of coal jobs are disappearing amid economic, geological and political challenges: competition from cheap, abundant natural gas; lousy markets for coal domestically and internationally; thinning southern Appalachian coal seams; and new federal regulations limiting carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. On Friday, St.

  • Some of the major bills approved by Oklahoma Legislature

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature wrapped up the 2015 legislative session on Friday, one week before its constitutionally mandated deadline, by passing dozens of last-minute measures. Among them are several related to the $7.1 billion state budget. Other major bills have already been signed by Gov. Mary Fallin since the legislative session began in February. Following is a look at some of those new laws: ANTI-ABORTION MEASURES: Fallin signed two bills that were pushed by anti-abortion activists, including one that will ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.

  • US stocks fall slightly on lower oil, mixed earnings news

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market capped a quiet week of trading on a down note. Major indexes fell from the start on Friday as oil drillers and other energy-related companies followed oil prices lower. Stocks spent much of the rest of the day drifting between losses and gains as investors considered a mixed bag corporate earnings and a slight increase in inflation. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed down 4.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,126.06. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,232.02. The Nasdaq composite edged down 1.43 points to 5,089.36. Trading was light ahead of the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. Just 2.5 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange,

  • Federal data: As oil production soars, so do pipeline leaks

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents. Since 2009, the annual number of significant accidents on oil and petroleum pipelines has shot up by almost 60 percent, roughly matching the rise in U.S. crude oil production, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. Nearly two-thirds of the leaks during that time have been linked to corrosion or material, welding and equipment failures, problems often associated with older pipelines, although they can occur in newer ones, too. Other leaks were blamed on natural disasters or human error, such

  • Steep drop in oil, gas valuations upending county budgets

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — People and businesses in Kansas' energy-producing counties may be paying more in property taxes or face cuts in local government services in the wake of the cheaper gasoline prices. Falling tax valuations for oil and gas properties are leaving many governments with few options to make up for the lost revenue at a time when county commissions begin their budgeting process for the coming year. Also affected will be schools, cities and other local taxing entities. "We are going to be making some tough choices and some decisions that aren't going to be real popular," said Jay Coen, a commissioner for Morton County, where 70 percent of the county's tax valuation is based on oil and gas.

  • Colorado coal mine getting court-ordered environmental study

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — Federal regulators are re-doing an environmental review for a Colorado coal mine after a judge threatened to shut it down unless they took a closer look at its indirect environmental impacts, including its contribution to climate change. However, it's not clear yet whether the federal agency that granted the permit will appeal the overall ruling, which could set a precedent that might endanger mining projects elsewhere. The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, part of the Interior Department, posted a notice of the review for the Colowyo Mine near Craig on Thursday, saying it would accept public comments through June 15. Office spokesman Chris Holmes declined to comment Friday on whethe

  • Obama signs bill giving Congress a say on Iran nuclear deal

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Though he once vigorously opposed its involvement, President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that gives Congress the power to review and potentially reject a nuclear deal with Iran. Achieving a deal with Iran is a central element of Obama's foreign policy ambitions, and the new law imposes conditions on his ability to act on his own. He signed the measure without ceremony Friday at the White House. Negotiators from the U.S., China, France, Russia, Great Britain and Germany are seeking a deal with Tehran by the end of June. Israel and some Persian Gulf nations worry Iran is simply delaying its nuclear ambitions to get economic sanctions lifted.