• Huelskamp faces GOP challenge in Kan. 1st District

    Updated: Sat, Jul 5, 2014

    LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — The Republican congressman from the sprawling 1st District of western and central Kansas has found himself increasingly on the defensive while campaigning in the GOP primary race back home. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a tea party favorite and Kansas farmer known for his criticism of the GOP leadership in Washington, is seeking a third two-year term to represent this agricultural district. At the end of 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio stripped Huelskamp of the farm state's nearly automatic seat on the House Agriculture Committee. A member of the Kansas delegation had served on that panel for nearly 100 years. "I am not going to walk the Republican line.

  • Vermont nuclear plant permitted to discharge water

    Updated: Sat, Jul 5, 2014

    BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant can continue discharging millions of gallons of heated water into the Connecticut River until the plant shuts down later this year. That's according to a draft state permit released earlier this week. The Times Argus (http://bit.ly/1jTvpvQ ) reports that new conditions in the permit mean plant owner Entergy Nuclear may have to curb discharges this fall so the temperature of the river stays at or below 69 degrees. The current limit is 71. River water doesn't come into contact with radioactive materials. Environmental groups had fought Entergy for years about the permit because of the effect of the higher temperatures on fish, particularly the migratin

  • Demand for diesel fuel is expected to grow

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    Diesel fuel demand is expected to surge over the next 25 years even as gasoline use falls, according the the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

  • Egypt's government raises fuel prices dramatically

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's government raised the prices of fuel by up to 78 percent starting Saturday, following on a promise to cut subsidies that eat up nearly a quarter of the state budget, the official news agency reported. The price hikes, in effect as of Friday midnight, follow an increase in electricity prices that were put in effect at the start of July. The Cabinet this week amended the government's budget to reduce a staggering deficit. Newly elected President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, elected to office last month, has said he will need to tackle the tough issue and asked every Egyptian to be ready to sacrifice to help the country's battered economy after three years of turmoil.

  • Colorado museum pays tribute to coal mining era

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    WALSENBURG, Colo. (AP) — About 500 coal miners died in Huerfano County in the early to middle part of the 20th century. Often called "The City Built on Coal," this small town is home to the Walsenburg Mining Museum, a gallery that honors southern Colorado miners with exhibits, books and stories. Even the building the museum is housed in, a 118-year-old jail, has a colorful history, The Pueblo Chieftain reported (http://tinyurl.com/lm6ddbs). The Huerfano County Historical Society runs the facility. "The geography here affected the history. We have a number of passes over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and that figured into early history and present history," said Carolyn Newman, president of the society and a loc

  • Power slowly coming back after severe Pa. storms

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Repair crews are making steady progress on restoring power to customers left without electricity after powerful thunderstorms moved across Pennsylvania. PECO is reporting Friday evening that just over 11,000 customers remain without power in Philadelphia and its suburbs, almost half of them in Chester County. PPL Electric Utilities says about 720 of its customers remain without power, scattered throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania. First Energy is reporting fewer than 900 customers without electricity. At the storm's peak, nearly 171,000 utility customers had no power. Thursday's stormy weather forced the postponement of several fireworks displays.

  • Conn. law cuts sulfur content in home heating oil

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Oil heat businesses say a new Connecticut law that sharply cuts sulfur content in home heating oil will reduce costs for consumers. Beginning July 1, the sulfur content of home heating oil in Connecticut dropped to 500 parts per million from 3,000, an 84 percent reduction. By July 1, 2018, the sulfur content of home heating oil will fall to 15 parts per million. Chris Herb, president of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, which represents 600 family-run home-heating oil companies in Connecticut, said the new fuel content limits will save consumers money in annual maintenance costs for home heating equipment. The reduced sulfur content also is expected to lead to a drop in sulfur diox

  • Iraq's al-Maliki signals his intent to stay in job

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Despite mounting pressure to step aside, Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki vowed Friday not to abandon his bid for another term as prime minister and pledged to stay on until the Sunni militants who have overrun much of the country are defeated. The sharp words are certain to prolong the political impasse gripping Iraq, which is facing urgent demands for a new government that can hold the nation together in the face of an onslaught that threatens to cleave it in three along ethnic and sectarian lines. The offensive by militants who have swept across much of northern and western Iraq since last month has been fueled in part by grievances among the country's Sunni Muslim minority with al-Maliki and his Shiite-led governme

  • Costs of Vermont Gas pipeline extension are rising

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The cost of extending a natural gas pipeline south from the Burlington area to the Addison County communities of Middlebury and Vergennes is going to cost 40 percent more than first thought, the company planning the project said. On Wednesday, Vermont Gas announced building the new gas line will cost $35.6 million more than originally planned, to a total of about $121.6 million. Vermont Gas says the new estimate is due to increased costs that coincide with a surge in natural gas production and changes to the project to accommodate people living along the route. Vice President Jim Sinclair said the cost increase for the pipeline expansion isn't surprising.

  • New York considers releasing oil train details

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — While the federal government ordered railroads a month ago to give states details about shipments of volatile crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken shale region, New York officials haven't decided whether to share that information with the public. The Associated Press and eight environmental groups filed Freedom of Information Law requests with the state Office of Emergency Management this week, arguing that it's in the public interest for communities to know more about the shipments in light of at least eight major accidents during the last year, including one that killed 47 people in Quebec a year ago. The state agency said it will respond to the information requests within 20 days. CSX Corp.

  • State issues 9 demands to oil company

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The state is giving an oil company drilling in southwest Florida two weeks to comply with nine demands or face penalties. Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard issued a letter late Thursday to Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Co. outlining steps the drilling company needs to take to restore public confidence in its activities in Collier County. Among other demands, the state wants the company to hold three public meetings to discuss present and future operations and to allow media access to operations to ensure that previous violations are not continuing. Vinyard also wants revisions for a state-required groundwater monitoring plan and frequent status reports on safety me

  • Coal, gas drilling waste plant closes, leaves mess

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A company that treated wastewater from coal mines and gas drilling operations near Pittsburgh has closed, and state officials are scrambling to clean up a mess that's still there. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokesman John Poister says the majority of the waste at the former Tunnelton Liquids site in Saltzburg is coal-related, but a considerable amount of sludge in a pond appears to be from the recent Marcellus Shale gas drilling boom. Acid mine water and sludge is building up and could overflow into the Conemaugh (KAHN'-uh-mah) River if left untreated. Al Lander is one of the Tunnelton owners. He says they tried to work with DEP but got nowhere.

  • Vermont utility offering more wind turbine tours

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    LOWELL, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's Green Mountain Power is going to be offering more tours of its 21-turbine industrial wind project on Lowell Mountain. So far this summer 400 people have taken the tour and gotten an up-close look at the project. GMP Spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure says the tours are a way to engage with people and show them the project first hand. Ten additional tours are scheduled between July 9 and the end of August. The 90-minute tours are free. People can sign up by visiting Green Mountain Power's website.

  • Avista closes deal to buy Juneau utility

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Washington-based energy company has concluded its acquisition of Juneau's electric company. Even though Avista Corp., which is headquartered in Spokane, now owns Alaska Electric Light and Power Company, things are expected to be "business as usual" moving forward, an Avista spokeswoman told the Empire Tuesday. Jessie Wuerst, senior communications manager for Avista, said the company decided to acquire AEL&P and its parent company, Alaska Energy and Resources Company, because Avista's "northwest customer base isn't growing." "To keep value for our shareholders, we needed to look for ways to expand," she said.

  • Records: 3 oil trains go through Oregon weekly

    Updated: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two railroads ran a total of three oil trains per week through Oregon's most populous county, a disclosure railroad companies fought to keep from public release. Documents released Thursday also show the rail lines are capable of moving nine trains per day through the state. The records, which show how much crude oil from the Northern Rockies was carried by train through Oregon, were released after a monthlong battle over the documents between media outlets that requested them and Oregon public officials, who said the material was protected by federal law. The records show BNSF Railway moved three oil trains through the county that includes Portland in the first and second week of June, and those

  • Oil and gas prices, plus livestock, July 4

    Published: Fri, Jul 4, 2014

    Oil and gas prices, plus livestock, July 4

  • Debate continues: Updated study claims earthquake swarm tied to water disposal wells

    BY ADAM WILMOTH, Energy Editor | Published: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    High-volume wastewater disposal wells likely have contributed to the swarm of earthquakes experienced in central Oklahoma over the past few years, according to an updated report from a team led by former OU researcher Katie Keranen.

  • Oklahoma officials agree to railroad demands to keep oil train shipments secret

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    The federal government has ordered railroads to share information with state and local first responders about shipments of oil from the fast-growing Bakken formation in North Dakota. Some states, including Oklahoma, have agreed to railroad demands to keep the information confidential, but others are providing it to the public.

  • Energy briefs for July 4, 2014

    Published: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    Energy briefs for July 4, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Senator questions Hanford legal fees

    Updated: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Private contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy have spent at least $3.5 million in legal expenses to battle two critics of a massive construction project at the nation's most polluted nuclear site, according to a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. The letter is from the chairwoman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee that is investigating whether there was retaliation against two Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who raised safety concerns and then lost their jobs at the former nuclear weapons production site. "The Department of Energy may be providing an incentive to contractors to engage in protracted litigation with whistleblowers by reimbursing the contractors' legal expenses," sai