• AAA: Md. drivers paying $3.44 per gallon

    Updated: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorists in Maryland are paying 4 cents less at the pump when compared with a week ago. AAA Mid-Atlantic said Friday in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Maryland was $3.44, down from $3.48 a week ago. The price of gas in the state is 3 cents less than the national average of $3.47. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in cities around the state includes $3.42 in Baltimore, $3.53 in Cumberland, $3.38 in Hagerstown and $3.35 in Salisbury. Motorists in the region are paying 12 cents less than at this time last year when the average price of a gallon of gas was $3.56 per gallon.

  • Delaware drivers see gas prices fall to $3.35

    Updated: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorists in Delaware are paying 2 cents less at the pump when compared with a week ago. AAA Mid-Atlantic said Sunday in a weekly report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Delaware was $3.35. That's compared to $3.37 a week ago. Motorists in the region are paying 18 cents less than a year ago. At this time last year Delaware drivers were paying $3.53 per gallon. The price of gas in the state is 11 cents less than the national average of $3.46 per gallon.

  • Delays for SC nuclear plant pressure industry

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    ATLANTA (AP) — Expensive delays are piling up for the companies building new nuclear power plants, raising fresh questions about whether they can control the construction costs that crippled the industry years ago. The latest announcement came this week from executives at SCANA Corp., which has been warned by its builders the startup of the first of two new reactors in South Carolina could be delayed two years or more. SCANA Corp. and plant co-owner Santee Cooper have not accepted that timeline from the companies designing and building the reactors, nor have they accepted responsibility for additional costs. That announcement may well foreshadow more delays for a sister project in eastern Georgia, and they have caught the a

  • Voters to decide fate of Alaska oil production tax

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Amid a fog of conflicting claims, Alaskans head to the polls Tuesday to decide if the state's old system for taxing oil companies, passed in 2007 after some lawmakers were suspected of bribery, is better than the new system, a tax cut passed last year to try to attract investment from petroleum companies. Ballot Measure No. 1 asks voters if they want to reject the 2013 law that supporters have dubbed the "More Alaska Production Act." Advocated by Gov. Sean Parnell, it replaced the production tax known as "Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share," or ACES, that was championed by former Gov. Sarah Palin. Critics call ACES an investment killer.

  • Ohio passes 1,000 mark on Utica shale wells

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    CANTON, Ohio (AP) — State officials say there are now more than 1,000 Utica shale wells around Ohio. The (Canton) Repository (http://bit.ly/1sTza9H) reports that statistics released Tuesday from the Department of Natural Resources show Ohio has 1,004 wells listed as drilled, drilling or producing. Ohio overall has 495 producing Utica wells. Forty-eight drilling rigs are working in the region. Carroll County in eastern Ohio has the most Utica wells in the state, with 240 wells producing out 363 drilled. Neighboring Harrison County has the second highest number of wells, with 70 wells out of 174 producing. Reports from the Energy Information Administration say the Utica shale region is one of the fastest-growing n

  • Regulators to decide depth of W.Va. spill probe

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State utility regulators are deciding how deeply they'll probe into a water company's response to a massive January chemical spill, which sullied 300,000 people's tap water for days. The Public Service Commission will decide Monday if it will require West Virginia American Water to produce a slew of documents the company doesn't want to hand over. The water company says those records, which include emergency response and prevention plans, are beyond the scope of the investigation. It says some of the requested documents are already being sought in lawsuits against the company. The utility also says many of the documents are shielded from release under federal anti-terrorism laws.

  • No injuries in fire at Pa. gas well site

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    MERCER, Pa. (AP) — Two storage tanks at a natural gas well site in northwestern Pennsylvania caught fire and exploded, but no injuries were reported. More than a dozen fire departments responded to the blaze in rural Jefferson Township at about 8 p.m. Friday. That's about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. Hilcorp Energy Company says in an email that the storage tanks holding oil and gas liquids caught fire at the well pad and the blaze lasted less than an hour. Area residents say they heard explosions and that black smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away, but no homes were evacuated. The state Department of Environmental Protection closed a local road to all nonemergency vehicles. Hilcorp says the cause o

  • Why global turmoil hasn't sunk US markets. Yet.

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Europe appears on the brink of another recession. Islamic militants have seized Iraqi territory. Russian troops have massed on the Ukraine border, and the resulting sanctions are disrupting trade. An Ebola outbreak in Africa and Israel's war in Gaza are contributing to the gloom. It's been a grim summer in much of the world. Yet investors in the United States have largely shrugged it off — so far at least. A big reason is that five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy is showing a strength and durability that other major nations can only envy. Thanks in part to the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rates, employers have ramped up hiring, factories have boosted production an

  • AAA Mid-Atlantic: More good news at the pump

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — There's more good news for motorists this week as gas prices continue to drop. AAA Mid-Atlantic says average prices dropped slightly over the last week, continuing a trend over the last month. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell a penny to $3.47 last week. That price represents a 14-cent drop from a month ago and is seven cents lower than a year ago. The news is even better in New Jersey, where average prices fell four cents in the last week to $3.32 per gallon. That's 16 cents lower than a year ago. AAA Mid-Atlantic expects prices to continue to fall as refineries gradually shift over to a less costly winter blend of gasoline.

  • Grand opening set for first large cellulosic plant

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new era of ethanol fuel production will begin in the next few months as Iowa refineries begin full operation using materials other than corn kernels. Iowa, the nation's top ethanol producer, has two major cellulosic plants under construction and nearly ready for production using corn plant leaves, stalks and cobs to make ethanol. The first to go online, called Project Liberty, will hold a grand opening with public tours on Sept. 3. It is among the first facilities of its size in the United States to begin making ethanol from plant material. The $250 million plant in the northwest Iowa city of Emmetsburg will produce 25 million gallons a year when fully operational.

  • Schatz wins Democratic Hawaii US Senate primary

    Updated: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Sen. Brian Schatz beat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Hawaii, closing out a tight, emotional race that went into overtime after a tropical storm kept some voters from the polls. Schatz extended his slim vote lead late Friday during a makeup election for thousands of voters in two remote precincts who couldn't cast ballots during the state's regular primary last Saturday because of blocked roads and power outages caused by Tropical Storm Iselle.

  • Oil and gas, livestock prices for Aug. 16

    Published: Sat, Aug 16, 2014

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Friday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $93.75 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $81.75 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted July 30: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Linda Marie 19-27-10 No. 1H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 19-27N-10W; 80 barrels oil per day, 590,000 cu-ft gas per day; Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Linda Marie 19-27-10 No. 2H Well; NW1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 19-27N-10W; 82 barrels oil per day, 647,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 9,898. Chesapeake Operating Inc.; Lodge Trust 18-27-10 No. 1H Well; SE1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 NW1/4 (BHL) of 18-27N-10W; 130 barrels oil per day, 782,000 cu-ft

  • Norman meeting on fracking draws hundreds

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    Hundreds of people filled a meeting room at the Norman Public Library this week to discuss hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and whether Norman and other cities in Oklahoma and other states have the right to regulate the process.

  • Oklahoma City area real estate briefs, Aug. 16

    Published: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    Oklahoma City area real estate briefs, Aug. 16

  • Feds close probe of refinery blast that killed 7

    Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says it won't file criminal charges after investigating the April 2010 explosion that killed seven workers at the Tesoro refinery at Anacortes, Washington. U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said Friday that the decision to close the case without charges was shared with victims' relatives earlier in the day. Federal investigators and prosecutors examined whether environmental and worker safety laws and regulations had been violated. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report on the blast in May. It blamed the facility's safety culture, industry standards, and state and federal oversight for the catastrophic rupture of a heat exchanger.

  • Oklahoma oil company achieves production milestone

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    Oklahoma City-based Chaparral Energy Inc. reached a production milestone in May, when it produced 1 million barrels of oil equivalent in a month for the first time.

  • 'Buy the Farm' ruling puts utility on hook

    Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A small organic dairy in southern Minnesota has prevailed in forcing a buyout by a utility that's building high-voltage power lines along the property. The case involving the Cedar Summit Farm near New Prague was seen as an early test of Minnesota's revised "Buy the Farm" law. The ruling, made public Thursday by Scott County Judge Caroline Lennon, applies only to that farm, but other landowners preparing their own legal fights along the route of the CapX2020 line from South Dakota through Minnesota have been watching closely. David and Florence Minar elected to force a purchase of their legacy farm rather than operate under the new power lines. Lennon ruled they were within their rights to do so and n

  • Critics: Police equipped like armies going too far

    Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Missouri police department at the center of an uproar over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager acquired two armored Humvees and other military gear for free through a Pentagon program that critics blame for "militarizing America's Main Streets" and aggravating clashes between police and protesters. The Ferguson Police Department received the two Humvees as well as a generator and a flatbed trailer under the surplus equipment program run by the Defense Logistics Agency, which is in charge of getting supplies of all types for the military. News footage and photos of police outfitted in paramilitary gear clashing with protesters in Ferguson — a largely black suburb of St.

  • Nuclear reactor near NYC running after shutdown

    Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) — A nuclear power reactor near New York City is operating again, two days after a faulty sensor led to an automatic shutdown. Indian Point in Westchester County says Unit 3 restarted Friday. It went offline Wednesday when a sensor detected a reactor pressure change. Spokesman Jerry Nappi says there was no change. The 1,000-megawatt reactor produces power for about a million homes. It remained offline until workers determined the cause of the false signal and fixed the sensor. The plant's other reactor continued operating during the shutdown and was unaffected. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the shutdown happened as workers were testing safety systems. An agency spokesman says th

  • Indianapolis utility to convert coal plant to gas

    Updated: Fri, Aug 15, 2014

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An aging coal-fired power plant that Indianapolis' utility company had faced growing pressure to retire will be converted to cleaner-burning natural gas if state regulators endorse a revised plan the company announced Friday. Indianapolis Power & Light President and CEO Kelly Huntington told The Associated Press the utility's decision to ask the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for approval next month to convert the 427-megawatt plant to natural gas was the "most reasonable, least-cost option" for its 470,000 customers in Indianapolis and surrounding counties. IPL will stop burning coal at the plant at its 3-unit Harding Street complex on the city's south side in 2016, she said.