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Texas City That Prepared For Oil Boom Now Waits For Bust

January 9, 2015 2:14 pm | by EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press | Comments

Just two years ago, this Texas town known mostly for its annual rattlesnake roundup seemed to be on the brink of a transformation. Expecting a huge influx of oil workers, local leaders spent tens of millions of dollars to improve the courthouse, build a new law-enforcement center and upgrade the hospital. Hotels, truck stops and housing subdivisions were to follow, all catering to truck drivers and roughnecks.

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Oil Bust Will Hurt Housing in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana

January 9, 2015 12:29 pm | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The oil boom that lifted home prices in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana is coming to an end. Crude oil prices have crashed since June, falling by more than 54 percent to less than $50 a barrel. That swift drop has started to cripple job growth in oil country, creating a slow wave that in the years ahead may devastate what has been a thriving real estate market.

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Obama Administration Sued Over Gulf of Mexico Fracking Info

January 9, 2015 12:25 pm | by JASON DEAREN, Associated Press | Comments

An environmental advocacy group sued the Obama administration in federal court on Thursday for refusing to release documents detailing the extent of fracking in the Gulf of Mexico. Samantha Joye, a marine sciences professor at the University of Georgia who studies effects of oil spills on the sea environment, said there have been no scientific studies looking at fracking chemicals in the ocean.

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House Poised to Pass Pipeline Bill as State Court Clears Way

January 9, 2015 12:20 pm | by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press | Comments

As House Republicans prepared to pass legislation Friday to authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Nebraska's highest court removed a major obstacle to the project and a major reason behind President Barack Obama's opposition to the bill.

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Activist Investor Intensifies Fight Over DuPont's Future

January 9, 2015 9:47 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A fight for control of DuPont Co. is intensifying after the hedge fund led by activist investor Nelson Peltz announced plans to nominate its own slate of four directors to the industry titan's board. Its shares edged higher in premarket trading.

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GasBuddy Releases Fuel Price Outlook For 2015

January 8, 2015 5:27 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Comments

With all the talk of falling oil prices and its effect on the global economy, companies and consumers are keeping a close eye on  the fluctuating gas prices. This week, GasBuddy has released its GasBuddy Fuel Price Outlook 2015. The report forecasts monthly gas averages and dives into the factors affecting the prices.

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Photo of The Day: NY to Ban Plastic Food Containers From Restaurants

January 8, 2015 4:30 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

Starting this summer, New York City will join the environmental sustainability trend by banning restaurants and other food establishments from using plastic foam containers. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning that he will fulfill an initiative that was first suggested by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

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Judge Keeps Most of Gag Order in Former W.Va. Coal Exec Case

January 8, 2015 9:43 am | by JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press | Comments

A judge is upholding most of a gag order in a criminal case against ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who was in charge of the Upper Big Branch mine when it exploded and killed 29 men. U.S. District Judge Irene Berger wrote that she needs much of the gag order intact to maintain a fair trial with unbiased prospective jurors in southern West Virginia.

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MeadWestvaco Plans to Spin Off Specialty Chemicals Business

January 8, 2015 9:20 am | by Associated Press | Comments

"The separation of specialty chemicals will establish two strong companies that are better positioned to compete and profitably grow in their targeted markets," Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a statement on Thursday.

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Thousands of Indian Coal Workers End Strike

January 8, 2015 9:16 am | by Associated Press | Comments

They ended their protest late Wednesday after Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal assured them that Coal India, which accounts for 80 percent of India's coal production, would not be privatized and the interests of workers would be protected.

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Keystone Pipeline Odds Remain Long Following Veto Threat

January 7, 2015 5:18 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Control of the United States Senate changed hands this week, but that appears unlikely to change the fortunes of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline following a veto threat from the White House. Shortly after the introduction of a new Senate bill to authorize construction of the pipeline, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president would not support the current measure.

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Inspectors Confident Chlorine Gas Used in Syrian Villages

January 7, 2015 10:34 am | by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press | Comments

Chemical weapons investigators concluded "with a high degree of confidence" that chlorine gas was used as a weapon against three opposition-controlled villages in Syria last year, affecting between 350 and 500 people and killing 13.

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Shell, Villagers Agree to $83.5 Million For Huge Oil Spill

January 7, 2015 10:26 am | by MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press | Comments

Oil giant Shell has agreed to pay a Nigerian fishing community 55 million pounds (about $83.5 million) for the worst oil spill in Nigeria, an unprecedented settlement that experts say could open a floodgate of litigation there and abroad.

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Monsanto Earnings Fall 34 Percent on Lower Corn Seed Sales

January 7, 2015 10:12 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Monsanto said Wednesday that its earnings fell 34 percent in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company's biotech-enhanced seeds.U.S. farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years.

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Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Could Taint Swimming Pools

January 7, 2015 9:22 am | by Purdue University | Comments

A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects. A research group led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed an analytical technique that identifies and quantifies 32 pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water.

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