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2 Killed, 3 Hurt in Explosion, Fire at Oklahoma Oil Rig

December 19, 2014 3:19 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

An explosion and fire early Friday morning killed two people and critically injured two others at an oil rig in southeastern Oklahoma. Authorities said the explosion occurred at the rig about 2 miles west of Coalgate in a remote area of rural Coal County about 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

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New Reports Outline Texas Plant Chaos, 4 Deaths

December 19, 2014 3:14 pm | by LISE OLSEN, Houston Chronicle | Comments

Harris County investigators' reports paint a picture of confusion, chaos and delays in those early morning hours of Nov. 15 when DuPont workers became overcome and died as 23,000 pounds of toxic gases accumulated from a leak inside the pesticide unit.

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Cuomo Gets Kudos, Scorn For New York Fracking Ban

December 19, 2014 10:05 am | by MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press | Comments

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business interests for a planned state ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn't his. Residents statewide remain almost evenly split on the issue.

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Feds to Revive Proposal to Store Nation's Radioactive Waste in Nevada

December 19, 2014 9:59 am | by KEN RITTER, Associated Press | Comments

The federal Energy Department will need to acquire water and land rights before it gets approval to entomb the nation's most radioactive waste beneath a mountain in the Nevada desert, according to a report released Thursday by an the agency being asked to license the project. Nevada is fighting the project, contending the technology for entombing nuclear waste is unproven.

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China Pledges to Speed Entry of U.S. Pharmaceuticals

December 19, 2014 9:40 am | by JASON KEYSER, Associated Press | Comments

China promised Thursday to speed up imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the United States and enforce its anti-monopoly laws equally among Chinese and foreign companies. Those commitments were announced at an annual trade meeting between the two countries that took place in Chicago.

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Omaha Company Proposes Vegetable Oil Plant

December 18, 2014 12:31 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

An Omaha, Nebraska soybean processing company plans to build a $90 million vegetable oil refinery in western Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that Ag Processing Inc. plans to build the refinery at its complex near Sergeant Bluff, creating at least 20 new jobs.

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Extreme Temperatures And Other Hazards Found at Birds Eye Foods Plant

December 18, 2014 9:20 am | by OSHA | Comments

One would expect subzero temperatures in the Arctic Circle and understand the need for a coat, but employees working in a 40-degree-below-zero Fahrenheit freezer at Birds Eye Foods Inc. in Darien were left in the cold. OSHA also discovered slip, trip and fall hazards on unclean freezer floors.

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ND Fines Company $687,000 For Waste Water Violations

December 17, 2014 4:19 pm | by JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press | Comments

North Dakota regulators assessed a $687,000 fine Wednesday against a Utah company for violating saltwater waste disposal rules. The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved the sanction against Springville, Utah-based Redemption Energy LLC.

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Hemlock Permanently Closing $1.2B Plant in Tenn.

December 17, 2014 4:11 pm | by The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn. | Comments

Hemlock Semiconductor Group is permanently closing its idled polysilicon plant in Clarksville, citing global trade disputes that have led to an oversupply of the compound used in solar energy panels. The company's president, Denise Beachy, announced the decision to the The Leaf-Chronicle on Wednesday.

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Russia's Sinking Economy Becoming a Global Threat

December 17, 2014 12:35 pm | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Russia's suddenly escalating financial crisis risks spilling beyond its borders and endangering parts of the global economy. "Oil hasn't found a bottom yet, so the pain is only going to get worse as the price of oil continues to fall," said a chief market strategist.

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Four Indicted in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

December 17, 2014 12:29 pm | by JOHN RABY, Associated Press | Comments

A grand jury has indicted four former executives of a chemical company on pollution charges in a spill that prompted a drinking water ban for 300,000 West Virginia residents. The indictment charges ex-Freedom Industries presidents with failing to ensure that Freedom operated the terminal that leaked in a reasonable and environmentally sound manner.

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Pharmacy Officials Face Charges After Patient Deaths

December 17, 2014 9:39 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Federal officials say a co-owner and a pharmacist at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a 2012 deadly meningitis outbreak have been charged with racketeering for allegedly causing the deaths of patients who received tainted steroids manufactured by the company.

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Wyoming Lawmakers Endorse Workplace Fatality Bill

December 17, 2014 9:30 am | by BEN NEARY, Associated Press | Comments

Lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a proposal that would sharply increase penalties when employee deaths occur because of safety violations at large companies in Wyoming, which has long been among the top states for workplace deaths. Mary Jane Collins of Sheridan urged the committee to pass the bill. Her grandson, Brett Collins, died in a construction accident in 2012.

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Boeing Factory to Use All Clean Energy

December 16, 2014 2:24 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

A Boeing factory says it plans to switch to all renewable energy at the factory in Washington state where it assembles its 737 commercial airplanes. The aerospace company and the utility, Puget Sound Energy, announced the switch Tuesday at the Renton factory, near Seattle.

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Feds Target Toxic Chemical Emissions From Mine Blasts

December 16, 2014 9:56 am | by MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press | Comments

The federal agency in charge of environmental protection at surface mines including Wyoming's huge open-pit coal mines has agreed to work toward regulating the toxic chemicals that sometimes get ejected into the air during blasting. Some who live near the big coal mines say they've suffered from headaches and respiratory irritation when such clouds waft over their neighborhoods.

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