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Plant Could Transition From Zinc Smelting To Petrochemicals

October 31, 2013 12:27 pm | News | Comments

Horsehead Corporation has filed a 60-day notice warning workers that it plans to close a zinc smelting plant by year's end. The move was expected, as the plant may become a $2.5 billion petrochemical "cracker" plant for Shell Oil. Still, the closing is tough news for the plant's nearly 500 hourly employees. 

Anti-Fracking Groups Oppose New York's Gas Plan

October 31, 2013 12:11 pm | by MARY ESCH, Associated Press | News | Comments

A coalition dedicated to continuing New York's five-year-old ban on hydraulic fracturing demanded that the state withdraw its proposed regulations for new liquefied natural gas facilities, saying they fail to consider all the risks. The new regulations would end a 40-year moratorium that was enacted after an explosion killed 40 workers at a Staten Island storage plant.

WVU, OSU Researchers Get $2 Million For Shale Work

October 31, 2013 11:56 am | News | Comments

The grant will focus on the chemical and isotopic biomarkers that micro-organisms leave behind during their growth. Researchers say their work is the first of its kind and that it's important to understand the micro-organisms living in the shale because it has implications for current and past life on our planet.

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Shell Prepares For Arctic Offshore Exploration

October 31, 2013 11:47 am | by Dan Joling, AP | News | Comments

A spokesman for Shell Alaska says the company will submit an Arctic offshore exploration plan sometime over the next few weeks, but hasn't decided whether it will move forward with drilling next year. Shell drilled in both the Chukchi and the Beaufort Seas in 2012, but suffered serious setbacks.

OSHA Seeking $700,000 In Fines For Sinclair Oil

October 30, 2013 11:41 am | by MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press | News | Comments

Recent safety and environmental problems at the Sinclair refinery have been numerous. Last year, three fires injured seven workers in racking up more than $200,000 in fines. In 2011, the state reached a $5.4 million settlement with Sinclair for spills into a pond on the refinery site. In 2009 the refinery was the scene of one of the biggest spills in Wyoming history.

Rockwell Makes Oilfield Acquisition

October 30, 2013 10:58 am | News | Comments

VMonitor provides digital oilfield implementation and remote operations equipment. It has the world’s largest installed base of wireless wellhead monitoring systems for natural and artificially lifted wells, with more than 6,000 sites around the world.

Gas Plant Proposed Near New Shale Site

October 29, 2013 10:53 am | News | Comments

The facility will be able to process 120 million cubic feet of gas a day from local oil wells. Many of those wells were just recently drilled into the Niobrara Shale underlying eastern Wyoming. The plant would remove natural gas liquids from the gas byproduct of local oil production.

High Hopes Remain For PA Fracking Plant

October 29, 2013 10:48 am | News | Comments

Despite delays in environmental permitting and financing, an entrepreneur says he still hopes to have a demonstration plant running by mid-March to recycle polluted water from Pennsylvania's booming natural gas drilling industry. It could treat as much as 50,000 gallons a day.

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New York Creating State Gas Reserve

October 28, 2013 12:46 pm | News | Comments

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York is creating the nation's first state gasoline reserve to prevent shortages during emergencies. A pilot program on Long Island will hold three million gallons of fuel for motorists and first responders. The project is a response to the gas shortages that created hours-long lines in the days after Superstorm Sandy.

Bakken Oil Drives Increased Rail Traffic, Potential For Spills

October 28, 2013 12:34 pm | by Phuong Le, AP | News | Comments

Hundreds of trains carrying crude oil could soon be chugging across the Northwest, bringing potential jobs and revenues but raising concerns about oil spills, increased train and vessel traffic. With five refineries, Washington has long received crude oil from Alaska and elsewhere by ship, barges or pipelines, but ports and refiners are increasingly turning to trains to take advantage of a boom in oil from North Dakota's Bakken region.

Agency Urges Drastic Steps At Fukushima

October 28, 2013 11:53 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

Human mistakes are mostly to blame for the recent mishaps, as workers deal with a string of crises. A top Japanese regulator feels these "silly mistakes" are a sign of declining morale. TEPCO acknowledged a systemic problem in a recent report, saying workers under tight deadlines tend to cut corners, and others don't fully understand their assignments or procedures.

Third Mile Reactor Undergoes Scheduled Shut Down

October 28, 2013 11:46 am | News | Comments

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is shut down while more than 1,700 technical workers perform inspections, upgrade equipment and do maintenance that cannot be done while the plant is operating. One-third of the plant's radioactive fuel will be replaced, new digital equipment will be installed and the turbines that produce electricity will be overhauled.

Greenland Lifts Ban On Uranium Mining

October 25, 2013 11:50 am | by JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Greenland's parliament has agreed to remove a 25-year-old ban on uranium mining, paving the way for an industrial boom that the Arctic island hopes will help it gain independence from former colonial master Denmark.                     

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Oil Hovers Above $97/Barrel

October 25, 2013 11:41 am | by PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press | News | Comments

The price of oil hovered above $97 a barrel Friday, consolidating mild gains after two weeks of losses sparked by high supplies and patchy global economic growth.                                                                            

Reactor Shut Down At Oconee Nuclear Station

October 25, 2013 11:13 am | by JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press | News | Comments

A nuclear power plant in Oconee County, South Carolina had to shut down one of its three reactors after a problem was detected in the water system that helps generate electricity to run the turbines.                                    

A Look At Fukushima Errors

October 25, 2013 10:28 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ten mishaps in just eight months at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are raising doubts about the operator's ability to tackle the crisis and prompting concern that another disaster could be in the making. Even more troubling, a typhoon is forcasted to hit the area this weekend.                                

Fossil Fuel Investors Ask For Climate Change Study

October 24, 2013 10:35 am | by KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some of the largest pension funds in the U.S. and the world are worried that major fossil fuel companies may not be as profitable in the future because of efforts to limit climate change, and they want details on how the firms will manage a long-term shift to cleaner energy sources.

VT Panel Urges Prompt Nuke Decommissioning

October 24, 2013 10:16 am | by DAVE GRAM, Associated Press | News | Comments

A panel that advises Vermont state policymakers on activities at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Wednesday passed a resolution urging prompt dismantlement after the reactor closes next year. Entergy, the owning company, has not said how long the process should take, but federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules indicate it can take up to 60 years.

Officials Want Presque Isle Plant To Stay Open

October 24, 2013 9:37 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Following a request to suspend operations at Presque Isle Power Plant in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, official say the plant should remain operating through at least 2014 to maintain reliable electricity service in the region.                   

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Pollution Down 3.8 Percent

October 22, 2013 10:23 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP | News | Comments

The United States cut its energy-related carbon dioxide pollution by 3.8 percent last year, the second biggest drop since 1990. The only recent year with a bigger percentage drop was in 2009, when America was in a large recession. American cars and factories released their lowest levels of CO2 since 1994.

'Pandora's Promise' director talks about Fukushima

October 21, 2013 2:38 pm | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

Dressed in white hazmat coveralls and carrying a dosimeter, documentary film director Robert Stone ventured into the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant's exclusion zone a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in three reactors. As he encountered abandoned homes, shops and toppled cars in the scene in his new film "Pandora's Promise," Stone asked a traveling companion, "So, are you still pro-nuclear?"

GM To Sell Impala Powered By Natural Gas

October 17, 2013 11:38 am | News | Comments

General Motors says it will start selling a Chevrolet Impala sedan next summer that runs on both natural gas and gasoline. The company says both fuels are needed because there are few natural gas filling stations in the U.S. GM says the Impala will be the only factory-produced full-size car that runs on both fuels.

France Upholds Ban On Fracking

October 11, 2013 10:48 am | by Lori Hinnant, AP | News | Comments

French President Francois Hollande had promised to maintain the ban imposed by his predecessor, even though France had been named among the most promising European countries for shale gas extraction. The French, who rely largely on nuclear energy, pay roughly 50 percent more per month for energy than Americans.

Kentucky Power Gets Biomass Plant Approved

October 11, 2013 10:38 am | News | Comments

A contract allowing Kentucky Power Co. to buy electricity produced by a biomass-fueled plant has been approved. The Kentucky Public Service Commission reported the utility has said the deal is needed because of reduced power production at the company's Big Sandy plant in Lawrence County.

Drilling Industry Wades Into Pennsylvania Politics

October 11, 2013 10:30 am | News | Comments

The largest organization representing companies involved in Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom have attacked proposals to raise taxes on the industry by various challengers to Governor Tom Corbett. The Marcellus Shale Coalition issued a statement criticizing tax proposals that it said were being touted by gubernatorial candidates.

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