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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Bird's Fate Shaping Energy Development In The U.S. West

December 4, 2014 6:25 pm | by Mead Gruver and Matthew Brown, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Efforts to conserve a struggling species of grouse that ranges across the Western U.S. are having far-reaching effects on the region's energy industry as the Obama administration decides whether the bird needs more protections. Sales of leases on 8.1 million acres...

Alliant Moving Ahead With Demolition Of Plant

December 4, 2014 6:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alliant Energy is moving ahead with the demolition of its Sixth Street Generating Station near downtown Cedar Rapids. The plant has been a fixture in Cedar Rapids since it began providing electricity in 1888. Part of the plant was damaged by flooding in 2008 and it stopped...

Christie Says Oil Pipeline Should Have Been Approved

December 4, 2014 4:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the controversial Keystone XL pipeline should have been approved a long time ago and the regulatory process has gone overboard. Christie made the remarks in Calgary, Alberta while on his second foreign trip in recent months, which has given him the chance...

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ND Power Plant Off Line After Fire

December 4, 2014 4:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

No one was hurt in a fire at the Coyote Station power plant near Beulah in western North Dakota. Minnesota-based Otter Tail Power Co. says in a statement that a mechanical failure about 5 a.m. Thursday led to the fire. The cause of the equipment failure was not...

MO Nuclear Plant Shuts Down

December 3, 2014 4:52 pm | by Jim Salter, The Associated Press | News | Comments

An Ameren Corp. nuclear plant in central Missouri shut down Wednesday due to an electrical equipment failure, but the company and federal regulators say there is no risk to the public. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said an "unexpected main turbine trip" caused the shutdown...

CA Nuke Plant Key In Quake Safety Review

December 3, 2014 2:31 pm | by Kevin Freking, Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators need to reassess seismic standards at California's last operating nuclear power plant and determine if its operating rules are sufficient in light of earthquake risks, a former California state senator says. Sam Blakeslee argues in testimony to be submitted...

Groups Seek To Ban Older Rail Cars Carrying Crude

December 3, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Environmental groups filed a court petition Tuesday to ban older railroad cars from transporting crude oil. Earthjustice and two other organizations are urging the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to ban so-called DOT-111 cars built before 2011. The U.S. Department of Transportation...

New EPA Ozone Regulations Could Be Troublesome For Manufacturers

December 3, 2014 1:39 pm | by Maura Falk, Associate Editor, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | Blogs | Comments

Last week the Obama administration unveiled a new environmental regulation designed to decrease ozone emissions, a smog-causing pollutant that is often linked to asthma, respiratory illness, and heart disease. The regulations proposed by the Obama administration would lower the amount...

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Cliffs Natural Resources Sells Coal In Shift Toward Iron Ore

December 3, 2014 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cliffs Natural Resources is selling off coal assets in West Virginia as the mining company continues to shift more toward a pure, iron ore supplier. Cliffs will take a pre-tax loss of $375 million to $425 million on the sale in the four quarter. It will use proceeds from...

IN Ethanol Plant To Resume Operating

December 2, 2014 2:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An ethanol plant in South Bend that ceased operations two years ago after its former owner filed for bankruptcy is expected to begin operating again later this month. Connecticut-based Noble Americas Corp. sent notice to city officials a few weeks ago of the impending...

China's Carbon Goal A Tough Sell In Coal Country

December 2, 2014 1:06 am | by Jack Chang , The Associated Press | News | Comments

The black slabs of coal came in by the truckload through this dusty valley in northern China, slated to power cement and steel plants, heat the houses of poor farmers and even grill skewers of lamb and beef. Just a few dozen miles from the capital of Beijing, in Hebei province, coal use has long...

OH Regulators Say Power Plant Goals Unachievable

December 1, 2014 6:22 pm | by Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press | News | Comments

State regulators told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday that new federal goals for reducing mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from power plants are unachievable, costly and based on flawed assumptions. The Ohio Environmental...

Dominion: Pipeline Means $25M In Property Taxes

December 1, 2014 12:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A proposed pipeline that would deliver natural gas to the Southeast would provide more than $25 million in annual local property taxes, according to estimates from energy provider Dominion Resources Inc. The Richmond, Virginia-based company said Monday that it has provided...

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OPEC Decision Still Reverberating Worldwide

December 1, 2014 10:00 am | by Pan Pylas, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Oil stocks weighed on markets around the world Friday as crude prices hovered around four year lows in the wake of OPEC's decision to keep production steady. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was down 0.3 percent at 4,370 while Germany's DAX fell the same rate to 9,943. The FTSE 100 index...

Tobacco Commission Grant Above Recommended Amount

November 30, 2014 1:06 pm | by Alan Suderman, The Associated Press | News | Comments

When energy giant Dominion Resources Inc. wanted $30 million in public funds to help build a pipeline that would fuel a new Dominion power plant, the Virginia tobacco commission was happy to oblige. So happy, in fact, that the commission gave away millions of dollars more than commission staff...

MT Supreme Court Takes Up Coal Tax Dispute

November 25, 2014 1:04 pm | by Matthew Brown, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Montana tax authorities were expected to argue Tuesday before the state Supreme Court that a Wyoming mining company owes $3.4 million for selling coal to affiliated companies at less-than-market prices. State officials say Cloud Peak Energy company undervalued the coal it sold to two affiliates...

Montana-Dakota Utilities To Buy ND Wind Farm

November 24, 2014 11:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. is buying a 43-turbine wind farm in southwestern North Dakota. Allete Clean Energy will develop the project near Hettinger. The $200 million wind farm is expected to be done in December 2015. MDU, a division of MDU Resources Group Inc., about a year...

Judge Denies Bid To Halt IL Fracking Rules

November 24, 2014 10:15 am | by Jim Suhr, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A judge in southwestern Illinois has denied a bid by a landowners group to suspend the state's new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show they would suffer immediate harm if the practice commonly known as "fracking" was to go...

Report: Wind Power Saves $1.2B Each Year

November 24, 2014 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A trade association says that wind power saved electricity customers in Oklahoma and surrounding states more than $1.2 billion last year. The American Wind Energy Association analyzed hourly data from the Southwest Power Pool in 2013 and calculated when wind turbines were used to generate...

Fort Drum Powered By Wood In Renewable Energy Push

November 23, 2014 1:06 pm | by Mary Esch, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bulldozers rumble up and down steaming mountains of wood chips 24 hours a day, stoking the boilers that provide electricity to all 168 square miles of Fort Drum, home of the Army's 10th Mountain Division. The 60-megawatt biomass power plant is providing 100 percent of the electricity for the...

Tribal Head To Speed ND Pipeline Talks

November 21, 2014 2:15 pm | by James MacPherson, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The new leader of North Dakota's oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes is pledging to speed negotiations on a proposed pipeline through tribal land that would curb the wasteful burning of natural gas in the state by more than 10 percent. North Dakota's booming oil production has led to an...

Can Low Oil Prices Be Good For The Environment?

November 21, 2014 10:30 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Deepwater drilling rigs are sitting idle. Fracking plans are being scaled back. Enormous new projects to squeeze oil out of the tar sands of Canada are being shelved. Maybe low oil prices aren't so bad for the environment after all. The global price of oil has plummeted 31 percent in just five months, a steep...

State Releases Proposed Air Quality Rules

November 19, 2014 5:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Proposed state regulations for meeting federal air quality standards include limits on what could be burned in wood stoves. In areas with chronically bad air, such as Fairbanks and North Pole, the regulations call for using dry wood, wood pellet products, manufacture-approved biomass fuels and...

China's Energy Plan Reduces Reliance On Coal

November 19, 2014 1:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese officials announced limits Wednesday on growth in energy consumption aimed at making the country less dependent on coal.Under a development plan issued by China's Cabinet, energy consumption by 2020 must be no more than 28 percent higher than the 2013...

Public Hearing Set For Plans To Cut Carbon Emissions

November 19, 2014 12:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials are holding a hearing Wednesday in Phoenix on a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from four power plants on tribal land. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal last month for three coal-fired plants and one gas-fired...

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