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Author Archives: Maureen McMullen

NW rail terminals could aid oil-sand producers, study says

Proposed rail terminals in Vancouver, Wash., and other Northwest communities could be a boon to Canadian oil-sand producers seeking to get their product to U.S. and international markets, according to a report released Thursday by the Sightline Institute, an environmental-policy think tank. Though pipelines provide the cheapest way to transport this crude, their backers are having a hard time getting ...

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Pittsburgh Mills foreclosure ‘not uncommon’ in Pittsburgh area

Observers say foreclosure proceedings filed Wednesday against the owner of the Pittsburgh Mills mall are not yet cause for alarm. “It’s really not uncommon,” said Sean Barrie, a research analyst with New York City-based firm Trepp LLC that provides market research for the real estate and banking industries. Barrie pointed to nine other commercial properties in the Pittsburgh region believed ...

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Wolf: Renters may bear bigger burden in ‘half a loaf’ budget

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A proposed 21 percent increase in Pennsylvania’s sales tax — part of a plan to end a nearly five-month-old state government budget stalemate — will fall more heavily on people who don’t own a home, Gov. Tom Wolf acknowledged on Friday. The first-term Democratic governor suggested that the sales tax proposal was the result of concessions he ...

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Liberty Utilities proposes natural gas expansion to Swanzey


SWANZEY CENTER — If Liberty Utilities goes ahead with establishing natural gas services in town, they won’t involve the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. At least not at first, Liberty Utilities officials told Swanzey Selectmen Tuesday night. Instead, the service will come from Keene, where Liberty’s company officials say they plan to convert the city’s more than 100-year-old propane-air mixture distribution ...

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Magnum Hunter warns of bankruptcy for gas companies

About a month after Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. said it had hired advisers to help boost the struggling company’s financial position, the oil and gas producer warned that it may be heading toward bankruptcy. It joins other oil and gas companies reeling from the body blows dealt by plummeting commodity prices — many have announced layoffs, suspended drilling in some ...

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From the budget table: Pennsylvania’s proposed pension deal trades cuts in future workers’ benefits for hoped-for taxpayer savings

The pension reform department of the final state budget talks is aimed toward producing a new benefit plan for future state and public school employees that’s come to be known as a “side-by-side hybrid.” That’s side-by-side, as in it’s really two distinct pension plans working for the employee from their first day on the job: one part a traditional defined ...

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Northwest Ohio ethanol producers dispute advertisement

LIMA — An advertisement shown around the state has Ohio corn growers and ethanol producers demanding it be stopped. The ad, paid for by the American Council for Capital Formation and several other groups, says ethanol production is bad for the environment, raises food costs, and demands mandates for it should end. It also asks that Congress stop the Renewable ...

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Vallourec sees 35 percent drop in 3Q revenues

YOUNGSTOWN — The downturn in oil and gas continues to hurt earnings for French steel-pipe maker Vallourec. The parent company of the steel-pipe plant Vallourec Star in Youngstown on Monday reported a year-over-year revenue drop of 35.1 percent in the third quarter. Revenues were $939 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared with about $1.4 billion in the third ...

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