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NC regulator OKs Duke Energy-Piedmont Natural Gas merger

Duke Energy, pollution, divestment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators are allowing Duke Energy to expand from being the country’s largest electricity company to selling natural gas. Duke Energy Corp. said in a statement Thursday that the North Carolina Utilities Commission has allowed its acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas Co. The regulatory approval is the last needed for the deal. The transaction is ...

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15 Las Vegas Strip properties unplugging from NV Energy grid

Las Vegas, Nevada

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nobody will flip a switch, and lights aren’t expected to flutter on casino floors when 15 Las Vegas Strip properties start parting ways overnight with NV Energy. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts will start buying electricity Saturday from private providers on the open market after a yearlong effort to unplug from the state’s dominant electric ...

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Company settles with feds over renewable fuel violation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A company has agreed to pay $27 million in a settlement over violations of biofuel exports. The U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the settlement with Chemoil, which sells renewable fuel, diesel and oil products from San Francisco. The civil penalty is the largest under the EPA’s fuels program. The agencies said ...

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US Justice Department investigating Chesapeake Energy

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into possible antitrust violations by Chesapeake Energy Corp. The Journal Record reports (http://bit.ly/2dwWCJ5 ) the agency has subpoenaed documents related to how the driller pays royalty owners and accounts for oil and gas reserves. Chesapeake disclosed the subpoena Thursday in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities ...

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State Supreme Court rules in favor of $150M ethanol plant

ethanol, gasoline

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Supreme Court has removed the final obstacle for a $150 million ethanol plant in Sully County. Justices this week denied the appeal of 11 Onida-area residents who oppose the plant’s location, according to the Capital Journal and KCCR radio. The neighbors had sued, saying county officials improperly rezoned the site for commercial agriculture ...

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SEC: Weatherford International oil firm to pay $140M fine

tax fraud, Weatherford International

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield-services company Weatherford International PLC has agreed to pay a $140 million fine to settle government claims that it used fraudulent tax accounting to inflate its earnings. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with Weatherford, which is based in Switzerland and has major operations in Houston. According to a settlement order, Weatherford issued financial ...

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North Dakota asks pipeline company to explain ranch purchase

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is asking the developer of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline to explain its purchase of a ranch where a protest turned violent earlier this month. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners recently purchased the 7,000-acre ranch last week for an undisclosed price. Stenehjem is giving the company 30 days to say ...

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Vattenfall gets EU green light to sell German coal assets

Wyoming coal

BERLIN (AP) — Energy company Vattenfall AB says it has received approval from the European Commission to sell its loss-making coal assets in Germany. The Swedish state-owned company said Thursday that it expects the transfer to Czech energy company EPH and private equity group PPF Investments to be completed in the coming weeks. The assets include four active mines and ...

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No new coal? Objections to Wyoming coal mine to be heard

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A state regulatory board plans to consider whether Wyoming’s first major new coal mine in decades should proceed despite the objections of two landowners. A subsidiary of Lexington, Kentucky-based Ramaco seeks to develop the Brook Mine north of Sheridan. The Wyoming Environmental Quality Council on Wednesday will discuss a possible order allowing Brook Mining Company to ...

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