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US rig count up 15 last week to 462

Baker Hughes, rig count

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 15 last week to 462. A year ago, 876 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 371 rigs sought oil and 88 explored for natural gas last week. ...

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Midwest mugginess linked to crops working up a ‘corn sweat’

Tharaldson ethanol, federal ethanol grant

CHICAGO (AP) — The Midwest’s first dangerous bout of heat and humidity this summer is partly to blame on the moisture piped out of the ground and into the atmosphere by the increasing acreage of corn crops reaching peak maturity, meteorologists and atmospheric researchers say. That muggy mist, jokingly called “corn sweat,” gets blown around the country, even enveloping more ...

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North Dakota fuel tax revenue drops with economic slowdown

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Fuel tax collections for North Dakota’s Transportation Department are tanking with fewer vehicles on the road due to the state’s economic slowdown, the agency’s director said Thursday. North Dakota has a 23-cents-a-gallon tax on motor fuel, which has not been raised since 2005 and is a nickel less than the national average. Each penny of North ...

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$250 million wind farm dedicated in northern North Dakota

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold hearings regarding the proposed Stark County wind farm. (Image: Duke Energy via Flickr)

ROLLA, N.D. (AP) — Officials have dedicated a $250 million wind farm in northern North Dakota that was more than a dozen years in the making. Xcel Energy’s Border Winds Farm north of Rolla has 75 turbines spread across 30 square miles of farmland. It employs 11 people and can produce 150 megawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 78,000 ...

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Enbridge to pay $61M penalty for 2010 Michigan oil spill

Louisiana oil spill

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Energy Partners will pay a $61 million penalty for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history — a pipeline rupture in southwestern Michigan that polluted a nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, federal officials said Wednesday. The settlement between U.S. government agencies and the Canadian company concluded years of negotiations following the ...

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