The electric grid girds itself for hot weather

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It’s been a relatively mild summer in Texas so far (I’m not saying comfortable, just not quite as hot), so power flowing over the state’s power grid daily hasn’t hit new high yet. That may change in the next week. The record peak reported by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the organization that oversees […]
Categories: General

Another weekly gasoline gauge

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MasterCard will be launching a new weekly report on U.S. gasoline demand today based on purchases made at gas stations using its credit cards. MasterCard Advisors, LLC, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, will introduce the Spending Pulse U.S. Gasoline Demand Report each Tuesday. OK, so prices aren’t quite this bad right now. AP […]
Categories: General

Basell and Lyondell execs. explain merger

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The top officers of Dutch chemical firm Basell Holdings and Houston’s Lyondell Chemical Co. began meeting in Houston this week to hash out details of their pending merger. On Thursday, the CEO’s of both companies sat for an interview with the Houston Chronicle to explain why Basell’s $12 billion acquisition of Lyondell makes sense. “This […]
Categories: General

A deal to avoid future manipulation claims against TXU

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The Public Utility Commission approved a plan earlier this week for TXU’s power generation business, Luminant, to operate without drawing further claims of market manipulation. That doesn’t mean the company is off the hook from that $210 million fine the PUC wants to levy, however. The agreement essentially spells out a plan that will keep […]
Categories: General

Marathon settles price manipulation charges

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Marathon Oil will pay a $1 million civil penalty to settle allegations it tried to manipulate WTI back in 2003. Here’s the Commodity Futures Trading Commission release. The company said back in May it was expecting the charges and said at the time it “intends to vigorously defend the proposed enforcement action.” Under terms of […]
Categories: General

Power for when the wind won't blow

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TXU’s power generation business, Luminant, is teaming up with Royal Dutch Shell’s wind business to build a new 3,000 megawatt wind turbine project in the Texas Panhandle. The size of the project alone is noteworthy because it’s almost equal to the 3,352 megawatts of wind capacity the state currently has. But it’s also going to […]
Categories: General

Dirty power plants list: We're No. 1!

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Texas is tops when it comes to the number of power plants to make the annual list of the 50 dirtiest power plants in the nation, with five plants, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. Pennsylvania and Indiana have four plants each; Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia each have three. According to […]
Categories: General

Engler talks energy policy in Houston

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General Motors’ falling market share and the lure of low-wage countries like China are only part of the reason the U.S. has lost more than 3.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. Productivity increases, and — believe it or not — rising energy costs are also to blame, said John Engler, president of the National Association […]
Categories: General

Brian Hunter vs. US Energy regulators

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As Bloomberg put it: Brian Hunter, the former energy trader whose bad bets helped bring down Amaranth Advisors LLC, sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the agency lacks authority to enforce rules in futures markets. In a lawsuit filed yesterday (Monday) in a federal court in Washington, Hunter said the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, […]
Categories: General

GM pitches E-85 in Houston

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Gasoline has had 100 years to fix its problems. Ethanol deserves the same chance. That was the message from a General Motors Corp. executive, who was in Houston Tuesday to kick off a seven city tour promoting the use of E85, a fuel that combines 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline. “We’re trying to […]
Categories: General