Fuel Fix

Cleanup worker Jeiner Foronda places fresh absorbent boom in the affected marshland of Terrebonne Parish, La., while cleaning up oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. ( Smiley N. Pool / Chronicle )

La. AG’s oil spill tab nears $24M

Louisiana’s attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state’s legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with much of the money paid to outside law firms that have contributed to his campaigns.  More »
Drivers fill up at an Exxon Mobil gasoline station. (Eric Thayer / 2008 Getty Images)

Lawyer: ExxonMobil knew chemical would contaminate ground

ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) knew that incidents of groundwater contamination would triple if it added a chemical to gasoline that makes the fuel burn more cleanly, a lawyer for New Hampshire said at the opening of an $816 million trial.  More »
(Photo: Artnow314/Flickr)

Deregulation in Texas fails to make power more reliable, cheap

Deregulation has not fulfilled promises to produce the nation’s most reliable and cheapest power. In fact, it has discouraged the building of new power plants, leaving Texas’ power supplies vulnerable as the state continues to grow.  More »
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(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Customers, workers lose in utility deregulation

A Hearst Newspapers investigation found that over a decade of deregulation, the frequency of outages has crept up, maintenance of aging infrastructure has been deferred and line workers have been laid off. Meanwhile, CEOs’ salaries have risen an average of 150 percent.  More »
(AP file photo/Grand Forks Herald, Eric Hylden)

Congress denies $1.5 billion with favor to pipelines

For more than 60 years, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline has linked natural-gas wells in Texas to customers in the north. Until last year, it paid federal corporate income taxes on its earnings, setting aside $107 million in 2011 alone.  More »
A liquefied natural gas tanker arrives in Houston in 2008, shortly after the Freeport LNG terminal began operations. (Steve Campbell / Houston Chronicle)

Gas exports from U.S. surge as sanctions undermine Iran

At a time when sanctions are causing a slump in Iranian cargoes of liquefied petroleum gas, the U.S. is exporting more fuel than ever, driving up tanker rates for BW Group Ltd. and other ship owners.  More »
Protestors scale a shale gas rig at Banks, near Southport, England bringing a halt to work at the Cuadrilla Resources site Wednesday  Nov. 2 , 2011.  Cuadrilla Resources, which is drilling for gas in northwestern England, said Wednesday that independent experts concluded that the tremors were due to an unusual combination of geology and operations, and were unlikely to happen again. The company said local geology would limit any future seismic events to around magnitude 3 on the Richter scale. The tremor on April 1 measured 2.3 on the Richter scale.  Local campaigners have mounted a "Frack Off" campaign to oppose the drilling technique that cracks open rock layers to free natural gas.  (AP Photo/Peter Byrne/PA)

IGas to raise up to $37 million for U.K. shale exploration

IGas Energy Plc (IGAS), a U.K. developer of shale gas fields, said it will raise as much as 23 million pounds ($37 million) in a share placing to help develop its resources before finding an investment partner.  More »
The San Onofre nuclear power plant along Pacific Ocean coastline in San Onofre, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Troubled Calif. nuke plant inches toward restart

After a year of gathering dust and negative headlines, the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant shows stirrings toward a possible restart, though big barriers remain, officials said.  More »
(Photo: Vestman/Flickr)

Ohio regulator blasts renewable energy on Twitter

The utility regulator who led last week’s vote nixing a major Ohio solar project has used his Twitter account over the past year to steadily criticize solar, wind and renewable energy and to question global warming.  More »
tea leaves (Fotolia)

Oil companies read the tea leaves (and lots of data)

Because of the long time horizons and enormous costs of their projects, some oil companies develop projections for world energy conditions decades ahead.  More »
Wind turbines in South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

San Antonio utility signs 25-year wind power agreement

CPS Energy has agreed to buy 200 megawatts of wind-generated electricity from a new South Texas wind farm as part of an agreement with Duke Energy Corp.  More »
A CPS solar farm in Texas (Photo: Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

Solar struggles don’t deter supplier for San Antonio mega-project

Despite the solar industry’s financial woes, the chairman of Nexolon Co. says the company is performing better than most and will remain a key supplier for San Antonio’s massive solar project.  More »