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Author Archives: Mary Schimke

Mary Schimke is Managing Editor for Energy Media Group. Mary Schimke is Editor at Energy Media Group. She brings to the table 15 years of teaching, editing, and management experience. She graduated in 1999 from Minot State University with a BS in Education and a major in English. She has worked as a freelance editor for several independent clients in a variety of disciplines. Mary is currently a graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University studying literary theory, criticism, and writing.

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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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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Dallas Fed: Oil and Gas Activity Rises in Third Quarter

Dallas Fed, oil and gas activity

Surveys and reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas are now available for the third quarter. The business activity index – the survey’s broadest measure of conditions facing Eleventh District energy firms – was up from 13.8 in the second quarter to 26.7. While the survey still shows weakness in both industry employment and production, it does show some ...

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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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Iran oil industry fires, blasts raise suspicions of hacking

Iran, hacking

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A series of fires at Iranian petrochemical plants and facilities have raised suspicions about hacking potentially playing a role, with authorities saying that “viruses had contaminated” equipment at several of the affected complexes. Iran officially insists the six known blazes over the span of three months weren’t the result of a cyberattack. However, the ...

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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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Clay Jenkinson on the DAPL Protest

Dakota Access pipeline, Clay Jenkinson, Lakota, Four Bears

Clay Jenkinson has a deep love for North Dakota, his home state. An award winning writer and a distinguished humanities scholar at Bismarck State College, he may be best known for portraying Thomas Jefferson in The Jefferson Hour.  That’s why his thoughts on the recent protests gave me some pause. It’s not a a clear-cut situation, with mountains of historical context that ...

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US appeals court hears arguments in Clean Power Plan case

coal-fired power plant, pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for a coalition of states and businesses reliant on fossil fuels made their case Tuesday to a federal appeals court that President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail climate-warming greenhouse gases is an unconstitutional power grab. The Clean Power Plan, which aims to ratchet down carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants, has been challenged by more than ...

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