EPA photo

EU's new carbon plan shows Obama is right, McCarthy says

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Friday praised the new European Union carbon reduction target, calling it an indication that the Obama administration's climate plan is prompting more ambitious international action on climate change.

Still, she gave no hint about whether the U.S. will make a similarly aggressive pledge in the run-up to a planned new global climate pact next year.

GOP candidates treading gingerly on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in competitive races are treading gingerly around climate change this campaign season, often saying they are not in a good position to make a judgment on the issue, then pivoting quickly to express concern for the environment, the economy or both.

"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have employed when asked if human activity is causing the earth to warm.

Former Rep. Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, running to reclaim a House seat he once held, says, "I think the science is not complete on this issue."

US Chamber on sidelines in Georgia, Louisiana races

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most powerful business group in the country is spending tens of millions of dollars to help Republicans win control of the Senate -- but not in Georgia, nor in Louisiana.

Rob Engstrom, political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Friday that the organization will stay on the sidelines in the contest between businessman David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia as well as the competitive Louisiana race pitting three-term Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.


US rig count up 9 to 1,927

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by nine this week to 1,927.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738 active rigs.

US general: NKorea may have nuke missile knowhow

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea may be capable of fielding a nuclear-armed missile that could reach U.S. soil, but because it has not tested such a weapon the odds of it being effective are "pretty darn low," the commander of U.S. forces in South Korea said Friday.

In remarks at the Pentagon, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti noted that North Korea claims to have such a missile, although some have questioned whether they have achieved all of the key technological breakthroughs, including manufacturing a nuclear warhead small enough for a long-range missile.


Spain challenges Canary Island poll on oil plans

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government says it will ask the Constitutional Court to block proposals by the Canary Islands regional government to stage a referendum on oil exploration in waters off the popular tourist archipelago.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Friday that energy issues are a matter for the state to decide on, not regional governments.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee photo

Energy, climate change among Interior's top challenges: IG

The Interior Department's weaknesses in managing the nation’s sprawling public lands oil and gas holdings continue to pose ongoing challenges that could extend into its offshore renewable energy push, its internal watchdog reported Thursday.

Climate change also presents another significant headwind for the department, according to an annual report on top management and performance challenges published Thursday by Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall.

EU reaches deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed early Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 28-nation bloc to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The deal was aimed at countering climate change and setting an example for the rest of the world ahead of key international climate negotiations next year.


Germany's BASF warns on profits and shares drop

BERLIN (AP) — Chemical and oil company BASF is warning that its profits will come in below its previous forecast in the wake of slower global economic growth and industrial production.

Shares in BASF SE dropped 2.4 percent to 69.34 euros ($87.70) in Frankfurt trading Friday after the company revised its forecast.

Jessie Kalbfeld

Biofuels lobby turns up heat on Obama over RFS

The biofuels coalition Fuels America on Thursday rolled out new ad buys in Washington-based news outlets to pressure the White House not to cut the mandated use of biofuels at the pump.

The ads are the latest push by ethanol and biodiesel makers against a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to lower this year's Renewable Fuel Standards target for biofuels use.


Fuel costs ease, US airline profits soar

DALLAS (AP) — Profits are soaring at the biggest U.S. airlines as fuel prices drop — but don't expect fares to fall too.

Heading into the busy holiday-travel period, the airlines expect even cheaper fuel, thanks to the nosedive in crude oil prices. The price of jet fuel, an airline's biggest single expense, has dropped by about one-fifth since mid-June.

Union Pacific 3Q profit chugs ahead 19 percent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific Corp. delivered a 19 percent increase in its third-quarter profit as the railroad hauled 7 percent more freight and increased rates.

"We are optimistic about the remainder of the year," CEO Jack Koraleski said. "Assuming the economy and weather cooperate, we are well positioned to finish up the year with record results."

The Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad said Thursday that it earned $1.37 billion, or $1.53 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That's up from $1.15 billion, or $1.24 per share, a year ago.


US: IS earns $1M per day in black market oil sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Islamic State militants are raking in money at a remarkable rate, earning about $1 million a day from black market oil sales alone, a Treasury Department official said Thursday.

David Cohen, who leads the department's effort to undermine the Islamic State's finances, said the extremists also get several million dollars a month from wealthy donors, extortion rackets and other criminal activities, such as robbing banks. In addition, he said the group has taken in at least $20 million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings.

Coal-rich Poland ready to block EU climate deal

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to set their new greenhouse gas emissions plan are facing staunch opposition from coal-reliant Poland and other East European countries who say their economies would suffer from the new target.

Poland says it's ready to veto the plan that would oblige the bloc's 28 states to jointly cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 levels by the year 2030. The EU plan would also require climate-friendly, renewable energy to provide 27 percent of the bloc's needs and demand that energy efficiency increase by a third in the next 16 years.

1 killed, 11 injured in German gas pipe explosion

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed and 11 were injured in an explosion after a gas pipe was damaged during construction work in a western German city.

Police in Ludwigshafen said the explosion outside a house in the city happened midday Thursday. Gas transport company Gascade said it wasn't clear why the gas pipe, part of a 57-kilometer (35-mile) pipeline that leads southward to the city of Karlsruhe, was damaged during work that it commissioned. Gas then leaked and caught fire.

South Africans indicted in US on illegal hunts

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two South African brothers have been indicted in Alabama on charges of conspiracy to sell illegal rhinoceros hunting trips to Americans and of selling rhino horns on the black market.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the indictments of Dawie and Janneman Groenewald and their safari company Thursday in Montgomery.

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