WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to strengthen America's financial foothold in Africa, President Barack Obama announced $33 billion in commitments Tuesday aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships.
The bulk of the commitments came from private-sector companies, including Coca-Cola and General Electric, underscoring Africa's growing appeal to businesses. The continent is home to six of the world's fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class with increased spending power.
Yet Obama noted that U.S. trade with the entire African continent is about the same as its trade ties with Brazil and that just about one percent of U.S. exports go to sub-Saharan Africa.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is defending its plans for a $600 million transmission line to Houston in the face of opposition from several major utilities, E&E reports, noting the state’s Public Utility Commission will hold hearings on the matter later this year.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Thousands of people in Chile protested on Saturday against a hydropower project that they say will endanger their water supply.
The protesters marched through the streets of Santiago banging drums and waving banners against the construction of Alto Maipo. The 531 megawatt project is expected to be developed some 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of the capital city.
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Sunday a $1 billion concessional line of credit for Nepal to use for development, including building hydropower plants in the energy-starved Himalayan nation.
Modi told Nepal's parliament that the financial assistance could be used for hydropower development and building other infrastructure. He also said he plans to double the electricity that India is supplying to Nepal, and that new transmission lines will soon be built to allow the country to import more power.
The White House on Friday made good on its deal with Senate Democrats to name Cheryl LaFleur to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the next nine months.
In a brief announcement, FERC said the White House named LaFleur chairman for a term that will end April 15 of next year, when incoming commissioner Norman Bay will be named chairman. She took the post effective on Wednesday.
Exelon Corp. will buy Integrys Energy Services from its parent Integrys Energy Group for $60 million, adding the unit – which has 1.2 million customers in 22 states and Washington, D.C. – to its Baltimore-based business arm Constellation, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.
The lack of interested buyers thus far for the electricity output of TransAlta’s coal-fired plant in Centralia, Washington is due to soft prices in the Pacific Northwest and not moves by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions, company chief Dawn Farrell told Platts.
American Electric Power Co.'s failure to reach its 2008 sales figures in the years since is an example of how utilities will have to rethink their traditional assumptions that demand for electricity will increase in the future, The Wall Street Journal reports.
HOUSTON (AP) — Waste Management is selling a subsidiary to Energy Capital Partners for $1.94 billion as part of its effort to focus on its core business.
It is selling Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., which owns or runs 17 waste-to-energy facilities and four independent power-producing plants in the U.S. The business also has four ash monofill landfills, three transfer stations and an ongoing development and construction project in the U.K. Wheelabrator's 2013 revenue totaled about $845 million.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far.
Flares turned the sky over Gaza City orange overnight and by daybreak, as the conflict entered its fourth week, heavy clouds of dust hovered over the territory. A thick column of black smoke rose from a burning fuel tank at the power plant.
Another federal agency has spoken out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS –- the Small Business Administration wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and a top official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying it’s worried about the economic impact of the regulation, The Hill reports.
Saudi Arabia’s move to cut its official crude price has sent oil prices tumbling early Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude sank $2.00 to $88.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude plunged $2.15 to $92.01, Reuters reports.
A bearish outlook is taking hold of natural gas prices ahead of an expected announcement of a storage build from the Energy Information Administration combined with a mild October weather forecast, as Wednesday’s settlement for November delivery declined 9.8 cents to $4.023 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, Platts reports.
Goldman Sachs has cut its growth projections for future LNG demand and warns that investors should be wary about the costs of major projects and “realistic about expectations for further contracts,” Bloomberg reports.
State Sen. Kevin de Leon said he wasn’t sure whether to reintroduce legislation to reform the California Department of Toxic Substances Control in the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of his bill, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The U.S. hasn’t achieved complete energy independence despite the impact of the shale boom, according to speakers at a panel discussion in Houston Tuesday evening, who disagreed on how that might be accomplished or if it’s even desirable, The Houston Chronicle reports.
Moves by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to boost the energy efficiency programs aimed at large customers are aimed at saving more than 44,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, Platts reports.
The American Legislative Exchange Council was caught by surprise when Google chief Eric Schmidt said in a radio show that the company was pulling out of ALEC because the organization was “lying” about climate change, new CEO Lisa Nelson told National Journal in an interview, adding that she’s had calls from companies seeking to join despite a recent wave of departure announcements.
Problems encountered by West Texas Guar Inc., which operated a processing facility to extract a thickening agent from the legume guar, has cost investors and farmers millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sierra Oil & Gas, a private company created in the wake of Mexico’s energy reform, has a team with a combined 350 years’ experience and $525 million in financial backing from private equity investors, chief executive Ivan Sandrea told The Wall Street Journal.