Obama announces $33B in commitments for Africa

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.

Battle sharpening in Texas over Houston Import Project


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.

Chile: Thousands protest Alto Maipo power project

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.

Indian leader offers Nepal $1 billion in credit

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.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Photo

LaFleur named chair of FERC, Bay to take over in April

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.

Integrys Energy Services picked up by Chicago’s Exelon

Green Bay Press-Gazette

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.

Prices, not EPA moves, behind lack of interest in Centralia plant output: TransAlta


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.

Electricity demand not returning with economic recovery

The Wall Street Journal

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.

Waste Management selling subsidiary for $1.94B

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.

Israel hits symbols of Hamas power in Gaza war

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.


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