Duke Energy Buys Progress Energy In $13 Billion Deal

Duke Energy has agreed to provide families in North Caroline with bottled water after state testing found private wells near where the company stores coal waste contaminated with potentially toxic chemicals. “Over the last week, the state’s department of environment and natural resources mailed out 87 letters to residents who live near sites where Duke has stored tons of coal ash – the toxic slurry left over from burning coal – in unlined pits.

Those letters say that chemicals associated with coal ash – including vanadium, which can cause respiratory problems, as well as carcinogens such as hexavalent chromium had been found at levels that exceed state standards.” [The Guardian]

The global decline in oil prices has eroded the profit of European oil companies, as results from BP and Total showed on Tuesday. “But at both companies, the declines were offset by strong performances at their marketing and refining businesses.

Adjusted earnings fell 20 percent at BP and 22 percent at Total, but the results were better than analysts had expected. They also showed the advantages in difficult times of being a big business that finds and produces oil as well as refines and sells it.” [The NY Times]

The Cape Wind development off of Cape Cod, has stalled in the last few weeks with construction only beginning on a smaller offshore wind farm near Block Island.”Deepwater Wind’s Rhode Island project is a five-turbine wind farm that would have the ability to power 17,000 homes, perhaps as early as next year.

Developers and industry experts say the offshore wind energy sector is off to such a slow start in the U.S. because of regulatory hurdles, opposition from fossil fuel interests and the trials and tribulations of doing something for the first time.

While they’ve tempered their expectations that offshore wind energy will come to the U.S. in a big way anytime soon, many are hoping Deepwater Wind’s wind farm will pave the way for other projects.” [ABC/AP]