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2 injured in Illinois ethanol plant fire

Authorities say a flash fire at a southwestern Illinois ethanol plant has injured at least two people. Get the full story »

Gas averages $4.11 in Chicago, drivers cutting back

Gas prices continue to head higher, and as a result drivers are taking their foot off the accelerator and driving less. Get the full story »

USDA to help gas stations fund new ethanol pumps

The Department of Agriculture will soon begin helping gasoline stations install new pumps that can dispense ethanol to curtail the nation’s dependence on petroleum-based fuel, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday. Get the full story »

Oil climbs above $110 on Libya, Mideast unrest

The main U.S. oil contract breached $110 a barrel for the first time in 2 1/2 years Thursday, lifted by fighting in Libya and signs of an economic recovery in the U.S.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery settled up $1.47, or 1.4 percent, at $110.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since September 2008. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange settled up 37 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $122.67, the highest settlement since August 2008. Get the full story »

Oil prices ‘great concern’ for economy: Chu

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Thursday high oil prices posed a threat to the global economy. “The oil producer countries and the oil consuming countries are concerned because it does have an impact on a very fragile economic recovery. There is great concern,” Chu told a news conference while attending a clean energy conference. Get the full story »

Oil tops $110 after latest Japan quake

Oil prices jumped above $110 a barrel after Japan was hit with another major earthquake. April oil futures rose $1.32, or 1.3 percent, to $110.15 a barrel. Prices had jumped as high as $110.44 – a level not seen since September 2008. Get the full story »

GE to build nation’s largest solar power plant

General Electric says it’s going to build the nation’s largest solar panel factory, part of a $600 million dollar bet on the future of solar power in the United States.  The new plant will employ 400 people and produce enough solar panels to power 80,000 homes per year, GE said Thursday. The company isn’t saying where the plant will be located, but it does say that there are multiple locations being scouted. Get the full story »

Court upholds Jeff Skilling conviction

Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling was unsuccessful in his latest bid to overturn his criminal conviction as a U.S. appeals court called any errors in his trial “harmless.” Get the full story »

Officials doubted nuclear safety plans: Watchdog

A private U.S. nuclear safety group disclosed a batch of internal emails from the nation’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it said undercuts officials’ recent assertions that U.S. nuclear reactors are prepared for a Fukushima-scale disaster. Get the full story »

Airbus moves up launch date of revamped A320

Airbus plans to bring forward by six months the entry into service of its revamped A320 jetliner, seen as key to battling Boeing and fending off emerging rivals in the largest aircraft segment. Get the full story »

Gas prices up 20% in 2011, 41 cents from high

U.S. gas prices have risen for 15 days straight days and are now within 41 cents of the all-time high of $4.114 a gallon, reached in July 2008.

The average price of unleaded jumped 2.2 cents overnight to $3.707 a gallon, according to motorist group AAA. In the past three weeks alone, prices have jumped 4 percent. Year to date, gas prices are up a whopping 20 percent. And it’s not even summer driving season yet, when prices tend to peak for the year. Get the full story »

U.S. gasoline demand drops for 5th straight week

A BP station at the corner of LaSalle Blvd. and Clark Street in Chicago, March 7, 2011. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)

U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week in all regions of the country as prices rose, MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report showed Tuesday.

Average gasoline demand dropped 1.2 percent week-over-week, to 9.19 million barrels per day, MasterCard said. Demand dipped 3.6 percent from a year earlier,   the fifth consecutive weekly decline. Get the full story »

NIPSCO CEO gets 31% pay raise

From the Times of Northwest Indiana | NIPSCO’s chief executive Jimmy Staton received a 31 percent pay raise to $1.9 million last year while telling state regulators the utility needs more money from customers to cover increased costs.Get the full story>>

U.S. gas prices rise 9 cents, hitting April record

Chicago gas prices jumped 18 cents last week. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

U.S. gasoline prices soared nearly 9 cents over the last week to $3.68 a gallon, the highest pump price on record for April, the Energy Department said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline is up 86 cents from a year ago, based on the department’s weekly survey of fuel prices at service stations. Cleveland and Chicago had the biggest weekly gasoline price increases, rising 19 and 18 cents a gallon, respectively. Get the full story »

Transocean execs get big bonuses after spill

Declaring 2010 “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history,“ Transocean Ltd., owner of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that exploded, killing 11 workers, has awarded its top executives hefty bonuses and raises, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Get the full story »