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  1. Solar Power: Nigerians starved of electricity access turn to solar

    In this photo taken on Monday Feb. 20, 2017, Esther Peter, a plantain and onion vendor, plies her wares by lantern light in Lagos, Nigeria. In Nigeria, for the cost of powering a small generator for two hours, Dutch company Lumos offer enough solar power to light a house, cool a room with a fan and charge cell phones for about eight hours. For a country without a secure supply of electricity where people are dependent on candles, batteries, kerosene and fuel for generators, Lumos was surprised they spend more on power than solar options. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The surprise was finding that people dependent on candles, batteries, kerosene and fuel for generators in countries without a secure supply of electricity spend more on power than solar options. The founders of Dutch company Lumos knew they could do better. In Nigeria, for the cost of powering a small generator for two hours they offer enough solar power to light a house, cool a room with a fan and charge cell phones for about eight hours. Customers can even watch TV for a few hours. For Nigerian government clerk Sandra Besong, it means her three children aged 8 to 17 can study and read at night. "Before, I was using a local lamp with kerosene, but the flame wasn't bright enough for the children to read," she said in a telephone interview from her home in Masaka, in central Nasarawa state. "We love the light!" she said. "The children appreciate it because they can read, watch TV, and they can use fans, so they are not hot. And there's none of the noise and fumes from a generator." Fans are important in Nigeria, where temperatures average 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Besong said she's also saving money. Powering a small generator for two or three hours a day cost her up to 7,000 naira ($23) a month, compared to 4,500 ($15) for solar, which provides double the time. She pays her bills through her cellphone. Development across Africa is hampered by a lack of electricity. In 2015, 621 million people in sub-Saharan Africa — or two out of three — lacked access to power, and the numbers are growing, according to a report by the Africa Progress Panel. "It would take the average Tanzanian eight years to use as much electricity as the average American consumes in a single month," it said in a report . Nigeria is worst of all. Just 25 percent of its 170 million people have access to regular electricity, and the West African nation has the highest outage rate on the continent, 32 a month averaging eight hours each, according to the Overseas Private Investment Corp ., the U.S. government's independent investment agency. Such figures inspired former U.S. President Barack Obama to create Power Africa, bringing together technical and legal experts, the private sector and governments. Power Africa provided financial assistance to Lumos to produce the solar kits, which it provides to clients on a five-year subscription. A $50 million low-cost loan from OPIC and $40 million in equity will help fund another 200,000 solar kits to bring power to 1 million Nigerians by year's end, said Yuri Tsitrinbaum, CEO of Lumos Nigeria. Lumos began selling solar kits in Nigeria in May 2014. The company, which has 30,000 customers in central Nigeria, launched nationwide this week. Firefighter Ibrahim Momoh-Bekisu turned to solar fearing for his family's safety. "Do you know how many families' lives have been destroyed because of fires caused by candles, kerosene, electrical fires?" he asked in a telephone interview from his home in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. Momoh-Bekisu said his neighbors battling with darkness are now interested in getting solar power : "Their children come to my flat to come and study and watch TV." Most importantly, "For me, this (solar power) is a life-prolonging issue, it contributes to life expectancy," he said in a country where the average person dies at 52 compared to a global average of 71 years, according to U.N. figures.

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    Wed, 22 Feb 2017

  2. Oil and Gas: Pipeline exec compares Dakota protesters to terrorists

    A top executive at the company building the controversial Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday compared pipeline opponents to terrorists.

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    Fri, 17 Feb 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: Keystone XL developer renews effort to build in Nebraska

    The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline said Thursday that it is once again seeking state approval for a route through Nebraska.

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    Fri, 17 Feb 2017

  4. Oil and Gas: Colleagues say judge in Dakota pipeline case is even-handed

    The federal judge who will decide whether oil flows through the disputed Dakota Access pipeline has shown sympathy for the historical plight of American Indians, but has also made clear that he doesn't think that should play a role in judicial decisions.

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    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

  1. Oil and Gas: US sees no adverse impact from Alberta Clipper pipeline

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    Tue, 14 Feb 2017

  2. Wind Energy: Full-go for NC wind farm that politicians claimed is threat

    North Carolina's first large-scale wind farm is fully operational despite efforts by some of the state's most powerful politicians to shut down the $400 million project as a possible national security threat.

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    Sat, 11 Feb 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: Pope Francis: Native people have rights over their lands

    Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

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    Thu, 16 Feb 2017

  4. Coal News: Congressional Republicans move to dismantle Obama rules

    Moving to dismantle former President Barack Obama's legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

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    Fri, 3 Feb 2017

  5. Oil and Gas: House votes to overturn Obama rule on natural gas 'flaring'

    The Republican-controlled House voted on Friday to overturn an Obama administration rule that sought to reduce harmful methane emissions into the environment, part of the Democratic president's campaign to combat climate change.

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    Sat, 4 Feb 2017

  6. Oil and Gas: Congress kills rule forcing payment disclosures by companies

    Congress has passed legislation ending an Obama -era regulation that's required oil and gas companies to disclose payments to the U.S. or foreign governments for commercial development.

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    Fri, 3 Feb 2017

  7. Carter: Renewable energy can help Trump create jobs

    Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday millions of jobs could be created in the United States if President Donald Trump embraced renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar and wind power.

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    Fri, 10 Feb 2017

  8. Oil and Gas: Senator: Army Corps told to approve Dakota pipeline easement

    The acting secretary of the Army has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir, a North Dakota senator said, the latest twist in the months-long legal battle over the $3.8 billion project.

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    Thu, 2 Feb 2017

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