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Midday Market Minute: BP, Gulf Coast Oil Spillers Face Day in Court

Nearly three years after a deepwater well rupture killed 11 men, sank a rig and spewed 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP and the other companies involved are scheduled to face their judge in court. The trial is set to start Monday in New Orleans before a federal judge, but a settlement is possible.

Chevron Strategist: Era of Cheap Natural Gas Will End Soon

Right now, with the spread of fracking technology, America is in the midst of a natural gas boom that is keeping prices for the fuel low. But according to a key strategist at Chevron, the era of an abundance of cheap natural gas in the U.S. will be short-lived.

Is President Obama Trying to Kill King Coal?

Republican lawmakers are alleging that the EPA's new greenhouse gas regulations would kill the U.S. coal industry by making it too expensive to build new coal-fueled power plants. But even if that's true, how will it impact you?

EPA's Christmas Gift to You: Fewer Toxins in Your Air

Last week, the EPA unveiled rules that establish the first national limits on power plant emissions of a host of poisonous airborne pollutants. It's estimated that they'll save the country billions of dollars in health care costs.

GOP Candidates: Whose Tax Plan Is Best for You?

From Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan to Ron Paul's proposal to nix the income tax, the GOP presidential candidates have floated a range of ideas for jump-starting the U.S. economy. But will any of them jump-start your home's economics? We looked at how the four front-runners' proposals of would affect an average American family.

The Financial Landscape: Wins for Wal-Mart, Utilities

The Supreme Court kept up its corporatist streak Monday, handing down two key decisions that were certain to please the Chamber of Commerce. The first helped Wal-Mart quash a massive class action sex discrimination suit; the second stopped states from suing power companies over greenhouse gas emissions.

The Profitable Side of Going Green

Mother Earth is getting a little bit of relief as more companies yield to pressure from environmentalists and activist shareholders to reduce their carbon footprints. But Gaia isn't the only one who's benefiting: Just ask some of the companies that have saved serious greenbacks by going green.

Radiation Risk to U.S. Very Low, Top Expert Explains

As the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant continues, some worry that radiation from the damaged reactors will reach U.S. shores. Dr. Edward Maher, president of the Health Physics Society, and an environmental science expert at Harvard, explains why we should breathe easy.

Chrysler Rolls Out Plans for a Hybrid of a Different Kind

Chrysler has finally decided to jump on the hybrid bandwagon, announcing Wednesday that it is working with the EPA to develop a hydraulic hybrid powertrain for its vehicles. The system, which stores energy derived from vehicle braking as pressure, could improve fuel economy by 30% to 35%.

First Ever U.S. Fuel-Efficiency Plans for Trucks

Future longhaul trucks, school buses and large pickup trucks will be required to cut fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20 percent under first-ever fuel efficiency plans for trucks released Monday by the Obama administration.

EPA to Raise Limit on Ethanol Concentration in Gasoline

The government will raise the limit on ethanol concentration in gasoline for some cars. The Environmental Protection Agency will raise the limit to as much as 15%, from the current 10%, for vehicles made in 2007 or later, Bloomberg News said without naming its sources.

New Fuel Economy Labels Proposed for Electric Cars

For everyone who wants to know how fuel efficient electric and hybrid cars really are compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, the EPA has released two fuel-economy label proposals Monday that would translate electricity usage into an equivalent in miles per gallon.

Legal Briefing: Obama Backs Utilities in Climate Change Case

Eight states, New York City and three groups won the legal right to sue greenhouse-gas emitting utilities. The companies appealed to the Supreme Court and the Obama administration has filed a brief supporting them. Find out the implications of this move.

Military Base Closures and the Towns They Leave Behind

The U.S. will close 20 major military bases by September 2011. What happens then depends on the base's location. But the ripple effect is always felt throughout the surrounding area. And often, families lose neighbors, businesses lose customers, and workers lose jobs.

Using EnergyStar to Save Money? Buyer Beware.

Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efficiency-rating program for appliances, is under fire for making dubious claims, mislabeling products, or insufficiently verifying manufacturers' claims.

Authorities to Investigate Companies Related to Gulf Oil Disaster

Federal officials plan to investigate at least three companies involved in the Gulf oil spill as a part of a criminal probe that will determine if their relationship with federal regulators contributed to the disaster, The Washington Post reported. A team of investigators known as the "BP squad" will focus on BP (BP), Transocean (RIG), which leased the Deepwater Horizon rig to BP, and Halliburton (HAL), which finished cementing the well less than 24 hours before the rig exploded. It will also investigate if regulators went easy on the companies in exchange for money or other inducements. The Washington Post did not name its sources.

High Court to Rule on Arizona's Other Immigration Law

Though the recently passed Arizona law empowering police to detain suspected illegal immigrants has gotten more attention, on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to rule on a different, but extremely important Arizona immigration law, one that punishes employers for hiring illegal immigrants.

Feds won't OK bedbug killer

The Federal Government continues to shut down proposals to use industrial pesticide to combat bed bugs. The same bugs that are spreading across homes...

For Food Business, BP Oil
Spill Is a Recipe for Disaster

As the BP (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to devastate the Gulf coast fishing industry, worries are growing that contaminated seafood may find its way onto the dinner table. While retailers, restauranteurs and government officials scurry to protect consumers, the full implications of the environmental disaster are beginning to come to light.