West Va. coal exports up 40 percent
CHARLESTON — U.S. Department of Commerce data shows West Virginia exported 40 percent more coal in 2012 than it did in 2011.
Much of the rise is attributable to increased demand from Asia. West Virginia coal exports to China increased more than 500 percent from 2011 to 2012. Coal exports to Japan increased an even more shocking 1,262 percent, from $29 million to $395 million.
Overall coal exports grew 40 percent, from $5.3 billion to 7.4 billion.
The large increases in coal exports come despite the fact that overall coal production in the state was down 8 percent in 2012. The West Virginia Department of Revenue also reports that from 2011 to 2012 the state lost over 5,000 energy sector jobs, the vast majority of which are mining jobs.
Gasoline prices drop slightly in Buckeye state
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio motorists are seeing slightly lower gas prices to start the work week.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was about $3.70 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That’s about 12 cents lower than a week ago.
The Ohio average is about 8 cents lower than the national average of 3.78, which is a nickel higher than the national average price of a week ago. The national average has risen 44 cents in the past month.
The Ohio average is about 30 cents higher than a month ago, but just a few cents higher than at the same time in 2012.
Verizon Wireless set to expand network, service
CHARLESTON — Verizon Wireless reported Monday that it would be expanding its 4G LTE network in some areas of the Tri-State, providing faster service for mobile devices.
Areas slated for improvement include Proctorville, Ohio, and areas north of Charleston, including Sissonville.
Lowe’s 4Q net income better than expectations
NEW YORK — Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. credits cleanup efforts after Superstorm Sandy and its new pricing strategy for fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street expectations.
The results are a sign that people are beginning to feel better about spending money on their homes as the housing market slowly recovers. Analysts will be watching Lowe’s larger rival Home Depot’s earnings report on Tuesday to see if its results show a similar story.
Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s has revamped its pricing structure, offering what it says are permanent low prices on many items across the store instead of fleeting discounts. It has also focused on hiring more workers and improving its inventory. In January it said it planned to hire 45,000 seasonal workers ahead of its busy spring season and add 9,000 part time employees on a permanent basis.
2 Ohio power plants to stop burning coal in deal
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Eight East Coast states, the federal government and citizens groups from Indiana have reached an agreement with one of the country’s largest electricity producers to stop burning coal at two Midwest power plans.
American Electric Power Co. agreed late Friday in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, to retire or switch to natural gas two coal-burning units at power plants in Ohio and Indiana by the end of 2015.
As part of the settlement, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey will receive a total of $6 million. The Indiana groups will receive $2.5 million.