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WVU research to examine natgas fuel mix

Dec. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia University researchers will study a proposed fuel mix being considered by energy companies drilling for natural gas in shale deposits.

The State Journal reports the team will be fielded from the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions at WVU. The researchers will study methane emissions from diesel and natural gas engines used in the drilling.

A big cost associated with shale gas drilling comes from the use of diesel fuel. Some energy companies are looking into converting those engines to a blend to reduce operating costs, and to tap a domestic fuel source.

The work by the WVU researchers is funded through a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Judge allow merger of American Airlines

NEW YORK -- A New York judge has refused to block a merger between American Airlines and US Airways, saying a bankruptcy judge was right to reject the arguments made by a lawyer for some consumers.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled Friday that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane was "correct in all respects" in deciding last week to let the merger proceed. She rejected arguments of imminent harm to consumers put forth by San Francisco attorney Joseph Alioto. She also refused to stay the effect of her ruling while Alioto appeals.

American is owned by AMR Corp. and is based in Fort Worth, Texas. It says it plans to complete the merger with Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc. on Monday. The merger means American, United, Delta and Southwest will control more than 80 percent of the U.S. market.

Sears to spin off Lands' End clothing business

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Sears Holdings Corp. said Friday that it will spin off its Lands' End clothing business as a separate company by distributing stock to the retailer's shareholders.

It's the latest move by the struggling retailer to turn around its results as it faces wider losses and increasingly displeased investors.

Sears had said in October that it was considering separating the Lands' End and Sears Auto Center businesses from the rest of the company. It did not mention Sears Auto Center in Friday's announcement.

Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi said the move shows Sears was unable to get a buyer at the right price for Land's End and may raise questions about how much other well-known brand names Sears owns, like Craftsman, are worth.

Consumer borrowing rose $18.2B in October

WASHINGTON -- Americans boosted their borrowing in October, led by another big increase in auto and student loans and the biggest rise in credit card debt in five months.

Consumers increased their borrowing by $18.2 billion in October to a seasonally adjusted $3.08 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. That is a record level and follows a September increase of $16.3 billion.

The increase was led by a $13.9 billion rise in borrowing for auto loans and student loans.

But borrowing in the category that covers credit cards rose by $4.3 billion following a decline of $218 million in September.

It was the biggest monthly credit card gain since May and could be a sign that consumer spending will increase in coming months. Credit card borrowing has lagged other types of debt.

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