Gas price increases
The monthly natural gas price for customers who have chosen Dominion’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) or those who don’t choose their own supplier will go up slightly.
Effective May 14, the identical Standard Choice Offer (SCO) and Standard Service Offer (SSO) rates will be $4.75 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).
The new rates are 17 cents/mcf, or 3.7 percent, higher than the April SCO/SSO rates of $4.578/ mcf.
The new rates are $2.12 per mcf, or 80.6 percent, higher than the May 2012 rates of $2.636/mcf. Under the new filing, the average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for the month will be $51.63, up $10.33, or 25 percent, from $41.30 in May 2012.
All Dominion East Ohio residential customers also pay what is called a Total Monthly Charge of $22.01, an increase of $1.06. That includes an increase in the amount collected for what is called the Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement Cost of $4.06 from $2.80. Another charge, the Automated Meter Reading Recovery charge, went down from 57 cents to 37 cents.
Residential customers pay the same usage-based charges (to deliver gas to a residence) and monthly service fee, regardless of whether customers choose their own supplier or stay with Dominion.
B&W earnings down
Energy technology and power plant manufacturing company Babcock & Wilcox reported lower net income and earnings on higher revenue for its first quarter.
The Charlotte company, which has significant operations in Barberton, said it had net income of $47.2 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of $805.4 million. A year ago, B&W reported earning $60 million, or 50 cents per share, on revenue of $765.9 million.
Adjusted earnings per share were 46 cents, the company said.
B&W also announced it increased its two-year stock repurchase program by $250 million to $500 million.
Power Generation Group operating income fell to $33.3 million from $39.5 million a year ago.
B&W said it expects to earn $2.25 to $2.45 a share this year on revenue of $3.4 billion to $3.55 billion.
Death rate reported
According to a new report by the labor organization AFL-CIO, 155 workers were killed in Ohio in 2011 with a rate of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, a rate below the national average of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers. Nationally, the organization said Ohio ranks 16th. Due to lack of staffing and resources, it would take the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 103 years to inspect each workplace in Ohio at least once.
The report notes that in 2011, there were 4,693 workplace deaths attributed to traumatic injuries and more than 3.8 million workers across all industries, including state and local government, who experienced work-related illnesses and injuries.
By comparison in 2010, 4,690 people died on the job. For the past three years, after years of steady decline, the AFL-CIO said the job fatality rate has essentially been unchanged, with a rate of 3.5/100,000 workers in 2011.
Florida orange investment
Coca-Cola announced it will spend $2 billion to support the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves in Florida, a move officials are lauding as a major investment in the citrus industry. Coca-Cola owns the Minute Maid and Simply juice brands.
Some 5 million new trees will be planted in the new Central Florida groves, believed to be the largest citrus addition in the state for at least 15 years. Company officials say the new groves and resulting juice production are expected to add about 4,100 jobs.
The move is seen as a boost to historically declining acreage devoted to citrus production in Florida. During the state’s past housing boom, many citrus farmers sold their land to developers. Since 1997, total citrus acreage has fallen by 25 percent, from 600,000 acres to 450,000 acres, because of the disease, pests and other pressures, according to Florida Citrus Mutual.
Alzheimer’s drug fails
Baxter International Inc. says that a blood product it was testing failed to slow mental decline or to preserve physical function in a major study of 390 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
The company says that people who received 18 months of infusions with its drug, Gammagard, fared no better than others given infusions of a dummy solution.
Gammagard is immune globulin, natural antibodies culled from donated blood. Researchers thought these antibodies might help remove amyloid, the sticky plaque that clogs patients’ brains, sapping memory and ability to think.
Compiled from staff and wire reports