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Roundup: Luminant May Close Plants Over Clean-Air Regs

Luminant's two-unit Oak Grove Power Plant is located in Robertson County, Texas.
Luminant's two-unit Oak Grove Power Plant is located in Robertson County, Texas.

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The major electric power provider for much of North and West Texas says it is considering closing or reducing operations at some of its coal-fired plants to meet new federal clean-air rules.

Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings Corp. owns Luminant Generation Co. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, it said it's considering the shutdowns or slowdowns of its plants and mines, as well as seasonal or temporary shutdowns. It's also considering installing scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide from plant emissions.

It's unclear from the filing how the company is leaning and which plants are likeliest to be affected.

Energy Future Holdings also owns TXU Energy to transmit the electricity Luminant generates and Oncor to market it.

Oil giant ConocoPhillips to split into 2 companies

ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest oil company, says it will split itself into two separate publicly traded companies and its CEO and Chairman Jim Mulva plans to retire once the transaction is complete.

Its shares jumped almost 5 percent in premarket trading.

Conoco said Thursday its board has approved separating the company's refining and marketing and exploration and production businesses by spinning off the refining and marketing segment to shareholders in a tax-free transaction.

The split, which is expected to be completed during the first half of next year, will leave Conoco as an exploration and production company.

It says Mulva will lead the separation efforts, but plans to retire once the split is complete.

Conoco says its separation plans do not require a shareholder vote.

The Houston-based company has about 29,600 employees.

People stampede for Dallas housing vouchers

An early morning stampede of hundreds of people for hard-to-get housing vouchers in Dallas has resulted in a few bumps and bruises.

The rush began before the doors opened at the south Dallas stadium where applications for the rental assistance are being accepted.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says there were some bumps and bruises from people falling and being stepped on, but no one was transported to the hospital.

Dallas County sheriff's spokesman Kim Leach says there were about 5,000 people there. People began arriving Wednesday.

Video on Dallas television stations shows hundreds suddenly sprinting to the building.

This was the first time in years that Dallas County accepted applications for the federally funded Section 8 vouchers which pay a portion of the rent based on income.

Perry touts new law to give vets college credit

Gov. Rick Perry has ceremonially signed a bill that will help veterans earn college diplomas more quickly.

He said Texas has a special duty to help because so many military bases and veterans are located in the state.

The new law helps vets get college credit for military training and will help them earn college degrees in less time while paying less tuition. Perry said that will help them transition from military to civilian life.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the San Antonio Democrat who authored the legislation, joined Perry to tout the College Credit for Heroes program. She said while they are on opposite sides politically, they work hand-in-hand when it comes to military affairs.

The bill signing was only ceremonial. Perry signed the legislation into law last month.

First Ron Paul TV ad for 2012 race on debt

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is using his first campaign television ad to promote his opposition to a compromise on raising the federal debt ceiling.

In the ad, the Texas congressman criticizes both Republicans and Democrats for striking deals in the past. And he notes he's always voted against raising the federal limit on borrowing.

It's an important issue to conservatives who make up the Republican Party's base.

The ad is set to air in early primary voting states.

Paul is running for the Republican nomination for a second time. He also ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988. Reducing the federal budget and the national debt have always been his key issues.

Toddler and grandfather die, found in Dallas pool

Authorities are investigating what appears to be a double drowning in a backyard swimming pool in northwest Dallas.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said Thursday that an unresponsive man and his grandson were pulled from the pool shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified them as 8-year-old Rolando Pacheco and 2-year-old Ethan Pacheco.

Evans said the two were discovered by the child's father, who is also the son of the elderly man.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be performed later today to determine the exact cause of death.