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Harder Tone is Ahead at Weeklong Energy Event

The energy industry’s challenge to navigate the worst global recession in decades will dominate the landscape of one of the sector’s biggest annual gatherings this week.

The weeklong Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference at the Galleria, known as CERAWeek, will feature energy chief executives, top economists, policymakers and oil ministers from some of the globe’s resource-richest countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Source: Houston Chronicle

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Temple Gets $1.6 Million Grant for Pharmaceutical Study

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development on Monday granted Temple University $1.6 million to establish a center to develop environmentally friendly manufacturing methods for the pharmaceutical industry.

The Center for Pennsylvania Environmental Technologies for the Pharmaceutical Industry will work to develop new technologies and processes for pharmaceutical waste management.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal

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Shrinking Water Supplies Imperil Farmers

Dwindling water supplies are compounding economic woes in California's Central Valley, causing farmers to leave fields fallow and confront the prospect of going under.

The state's water supply has dropped precipitously of late. California is locked in the third year of one of its worst droughts on record, with reservoirs holding as little as 22% of capacity.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Valero to Bid for Fort Dodge VeraSun

VeraSun Energy Corp. asked a bankruptcy court Friday for permission to sell most of its assets by March 31, including the Fort Dodge, IA production plant.

The Valero Energy Corp., North America's largest refining company, proposed a $280 million purchase agreement that would allow the sale of five VeraSun production plants including those located in Fort Dodge, Charles City and Hartley.

Source: The Messenger

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Agriculture Secretary in Talks to Raise Ethanol Blend

The Agriculture Department is in discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency about raising the amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

About 21% of the U.S. capacity for ethanol production is idle, according to ethanol-maker Archer Daniels Midland Co. VeraSun Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. ethanol maker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October as an industrywide expansion of production facilities outpaced demand.

Source: Bloomberg

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