> TransAlta earnings jump 87% on boom

TransAlta Corp. saw net earnings jump 87 per cent, year-over-year, to $65.9 million during the third quarter on increased generation from its coal-fired Centralia power plant in Washington, the company reported Tuesday.

The Calgary-based firm, Canada’s largest independent power producer, said strong prices in Alberta also contributed to higher profits, despite a month-long unplanned outage at one of its Sundance generator units during peak summer demand.

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Royalty bump would bruise, Taft admits

The Alberta Liberals are calling for at least 20 per cent more in provincial royalties, despite conceding the move will kill jobs and inflict some financial pain on the oilpatch.Unveiling his party’s royalties policy Tuesday in Calgary, Liberal Leader Kevin Taft urged Premier Ed Stelmach to fully adopt an expert-panel report that recommends changes to the current oil and gas regime that would generate an additional $2 billion last year — or 20 per cent more.

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Western Kansas coal plant denied

TOPEKA | Citing concerns about global warming, Kansas’ top regulator today denied a long-awaited permit to build a controversial coal plant in western Kansas.

“I believe it would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do nothing,” said Rod Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, in a news release announcing the decision.

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