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Wednesday PM January 26th, 2011

Texas Alliance of Energy Producers on Obama’s State of the Union speech…New home purchases hit 47 year low…ConocoPhillips and United Continental quarterly earnings…Icahn takeover bid for Dynegy…



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The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers is taking President Obama to task for calling in yesterday’s State of the Union message to repeal tax benefits for oil while encouraging the use of natural gas. Alliance president Alex Mills says the federal tax code does not distinguish between the two fuels, treating both as hydrocarbons:

“And the companies that produce these hydrocarbons are the ones that are taxed and would be impacted by the change in the tax codes. So it’s ironic to us that he would even suggest something so ridiculous.”

Buyers purchased the fewest number of new homes last year on records going back 47 years. The Commerce Department says sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4% from 2009. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined. The year ended on a stronger note. Buyers purchased new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 329,000 units in December, a 17.5% increase from November.

ConocoPhillips says its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 54% despite a drop in production as crude prices increased. The company reported net income of $2 billion for the final three months of 2010, compared to $1.3 billion a year earlier.

United Continental says it lost $325 million in the latest quarter because of expenses from combining United and Continental Airlines. Excluding those costs, the world’s biggest airline earned $160 million.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is extending a tender offer for Dynegy a day after the energy producer said It didn’t receive any new buyout bids. Funds affiliated with Icahn Investment Enterprises have offered approximately $665 million for the company. The tender offer was to expire Tuesday, but was extended until Feb. 9 to allow time for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. Icahn is Dynegy’s biggest shareholder.

Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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