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Politics

Rounding up the State of the Union, and well blow-out concerns

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Pete Souza
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Official White House Photo
The president says American innovation will be critical to "winning the future."

State of the Union round-up
Most papers seized on the president's push for job creation and investment, and his bipartisan tone.  Here are some reactions from around the state.

Times Union:

"Them [members of congress] sitting together is a fine start but standing together tomorrow would be better, and I have very little confidence that they'll be standing together tomorrow," said Ron Canady, a retired telephone communications worker in Tucson.

Buffalo News:

Throughout the address, Obama sought to balance his passion for government investment with the public's growing concern with deficit spending — which, in part, led to huge Republican gains in last November's elections.

Gannett's Washington bureau got reactions from New York's congressional delegation, including Democrats Nita Lowey, Kirsten Gillibrand, Eliot Engel, and Chuck Schumer, and Republicans Chris Gibson, Tom Reed, Richard Hanna, and Ann Marie Buerkle.

The Democrat and Chronicle rounded up reactions from labor leaders, teachers, conservatives, and business leaders.

Well blow-out
A blow-out at a Pa. well shut down operations for a week.  Drilling is back online for Talisman Energy, but questions about the environmental effects of the incident still linger, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin:

"This was a serious incident that could have caused significant environmental harm had it not been brought under control," DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber said in a statement. "DEP is conducting a thorough investigation to determine why this incident occurred." Talisman began having problems controlling the well in the early afternoon of Jan. 17. According to initial reports, a needle valve on a casing wing valve failed, which resulted in loss of well control. By the time DEP was notified of the incident by a Talisman representative, CUDD Well Control services, based in Houston with a local office in Canton, Pa., was on the scene. During the blowout, fracking fluids and sand discharged from the well into the air. It does not appear that any significant amount of natural gas was released, the DEP said. There was no fire, no explosion and no injuries. The well was successfully shut down around 3:45 p.m. that day.

Meanwhile the anti-fracking film "Gasland" has been nominated for an Oscar, and it's riling up the gas industry, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

National Grid rate hike could drop
The row between utility National Grid and state regulators isn't over, reports the Times Union.  The gas company could have to compensate subscribers for overcharging them, which would cut into its newly approved rate increase, according to the paper:

The accounting issues became a major distraction for National Grid during the 12-month review of its rate hike request. The company's message about the need to replace an aging infrastructure across upstate New York became muddled with revelations that company executives had tried to pass expenses such as private school tuition, wine shipments and political junkets onto ratepayers. But the PSC investigation is much broader than that and is looking into whether National Grid properly allocated expenses between its various subsidiaries in New York and New England.

Hands on in the classroom
Students in a Binghamton suburb are playing with DNA.  It's not a Frankenstein situation, but rather a chance to get some hands on experience with science, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin:

"It's a lot more difficult than it looks," said Brianna Bieber, a Susquehanna Valley senior, as she helped perform the task that looked awfully tough to begin with. "Trust me." It was all part of an "in-house field trip" for Susquehanna Valley's Advanced Placement Biology class, and a chance to knock out one of the laboratory requirements for the course.

Profits round-up

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