News roundup: La. pipeline spills 80,000 gallons of oil … Business spending on airfare, hotels grew in 2011, but not food … Pepsi partners with Twitter for online concerts
Sucking it up: Exxon Mobil Corp. says it is cleaning up about 80,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a pipeline in a rural Pointe Coupee Parish, northwest of Baton Rouge. The company says the pipeline was shut down Saturday night after a loss of pressure. The spilled oil was discovered on Sunday. No injuries have been reported. The company doesn't yet know what caused the pipeline to break. Exxon Mobil says vacuum trucks are cleaning up the site and air is being monitored for quality. The oil came from a 22-inch pipeline that originates in St. James Parish southeast of Baton Rouge and carries crude oil to northern Louisiana. The corporation says federal regulators have been informed and the cleanup is being coordinated with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Per diem: Spending on business travel continued to grow in 2011, and the biggest chunk of that money went to airfare and lodging costs, according to a new study. But it seems that business travelers are spending a bit less than formerly on food. As The Los Angeles Times reports, the average expense report filed by U.S. business travelers for airfare in 2011 was $418, up nearly 7% compared with the previous year, according to the study of expense reports analyzed by Concur Technologies Inc., the Redmond, Wash., company that provides travel expense software and online systems. The average lodging charge was about $89, up about 4%, according to the study. Together, airfare and lodging represented almost 54% of travel costs in the United States. Meanwhile, the average food expense entry was about $38, indicating a 4% decline compared with the previous year.
Birds of a feather: PepsiCo Inc. is tweeting to a new generation of music lovers. The No. 2 soda company announced this morning that it's partnering with Twitter to provide streaming videos of live music concerts to Pepsi's followers on the social networking site. The deal is part of Pepsi's new global ad campaign, which will also feature a TV ad with singer Nicki Minaj. The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., isn't yet saying which musicians will be featured on the Twitter concerts this summer. Terms of the deal with Twitter were not disclosed. The marketing push comes as Pepsi looks to revive the cola wars with the Coca-Cola Co., with up to $600 million in additional marketing slated for this year. Pepsi isn't the only one using music to tap into the youth market. Coca-Cola earlier this month announced a partnership with the online music provider Spotify. The companies are unveiling the details of their respective campaigns later this year.
Today's poll question: Do you hope legislators in the House pass a bill to create a new breakaway school district in southeast Baton Rouge, as the Senate already has done?
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