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Originally published Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Business Digest

Geothermal assets for Weyerhaeuser?

Weyerhaeuser agreed to let AltaRock Energy explore 667,000 acres of its land holdings in Washington, Oregon and California for the potential...

Energy

Weyerhaeuser agreed to let AltaRock Energy explore 667,000 acres of its land holdings in Washington, Oregon and California for the potential to develop geothermal energy, AltaRock said Tuesday.

AltaRock, which is based in the Bay Area but has offices in Seattle, said it could convert up to 40 percent of the acreage rights granted by the Federal Way-based timber giant to geothermal-development leases within two years.

Weyerhaeuser said the deal could help "release the full potential" of its land.

Aerospace

U.S. says Boeing inflated B-1 costs

Boeing was sued by the U.S. over claims the company unlawfully inflated the price it charged the Air Force for missile-decoy systems for the B-1 bomber.

"During contract negotiations, Boeing failed to disclose that it would outsource the fabrication of most of the components of the parts that were to be used in the program," said U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien in Los Angeles.

The government, in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles, claims the Air Force paid $7.5 million more than it should have for the contract, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Palombo.

The government can recover as much as three times the amount of damages and statutory penalties for each of 140 inflated invoices.

The decoy system, towed behind the bomber, is used to divert missiles fired at the plane.

Boeing cooperated with the investigation and disputes the allegations, said spokesman Forrest Gossett.

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State government

State names new top economist

Arun Raha, an economist at reinsurance giant Swiss Re, was named the state's new top economist Tuesday.

Raha, who earned his doctorate in economics from Washington State University, will take over as executive director of the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The bipartisan council provides official predictions of tax revenues and general economic conditions to the governor and the Legislature.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff and Bloomberg News

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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