News bites: Iran and oil, a big electricity deal, and more

The Associated Press has the latest on Iran's influence over a major global oil shipping lane.

“A top Iranian naval commander says Tehran’s forces have full control over the Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz, but have no plans to try to close the route for one-fifth of the world’s oil,” AP reports from Tehran.

The Wall Street Journal reports that tensions with Iran have helped push up U.S. oil futures prices 18 percent over the past three weeks.

Reuters reports that NRG Energy is acquiring rival GenON Energy in a $1.7 billion stock deal that will form the largest independent power producer in the United States.

CNN reports that a Japanese government report Monday “heaped fresh criticism” on the operator of Japan’s ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

A Forbes contributor cuts against the grain with a column projecting that the United States is heading back to the days of expensive natural gas.