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Crude stench strong enough to ‘burn your eyes’ dogs Irving’s New Brunswick oil-by-rail terminal

Reuters -- Irving Oil’s oil-by-rail terminal in St John, NB, has seen increasing air quality problems since it started up in 2012, undermining the company’s assurances to regulators the project would likely not impact the environment

The case at Canada’s largest oil-by-rail terminal could have implications for the scores of other facilities planned across N Am to handle a surge in domestic crude output, particularly those planned near urban areas

NB’s DoE approved the 145Kbpd St John rail terminal project in 2012 without requiring an environmental impact study after Irving said it did not expect it to trigger new odors or emissions

But complaints from St John residents about smells from the terminal have surged alongside an uptick in emissions of VOCs — chemicals powerful enough to “burn your eyes  (go to article)

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Is Obama's war on coal burying the Democrats' New Deal coalition for good?

WashingtonExaminer -- Somewhere, Woodrow Wilson is smiling. President Obama appears to have found a way around that pesky constitutional requirement of a two-thirds majority of the Senate approving U.S. treaties with foreign nations.

Wilson gave the world the League of Nations to insure that the Great War would indeed be the one to end all wars. The world said yes, but the Senate said no.

Fast-forward a century and Obama, according to the New York Times, is working behind the scenes with the United Nations "to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress."  (go to article)

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Shell Submits a Plan for New Alaskan Arctic Oil Exploration

NY Times -- Royal Dutch Shell submitted a plan to the federal government on Thursday to try once again to explore for oil in the Alaskan Arctic, following years of legal and logistical setbacks as well as dogged opposition from environmentalists.

While the plan is just a first step in the process, it reflects the energy potential in the Arctic. Shell’s proposed programs consist of two drilling rigs working simultaneously in the Chukchi Sea, which could produce more than 400,000 barrels of oil a day.

Shell emphasized that it had not made a final decision on whether to drill next summer. But it said that the filing with the Interior Department preserved its options.

The efforts, even in this preliminary stage, are likely to rankle environmentalists, who argue that drilling in the Arctic ....  (go to article)

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Stop worrying, and love nuclear power: Officials

CNBC -- Domestic energy policy has largely been co-opted by the shale revolution. Meanwhile, renewable alternatives are finding their sea legs in consumer power. Despite modest attempts to garner broader acceptance, however, atomic power continues to languish because of safety and environmental concerns. Domestic energy policy has largely been co-opted by the shale revolution. Meanwhile, renewable alternatives are finding their sea legs in consumer power. Despite modest attempts to garner broader acceptance, however, atomic power continues to languish because of safety and environmental concerns. That sort of opposition has prompted the nuclear industry to go on the offensive, and roll out the big guns in an effort to rehabilitate its image. In recent months, the Nuclear Energy Institute has enlis  (go to article)

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Deep Water Fracking Next Frontier for Offshore Drilling

Bloomburg -- Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea -- to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts. Cracking rocks underground to allow oil and gas to flow more freely into wells has grown into one of the most lucrative industry practices of the past century. The technique is also widely condemned as a source of groundwater contamination. The question now is how will that debate play out as the equipment moves out into the deep blue. For now, caution from all sides is the operative word. “It’s the most challenging, harshest environment that we’ll be working in,” said Ron Dusterhoft, an engineer at Halliburton Co. (HAL), the world’s largest fracker. “You just can’t afford hiccups.” Offshore fracking is a part of a broader industryw  (go to article)

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Five reasons why Renovo could be the next American electric carmaker

Yahoo! Autos -- Building one car is easy. Welding a chassis, bolting in an engine, hammering sheet metal — these are skills that thousands of people possess, and many regularly put them to use for just such ends. It's the serial production of a model that's supposed to be modern, safe and powered by a new energy source, where the hurdles often become insurmountable.

Outside of Tesla, no other electric-car start-up has come close to full production, and the list of the fallen EV hopefuls runs to more than 20 in the past decade alone. So what makes Renovo — a California start-up hawking not just an everyday car, but a $529,000 supercar — any more likely to survive, let alone thrive? After riding in the Renovo Coupe and literally kicking tires, there are five reasons to take it seriously.  (go to article)

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Germany and Canada Are Building Water Splitters to Store Energy

MIT Technology Review -- Germany, which has come to rely heavily on wind and solar power in recent years, is launching more than 20 demonstration projects that involve storing energy by splitting water into hydrogen gas and oxygen. The projects could help establish whether electrolysis, as the technology is known, could address one of the biggest looming challenges for renewable energy—its intermittency.

The electrolyzer projects under construction in Germany typically consist of a few buildings, each the size of a shipping container, that consume excess renewable energy on sunny and windy days by turning it into an electric current that powers the water-splitting reaction.  (go to article)

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Alaska Lures Back Big Oil With Big Tax Breaks

Businessweek -- Alaska’s oil boom times, which have propped up the state for decades, are coming to an end. In the late 1980s the state produced as much as a quarter of all U.S. crude, about 2 million barrels a day. Over the last 15 years, its daily oil production has been cut in half, to just more than 500,000 barrels. And the fracking boom has unlocked shale oil beneath Texas and North Dakota that is more profitable to extract. Rising oil prices have so far made up for Alaska’s declining production, but for a state whose budget relies on oil profits for 90 percent of its revenue, the picture is starting to look troublesome.  (go to article)

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Charges against two in Lac-Mégantic train derailment should be dropped: lawyers

The Gazette -- The lawyers, who represent train engineer Harding and rail-traffic controller Labrie, say a report into the causes of the accident made public by the TSB last week showed negligence at the MMA Railway and poor supervision of the railway by Transport Canada

It is now obvious that the charges against each of these employees should not stand. Continuing in this direction will not serve the public interest nor help to prevent such an incident from happening again

Harding, Labrie and a third MMA employee, railway-operations manager Demâitre, have been charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death. MMA has also been charged with the same counts

47 people died in Jul 2013 when a runaway crude oil train derailed in Lac-Mégantic, setting fire to the downtown core and spilling milli  (go to article)

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J.D. Power says Voice Recognition No.1 Problem With New Vehicles

GasBuddy Blog -- According to a study out today from J.D. Power, consumers say their #1 problem with their new car is voice recognition. Perhaps that shouldn't be a surprised as the car builds a relationship with the new owner, but its really not that simple, says J.D. Power.
In a climate of high consumer demand for increasing levels of technology in new vehicles audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN) systems are the most problematic component category in today's new vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction StudySM released today.The study measures the experiences and opinions of vehicle owners regarding the quality, design and features of their ACEN systems in the first 90 days of ownership. Multimedia system quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality....  (go to article)

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How to beat the high cost of filling your gas tank

Fox News -- Gasoline prices have come down a bit since peaking in late April at more than $3.60 per gallon, according to federal data. But filling up will still cost you a pretty penny. Just consider that if you have a 25-gallon tank, as does the Dodge Durango, and are paying $3.40 per gallon, then you could be out more than $80 at the pump. With that in mind, here are some tips to keep your fuel bill under control.  (go to article)

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Expert: Give fracking a break

The Californian -- No area in the country, including Monterey County, should discard any potential source of energy, including hydraulic fracturing. That was the advice shared by a former Environmental Protection Agency official speaking Tuesday at the Salinas Rotary Club.

Now a private energy consultant, J. Winston Porter was the No. 2 in command at the EPA, appointed during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Porter walked Rotarians through the web of traditional and alternative energy sources, emphasizing that each source is a critical contributor to transportation, industry, residential and commercial, and electrical power.
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Ohio driver accused of hot-bus punishment resigns

Associated Press -- An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.

Lebanon school officials had placed driver Benjamin Spaulding on administrative leave after hearing complaints about what happened Monday afternoon. They say the seven-year driver resigned just before a scheduled disciplinary hearing Wednesday in the southwest Ohio city.
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California lawmakers pass in-state gas system methane emissions bill

Oil&Gas Journal -- The California Senate passed a bill aimed at curbing methane emissions from intrastate natural gas pipelines and local distribution systems. SB 1371, which was approved by 23 to 11 votes on Aug. 27, passed the state’s Assembly a day earlier by 57 to 20 votes. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for final action. The measure would require that each in-state gas pipeline and local distribution company file a report as soon as possible that would include a summary of utility leak management practices, a list of new methane leaks in 2013 by grade, a list of open leaks that are being monitored or are scheduled to be repaired, and a best estimate of gas loss due to leaks. California’s Public Utilities Commission would be required to begin a proceeding by Jan. 15, 2015, in consultati  (go to article)

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ISIS burn 3 Iraq oil wells as Kurds attack

The Daily Star -- KIRKUK: Retreating jihadists set three wells ablaze at a northern Iraq oil field Thursday as they battled Kurdish forces who launched a major attack nearby, officials said.

ISIS jihadists set the wells on fire before deserting the Ain Zalah field, which was seized by militants along in early August, an official from the North Oil Company said.

A colonel in the Kurdish peshmerga forces said they had launched a major attack that has seen the jihadists pushed back from several villages in the area of the oil field.  (go to article)

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How North American production has helped bring ‘calm’ to oil prices

Financial Post -- The Middle E is convulsing and oil demand is expected to grow ahead of the well-travelled Labour Day-long weekend

It could have been a recipe for a hefty risk premium. Instead oil prices are hobbling near a 7-month low

It’s an indication of the economic and political freedom gained from growing production of oil in the U.S. and Canada

Too bad that what should be a moment of pride will be mostly unsung after the environmental movement turned the N Am technology-enabled oil surge into a source of shame

Many U.S. oil and gas companies have moved away from producing natural gas, where prices have been low because of the discovery of massive shale deposits, to oil, where new technologies have also unlocked new fields

Oil prices could pinch high-cost Canadian oil sands producers  (go to article)

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The most hated car company in America is

MarketWatch -- If you own a Mercedes, your relationship with your car may be something akin to love (admit it, you’ve gazed longingly at that finely engineered machine). But if you own an Acura or a Dodge, you might feel a little, er, less adoring towards your auto, according to new data.

A survey released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index revealed that customers’ satisfaction with both domestic and foreign automakers hit a five-year low this year, falling 1.2% from last year to a score of 82 out of 100. What’s more, satisfaction with 80% of the 21 car brands measured fell as compared to last year (Acura 7267, -0.21% saw the deepest decline at -7%, Cadillac GM, -0.49% the second-steepest decline at -6%), while satisfaction rose for only 10% of the car brands, including Chevrolet and  (go to article)

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A brief history of three-wheeled cars

VB News -- What do the Elio, Aptera, Toyota i-Road concept and the spectacularly awful Zap Xebra have in common?

They — and many more small-volume economical vehicles and concepts besides — all use one fewer wheel than the norm.

Yet giving fuel-saving cars just three wheels is not a new phenomenon, it stretches right back to the dawn of the motor car — with periodic resurgences in popularity when the market demands it.

Depending on what history book you read, the world’s very first true motorcar, the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, rolled along on just three wheels.

It had been preceded by several similar vehicles, often steam-powered, whose layouts were dictated by the simplicity of tiller steering for the single front wheel.

And, with less than one horsepower, and very tall, widely-spaced wheels,  (go to article)

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New Infographic Shows How Advanced Vehicle Technology Reduces Crashes

National Transportation Systems Center -- What’s the best kind of car crash? The one that never happens.

Check out our new infographic on how advanced technology reduces crashes. This easy-to-read data visualization shows how crash-avoidance technologies prevent crashes and save lives and money. These technologies enable cars to communicate with drivers, other vehicles, and roadway infrastructure.

Crash-avoidance technologies—such as in-vehicle warning systems, vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies—can potentially address about 95 percent of all vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers.  (go to article)

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How China is keeping a lid on U.S. gas prices

marketwatch -- China is now exporting gasoline.

The world’s most populous nation, with its once-booming economy and voracious appetite for energy, had more refined petroleum products on its hands last month than it needed, so it put them on the global market.
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Honda says to recall 63,200 vehicles globally over Takata air bag defect

Reuters -- Honda Motor Co is recalling about 63,200 vehicles globally due to a defect in driver-side air bags made by Takata Corp, the Japanese automaker said on Thursday.

Honda is recalling certain CR-V, Civic, Brio and Amaze, models from 2012-2015, mostly in China and other Asian countries.
 (go to article)

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BP says Whiting refinery still in production after fire

Chicago Tribune -- One worker was taken to a hospital for treatment and was released, the company said.

BP said operations at the 413,500-barrel-per-day refinery "were minimally impacted as a result of the incident and the refinery continues to produce products for customers."

The Whiting refinery is the seventh-largest refinery in the United States and the largest outside of the Gulf Coast.

The plant is the centerpiece of BP's shift over the past two years to emphasize using cheaper, heavy crude oil from Canada's tar sands fields in Alberta.  (go to article)

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Ford three cylinder Fiesta v three cylinder Geo Metro (!)

Detroit News -- Good things come in threes. Three-point basket buzzer beaters. The Three Stooges. Charlie’s Angels.

And Ford’s turbocharged, 1-liter, three-cylinder engine.

Three-holers have been as rare as four-leaf clovers in recent years as their poor power and inherent lack of balance have won them few buyers. The Mitsibishi Mirage and Smart, to name two, have underwhelmed with their buzzy leaf blowers. But with the relentless advance of fuel economy regulations and engine technology, automakers like Ford are re-introducing the three to a new generation of buyers.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE is lightning in a bottle. Make that lightning in a 1-liter bottle. With its surprising power, hybrid-like fuel efficiency, and Fusion-like good looks, this overachiever is sure to become a micro-car icon. Indeed,  (go to article)

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First 2015 Ford Mustangs roll off the production line

Detroit News -- The first of Ford Motor Co.’s 2015 Mustangs roll off the line Thursday at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

The Dearborn automaker will mark the milestone with a press event. For the first time in its 50 years in production, Mustangs will be sold globally to more than 120 countries.

“The Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a statement. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true, first-hand Mustang experience — one unlike any other.”

Ford will produce right-hand-drive Mustangs that will be exported to more than 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

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Train delayed again? Blame the oil boom.

CS Monitor -- If you’re stuck at a railroad crossing or trapped on a delayed Amtrak train, you might blame it on the US oil boom.

US oil production is the highest in decades, and more and more crude is traveling by train. That is slowing shipments of grains, gravel, and even coal, as commodities and a resurgent oil industry compete for a finite amount of US rail. More oil pipelines could help ease the freight bottleneck, but those take time to build and have become controversial topics in the debate over the future of US energy.

In the meantime, firms are taking to the rails to get the country’s newfound oil wealth to market.

Oil just tends to be more valuable than other products,” says Adie Tomer, a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, ...  (go to article)

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Iowa governor blasts EPA on ethanol mandate

USA Today -- EPA delays in setting the Renewable Fuel Standard are contributing to weaker corn prices for farmers and costing manufacturing jobs, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday.

"Farmers aren't buying equipment and John Deere is laying people off. What EPA has done is not only damage farm income but cost us jobs in farm machinery and manufacturing," Branstad told reporters at the Farm Progress Show near Boone.

In November, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed reducing ethanol produced from corn in 2014 to 13.01 billion gallons from 14.4 billion gallons initially required by Congress. The 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard requires refiners to buy alternative fuels made from corn, soybeans and other products to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy.

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President Carter calls for carbon tax at Aspen renewable energy conference

Fox -- President Jimmy Carter called a tax on carbon emissions “the only reasonable approach” to combating climate change during an appearance here Tuesday, but lamented that even piecemeal actions are unlikely to get through a divided Congress.

Carter, 89, who received a lifetime achievement award on the final day of the American Renewable Energy Day summit, spoke during a luncheon attended by a number of conservationists as well as Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens and Tom Steyer, the California billionaire pledging to devote his personal finances to political candidates willing to take action on climate change.

The 39th president, who created the Dept. of Energy and advocated for conservation before scientists began to understand the impact of human activity on climate...  (go to article)

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GM Finally Is Embracing Diesel Market With New Plans, Projections

Forbes -- General Motors GM -0.4% finally has drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to clean-diesel power. It plans on adding an array of new diesel passenger models to its Chevrolet Cruze diesel, and executives have embraced even the optimistic projections of diesel advocates when it comes to forecasting the expansion of the market.

The company’s endorsement of the future of diesel power is likely to add significant momentum to the technology. Diesel-car registrations were up by 30 percent through last year since 2010.

Steve Kiefer, GM’s vice president of global powertrain, told the industry’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., that diesels in cars and light trucks could grow to 10 percent of the U.S. market by 2020.  (go to article)

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Soup it up: New car cleaners shine, with elbow grease

Detroit News -- Do you cringe when someone tries to sell you the latest and greatest car care product?

“Never need to polish your car again!” an advertisement proclaims. “Detailer in a can,” promises another.

But then you happen to be in the room during a seminar at the recent Concours d’Elegance of America at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth and you hear Timothy McNair, owner of Grand Prix Concours Preparation, talk about the hours he and his Pennsylvania-based team spend getting every surface, every detail just so before a car is presented to the judging panel and classic car-show spectators.

And yet, it is without hesitation that I share a couple of new car care products with you, because they have been developed and produced by Griot’s Garage, a company based in Tacoma, Wash., with a proven record  (go to article)

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Michigan's Land proposes cutting 75 percent of federal gas tax

Detroit News -- Washington— Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land proposed Tuesday slashing federal gas taxes by 78 percent to four cents a gallon and letting states like Michigan decide whether to replace the revenue for highway and bridge construction.

Land, a former two-time secretary of state who oversaw the licensing of Michigan’s drivers, proposed gradually cutting the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents to 4 cents a gallon over an unspecified period of years. The move would effectively end most federal rules for U.S. highway travel and, her campaign argues, let states divert money from mass transit and other road-related projects that don’t make sense.

Michigan’s pothole-marked roads and bridges have been the focus of debate as the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder have sparred over  (go to article)

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Boston is Home of the Nation's Worst Drivers, Says Allstate Report

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..boston.comNew York may have its aggressive, horn-honking drivers but it is a bastion of tranquility and safety compared to Boston, home to the worst drivers of any U.S. big city, according to an annual insurance industry study just released by Allstate.  "A Boston driver, on average, will get into a collision every 4.4 years," Kari Mather, a spokeswoman for Allstate Corp, said earlier this week. The company's latest report, titled "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report," is based on client collision damage data in 2011 and 2012.  It found Boston ranked dead last among cities with more than 1 million residents in their metropolitan area. Next was Washington. Is anyone surprised? ...  (go to article)

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WTI Crude Declines as Stockpiles Expand at Cushing; Brent Steady

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate fell for the first time in three days as crude stockpiles increased at the biggest U.S. oil-storage hub. Brent was steady in London.

Futures dropped as much as 0.4 percent in New York. Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI contracts, expanded by 508,000 barrels to 20.7 million last week, the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday. That’s the highest level since July. Libya may boost production to 1 million barrels a day by the end of the September, according to state-run National Oil Corp.

“It looks like we’ve removed almost all of the risk premium associated with geopolitical problems, and we’re now returning to a more normal examination of supply and demand,” Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by  (go to article)

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Are the world’s cars on the cusp of going solar?

CNBC -- Within a decade, declining prices of solar systems and batteries combined with the rise of electric vehicles may start sending internal combustion engines to the junk yard, analysts say.

"By 2020, shrinking battery and solar cost will make EVs (electric vehicles) in the mass segments the cheaper alternative over a car life cycle in most European markets," UBS analysts said in a note last week.

It expects Europe, particularly Germany, Italy and Spain, to lead the shift due to their high fuel and retail electricity costs, with a "conservative" estimate for around 10 percent of Europe's new car registrations to be electric vehicles by 2025.  (go to article)

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Whiting Refinery fire

WSBT Web site and TV News -- Fire at the refinery at Whiting, Indiana. Not many details at this time
http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/report-explosion-at-nw-ind-bp-refinery/27765434

Be ready for high price jump in the IN MI IL area  (go to article)

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U.S. oil surge restrains prices despite heightened global turmoil

The Globe and Mail -- The controversial practice of “fracking” helped keep North American fuel prices from soaring this summer even as supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa hit a 23-year high.

The surge in United States oil production – made possible through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – has more than offset unplanned supply outages in embattled Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member nations, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday.

Those types of geopolitical crises have typically sent global oil prices sharply higher. Instead crude prices have fallen since early July, hitting 14-month lows last week.

In a note Wednesday the EIA noted American liquids production climbed by four-million barrels a day between January, 2011,...  (go to article)

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Bypassing Keystone: Canadian Firm Uses Loophole to Ship Oil Sands to U.S.

The Wall Street cheat sheet -- Instead of waiting to obtain a “presidential permit” to ship oil sands from Canada to the United States, one Canadian firm has found a workaround, and environmental groups aren’t happy about it.

Pipeline operations giant Enbridge has figured out how to avoid having to go through the regulatory process with the U.S. State Department for approval of an oil sands pipeline.

According to EnergyWire, the company plans to build several interconnections on either side of the border between Manitoba and Minnesota. The interconnections will allow the company to transfer heavy oil from its Alberta Clipper pipeline to another pipeline known as “Line 3.” It will then be transferred back to the Alberta Clipper line once it is safely across the border  (go to article)

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Garcia: Block Venezuela’s sale of Citgo

The Washington Times -- U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Venezuelan opposition leaders in Miami called on the Obama administration Wednesday to block Venezuela’s sale of U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp.

Garcia said the sale of Venezuela’s oil refining and distribution network in the U.S. would hurt national interests, noting a number of American corporations are owed large amounts of money by the Venezuelan government and that the country has few significant remaining assets in the U.S.

“The last thing we want them to do is delink themselves from the United States and then not pay their debtors,” Garcia said.

He said Citgo’s value is also “severely diminished” when no longer tied to Venezuelan oil reserves hurting both nations’ assets in the long term.“We believe allowing this government to monetize this part of...  (go to article)

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Beating Our Enemies By Energy Independence

Forbes -- The largest obstacle remains the existing infrastructure. It simply cannot support the current level output in terms of transporting, distributing and storing more oil and natural gas, and as such, it must be upgraded.  (go to article)

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Fracking Taxes Help States Now, But What About The Future?

Forbes -- As bad as the federal budget picture looked during the Great Recession, the fiscal climate in the states was worse. The federal government used stimulus spending to prevent many states from having to make sharp cuts in services because of steep declines in sales, income, and corporate tax revenues. However, the state fiscal picture is looking much better.  (go to article)

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US green energy share hits record levels as solar power doubles

Business Green -- Renewables made up 14.3 per cent of US electricity generation in the first half of 2014, spurred by solar power more than doubling its output year on year.

The US Energy Information Administration's most recent Electric Power Monthly publication shows hydropower output was just outpaced by other renewables, as the sectors accounted for seven and 7.3 per cent of electricity generation, respectively.

Overall, total electricity from all renewables increased by 2.73 per cent year on year, despite small declines in geothermal power and hydropower, beating the 2.59 per cent net growth across all energy sources, the EIA figures show.  (go to article)

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Fuel tanks pulled out of downtown Fresno property so restaurant can go in

The Fresno Bee -- A downtown property got one step closer to redevelopment Wednesday with the removal of giant underground fuel tanks.

The property at 603 Broadway St., at the corner of Ventura Street, has been a service station for decades, and is currently the American & Foreign auto repair shop. But owner George Guzelian hopes to develop the property as something else, including possibly a fast-food restaurant.

The tanks -- three 3,000- to 4,000-gallon gasoline or diesel tanks and a 280-gallon oil tank -- were pulled out with excavators, paid for by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative to clean up sites with abandoned gas tanks.  (go to article)

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Are CVTs The Fuel-Efficient Transmission Of The Future?

GreenCarReports -- If you've driven a Toyota, Lexus or Honda hybrid, or any recent Nissan automatic, you'll be familiar with continuously-variable transmissions (CVT).

You'll be familiar with the smoothness, the quiet running at low speeds, and the way the revs soar when you ask for a bit more power. But with CVT becoming more popular, is public perception of noisy, slow CVT cars slowly changing?

For customers used to regular torque-converter automatics with distinct steps in power and torque delivery, CVTs can feel unnatural and even annoying. Planting your foot to the carpet sends the engine revs upwards for the most power, but also the most noise. In a vehicle with a small engine, it can feel like a lot of work for very little progress.  (go to article)

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DuPont works to improve fuel efficiency

DelawareOnline -- In the race to create more fuel-efficient vehicles, DuPont took aim at reducing the weight of an unlikely spot on a truck – the oil pan.

DuPont’s work with Scania, a Swedish truck manufacturer, has been an important part of its work to create lighter vehicles, an effort going on at DuPont facilities in Wilmington and a large research facility in Switzerland, the company reported.

DuPont released a survey about two weeks ago showing, among other things, that automobile and parts manufacturers want to see more innovations to help them meet stricter fuel efficiency standards in the years ahead, the company reported.

In an interview last week, Jeff Sternberg, DuPont’s Wilmington-based automotive technology director, explained the work going on at DuPont to get there.

At the Experimental St  (go to article)

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China's Direct Losses In The Australian Iron Ore Industry Hit $10 billion

Forbes -- Not many investors can afford to commit more capital after posting losses approaching $10 billion, with the added indignity of a local partner hurling insults, but that’s been China’s recent experience of the Australian iron ore industry. The money has been spent on two ventures based on turning a low-grade form of iron ore into a high-grade feed for use in steel-making blast furnaces. The insults have been dished out by Clive Palmer, a larger-than-life mining project promoter and member of the Australian Parliament. Billions Over Budget And Years Overdue. It was Palmer who enticed the Citic Pacific group to invest in the Sino Iron project, a development budgeted to cost around $3 billion and scheduled to be in full production about four years ago. At last count the cost of the Sino Iron p  (go to article)

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EPA's Clean Power Plan: Texas' Last Stand Or Last Hope?

Forbes -- August has been an eventful month here in Texas. And, no, I’m not referring to news about Governor Rick Perry, rather some of his appointees. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Railroad Commissioners (RRC) Barry Smitherman and Christy Craddick, and State Representative Jason Isaac held a joint session to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean Power Plan (CPP).
The CPP will limit – for the first time ever – carbon emissions for existing power plants. Texas, the number one polluter in the country, needs to cut 195 billion pounds of carbon in the next 18 years, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. However, EPA suggests Texas could easily meet its goal through a combination of actions: making coal plants more e
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WTI Trades Near Four-Day High as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Decline

bloomberg.com -- West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest price in four days after crude and gasoline supplies dropped in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Futures were little changed in New York after rising 2 cents yesterday. Crude stockpiles shrank by 2.1 million barrels to 360.5 million last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Libya may increase output to 1 million barrels a day by the end of the September, National Oil Corp. said.

WTI for October delivery was at $93.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 16 cents, at 8:35 a.m. Sydney time. The contract closed at $93.88 yesterday, the highest since Aug. 21. The volume of all futures traded was about 87 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 4.8 percent this  (go to article)

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The most hated car company in America

Yahoo! Autos -- If you own a Mercedes, your relationship with your car may be something akin to love (admit it, you’ve gazed longingly at that finely engineered machine). But if you own an Acura or a Dodge, you might feel a little, er, less adoring towards your auto, according to new data.

A survey released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index revealed that customers’ satisfaction with both domestic and foreign automakers hit a five-year low this year, falling 1.2% from last year to a score of 82 out of 100. What’s more, satisfaction with 80% of the 21 car brands measured fell as compared to last year (Acura 7267, -0.11% saw the deepest decline at -7%, Cadillac GM, -0.40% the second-steepest decline at -6%).  (go to article)

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Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along East Coast

Believe It Or Not FoxNews -- In an unexpected discovery, hundreds of gas plumes bubbling up from the seafloor were spotted during a sweeping survey of the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Even though ocean explorers have yet to test the gas, the bubbles are almost certainly methane, researchers report Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"We don't know of any explanation that fits as well as methane," said lead study author Adam Skarke, a geologist at Mississippi State University in Mississippi State.

Surprising seeps

Between North Carolina's Cape Hatteras and Massachusetts' Georges Bank, 570 methane seeps cluster in about eight regions, according to sonar and video gathered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos Explorer between 2011 and 2013. The vast majority of the seeps dot  (go to article)

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Alaskans Uphold Tax System for Oil Companies

New York Times -- A hard-fought ballot referendum that would have overturned Alaska’s system of taxing oil industry profits, put to voters last week but until now considered too close to call, has failed by a narrow margin, with absentee ballots counted this week nailing down the outcome.

The referendum, Ballot Measure 1, drew millions of dollars in contributions from oil companies and raised political passions across the state. Former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican who has rarely commented on Alaskan political issues since resigning in 2009, even waded in with a ferocious and, to some voters, surprising attack on the oil tax policies of her successor, Gov. Sean Parnell.

Mr. Parnell pushed his tax overhaul through the state’s Republican-controlled legislature last year, replacing a system called Alaska’s  (go to article)

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Gasoline futures fall before Labor Day

Fuel Fix.com -- Gasoline fell Wednesday after a government report showed U.S. output rose before the Labor Day holiday that marks the end of the country’s peak-demand driving season. West Texas Intermediate crude settled little changed.

Gasoline production rose 4 percent to 9.51 million barrels a day last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

Inventories slipped 960,000 barrels to 212.3 million, less than the median 1.6 million projected by 10 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. WTI retreated from its highs after the EIA data showed crude supplies dropped a fourth week at Cushing, Oklahoma, the contract’s delivery point.

“The primary reason for the move in gasoline is that Labor Day is coming up on Monday,” Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures in New York, said by phone. “Today’s number  (go to article)

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Toyota's most rugged Land Cruiser is back in Japan

Fox News -- Toyota Motor Corp. is bringing back the Land Cruiser 70 in Japan, catering to nostalgic demand for the rugged off-roader that's favored for challenging terrains and as an aid agency vehicle in disaster zones.  (go to article)

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