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New Orleans East company says 'good-bye' to the gasoline pump

Fox8live.com -- The future has come to the Metro Service Group yard off Old Gentilly Road in Eastern New Orleans.

On Monday, the company cut the ribbon on its brand new compressed natural gas fueling station, which will power its fleet of 85 trucks. For the Woods family, which owns Metro, it's a $14 million investment.

"It's happening across the country," Jimmy Woods said. "We happen to be the first private fleet to do it in this market."

In New Orleans, Woods said only the RTA will have a larger fleet of natural gas-powered vehicles.

"We're in a game-changing situation with the United States having over a 200-year supply of natural gas," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, who joined in the ribbon-cutting.

The natural gas industry touts itself as a greener alternative to gasoline and diesel  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices Look Set To Stay Low

OilPrice.com -- To the delight of American drivers, gasoline prices are continuing to slide downwards. The national average price of gasoline hit $3.35 per gallon at the end of September, which is about 14 cents lower than at the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Better yet, gasoline prices could drop further in the coming months.

In recent years it has become commonplace for many drivers to see a gallon sell for well over $4 per gallon. Why have gas prices dropped to such low levels all of a sudden?

There are a complex set of factors that determine the price at the pump, but the largest contributor is the global price of crude oil. Oil prices have plummeted by more than 17 percent since peaking in June of this year, when the Islamic State, also known  (go to article)

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Audi receives first autonomous driving permit issued by the State of California

Toronto Star --

Audi will be the first company to receive a newly established autonomous driving permit issued by California. A range of new regulations that govern the testing of automated driving on the state’s roads is now in effect.

Audi has conducted research over tens of thousands of miles in Europe and various U.S. states, where such testing is permitted.

The research is aimed at preparing a highly automated Piloted driving system for freeway traffic conditions. Audi envisions this technology could be ready for consumer introduction within five years.
 (go to article)

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Asleep at the Wheel, a Trucker Destroyed a Family. He Isn't Sorry

Bloomburg -- Renewed Scrutiny
The Slattery crash on Ohio's east-west artery along Interstate 80 is part of a larger tragedy in which sleep-deprived drivers are pushed to their physical limits, contributing to trucking accidents that kill almost 4,000 Americans a year.

Just last week, four members of a Texas community college women's softball team were killed when a tractor trailer collided with their bus on an Oklahoma highway. Federal safety investigators have said there is no indication the truck slowed down before impact.

Trucker fatigue gained new attention when a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. driver went at least 24 hours without sleep before his tractor-trailer hit a limousine carrying comedian Tracy Morgan, according to a police report.

The June 7 accident on the New Jersey Turnpike critically injured  (go to article)

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Saudi focus on Asia may result in cheaper crude

Reuters -- Asian refiners may be about to get a welcome boost from major oil producer Saudi Arabia, which is likely to keep lowering the cost of crude to the region.

Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil producer, looks set to again cut the official selling prices (OSPs) for November cargoes when details are published early in October.

There are several reasons this may be the case, but chief among them is probably concern over market share in Asia.

It appears that Saudi Aramco has decided to make Asian markets its main focus, which makes sense given that the region takes about two-thirds of the producer's output.

The Saudis aren't exactly retreating from the North American and European markets, but they seem to have read in the tea leaves the trend that physical oil flows are moving toward ...  (go to article)

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Oil stays rangebound; Brent-WTI spread narrows further

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures traded sideways in Asian hours Tuesday with the premium of Brent crude over Nymex WTI crude narrowing further.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $94.59 a barrel, up $0.02 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.06 to $97.25 a barrel.

The Brent-WTI spread has been narrowing on the back of gains in the U.S. oil benchmark this week. The spread narrowed to $2.63 a barrel at the overnight close, and was at around $2.61 a barrel in Asian trading hours.

WTI crude prices rose 2.9% after last week’s preliminary U.S. manufacturing data, and as markets anticipate a positive final reading Wednesday, analyst Howie Lee at Phillip Futures said.  (go to article)

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Electric Rates Soar in New England

U.S. News -- Bargain-basement natural gas prices are sending New England's electricity bills through the roof – and House Republicans warn it's an omen of worse to come nationwide.

Last week, barely half a year after the polar vortex sent frigid weather swirling across much of the country, utility National Grid announced that rates in New England would leap by 37 percent, ratcheting up a household’s average bill by about $33 a month over last year.

The reason: gas prices are way down, and as a result, demand is way up – but the region’s two major natural gas pipelines are already practically filled to the brim, constricting supply and sending already-elevated rates ever higher.

“We’re a stranded region,” says Gilbert Metcalf, an economics professor at Tufts University. “We have a major bottleneck fo  (go to article)

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Honda introduces its self-driving vehicle

GasBuddy Blog --

Image From ..design-engineering.comAs part of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, an annual gathering of engineers and other researchers in Detroit, Honda announced plans to introduce a car that safely drives itself on the freeway while the driver's hands are off the wheel.
While the car is just a prototype, Honda says the technology could start appearing on Honda cars in 2020 and beyond. The prototype -- an Acura RLX sedan -- has cameras that monitor lane marking and multiple radar sensors on the front and sides. On top is a beacon that uses laser beams to continually scan the car's surroundings, similar to self-driving prototypes already introduced by Google, Ford and Toyota. GPS also helps the car stay on a previously mapped course and follow the speed limit....  (go to article)

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How a Top Liberal State Is Creating an Electricity Market That Conservatives Should Love

theenergycollective.com -- Imagine an electricity market that gives small businesses and consumers the same ability to compete and make money that utilities have always had.

The market has no explicit technology mandates that require utilities or individuals to "pick winners and losers." It simply sets some basic rules that prioritize consumer-side distributed energy technologies, efficient and economic use of energy, business model innovation and environmental performance.

The market is guided by a simple philosophy: regulators pledge to set parameters and then get out of the way to let entrepreneurs selling energy services flourish alongside traditional utility companies.

Sounds like the dream of conservatives and libertarians everywhere, right?

No, this is not the electricity system planned for Glenn Beck's u  (go to article)

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Chevrolet Corvette security system device could be illegal to use

FoxNews.com -- Stealing a car is illegal, but keeping an eye on it could be too.

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette is available with a Performance Data Recorder system equipped with cameras and GPS tracking that’s meant to capture your on-track antics, but also has a password-enabled Valet Mode that monitors the vehicle when you hand over the keys to someone else, like a parking attendant.  (go to article)

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Dominion's liquefied natural gas export project gets federal approval

Richmond VA Times-Dispatch -- Dominion Resources Inc. has received approval from federal regulators to export liquefied natural gas from its terminal on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

The decision by the FERC, announced late Monday, was the last major regulatory hurdle the Richmond-based company needed to clear for its Cove Point LNG export project, which is expected to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion to build.

It also marks the first LNG export project approved for the East Coast.

“This order is based on more than two years of thorough, exhaustive analysis by FERC along with numerous other federal and state agencies,” Leopold said.

Construction of the export project is expected to create thousands of construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs and an additional $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert Cou  (go to article)

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Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven't Come True

WSJ -- Have we beaten "peak oil"?

For decades, it has been a doomsday scenario looming large in the popular imagination: The world's oil production tops out and then starts an inexorable decline—sending costs soaring and forcing nations to lay down strict rationing programs and battle for shrinking reserves.

U.S. oil production did peak in the 1970s and sank for decades after, exactly as the theory predicted. But then it did something the theory didn't predict: It started rising again in 2009, and hasn't stopped, thanks to a leap forward in oil-field technology.

To the peak-oil adherents, this is just a respite, and decline is inevitable. But a growing tide of oil-industry experts argue that peak oil looks at the situation in the wrong way. The real constraints we face are technological and ec  (go to article)

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Wireless electric car charging tested for in-motion vehicles

Chicago Tribune -- A university in Utah has broken ground on the country's first electric vehicle test track fitted for in-motion, wireless electrical charging.

Workers at Utah State University began contruction Tuesday on a state-of-the-art facility that will include an electrified track, a quarter-mile long oval, that will demonstrate the effectiveness of wireless power charging.

This technology will help address at least one of the principal blocks to more widespread adoption of electric vehicles -- range, and the range anxiety that accompanies drivers afraid they'll run out of juice before they have time to recharge.
 (go to article)

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Smart, eco-friendly new battery made of seeds and pine resin

Science Daily -- Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, Uppsala researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative. Their study will be presented soon in the scientific journal ChemSusChem.

'We think our discovery can open several doors to more environment-friendly, energy-efficient solutions for the batteries of the future,' says Daniel Brandell, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, one of the researchers behind the idea.

Lithium-ion batteries are, thanks to their high energy content, highly promising for various products -- not least, electric vehicles or large-scale energy storage  (go to article)

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A U-Turn for a Terminal Built in Texas to Import Natural Gas

NYT -- The giant Golden Pass natural gas import terminal here, meant to bring Middle Eastern gas to energy-hungry Americans, sits eerily quiet these days, a sleepy museum to a bygone era.

Its 5,000 valves, 50 million pounds of steel and ship berth as big as 77 football fields — representing a $2 billion investment by Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips — have been dormant for nearly three years. The unexpected American shale fracking frenzy produced such a glut of domestic gas that the United States does not need Qatari gas anymore.

But the Golden Pass story is only beginning.

Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, is now requesting permission to export American gas, proposing with its partner Exxon Mobil an audacious conversion of the facility to export from import. The...  (go to article)

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Fracking boss bribes locals with promise to share of natural gas income if they agree to drilling un

dailymail.co -- A fracking company has been accused of offering local people bribes of 6 per cent of its revenues if they agree to drilling under their homes.

..Campaigners, who say fracking pollutes and causes earthquakes, condemned the offer, which comes days after ministers agreed a proposed law change so oil and gas firms will not need owners’ permission to drill 300 metres under their properties.

..‘With one hand the fracking industry goads the Government into steamrolling people’s right to oppose fracking under their homes, with the other it offers bribes.

‘People have legitimate concerns about fracking that won’t be easily assuaged by cash sweeteners.

The fact that the shale lobby can’t win the argument on safety but has to buy up consensus will help convince people that nothing good will come  (go to article)

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Anti-frackers want Cuomo to visit Pa.

D&C -- Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make good on a promise to visit fracking sites in other states, sending him a letter urging him to travel to Pennsylvania.

“As previously noted, the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition has set up many such tours for everyday New Yorkers, elected officials, and journalists,” the group wrote. “We would be honored to organize one for you as well.”

But there are two types of tours: Ones organized by anti-fracking protesters with like-minded activists in Pennsylvania, and tours hosted by gas companies —supporters of fracking — on the actual drilling sites.

 (go to article)

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Falling price of solar panels leads utilities to lobby for taxes

Bangor Daily News -- MADRID — A year after Spain, the sunniest country in Europe, issued notice of a law forcing solar energy-equipped homes and offices to pay a punitive tax, architect Inaki Alonso reinstalled a 250-watt solar panel on a beam over his Madrid roof terrace.

“The government wanted people to be afraid to generate their own energy, but they haven’t dared to actually pass the law,” Alonso said as he tightened screws on the panel on a sunny summer day this month. He had removed solar panels from the roof last year.

“We’re tired of being afraid,” he said.

Halfway across the globe, in the “sunshine state” of Queensland, Australia, electrical engineer David Smyth says the war waged by some governments and utilities against distributed energy, the term used for power generated by solar panels, is alr  (go to article)

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Shale boom benefitting non-shale production areas

fierceenergy.com -- Firms supplying goods and services to shale oil and gas producers will create more than 233,000 new jobs in the United States over the next 10 years, according to a report prepared for the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) by IHS Global, Inc. That is in addition to the 524,000 already existing shale energy supply chain jobs -- bringing the total to more than 757,000 over the next decade, with the sector's workforce predicted to grow 44 percent by 2025.

The report notes that shale energy supply chain jobs account for 41 percent of all employment attributable to shale energy activities in the country throughout the report's forecast period from 2015 to 2025.
 (go to article)

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Green Bay Packers, WPS focus on energy

fierceenergy.com -- The Green Bay Packers have made energy-efficiency upgrades to Lambeau Field -- with the help of Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy -- that will save the organization more than $100,000 on their energy bill.

As part of the upgrades, the Packers organization completed its new South End expansion of Lambeau Field last year and are working on the installation of four new energy-efficiency projects for the 2014 season. The organization installed more than 500 induction lighting fixtures in concourse areas; 11 high-efficiency condensing boilers for stadium space heat, field heating and snow melting; two high-efficiency electric chillers for air-conditioned areas;  (go to article)

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Third firm courts Maine regulators for cash to back natural gas pipeline expansion

Bangor Daily News -- PORTLAND, Maine — Three companies have formally offered natural gas pipeline capacity to state regulators, who are considering whether they should charge a new fee to all of Maine’s electricity customers to help pay for projects designed to bring more natural gas into the Northeast.

On Monday, Houston-based Spectra Energy presented a plan for expanding existing pipelines spanning the Northeast, a shot back at the Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which delivered details of its proposal for a new pipeline to regulators last week.

“We wanted the state to understand that we have real tangible proposals for them to consider,” said Greg Crisp, Spectra’s director of business development.

Days before Kinder Morgan sent its plan to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Spectra had announced Northea  (go to article)

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New Eagle Ford wells continue to show higher production

EIA -- Increased drilling and improved drilling efficiency have led to significant crude oil production increases in the Eagle Ford region in southern Texas. These increases have occurred despite the region's relatively high well decline rates. However, by offsetting the natural declines through the use of new recovery techniques, further production increases are possible.
Horizontal drilling combined with an increasing number of hydraulic fracturing stages in tight formations like the Eagle Ford typically enhance initial production rates when compared to past results. These higher initial production rates are often accompanied by initially larger decline rates, before gradually leveling off to a consistent level of decline for the remaining years of the well life.
While initial production rates  (go to article)

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What Happens When Oil Drops Below $90 a Barrel?

24/7 Wall -- U.S. pump prices are expected to fall below $3 a gallon in many U.S. states and cities by the end of 2014. Consumers will finally get some relief from prices that rose above $4 a gallon in many cities earlier this year.

And it's not just gasoline pump prices. Airline fuel consumption has dropped almost 15% since its peak in 2005, partly due to cutting down on the number of flights, but also due to flying at slower speeds and reducing weight in order to consume less fuel. Between 2004 and 2011, the average ground speed of seven major U.S. air carriers decreased by 1.1%. Planes have cut weight by eliminating magazines, heating ovens and even safety equipment for water landings if the planes don’t fly over water.

Domestic jet fuel prices have fallen from around $2.90 a gallon to around $2.7  (go to article)

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Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid to premiere in Paris

Yahoo News -- Part of the entirely restyled Cayenne family, the new plug-in hybrid version of Porsche's premium SUV will be unveiled in a world premiere in Paris. The model will share the spotlight on the Porsche stand with two other hybrids: the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder.

The Cayenne S E-Hybrid houses exactly the same technology as the Panamera S E-Hybrid: a 333hp V6 engine paired with a 95hp electric motor, which allows the SUV to travel 36km in all-electric mode. Porsche announces 0 to 100km/h acceleration in just 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 243km/h. The battery charges in just two and a half hours through an industrial power outlet, or just under four hours through a standard outlet.  (go to article)

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Rosneft, ExxonMobil Open New Oil Field In Arctic Ocean

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty --
R
ussia's largest oil company, Rosneft, says it has opened a new oil field in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean with U.S. partner ExxonMobil.

The announcement comes after the United States targeted Rosneft and its chief Igor Sechin with sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Rosneft said in a statement September 27 that the estimated deposits exceed 100 million tons of light crude oil.

Light crude oil is has a low density and is more expensive than heavy crude oil because it produces a higher percentage of gasoline and diesel fuel when refined.

It said the new field, named Pobeda (Victory), also contains an estimated 338 million cubic meters of gas.

However, it remained unclear if commercially viable quantities of oil could be recovered from the well and its d  (go to article)

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Fuel, tires, brakes, oil: Four car myths debunked

BBC - THE QUORA COLUMN -- BBC Autos compiled the most thoughtful responses to long-held suppositions about cars and how to treat them. So leave the tire changes to AAA, and heed these simple rules of thumb.

Your engine doesn't need to warm up anymore

‘Premium’ does not equal ‘better’

Scrap old tires, even if the tread is good

Pumping the brakes is useless – except for when it’s not

These habits and assumptions die hard. But with each technological breakthrough, the old, ingrained ways sink further into the back seat, where they belong.  (go to article)

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Pioneer Natural Resources Plans to Double U.S. Oil Exports in 2015

Reuters -- Pioneer Natural Resources plans to double its U.S. exports of condensate, an ultra-light oil, to 50,000 barrels per day next year, its chief executive said on Monday.

The U.S. shale resources explorer, along with Enterprise Product Partners, received the green light from the U.S. government in March to ship the ultra-light crude as the country softened a 40-year ban on oil exports.

"We operate 50,000 bpd and we're selling probably about 20-25,000 bpd, but eventually we'll get up to 50,000 bpd," Scott Sheffield told Reuters, saying this would happen next year.

"After the elections, I see a lot more companies having the same agreement with the Commerce Department," he said.

Another 20-25 companies are seeking approval to export U.S. condensate, Sheffield said.

"So we'll see a lot more e  (go to article)

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$845,000 Porsche supercar catches fire at gas station

FOX News -- A rare, Porsche 918 Spyder supercar caught fire at a gas station in the Toronto suburb of Caledon Sunday night, mostly destroying the vehicle and damaging a fuel pump.
The aftermath of the incident was caught on video by a passing motorist and shows the car engulfed in flames under the edge of the Esso station’s canopy.

Caledon Fire Chief Dave Forfar told FoxNews.com that that the fire was apparently the result of a refueling overflow issue, but that the vehicle is currently in police custody and an investigation is ongoing. There were no injuries and the inferno was quickly extinguished with foam when firefighters arrived on the scene.  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Rail Shipments To Worsen Traffic, Congestion In Communities Nationwide, New Report Finds

International Business Times -- Life is slowing down in Bozeman, a small city in southern Montana near a major railroad. More shipments of Bakken Shale oil and local coal are passing through, and it’s taking drivers more time to cross the tracks and get around town. Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars have to wait while carload after carload chugs along. “It takes longer for those public safety services to get to us,” says Beth Kaeding, a Bozeman resident and conservationist.

The U.S. shale boom and a rise in coal exports is having a similar effect nationwide, according to a federal transportation report released late last week. If freight flows continue to rise as expected, it could “exacerbate congestion issues” and raise new safety concerns in communities near train tracks, the U.S. Government Accountability Offi  (go to article)

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Man Refused To Move Car For Emergency Helicopter Landing: Cops

Daytona Beach Journal -- James Allen, 52 — who works at Urgent Care in Ormond Beach — was charged Thursday with failure to obey police/fire department and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanors, court records show. After spending the night at the Volusia County Branch Jail, he was released Friday morning on his own recognizance. Allen could not be reached for comment Friday.

Volusia County sheriff's deputies and later the Florida Highway Patrol responded to State Road 40 and Church Street in Barberville early Thursday after 26-year-old Tessa George of Pierson had struck a tree after losing control of her sport utility vehicle. George had been traveling west on S.R. 40 and failed to negotiate a curve just east of Pine Street, FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said. She over-corrected her Hyundai Santa Fe, and  (go to article)

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Australia Heat Wave Is Tied to Climate Change

NY Times -- The savage heat waves that struck Australia in 2013 were almost certainly a direct consequence of the human release of greenhouse gases, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made that ties a specific weather event to global warming.

Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of last year and continued into 2014, shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament at one point in January. All five came to the conclusion that last year’s heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human activity.  (go to article)

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US July crude imports climb, but no Nigerian barrels for first time

Platts -- US crude imports rose 569,000 b/d in July, though imports of Nigerian crude fell to zero for the first time on record, data from the EIA showed Monday.

US imports rose to 7.623 million b/d, up from 7.054 million b/d in June.

The one refinery that accounted for all of the June Nigerian imports turned to Azerbaijan in July. Philadelphia Energy Solutions brought in 2.088 million barrels of light sweet Azerbaijani crude, likely Azeri, in July.

US Atlantic Coast refiners have been increasingly turning away imported light sweet crudes in favor of domestically produced barrels, mostly railed from North Dakota.

Atlantic Coast refining margins largely favored Bakken crude in July, although with more light sweet crudes getting backed out into the Atlantic Basin, spot prices for imported crudes  (go to article)

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D.C. testing streetcar

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia's first modern streetcar is now sharing the road with cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. The D.C. Streetcar began simulated service Monday morning along a 2.4-mile segment in the H Street Corridor in the city's Northeast. The streetcar vehicles are running at their proposed hours between 6 a.m. and midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. There are no passengers in the streetcars yet. That's not expected until at least November. The District Department of Transportation says the testing phase is a crucial milestone for the streetcar. The streetcar segment set to open soon is just a small portion of the planned 37-mile system.  (go to article)

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UVa researchers see promise in 'synthetic biology'

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- CHARLOTTESVILLE — The phrase “synthetic biology” may sound like science fiction, but some biology students at the University of Virginia say this field will play an important role in lives over the next few years. Scientists in the field are producing cheap malaria drugs, using bacteria to clean up chemical waste and reducing resistance to antibiotic drugs. In the future, people could be eating vanilla and cheese produced from yeast or using laundry detergent and makeup derived from algae. “It’s something we’re going to see a lot more of,” said Tom Moss, a second-year biology major. “(And) there’s a lot of misconceptions about it.” Moss is in a small group of students and faculty members that organized a recent public meeting on synthetic biology at U.Va.’s OpenGrounds building. The goal i  (go to article)

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Without Fracking, Oil Prices Would be at Record Highs

Mackinac Center for Public Policy -- Crude oil would cost at least a record-setting $150-a-barrel today if not for increased oil production in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

EIA chief Adam Sieminski made the comment in a recent interview with Reuters. Sieminski was appointed by President Barack Obama as EIA Administrator in 2012.  (go to article)

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Speculators Slash Bets on Rising Crude Oil Price

Wall St Journal -- LONDON—Speculators slashed bets on a rising Brent crude oil price by 34% in the week ended Sept. 23, the biggest weekly cut in their net long position in three years, as the oil price continued to slide lower.

In the week to Sept. 23, speculators reduced their net long position—the total number of bets that the price of oil would rise minus the number of bets that it would fall—by 33.7%, according to exchange data released Monday. The last time speculators made a cut this sharp was in October 2011.

Speculators cut the number of long positions they held by 3,833 positions to 190,338. But they also placed thousands more short bets. The number of short positions, or bets that the crude oil price would fall, rose by 18,280, to 146,779.  (go to article)

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Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine are in a gas dispute as winter approaches

Washington Post -- KIEV, Ukraine — The frigid water that comes out of the “hot” faucet of Alexander Korniienko’s shower in Kiev is a warning for his nation: After months without natural gas shipments from Russia, Ukraine may be facing a chilly winter.

Ukrainians are layering their sweaters in preparation for yet another tough confrontation with the Kremlin, this time over energy. It is a replay of previous wintertime gas cutoffs by Russia that led to accusations that the Kremlin was using its bountiful energy supplies as a political weapon. This year, any wintertime shortfall could be far more serious for Ukrainians already contending with the dire effects of a separatist war.

Korniienko has been on the vanguard of those facing the latest gas cutoff, since Kiev eliminated city-provided hot water in July as  (go to article)

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Tesla A 'Fringe Brand': Former GM Product Czar Bob Lutz

Green Car Reports -- When an unknown automotive startup from Silicon Valley unveiled an all-electric sports car with supercar performance back in 2006, the shock was enough to make industry giant GM sit up and pay attention.

That, plus the desire to gain some of the green halo seized by Toyota's Prius hybrid, led GM's then-product czar Bob Lutz to champion the development of the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car--and to protect it throughout GM's bankruptcy and restructuring.

So what does the gruff, jet-flying, cigar-smoking Lutz have to say about Tesla Motors today?

He thinks that the company will remain a "fringe brand" until it introduces its next generation of car  (go to article)

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Rare ANS Crude Export To South Korea Detected

Genscape -- Genscape Vesseltracker monitoring data showed that a cargo of Alaskan North Slope crude loaded Sept. 26 at the Alaskan port of Valdez for delivery into the South Korean refining center of Yeosu. The U.S.-flagged tanker, Polar Discovery, is reported to have sailed from the ANS export terminal at Valdez, Alaska, for east Asia.

According to the E.I.A., no Alaskan crude oil has been exported outside of the United States since 2004. Overseas exports of ANS are permitted by U.S. federal law.

ConocoPhillips confirmed to Genscape on Sept. 29 that it had entered into a sales agreement to export a cargo of ANS crude to Asia during Q4 2014. According to a ConocoPhillips official, the company is “entering into this transaction because during the trading period for this volume, bids from Asian custom  (go to article)

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Flywheels Offer Cheaper, Lighter Alternative To Hybrids

Forbes [and] Ricardo Engineering quarterly -- The idea of powering your car with a flywheel conjures up amateurish images of rubber bands, or big, clunky contraptions attached to ponderous nineteenth century steam-powered wagons. But modern flywheels are all about carbon-fiber and miniaturized cutting-edge high technology, and they will start to boost your car’s fuel economy in about four years time.

Flywheel proselytizers say this technology is cheaper and lighter than gasoline-electric hybrids and avoids the environmental problems associated with end of life disposal of batteries, with their toxic chemicals and exotic minerals. Not to mention the high carbon dioxide (CO2) output of making and getting rid of batteries.

Critics say flywheels can’t compete with batteries when it comes to long-term storage of power, but they do provid  (go to article)

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New Volkswagen XL1 Is the World’s Most Fuel-Efficient Car Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com

Mother Earth News -- What first stands out about the new Volkswagen XL1 is the diesel plug-in hybrid’s stratospheric fuel efficiency — a combined 260 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) under ideal conditions. But equally noteworthy is the car’s long list of design innovations.

Touted as “the world’s most fuel-efficient car” by its manufacturer, the two-seater packs a small diesel engine and an electric motor inside a highly aerodynamic design. The teardrop-shaped body clears the pavement by only 2 inches and is made from lightweight, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (with an underlying crash structure for safety). Cameras have replaced the exterior mirrors to reduce drag. Even the body paint weighs substantially less than normal. The total weight of the car is only 1,750 pounds, which, for comparison, is 1,000  (go to article)

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Road salt supply low, demand high as winter looms

Associated Press -- The rewards for surviving last winter's punishing weather are tight supplies and drastic price increases for road salt across much of the U.S.

Local officials in several Midwestern states are facing prices that are twice what they were last season. In some cases, the price is five times as much.

And that's only if they can get road salt.

Replenishing stockpiles is proving to be a challenge nationwide after so much salt was used last winter, when supplies were diminished by frigid weather and record snowfall.

From Boston to Raleigh, North Carolina, many cities are increasing their stocks by at least 20 percent.

But some local governments are avoiding the problem, thanks to previous contracts or secured bids, or simply being close to salt sources.
 (go to article)

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States and Cities With the Cheapest Gasoline

247WallSt.com -- Gasoline prices have been on a steady downward trend since late June and the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. is now $3.342 a gallon, the same level as early February, when prices were on their way up to a high of about $3.70 a gallon. Now, prices in some states are expected to fall below $3.00 a gallon by the end of the year.

According to GasBuddy, the five states where the average price of a gallon of gasoline is currently cheapest are South Carolina ($3.089), Mississippi ($3.100), Missouri ($3.125), Tennessee ($3.126) and Louisiana ($3.127). Three of these states impose gasoline taxes that rank among the five lowest in the country (S.C., Mo., Miss.) and the other two are among the lowest 15. Gasoline is more expensive in Louisiana, with 17 refineries, than it  (go to article)

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New York City Speed Camera Issues $77,000 In Fines Over One Day

New York News -- A single speed camera in Brooklyn is proving to be a boon for for city coffers after it issued 1,551 tickets on a single summer day.

Drivers traveling 10 miles per hour or more down an exit ramp near Ocean Parkway were treated to a $50 ticket. All told, the one camera generated $77,550 in speeding tickets July 7.

A Department of Transportation spokesperson told the New York Post that the 400-foot ramp gives drivers ample time to slow down to the posted speed of 30 mph.

"Someone slowing from 50 to 40 mph or from 45 to 35 would not receive a violation," a DOT spokesperson told the Post.

There are already 20 speed cameras watching New York City roads. Since January, they've issued 183,000 tickets, generating $9.2 million for the city. An additional 120 speed cameras are planned to go up b  (go to article)

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What do women want when it comes to buying a car?

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..msn.comWhat do women want?  Is what they say really what they mean?  Like most men, the answers evade me.  But, when it comes to buying a car, TrueCar.com, an auto buying website that regularly surveys car buyers, thinks they've discovered the hidden truth.  

They say women want the same things that men do, but with some subtle differences. Exterior styling and overall value are the most important things to new car buyers of both sexes, according to TrueCar. Past experience with the brand and driving performance are next on the list.But while men usually give an edge to styling and driving performance, women tend to rank safety and fuel economy more highly than men do, TrueCar says. ...  (go to article)

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Prices At The Pump Head Below $3 In Much Of US

AP -- In this Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 photo, neighboring gas stations both tout $2.92-per-gallon regular gas in Richland, Miss. The typical autumn decline in gasoline prices is getting a big push lower by falling global oil prices. By the end of the year, up to 30 states could have an average gasoline price of under $3 a gallon.  (go to article)

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50 Weird Traffic Laws

Kupper Automotive News -- Next time you complain about a speeding ticket, remember that there are much sillier things you could get in trouble for.

It’s illegal to wear a blindfold while driving in Alabama. It’s dangerous in all states.
It’s illegal to drive in Alaska with a dog tethered to your roof.
It’s illegal in Eureka, California to use the road as a bed.
In Glendale, California, it’s illegal to jump from a car going over 65 mph.
In England, it’s illegal to drive on the right side of the road. Of course they think the U.S. law against driving on the left side of the road is weird.

- See more at: http://www.kupperautomotivenews.com/Articles/50WeirdTrafficLaws#sthash.uPpDL4OO.dpuf  (go to article)

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Solar power is growing so fast that older energy companies are trying to stop it

Vox.com -- If you ask the people who run America's electric utilities what keeps them up at night, a surprising number will say solar power. Specifically, rooftop solar.

That seems bizarre at first. Solar power provides just 0.4 percent of electricity in the United States — a minuscule amount. Why would anyone care?

But many utilities don't see it that way. As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels on their roofs, generating their own power. On top of that, 43 states and Washington DC have "net metering" laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess power back to the grid at a fixed price.

That's a serious threat to traditional utilities.  (go to article)

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Gasoline’s Whipsaw Trade in Oversold Market

CS Descisions -- The gasoline futures contract nearest to physical delivery traded in a more than 25cts gallon range in September with little less than two days of trade for the month remaining, which included sharp daily reversals in what is known as whipsaw price action late in the month ahead of an expiration deadline.

Seasonal features for gasoline argue prices should decline this time of year, however New York Mercantile Exchange RBOB futures with nearest delivery rallied 14.31cts during the two-week period ended Sept. 26. Much of the upside thrust was triggered by technical features, namely too much selling earlier in the month. Refinery outages, both planned and unplanned, exacerbated the price volatility.

NYMEX October RBOB futures spiked to a $2.7577 one-month high Sept. 25 in a short squeeze, c  (go to article)

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Nebraskans Raise Their Voices in Fight Against Keystone XL Pipeline

New York Times -- It has been six years since TransCanada, an energy company, first proposed this 1,179-mile crude-oil pipeline to southern Nebraska from Alberta. In that time, a group of Nebraska farmers, ranchers, Native Americans and city-dwelling environmentalists has held meeting after meeting to rally opposition to the pipeline and forge a delicate trust as it worked toward a common goal.

Keystone XL has broad support nationally from Republicans, who trumpet the pipeline’s potential to create jobs and provide needed energy from an ally. But many people in this usually conservative state have been unmoved by those arguments, and some have pressed the issue in court.  (go to article)

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Cadillac prepares dealers for a jolt

Automotive News -- Cadillac dealers in recent years have trekked to annual meetings with the factory to hear an ever-changing cast of executives assure them of a pending boom in sales.

They heard the same thing at last week's dealer gathering in Las Vegas from Johan de Nysschen. Cadillac's new global chief opened his remarks with the announcement of a buy-one-get-one-free sale on 2014 sedans.

The line drew a big laugh among the hundreds of dealers who were there. And it acknowledged a pressing concern among many Cadillac retailers. Yes, they wanted to hear de Nysschen's long-term vision to bring Cadillac back to luxury prestige, in part by holding a firm line on pricing and production. That's a game-changer for dealers. But many also are seeking short-term help from General Motors to clear dealership lots  (go to article)

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