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Tesla Motors expands in China, hits new stock high

San Jose Mercury News -- Today: Tesla Motors signs a deal to build more than 400 new charging stations in China, and the company's stock makes another record-breaking drive. Also: Apple hits more new records despite reports that wearable offering won't appear until 2015.

The Lead: Tesla plans charging expansion in China

Tesla Motors announced a deal Friday with a wireless carrier that will nearly triple its number of charging stations in China, the world's largest auto market, and investors responded by again sending the Palo Alto electric-car maker's stock to record highs.A worker cleans a Tesla Model S sedan in Beijing, China, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo)
Tesla will install 400 charging stations across 120 cities as well as 20 of its supercharger stations, all at China Unicom retail outle  (go to article)

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10 cities with the best and worst drivers

reuters -- New 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 insurance industry report.

"A Boston driver, on average, will get into a collision every 4.4 years," Kari Mather, a spokeswoman for insurer Allstate Corp, said on Tuesday.

[Related: Cheapest and most expensive states to buy a car]

The company's annual 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.

The large U.S. city that boasts the best drivers is Phoenix, where a driver, on average, will get into a coll  (go to article)

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Labor Day Gas Prices Fall to Lowest Level Since 2010

Newsmax -- Most Americans who plan to travel by automobile over the Labor Day holiday weekend can expect to pay the lowest price to fill their tanks in four years, according to a study by GasBuddy.com.

Analysts with GasBuddy, which provides retail fuel pricing information and updates daily fuel prices at nearly 130,000 unique stations in the United States and Canada, predict that the downward trend in gas prices which began in July is not likely to continue until autumn.

"We expect to see stable gasoline prices from now through mid-September," said GasBuddy chief oil analyst Tom Kloza. "Some more significant declines could come after September 15 when the 'recipe' for gasoline changes in most states."

Due to price adjustments at regional refineries, state around the Great Lakes will see higher pri  (go to article)

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Kenworth Adds CNG Option To T880 Trucks

GAS2 -- Just about every major construction project around the world relies on diesel-guzzling dump trucks to move billions of cubic-feet of earth and rock every year. With the trucking industry looking at natural gas as a replacement for diesel, the Kenworth T880 vocational truck now offers with a natural gas engine option for those wanting to go a little green and save money, reports Green Fleet Magazine.

The Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine offers earth moves 400 horsepower and 1,450 lb-ft of torque, and can be had with either manual or automatic transmissions. The ISX12 G engine has been optimized to run either compressed or liquified natural gas, and according to Kenworth it’s ideal for dump trucks, concrete mixers, and other vocational uses....  (go to article)

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Morgan Stanley plans natural gas export plant in new commodities foray

Reuters -- Morgan Stanley has quietly filed plans to build and run one of the first U.S. compressed natural gas export facilities, the first sign the bank is plunging back into physical commodity markets even as it sells its physical oil business.

In a 23-page application to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy submitted in May, the Wall Street bank outlined a proposal to build, own and operate a compression and container loading facility near Freeport, Texas, which will have capacity to ship 60 billion cubic feet a year of compressed natural gas (CNG).

While the size of the project is small compared with bigger liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, the plan highlights the bank's ability to exploit its status as one of two Wall Street banks which are allowed to own and operate..  (go to article)

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Coal industry dealt another setback as Oregon blocks export plan – will feds help?

foxnews.com -- Another blow to U.S. & jobs made by the EPA & anti-job terrorists.  (go to article)

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California to phase out EV incentives for the wealthy

Automotive News -- California, which offers rebates of up to $2,500 to electric vehicle buyers to help meet a goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles onto its roads by 2025, is overhauling its incentive program to reflect a new reality: The state’s rebates are sometimes just a windfall for the wealthy.

The California Legislature passed a bill on Thursday to phase out EV rebates for well-off buyers, as well as offer new incentives for low-income car owners who scrap a car and use public transit or join a car-sharing service.

“The income cap is meant to ensure we keep the program in the black while not undermining progress” toward the state’s EV goals, said Max Baumhefner, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.  (go to article)

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10 Most Dangerous Intersections

ABC news -- The nation's most dangerous traffic intersection is north of Miami in Pembroke Pines, Fla., the No. 1 U.S. car insurer reported today.

State Farm released its top 10 "Most Dangerous" intersection list, which analyzed claims data in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa, Okla., each had two intersections on the list, while Frisco, Texas (near Dallas); Metairie, La. (near New Orleans); and Sacramento, Calif., each had one.

The insurer compiled the list based on crashes that resulted in claims by its policy-holders in 1999 and 2000.

State Farm estimated there were 357 crashes over the two-year period at the Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard intersection.  (go to article)

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U.K. Sludge Treatment Site Turns Waste Into ‘Black Gold’

Bloomburg -- When the world’s largest working advanced digestion plant opened last month, it showed the power-hungry process of treating waste in the $360 billion water industry can be self-sufficient in terms of energy use. The Davyhulme facility that handles the sewage of 1.2 million people in Manchester today can export surplus power to the U.K. grid. It uses waste formerly dumped in the Irish Sea, generating renewable power on a scale no utility has done to date using that method. The sludge recycling center runs on enough human waste to power 25,000 homes. It was built by Black & Veatch for United Utilities Group Plc (UU/), Britain’s largest publicly traded water company. Awarded IChemE’s international prize as “the most innovative green-energy scheme on Earth,” the facility renders waste into wha  (go to article)

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S&P 500 Heads Toward Monthly Gain; Oil Rises, Ruble Sinks

Bloomberg -- The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index headed for its biggest monthly rally since February amid optimism in the strength of the U.S. economy. Metals and oil led commodities higher, while the ruble slid to a record low.  (go to article)

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This Is How You Have to Ship Bugatti’s $3M Supercar

Wired -- When you drop $3 million on a special-edition Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, you want everything to be perfect. That’s why, before it leaves the factory, Bugatti wraps the car more carefully than royal nurses swaddle the future King George. This Vitesse, complete with a custom (and questionable) paint job, was delivered to an unnamed buyer at Symbolic Motor Car Company in San Diego. Spencer Berke, an employee at the dealership, photographed the whole unloading process, which took more than two hours from start to finish. Nearly the entire car is carefully wrapped for protection against scratches, with holes left open for ventilation at the front and exhaust at the rear, and a more translucent covering over the windshield. Only the driver’s door is left uncovered, so the car can be dri  (go to article)

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Don't mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says

Yahoo News -- LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us."

Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.

Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armor to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people.  (go to article)

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Russia ready for gas talks with Ukraine, warns of disruptions

TODAY -- Russia is ready for talks on resuming gas supplies to Ukraine, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, warning of disruption to flows to Europe this winter if a row over pricing and debts is not resolved.

Novak said Moscow was ready to reduce its prices in an effort to secure a deal, but the proposed sum remained well above what Kiev has said it is willing to pay.

The dispute comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries, with Ukraine accusing Russia of sending weapons and men to help a separatist rebellion in the east of the country -- an accusation Moscow rejects.  (go to article)

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Oklahoma Oil Baron Could Be Forced To Split $17 Billion Dollar Fortune In Divorce

Business Insider -- In one of the biggest divorce cases in history, Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm could have to split his $17 billion fortune with his estranged wife, Sue Ann Hamm.

The divorce trial of the founder of Continental Resources, one of the biggest petroleum liquids producer in the United States, is under a tight lockdown (in order to protect shareholders), but economic analysis has shown that Hamm would have acquired $17.6 billion during his 26 year marriage to Sue Ann.

Hamm's enormous wealth comes from his 68% stake in his 'Oil Champion' company, resulting in him potentially being the biggest owner of oil in America.

If Hamm ends up with a large divorce settlement, he would have to finance it by selling Continental shares and his control the company could dissolve.  (go to article)

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2014 HHP Summit agenda set

Railway Age -- Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, organizers of the 2014 High Horsepower (HHP) Summit, have announced the keynote and full speaker lineup for the third annual conference and expo, taking place Oct. 7-9 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Drawing nearly 2,000 attendees, HHP Summit is North America’s largest event focusing on the benefits of natural gas for rail, marine, mining, drilling, pressure pumping, remote power generation, off-pipeline industrial applications, and other high horsepower operations. IHHP Summit will feature engine and fueling solution breakout sessions, technical workshops, hosted networking events, and a massive expo hall floor showcasing natural gas off-road equipment, engines, fueling solutions, and technology for heavy-duty HHP applications.  (go to article)

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GasBuddy: Labor Day Sees Lowest National Average Since 2010

GasBuddy Blog -- Most U.S. motorists will soon encounter the cheapest Labor Day weekend for driving in four years, thanks to a downtrend in gasoline prices that began in July but probably won’t conclude until autumn, GasBuddy predicted today. 
Cheaper global and domestic crude oil prices have pushed costs for North American refiners lower despite violence in the Middle East and uncertainty about long-term Russian energy supplies. U.S. benchmark crude oil futures, for example, are down nearly $9 barrel from where they stood ahead of Memorial Day weekend, and the price of international North Sea crude (Brent) has declined by about $7 barrel. The crude drops have combined with record high summer refinery runs that have so far brought 26cts gal of summer price relief at the pump. Prices may stabilize in the next three weeks, but should then give way to hefty decreases in the second half of September and all of October....  (go to article)

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Automakers still dogged by Bluetooth glitches, Power study finds

Automotive News -- Bluetooth technology aims to leave drivers hands-free, but some drivers end up connection-free, according to a study of multimedia quality and satisfaction released today.

J.D. Power and Associates found that audio, communication and navigation systems account for the most problems in 2014 vehicles purchased this year. [...]

The biggest problem was voice recognition, which Power detailed earlier this month in a presentation at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, Mich. [...]

The second-most problematic issue for drivers has been Bluetooth, though owners reported fewer problems than in 2013.

Many new-vehicle owners expect a car equipped with functional Bluetooth connectivity, but some have been disappointed. Owners reported 5.7 problems per 100 vehicles ...  (go to article)

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Gas prices head north as Michiganders prepare to do the same for Labor Day

MLive -- The 1.12 million Michiganders expected travel this weekend will face slightly higher gas prices than they were expecting after prices took a jump on Wednesday.  (go to article)

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Jet Fuel Crunch Strikes New York Airports Before Holiday

Bloomberg -- The lowest seasonal supply of jet fuel on record is pushing prices higher and leading to voluntary restrictions in the New York region as the nation’s busiest air hub prepares for a holiday rush.

Spot jet fuel in New York Harbor, the trading center for the U.S. East Coast, jumped to 22 cents a gallon above diesel futures this week, the biggest premium in three years. Stockpiles in the region fell to 8.83 million barrels last week, the lowest for this time of year since at least 1990, government data show. Airlines received an industrywide request yesterday to limit the fuel they take from John F. Kennedy International airport.  (go to article)

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A New American Oil Bonanza

NY Times -- So oil prices — and those at the pump — are easing.With the Labor Day weekend approaching, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.43 on Thursday, according to the AAA motor club, nearly a dime lower than a month ago. Energy and travel analysts project the lowest gasoline prices this holiday weekend of any Labor Day since 2010, and the highest level of motor travel since 2008.

“It’s a relief,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, who estimates that American consumers collectively saved as much as $700 million a week through much of August compared with last year. “We can thank Texas, North Dakota and Canada.”  (go to article)

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Are Hydrogen Cars a Threat to Electric Cars?

ABC -- California's $46.6 million bet on hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles is testing the theory, "if you build it, they will come."

Automakers are only just starting to bring fuel cell cars to the market and most are beta test cars, according to Chris White, communications director for the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento. There are about 300 fuel cell cars and buses on the road in the state today, according to that organization.

Teresa Schilling, a spokeswoman for the California Energy Commission, explained that as part of Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of putting 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025, the state needs to have in place the appropriate fueling and charging infrastructure. That's why three weeks ago, they approved more than $50 million in construction  (go to article)

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Audi to recall 70,000 cars worldwide over braking system problem

Straits Times -- Audi, the top-of-the-range car maker belonging to auto giant Volkswagen, said on Friday it is recalling 70,000 cars worldwide owing to potential problems with braking systems.

An Audi spokesman told AFP that the recall affected the company's A4, the A5, the A5 Cabrio, the A6, the A7 and also the Q5 crossovers models built between March and December 2012. The models were fitted with the 3.0-litre TDI turbo diesel engine.

The problem had been found within the brakes as the engine oil could enter the brake servo through the vacuum lines and make it rupture, causing failure, Audi explained.

This would eventually increase the stopping distance and pose a potential hazard to the driver, occupants and other road users. The problem could be fixed relatively quickly and easily, the carmaker said  (go to article)

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Most unsafe US intersection: 144 crashes on this Pa. street and intersection

Examiner -- The most unsafe intersection in the United States has been analyzed. It’s in Bensalem, Pennsylvania at the intersection of Knights Road and Streets Road. In a ten-year period, the intersection saw seven fatal crashes, and in the one-mile section of Streets Road that includes the intersection, there were 144 crashes with 170 individuals either killed or injured.  (go to article)

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Bus Driver DUI: Cop Spots School Bus Carrying 20 Swerving

Newsmax -- After a police officer saw a school bus swerve partially off a road in Connecticut, the vehicle carrying 20 students was stopped and the driver was arrested for driving drunk.

Students told police the bus had hit some curbs. No one was hurt.

The Associated Press reported police in Farmington as saying 44-year-old Tammy Costello, of Bristol, was arrested Wednesday morning.
 (go to article)

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Norfolk car dealer charged with selling illegal tags

Channel 3 - Norfolk -- Police say Metro Auto Sales was doing more than trying to find you a car. Investigators have arrested the owner Donald Jabbar for illegally selling 30 day, temporary tags to drivers he never sold cars to.

Police tell NewsChannel 3 that it wasn’t that the 30 day tags weren’t real. A Department of Motor Vehicle investigation found they were illegally sold, in a black market of sorts, to people who did not just buy a car.

This would allow someone to delay properly registering their car with the Commonwealth.

State Police along with their DMV counterparts went through the auto dealer’s Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard location. By then, witnesses say Jabbar had already been taken away.

Authorities say Jabbar didn’t just sell a couple of 30 day tags, instead they say it ...  (go to article)

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US Probes Ford Explorer Police Intercepter brake hoses

FoxNews -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating a complaint that front brake hoses can fail on some Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs.  (go to article)

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China Confronts Its Coal Problem

New York Times -- State-owned news outlets reported this month that the government would ban the use of coal in Beijing and other urban areas by 2020 in an effort to reduce the noxious air pollution that chokes many cities. In July, a Chinese academic who is also a senior lawmaker said the government was considering a national cap on coal use as soon as 2016.

China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, using about 45 percent of the global total. It is also the largest emitter of carbon dioxide. So China’s energy policies will be crucial to limiting the damage from climate change. It’s thus welcome news when President Xi Jinping says that reducing pollution will be a priority for his administration.  (go to article)

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Officials: Montana reservation feels ill effects of Bakken oil field

The Spokesman Review -- POPLAR, Mont. – Tribal officials said Thursday that Eastern Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation is feeling the adverse effects of the nearby oil boom – without any of the economic gains.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester hosted a listening session focused on human trafficking here, where he heard from tribal citizens and leaders about rising crime overall related to the increased oil drilling in western North Dakota and the far eastern edge of their state.

“Because of our proximity to the Bakken oil field … we are already seeing the negative effects of oil and gas development without any financial benefits,” said Rusty Stafne, chairman of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes.

The oil boom has brought in tens of thousands of workers and nearly eliminated unemployment.  (go to article)

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Mid-Sized Pickup Trucks: Does GM Have the Price You Like?

GasBuddy Blog --
Image From ..gmauthority.comGM has a challenge and it's found an opportunity.  According to Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press, the company GM is under pressure to differentiate its midsize trucks from its full-size duo, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.
And they plan to do just that using a wide range of prices to make those distinctions. Consequently, General Motors prices for 2015 mid-size trucks start as low as $20,995 — as the auto industry’s pickup tug-of-war intensifies....  (go to article)

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WTI Crude Poised for Weekly Gain as U.S. Economy Expands

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate headed for the first weekly gain in more than a month as U.S. economic growth beat estimates, boosting the demand outlook in the world’s largest oil consumer. Brent rose in London.

Futures climbed as much as 0.3 percent in New York and are up 1.2 percent this week. The U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said, compared with a 3.9 percent increase predicted in a Bloomberg News survey. The U.S. and European powers joined Ukraine in condemning what they said were incursions by Russia as the government in Kiev sought to counter a rebel offensive.

“A pickup in economic activity in the U.S. is supporting prices,” Jonathan Barratt, the chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney, said b  (go to article)

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Researchers recommend eco-friendly solutions to recycle frack water

WaterWorld -- Scientists at Rice University have produced a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at three gas reservoirs in the states of Texas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico and have suggested that environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it. Rice chemist Andrew Barron, who led the study, suggested that more advanced recycling rather than disposal of produced water pumped back out of wells could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year.

The amount of water used by Texas drillers for fracking may only be 1.5 percent of that used by farming and municipalities, but it still amounts to as much as 5.6 million gallons per year for the Texas portion of the Haynesville formation and 2.8 million gallons for...  (go to article)

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Planned maintenance under way at ExxonMobil’s Baytown complex

The Oil & Gas Journal -- ExxonMobil Corp. has started scheduled maintenance on a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit at its 561,000-b/d integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Baytown, Tex.

Planned maintenance activities at the refinery’s FCC are expected to continue for the next several weeks, stated Nicholas Scinta, ExxonMobil’s public and government affairs advisor, in an e-mail to OGJ.

The routine maintenance is part of the company’s ongoing effort to maintain the safety and reliability of operations at the Baytown complex, Scinta said.

Further details regarding the specific nature of work to be performed at the FCC were not disclosed.

ExxonMobil said it does not expect the planned shutdown of the gasoline-producing unit during the maintenance period to impact the company’s ability to meet its...  (go to article)

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Roadway safety a major concern over final summer holiday weekend

Deseret News -- While Labor Day weekend is considered the unofficial end of the summer vacation season, it also has the more notorious distinction of being the close of the period known as the “100 deadliest days” on Utah highways.

Last year, 85 people died on state roadways during the nearly four-month period from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This year, that number has already reached 91 fatalities, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper, with Labor Day still to come.

“It’s been a deadly summer,” Hopper lamented.

Data from the Utah Department of Public Safety shows at least 217 deaths occurred annually on state roadways from 2004 to 2013, including a high of 299 in 2007. Last year marked the second-lowest total — 220 deaths — in Utah since 1959.  (go to article)

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California Senate approves bill requiring oil industry to detail water use

Reuters -- The California state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill requiring oil companies to report how much water they use in their drilling operations and the water's source, a move that comes amid a severe statewide drought.

Oil well operators used more than 80 billion gallons of water in California last year in “enhanced” oil recovery techniques such as steam injection and water flooding, which help bring heavier, thicker crude to the surface.

Water also comes to the surface during oil drilling, but it is unclear how much of that "produced water" is reused by the oil companies for new production because there are currently no reporting requirements, something the bill seeks to address. Oil drilling produced more than 130 billion gallons of water last year.  (go to article)

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Breaking Free of Big Oil: Despite Oil Company Opposition, California is Moving Toward a Cleaner Futu

The Energy Collective -- The results of California’s latest cap-and-trade auction were released, marking another milestone in the state’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32, which put limits on harmful climate pollution. But playing out in the background, the oil industry’s long-running campaign against AB 32 continues to escalate  (go to article)

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Domestic crude begins to cut into Saudi U.S. sales volumes

Houston Chronical -- HOUSTON — Since about 2009 and until just recently, Saudi Arabia shipped discounted crude to the U.S. in growing volumes even as total U.S. waterborne imports fell. But while Saudi Arabia isn’t about to exit the U.S. market, cheaper domestic crude oils are beginning to displace Saudi imports.  (go to article)

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Europe will be Russia's hostage over gas supplies for at least another decade

The Telegraph -- Europe will remain heavily reliant on Russian gas for at least another decade, according to a leading rating agency.

Fitch said a lack of alternative sources meant policymakers would have no choice but to continue buying gas from Russia until at least the mid-2020s and "potentially much longer".

Europe already buys a quarter of its gas from Russia, and analysts expect consumption to increase by a third by 2030 as economies recover from the debt crisis and gas-fired electricity generation replaces old coal and nuclear power.

Major natural gas pipelines

Many of the main gas pipelines into Western Europe run through Ukraine (Source: Fitch)

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Scottish Power blunders continue to pile u  (go to article)

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Feds to resume leasing for fracturing in California

Fuel Fix -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume issuing oil and gas leases next year for federal lands in California after a new study found limited environmental impacts from hydraulic fracturing and other enhanced drilling techniques, the agency said Thursday.

The move will end a halt that has stood since a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the federal agency failed to follow environmental law in allowing fracking on public land in Monterey County.

The study released Thursday was conducted for the BLM by the state-created California Council on Science and Technology. It concluded the current level of fracking and other well-stimulation techniques by drillers to get more oil out of rock formations did not seem to be poisoning water supplies or increasing earthquake risks in the state.

 (go to article)

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Chicago Gasoline Jumps After BP Whiting Refinery Fire

Bloomberg -- Spot gasoline in the Chicago region was 12 cents a gallon above October futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange today, up from a 7.25-cent premium yesterday...

“I don’t know that BP is out in the market today, but people are trying to step out in front of them,” Steve Mosby, supply manager of ADMO Energy. BP “says it has minimal impact, but when something goes boom, it’s not nothing.”

The Whiting refinery is the largest plant with a direct connection to Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate crude futures.

It imported 277,000 barrels of Canadian crude a day in May, making it one of the largest users of that country’s oil, according to the EIA.

The shutdown will limit the refinery’s ability to run high-sulfur crude...Western Canadian Select, a blend of hea  (go to article)

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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.
 (go to article)

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