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Oil plummets after Saudis say $20 crude is possible

The Telegraph -- Brent crude crashed below the $60 per barrel level again on Monday after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said his country would not intervene to revive prices.

Ali al-Naimi – who oversees the world’s largest exporter of crude – said in an interview that even if the price of oil fell to $20 per barrel the kingdom would do nothing to arrest the decline.

"Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," he said in an interview with Middle East Economic Survey (Mees).

Mr Naimi’s remarks sent oil prices back into reverse after finishing last week firmer. Brent crude fell over 2.3pc to trade below the $60 per barrel range.

The minister – who is the most powerful voice with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) – said that the cartel had changed its ...  (go to article)

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Hovensa Refinery Deal Rejected Over Contract Breach Doubts

Reuters -- The U.S. Virgin Islands' legislature turned down an agreement on Friday that would lead to the reopening of the 350,000 bbl/d Hovensa refinery, after its counsel warned that the would-be buyer might not be able to uphold the contract.

...the legislature's counsel voiced concerns about the pending deal, arguing the government would have no recourse against ABR if it were to breach the contract.

It would have the effect of "severely limiting the government's legal remedies," the legislature's counsel said according to a memorandum from the office of the attorney general.

Even though the Virgin Islands' attorney general backed the agreement, it was finally rejected by 13 of 15 members of the legislature, according to local media, setting back the sale that needed its operating agreement  (go to article)

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Gas prices hit lowest level in 5 and a half years

Market Watch -- NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — It hasn’t been this cheap to fill up your tank for five-and-a-half years.

The national average price of gas has declined for 88 days in a row – the longest streak on record, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. If that’s not enough good news, the decline, which began on Sept. 25, has accelerated over the last week and doesn’t show signs of slowing.

The week-over-week drop of 15 cents was the largest decline in more than six years. Motorists are paying 43 cents less than a month ago and 85 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA. Prices now sit at an average $2.39, the lowest average price per gallon since May 2009.
 (go to article)

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Oil slides as Saudi Naimi tells market to forget OPEC cuts

Reuters -- Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday, doubling back on the biggest one-day gain in over two years, after Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said OPEC would not cut production at any price.

After a weekend of comments from several Gulf OPEC members reiterating their intent not to intervene in oil markets despite oil prices that have halved since June, Ali al-Naimi told the Middle East Economic Survey it was "not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their production, whatever the price is" - his starkest comments yet.  (go to article)

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Red Light Cameras Are A Dangerous, Money-Grubbing Scheme, Study Says

Jalopnik -- ... An independent study by the Chicago Tribune found that not only were the city's numbers about red light safety grossly exaggerated, it turns out that in many situations, red light cameras actually increased by 22% the number of serious injuries at intersections.

And what's worse, as Ars Technica notes, there was no proof that the cameras actually increased safety at all.  (go to article)

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How to avoid 'wrong-way' drivers

GasBuddy Blog -- The Oregon DOT advises that Wrong Way Drivers present an obvious danger to all motorists on our highways. The most recent available crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5% of all fatal crashes.
An estimated 360 people each year are killed in wrong-way collisions on the nation's highways, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a recent report. While  most of us would say that we're hearing about such events with increasing frequency, unfortunately there's no simple solution. ...  (go to article)

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Gas prices have fallen for record 88 straight days

marketwatch -- Gas prices have fallen for record 88 straight days  (go to article)

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Flint area gas prices among lowest in nation, average testing $2 threshold

MLive.com -- FLINT, MI -- The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is testing the $2 threshold in the Flint area, making it one of the least expensive places in the nation to fill up, according to GasBuddy.com.

The average in this area is around $2.03 a gallon, the lowest seen in about five years, but many area gas stations are offering prices as low as $1.91 and $1.92 a gallon, according to the gas-tracking website.

Michigan is one of the least expensive states, and Genesee County is one of the least expensive counties in the state for unleaded gasoline, according to a GasBuddy.com heat map.

The average in our area is about 17 cents lower than the state average, and about 35 cents lower than the national average, the website says.

An estimated 98.6 million Americans are expected to trav  (go to article)

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Rosneft scraps purchase of Morgan Stanley’s oil trading arm

Reuters -- A deal to acquire an oil trading business from Morgan Stanley has been terminated due to a refusal by regulators in the U.S. to clear it

Despite this, the parties continue to co-operate in other spheres,” said Rosneft, in which BP owns almost 20%

The termination of the deal is yet another blow for Rosneft after its partners, including ExxonMobil, withdrew from projects to develop Arctic offshore oil deposits following the introduction of W sanctions over the Ukraine crisis

The deal was initially agreed in Dec 2013. But since then the West has introduced numerous rounds of sanctions on Russia while the price of oil has plummeted by almost a half from a Jun peak

Rosneft confirmed on Mon that the regulatory clearances had been refused  (go to article)

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Howard Marks Gives A Crystal-Clear Explanation Of How Oil Prices Work

Business Insider Australia -- “Most people easily grasp the immediate impact of developments, but few understand the ‘second-order’ consequences.”

In his latest note to investors, Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks writes about what’s on the top of everyone’s mind: oil.

Marks walks through a discussion on the error of forecasts (they often stick too close to the current status) and the failure of most investors to really consider things that seem unlikely (“tail events”).

But looking at the “second-order” — or what some people might call “knock on” — effects of economic events is where Marks thinks investors really ought to do their soul searching.

Here is Marks’ sketch of the self-correcting aspects that are likely to emerge from the recent drop in oil prices:  (go to article)

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Why gas in Michigan costs $1 less a gallon than it did this time last year

MLive.com -- It was another big drop across Michigan for gasoline prices, which continue to fall due to steady Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production levels.

Gas averages about $2.23 per gallon... Last week gas in the state averaged $2.48 per gallon.

The average price has dropped six weeks in a row.

Prices today are about $1 per gallon lower than they were last year.

At the root of the price drop is a supply and demand issue. The global demand for oil has cooled slightly, but OPEC, which controls most of the world's supply, has kept production levels steady.

"Concerns of sluggish global oil demand combined with abundant supply continue to leave global oil markets searching for a bottom," noted AAA Michigan.

A Vox story today outlined the historic struggle between OPEC an  (go to article)

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Oil Crisis Explained In 3 Minutes

Medium.com -- We’ve seen oil plummet from over $100 per barrel to nearly $50 in the span of a few months. During that time, we’ve read a lot of things about OPEC, shale, the Russian Ruble and junk bonds. How does it all fit together and where do we go from here?

I’ve been compiling some information in this space, so I’d like to present it here to give context to the selloff. Let’s try to make this short and sweet (or sour, depending on your portfolio). It may be a strong dose of reality, so put down the coffee if it’s still hot.  (go to article)

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Deaths in Car Crashes Down 25 Percent in Past Decade

HNGN -- An analysis report released by the Wall Street Journal showed that deaths caused by car crashes have significantly dropped by almost 25 percent in the past decade. Researchers attributed the improvement to better car safety equipment integrated with the new car models.

The researchers obtained data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as the basis of the report. It showed that the rate declined by 3.1 percent in 2012 and 2.1 percent in 2013. Regulators and car experts attributed the declining rate to new safety features such as the electronic stability systems included in the latest car models.  (go to article)

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Saudi Arabia: We'll never cut oil production

CNNmoney -- Saudi Arabia has a tough message for oil producers hurting from the price crash: We'll never cut our output.

"We are going to continue to produce what we are producing, we are going to continue to welcome additional production if customers come and ask for it. If they want to cut production, they are welcome, we are not going to cut, and certainly Saudi Arabia isn't going to cut," al-Naimi said. That position we will hold forever, not just 2015."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week it was possible that the U.S. could be conspiring with Saudi Arabia.  (go to article)

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2 Hurt in Western Pennsylvania Car Wash Explosion

Associated Press -- Two men suffered burns to their hands and face in a natural gas explosion and fire at a western Pennsylvania car wash.

Police say the owner of Ducky's Car Wash in McDonald had a stuffed up nose and didn't notice the smell of leaking gas as he lit a boiler around 9:45 a.m. Sunday.

He and a customer washing an SUV in a nearby bay were injured. The customer's wife, sitting in the vehicle, was not hurt.
 (go to article)

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Michigan lawmakers approve road funding deal, send tax proposal to statewide ballot

Michigan Live -- The cornerstone of the package, a proposed constitutional amendment to increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, passed the House in a 94-16 vote. It initially stalled in the Senate but was successful in a second vote, 26-12.

Supermajority support from both chambers means the proposed constitutional amendment will go to the statewide ballot in a May 2015 election, where voters will decide the ultimate fate of the road funding package.  (go to article)

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How low can gasoline go?

Fuel Fix -- For nearly three months, consumers across the country have enjoyed a welcome site: fuel prices that decline daily.

Nationally, the average price of unleaded gasoline has declined every single day for the last 82 consecutive days, according to a FuelFix analysis of data compiled by AAA.

But that streak may be coming to an end.

“(I)’m worried the decline may soon begin slowing — oil prices have held in the mid-$50s, and the concrete may be setting in,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, which compiles data on fuel prices.

On Friday, the price of West Texas Intermediate — the U.S. benchmark oil price — closed at $52.56 per barrel. That was an increase of $0.61 over the course of the week.

Still, gasoline prices remain relatively low, and Americans traveling thi  (go to article)

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Fill'er Up: Booming biz for gas station stocks

CNBC -- As oil prices hold near five-year lows, gas stations may be the best way to play the energy sector right now, analysts said. CST Brands, Murphy USA and Marathon Petroleum are small, pure plays to watch, they said.

"Retailers of gasoline enjoy their largest profit margins in falling price environments like we are in right now," said John Kilduff, founding partner of Again Capital.
 (go to article)

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Missouri Shuts Down A Dozen Speed Trap Towns

TheNewspaper.com, a journal of the politics of driving -- More than half of all traffic tickets issued in Missouri come from St. Louis and its suburbs, and state Attorney General Chris Koster decided to do something about it. On Thursday, Koster took steps to shut down the ability of thirteen towns to use their municipal court to generate cash from speeding tickets.  (go to article)

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Oil falls below $61 on supply outlook

Reuters -- Oil fell below $61 a barrel on Monday, reversing gains after Saudi Arabia indicated it could increase its output.

Saudi Arabia is prepared to increase output and gain market share by meeting the demands of any new customers, Monday's edition of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper quoted the kingdom's oil minister Ali al-Naimi as saying.
 (go to article)

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Oil prices likely to rebound in second half of 2015: Reuters poll

r -- Reuters) - Crude oil prices are likely to bottom out in the first half of 2015, until a possible slowdown in U.S. shale production counters a supply glut exacerbated by OPEC's decision not to cut output, a Reuters monthly survey showed.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' agreement last month to stand pat on output meant the onus for any supply cutbacks was now on non-OPEC producers, primarily led by U.S. shale oil, analysts said.

"Oil prices will be lower, making shale oil production less attractive for investments, which are necessary to keep shale oil production growing," Commerzbank's Carsten Fritsch said.

Oil is seen recovering in the second half as non-OPEC production responds to lower prices, while demand picks up in the course of the year, the poll showed.

 (go to article)

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What Would Santa Claus Drive?

fox -- Comedian Tim Allen, a noted car enthusiast, drove a Ford Taurus SHO sedan in the 1994 movie, “The Santa Clause.” But what would the real Santa Claus drive?  (go to article)

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Cadillac unveils 200 mph 2016 CTS-V

fox -- When the current, second-generation CTS-V first hit the scene back in 2008, the car’s 556 horsepower pretty much blew most of the competition out of the water. However, the next dedicated performance model from Cadillac, the ATS-V unveiled at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, is outmatched in the power stakes by its rivals from Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. This has left some fans concerned that the new third-generation CTS-V may not eclipse the outputs of its rivals.  (go to article)

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National average plunges another week

GasBuddy Blog -- GasBuddy Heat MapAs Americans take to the road for Christmas travel, they've all been given a gift that keeps on giving: falling gas prices. Americans are saving over $13 million dollars an hour versus gas prices a year ago- adding up to over $315 million every day. The national average this morning stands at $2.379/gal across the United States, a 15.7c/gal decline over just the last week.

The biggest weekly declines were witnessed in Montana, Michigan, Indiana, Idaho, and Ohio, where average prices fell over 20 cents on average just in the last seven days but every state has seen big drops. This morning, just 1 in 4 stations are charging over $2.50/gal for gasoline, while a year ago, 100% of stations were over that level....  (go to article)

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NC Gas Prices Drop Near $2 Christmas Week

WFMY-TV -- Amid the start of Christmas week, several North Carolina cities are nearing the $2 mark for a gallon of gasoline.

Monday morning, three gas stations on Dixie Drive in Asheboro are selling gas for $2.12. Two stations in Haw River and one in Mebane have gas for $2.25. Seven pumps in Thomasville have gas for $2.26. Greensboro's average Monday morning is $2.39 -- down four cents from Sunday and down 12 cents from last week.
 (go to article)

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Oil prices likely to rebound in second half of 2015

Reuters --
Oil is seen recovering in the second half as non-OPEC production responds to lower prices, while demand picks up in the course of the year, the poll showed.

The survey of 30 economists and analysts projected Brent LCOc1 to average $74.00 a barrel next year and $80.30 in 2016.
 (go to article)

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Oil’s 50% Drop From 2014 High Stokes Faith in Rally

Bloomberg.com -- The slump in oil that drove U.S. prices down as much as 50 percent from this year’s high is spurring the most bullish bet by hedge funds in four months.

Speculators expanded their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 14 percent in the week ended Dec. 16, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Long wagers increased the most since February.

Money managers have increased their net-long position by 34 percent in three weeks, even as prices kept tumbling as OPEC ministers reiterated pledges to keep pumping. Their bullishness is also reflected in exchange-traded funds that track oil, which attracted the most money in four years this month.

“People are starting to feel that we not only hit the bottom but we are turning around  (go to article)

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Geneva’s army of oil traders embraces profits a crash brings

FuelFix -- Crude oil’s worst slump since the financial crisis means profits for Geneva’s army of traders.

After years of steady prices, the crash has brought back the volatility on which traders thrive. While the fall in benchmark Brent to five-year lows has rocked economies from Russia to Venezuela, the world’s biggest commodity trading houses, which buy and sell about a third or world’s oil from the Swiss city, are relishing the return to a bear market.

Lower prices have cut financing costs, provided an opportunity to lock in profits by storing fuels and heralded the return of big price swings that can help firms from Vitol Group to Trafigura Beheer BV generate higher returns.

“Commodity traders are in a much more optimistic mood these days,” Roland Rechtsteiner, a Zurich-based partner at Oliver  (go to article)

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Saudi Arabia says won't cut oil output

Reuters -- Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years.

Referring to countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters: "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut."

He added he was "100 percent not pleased" with prices but they would improve, although it was unclear when.

He blamed the fall in prices to half their levels of six months ago on speculators and what he called a lack of cooperation from non-OPEC producers.  (go to article)

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Too late to cut Opec output, says Saudi oil chief

The National -- It is too late for Opec to cut its output, the Saudi oil minister said yesterday as a chorus of Arabian Gulf energy ministers blamed non-Opec producers for the collapse in the price of oil.

The comments emerged from a meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries in Abu Dhabi.

The gathering was held against a backdrop of global oil market volatility with the price of crude shedding almost half its value since the summer.

“I think it’s too late” said Ali Al Naimi in reply to a question whether Opec would cut production if non-Opec producers offered to do so. “If they want to cut production they are welcome. We are not going to cut. Certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut.”

Oil futures rallied as much as 5 per cent yesterday as the market reacted to Mr Al Naimi,...  (go to article)

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Oil groups taking action to help North Sea firms

City A.M -- THE LEADER of Aberdeen City Council has called on the Scottish and UK governments to attend a summit on the “emerging crisis” in the North Sea oil industry.

Jenny Laing announced yesterday that the council was aiming to bring together governments, trade unions and industry bodies to develop a strategic plan to save jobs in Scotland’s North East as the price of oil continues to tumble. Brent crude fell below $60 last week.

“Aberdeen is a global city that has achieved so much success thanks to the oil and gas industry being on our doorstep,” said Laing.

“We are the energy capital of Europe and, in order to sustain our position and compete against other global cities, we must have a strategy that meets the needs of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen.”

Meanwhile, oil and gas companies...  (go to article)

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The most ticketed car in America is

Market Watch -- The Subaru WRX may be an all-wheel drive sport-compact, but the drivers of this car are either driving too fast, or having difficulty parking: It receives the most violations of any vehicle.

More than one-in-three drivers of the Subaru WRX has had a recent traffic violation, according to data on 526 models from more than 557,000 recent customers released by Insurance.com, a car insurance comparison website. Making it three times to the Top 20 most ticketed cars, the Scion was the car brand with the most violations.
t’s no surprise that the list includes other sporty cars like the Mitsubishi 3000 GT and Scion FR-S, says Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com, but it also name-checks the hybrid Toyota TM, +1.82% Prius C, three sport-utility vehicles and even the now-defunct Mercury T  (go to article)

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Gas flares in Eagle Ford Shale continue upward

CBS -- SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Gas flaring in the most profitable shale field in the U.S. is on pace to surpass to 2013 levels of waste and pollution in South Texas, according to a newspaper analysis of state records published Sunday.

The Eagle Ford Shale burned off more than 20 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the first seven months of this year, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the oil and gas industry. The tons of pollutants released into the air already exceed levels for 2012.

Experts say plummeting oil prices likely won't stifle Eagle Ford production anytime soon.

The San Antonio Express-News (http://bit.ly/1ATJFNW ) also found some of the top sources of flaring in 2014 lacked state-mandated permits to flare natural gas.  (go to article)

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Diesel prices remain high as gas prices tumble

Fox -- KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Gasoline prices in West Michigan have tumbled to a more than five year low, but diesel prices statewide remain more than a dollar higher.

“It’s because diesel fuel is also essentially the same as heating oil, and heating oil is used in much of the Northeast,” said Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com. “Most homes there don’t use natural gas, they use heating oil.”  (go to article)

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Ohio has cheapest gas in US

Cincinnati Sun Times -- Gas is the cheapest it’s been in several years. Forbes has recently published an article showing each state’s cheapest gas price. Ohio has the lowest price in the country with at least one gas station selling gasoline for $1.85.
The cheapest price per gallon of gasoline as of Dec. 15 is located in Ohio, selling at $1.85 per gallon, despite a state average of $2.40, according to data compiled by GasBuddy.com. A gas station in Louisiana is not far behind Ohio, selling at $1.86 a gallon.

The map below shows the lowest listed price of gasoline in each state. States with a green background are ones that have at least one gas station that’s selling gasoline for under $2 per gallon.  (go to article)

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California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

CBS News -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe.

It's a rare case of the law getting ahead of an emerging technology and reflects regulators' struggle to balance consumer protection with innovation.

Safety is a chief selling point, since self-driving cars — thanks to an array of sensors — promise to have much greater road awareness and quicker reaction time than people. Plus, they won't text, drink or doze off.

Though the cars are at least a few years away from showrooms, seven companies are testing prototypes on California's roads, and regulators have questions: Do they obey all traffic laws?  (go to article)

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Resurgent U.S. helps RBC’s McKay stay bullish despite falling oil

The Globe and Mail -- The chief executive of Canada’s biggest bank believes plummeting oil prices and 3-digit market swings are no cause for panic

Despite the current turmoil, he is optimistic about the country’s growth potential

As 2014 comes to a close, there are concerns that a flurry of global shocks, both at home and abroad, will derail N Am’s economic recovery. RBC’s CEO, however, swears by his rosy outlook and what it means for his bank’s profit, something that has put him at odds with some peers

The root of this optimism: The reawakening of the U.S. consumer

For the first few years after the financial crisis, U.S. consumers were sleepy, burdened by debt and unable to find jobs. Those weights are now lifting, and that means Canada’s biggest trading partner is coming back to life

U.S. consumers are s  (go to article)

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How will connected cars shake up the insurance industry?

Saint Paul Pioneer Press -- Car insurance industry, meet potential disrupters Google and Apple.

Currently, nearly all mainstream insurers that offer driver-monitoring programs use relatively expensive devices that plug into a portal under the dashboard. Usage-based insurance programs, also called telematics, are a small but growing segment of the auto insurance business.

Developing Android and iPhone smartphone apps, in contrast, would cut carriers' up-front costs when they offer telematics insurance programs, which track policyholder habits such as mileage and braking in exchange for potential savings on insurance.

THE DATA COLLECTORS

The prospect of smartphones becoming the central nervous system of usage-based insurance could disrupt the property and casualty industry, which historically has gathered its own l  (go to article)

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Oil Swings After Biggest Gain in Two Years as Saudis See Rebound

bloomberg -- Oil fluctuated after the biggest increase in more than two years as Saudi Arabia said it was confident that prices would rebound as global economic growth boosts demand.

Brent in London swung between gains and losses after climbing 3.6 percent on Dec. 19, the most since October 2012. A global glut that has driven prices lower was created by a lack of cooperation from producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi. The market is oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day, said Mohammed Al Sada, Qatar’s energy minister.  (go to article)

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US-Cuba thaw could spell end for island's iconic cars

AFP -- Cuba's iconic stock of refurbished vintage American sedans from the 1950s may be facing their last trips to the garage soon, following the historic thawing of ties between Havana and Washington.

Flashy Pontiacs, Plymouths, Dodges and Chevrolets, as well as crudely patched and rickety classics make up the Communist island's 70,000 "almendrones," cars affectionately called large almonds for their rounded shape.
 (go to article)

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Oil industry dials in efficiency as prices plunge

The Globe and Mail -- Calgary-based Packers Plus Energy Services is facing some tough months as oil producers slash budgets to cope with lower prices, but the well-completions company also sees opportunity as its customers look to extract more oil for less cost

Throughout the oil fields of Canada and the U.S., companies are shifting quickly from a growth-at-any-cost mentality to focus on productivity. Packers Plus provides custom hydraulic fracturing and well-completion services that it promises will boost production per well and thereby cut barrel costs

"80% of the market is using inefficient methods” for drilling and completing wells

Producers across N Am are cutting their 2015 capital budgets, deferring large projects and reducing drilling programs. But they are also looking to get better results for the  (go to article)

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Cheaper Oil, Fatter Wallets and a National Opportunity

New York Times -- Oil prices have plunged so rapidly that financial markets are treating them less as an opportunity than a danger, like a falling knife.

Currency rates are gyrating, oil-producing countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran are hurting, and sectors of the bond market are threatened.

But unless you’re directly involved in the commodity markets, you may not be following the futures price of a barrel of oil. What hits home, especially if you drive a car with an internal combustion engine, is the price of gasoline: It has become spectacularly cheap.

Even in New York City, where gas prices are among the highest in the continental United States, drivers are beginning to smile...

And for the nation as a whole, average prices are staggeringly low, at least when compared with recent levels.  (go to article)

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World’s Top Oil Producer Says It Will Ride Out Price Slump

Reuters -- The world’s top petroleum exporter, Saudi Arabia, said on Sunday that it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non-OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that it planned to ride out the market’s biggest slump in years.

Referring to countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister told reporters: “If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut.”

He added he was “100 percent not pleased” with prices but they would improve, although it was unclear when.

He said speculators were responsible for the fall in prices to half their levels of six months ago and what he called a lack of cooperation from non-OPEC producers.  (go to article)

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Gov. Jay Inslee proposes a 12-year, $12 billion transportation plan, saying fees on the state’s big

Seattle Post -- After two years of watching gas-tax increases tank in the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee proposed Tuesday to take a new approach: Charge major polluters for the right to emit carbon.

Inslee’s plan, featuring a “cap-and-trade” system, would generate $400 million a year, he said, to cover nearly 40 percent of his $12 billion, 12-year transportation improvement plan. The remainder would come from bond debt, existing gas taxes, tolls and an assortment of vehicle fees.  (go to article)

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D.C. plans experiment for downtown parking

Washington Post -- One of the most congested travel zones in downtown Washington will become a lab for experiments in street parking regulation.

As with so many other transportation programs across the D.C. region, the goal is to make better use of street space rather than expand it. If the program works the way the District Department of Transportation hopes, drivers will find street parking more available in the Gallery Place, Chinatown, Penn Quarter area, and some congestion-causing behavior will be reduced.  (go to article)

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Don’t speed: it could get your EZ Pass suspended

WTOP-FM, Maryland -- Speeding through toll plazas can get your EZ Pass privileges suspended.

Maryland, for example, has a 30 mph speed limit for EZ Pass drivers traveling through toll plazas. If drivers clock 12 miles per hour over the limit, they are mailed a warning. If a driver is issued two warnings in 6 months, their EZ Pass could be suspended.

VDOT, on the other hand, says they do not penalize drivers for speeding through toll plazas. Virginia drivers must sign a customer service agreement when they sign up for EZ Pass.

Other states that impose penalties for speeding are: New York and Pennsylvania.  (go to article)

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NY farmers lament lost opportunity for gas riches

Associated Press -- While environmental groups are doing a victory dance over New York's decision to ban fracking, farmers such as apple grower David Johnson are grieving for dashed hopes and dreams.

"I'm devastated," Johnson said after Gov. Andrew Cuomo's health and environmental commissioners announced Wednesday that they were recommending a fracking ban. "I have concerns about how to continue this farm that's been in the family for 150 years."
 (go to article)

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Gulf oil producers stand firm on OPEC output

Yahoo -- Oil-rich Arab Gulf countries stood firm against non-OPEC crude producers on Sunday, vowing they will not cut output nor hold an emergency cartel meeting to support slumping prices.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and Kuwait said they would not cut production even if non-OPEC members reduce their output, while the United Arab Emirates and Iraq shrugged off calls for an emergency meeting of the group.

"If they (non-OPEC countries) want to cut production they are welcome. We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut," Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali al-Omair agreed.

"I don't think we need to cut.  (go to article)

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Florida could have fracking problem on its hands

Orlando Sentinel -- TALLAHASSEE – Florida has a fracking problem. Voters want cheap energy, environmental protection, cleaner water, lower taxes and less government in their lives.

Florida ratepayers rebelled against utilities seeking to charge them for nuclear power plant construction. Voters overwhelmingly passed a mandate to spend more than $800 million annually to protect waters and lands. Yet, property owners don't want government inspecting their leaky septic tanks.

In short, public sentiment on energy use is a bit schizophrenic – people want inexpensive living in an age of energy transformation and fossil fuel exhaustion, natural beauty without the beastly bills.  (go to article)

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TransCanada’s Quebec strategy for Energy East: Just say ‘yes’

Financial Post -- Opposition to the proposed Energy E pipeline is galvanizing in Québec

So far, the Calgary-based company that is proposing the $12B project to carry AB oil to the E Coast has kept its cool by just saying ‘yes

CEO Girling said his company has taken note that QC has its own sensitivities — and that it’s a fertile place for pipeline opponents to stir the pot

The latest Energy E sniping came this week from the QC ELC, which is demanding that company’s entire 30,000-page application to the NEB be translated in French

The parts of the application that are relevant to QC are already in French, but TC will translate the rest — including portions that deal with the pipeline’s impact in the rest of the country. “It’s not a huge burden for us,” Girling said

he also slammed the request as another  (go to article)

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Saudi Arabia Confident in Oil Rebounding on Global Growth

Bloomberg -- Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is confident that crude prices will rebound with global economic growth boosting demand.  (go to article)

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