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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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Refinery-inspection bill protects trade secrets

NewsOK-AP -- The state Assembly has advanced legislation that would allow government regulators to monitor oil refinery shutdowns in response to a fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery in 2012. It also would allow oil companies to designate the information as a "trade secret."

SB1300 by Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Berkeley would protect information submitted to state officials from disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

The Assembly approved the bill on a 55-4 vote late Friday, sending it to the Senate.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, another Berkeley Democrat, told lawmakers the bill does not change existing public records laws.

But media groups that oppose it say SB1300 would allow an oil refinery to challenge the release of documents and take anyone requesting them to court and...  (go to article)

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China's Shale Gas Bust

MIT Technology Review -- China is finding it harder than it expected to unlock a shale gas boom like the one in North America, calling into question its lofty goals to use natural gas to help clean up its air and control the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Citing complicated geology and high production costs, the Chinese government has cut its ambitious 2020 target for shale gas development roughly in half.

In 2013 China became the third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, consuming 166 billion cubic meters (bcm). By 2019, the International Energy Agency expects China’s annual natural gas consumption to grow 90 percent, to 315 bcm. Half of that increase is expected to be supplied by domestic gas production, which would come from multiple sources, including shale reserves.  (go to article)

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Regulators approve $160 million Enbridge Energy pipeline upgrade

Bakken -- Minnesota regulators on Thursday gave the go-ahead for a $160 million upgrade to a Canadian energy company’s crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, disappointing anti-pipeline activists who oppose development of that nation’s oil-sands deposits.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the project on a 4-1 vote after six hours of testimony and discussion. The outcome was a victory for Enbridge Energy, the Calgary-based pipeline company that finished building the 1,000-mile Alberta Clipper pipeline four years ago and proposed to add pumping stations to increase its capacity from 570,000 to 800,000 barrels per day.
“We can now move forward with helping Minnesota improve its economy by supplying jobs and the economic spillover from that, as well as move our nation toward ener  (go to article)

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Progress on a Powerful New Way to Generate Electricity

MIT Technology Review -- A powerful new way to generate electricity could eventually make electric cars and electronic gadgets run longer.

About four years ago, researchers in Michael Strano’s chemical engineering lab at MIT coated a short piece of yarn made of carbon nanotubes with TNT and lit one end with a laser. It sparkled and burned like a fuse, demonstrating a new way to generate electricity that produces phenomenal amounts of power.

At the time, no one understood how it worked, and it was so inefficient that it was little more than a “laboratory curiosity,” Strano says.

Now, Strano has figured out the underlying physics, which has helped his team improve efficiencies dramatically—by 10,000 times—and charted a path for continued rapid improvements.  (go to article)

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54.5 mpg: Why our measure of fuel economy is wrong

Chicago Tribune -- 54.5 miles per gallon. That is the target fuel efficiency for all light-duty vehicles by model year 2025. Yet if you’ve gone car shopping lately, you’ve noticed that the combined mpg is nowhere near that target. The average fuel economy of all new cars sold was 25.6 mpg as of July 2014.

That’s a huge gap. While average fuel economy continues to improve, the target benchmark seems impossible to reach.

That’s because we’re looking at two different measurements of fuel economy.

The lofty 54.5 mpg target that is commonly understood and reported by media is the UNADJUSTED value. The real number we see on window stickers and that are reported by our fuel gauges is the ADJUSTED value.

For those of you keeping score at home, the ADJUSTED target—the one that matters...  (go to article)

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Gas-Rich Marcellus Drilling Boosts Rigs to 5-Month High

Bloomberg -- Rigs targeting natural gas in the U.S. rose to the highest level in five months after those drilling horizontally for the fuel gained in the Marcellus formation of the eastern U.S.

Gas rigs jumped by eight to 338, the highest level since March 14, data posted on Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)’s website show. The oil count rose by 11 to 1,575 after sliding by 25 last week, the Houston-based field services company said. The Marcellus formation, the nation’s biggest onshore gas play, added the most rigs gaining five drilling horizontally for gas and raising its total count to a two-month high.

The energy rig count is surging in the U.S. as producers use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to draw record volumes of oil and gas out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas. The boom...  (go to article)

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Austin, Texas Passes a New Law Making Solar a ‘Default’ Generation Resource

GreenTech -- The city of Austin may have just single-handedly propelled the Texas solar market into the top-ten leading states.

Last night, the Austin city council voted in favor of a resolution that would increase the city's rooftop and utility-scale solar targets by 800 megawatts over the coming years.

It creates a plan that would build a small paradise for distributed energy companies, including a utility-scale solar target of 600 megawatts by 2017, a rooftop solar target of 200 megawatts by 2020, explicit language enabling third-party solar ownership, a floor price for the value-of-solar tariff, and a mandatory strategy to procure 200 megawatts of fast-response storage.

The plan builds upon earlier climate goals created and revised since 2010. After Austin Energy signed a power-purchase...  (go to article)

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Natural gas drives up revenue, alternative vehicles

Bakken -- Clay Clemmer filled up his company’s Chevrolet truck with compressed natural gas on Wednesday at Tyler’s new fueling station — First Alt Fuel.

Clemmer, 50, co-owner of the Granite Division Inc. in Tyler, bought the company’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) truck in December in anticipation of the fueling station opening in Tyler.

“We’re trying it out to see how it works,” Clemmer said. “It’s been good so far.”

The Granite Division is one of several businesses converting to vehicles that run on natural gas for efficiency and to save money.  (go to article)

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Labor Day outlook in the Valley: Cheaper gas, plentiful campsites

The Fresno Bee -- Valley residents looking for a final summer getaway this Labor Day weekend have some good news: Gas prices are down a bit, and campsites in Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon national parks are still available.

Gas prices dropped slightly in the lead up to the Labor Day weekend. Thursday, the average gas price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.87 in Fresno and $3.83 in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area, according to AAA of Northern California.

AAA's Labor Day travel survey found that more than 3.9 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend, a 1.6% increase compared to last year.

"Californians are more optimistic about their financial situation, and consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income," Cynthia Harris said.  (go to article)

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With the Huracán, Lamborghini Finally Learns to Refine Itself

Wired -- A company founded on a lineage of irascible bulls has a certain reputation to uphold. A reputation for raw power, earwax-melting noise, and razor-edged looks. With a conceit like that, who has time for rationality?

In the case of Sant’Agata Bolognese-based Automobili Lamborghini, it’s corporate overseer Audi, that’s who. The German brand was behind the hugely successful Gallardo, which in its ten year run sold 14,022 units—half of Lamborghini’s all-time sales. Considering the stereotypical German love for structure and order, you can’t blame the Teutons for craving a smidge of consistency from the Italian brand.

Which brings us to the $237,250 Huracán LP 610-4, the successor to the now retired Gallardo that hit the road this spring. It’s a worthy replacement.  (go to article)

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As Obama drags heels, Canada turns to China

WND --
NEW YORK – With the increasing importance of oil sales to the Canadian economy and the Obama administration’s continued blocking of plans to build the Keystone Pipeline, Canada is moving ahead with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a pipeline to expedite the shipping of land-locked oil reserves in Alberta to China.

Calgary-based energy giant Enbridge received the approval of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government June 17 to proceed with the construction of the $7.3 billion Northern Gateway Project connecting Canada’s rich oil sands in Alberta to a British Columbia port, despite the strong objections of aboriginal “first nation” tribes and environmental activists.

The Harper government in recent months has become increasingly frustrated with the refusal of the Obama admini  (go to article)

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U.S. auto sales seen ending summer without a sizzle

Reuters -- U.S. auto industry sales in August will be about even with a year ago, not quite ending the summer in a sizzling fashion but still warm enough to continue the recovery from a recession now five years in the rear-view mirror.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect monthly sales of about 1.5 million new vehicles when automakers report them on Wednesday, with a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 16.6 million. It should be the sixth straight month showing an annualized rate above 16 million, a level reached only twice in 2013.
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Bugatti Veyron owner who drove into lagoon admits fraud, faces 20 years in prison

Yahoo Autos -- The Texas man who drove his $1 million Bugatti Veyron into a lagoon as a insurance scam five years ago may soon have to pay for his crime in federal prison.

The U.S. attorney in Lufkin, Texas, said Tuesday that Andy House, 39, had pled guilty to one count of wire mail fraud in a federal criminal case filed two weeks ago. House's sentencing has not been set, but the maximum penalty under law is 20 years in prison.

You may recall the story from November 2009, when a passer-by recorded video of the Veyron running into the Gulf Bay near La Marque, Texas. House said at the time he had been distracted by a pelican and his cellphone when the Veyron went for a dip.  (go to article)

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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.
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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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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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