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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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Tony Stewart returning to competition after fatal crash

The Fresno Bee -- CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart will return to Sprint Cup competition Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ending a three-race hiatus taken after he struck and killed a fellow driver during a dirt-track race.

The three-time NASCAR champion has not raced since his car hit Kevin Ward Jr. at an Aug. 9 sprint car event in upstate New York. Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen the next morning, then skipped races at Michigan and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart, who was described by police as "visibly shaken" the night of Ward's death, has been in seclusion ever since. Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood has said the emphasis was on giving Stewart time needed to get him "in a better place than he is."  (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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Google Reveals ‘Project Wing,’ Its Two-Year Effort to Build Delivery Drones

Wired -- Google X, the tech giant’s “moonshot” lab, has spent the last two years building an aerial drone that can deliver goods across the country. The company calls the effort Project Wing.

Revealed today in a story from The Atlantic, the project is reminiscent of work underway at Amazon.com. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos revealed the retailer’s drone ambitions this past holiday shopping season during an appearance on the popular TV news magazine 60 Minutes.

“Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving things around—including options that are faster, cheaper, less wasteful, and more environmentally sensitive than the way we do things today,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to WIRED.  (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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Obama seeks to bypass Congress for U.N. climate change deal: report

Washington Times -- The Obama administration is looking to reach “a sweeping international climate change agreement” that would not be a formal treaty that would require a two-thirds Senate approval — which almost certainly would never happen, The New York Times reported.

Diplomats are trying to reach a deal in time for a 2015 meeting in Paris, and U.S. negotiators are pushing for an approach that would commit every signatory nation to certain goals on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and on sending money to poorer countries to help them handle the effects of global warming.

But while the nations would be “obligated” to meet those goals, according to the Times, the only legally-binding consequence of not doing so would be periodic progress reports and politically embarrassing meetings designed to identify  (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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Bp explosion

Ap news -- BP America spokesman Scott Dean confirmed in a news release early Thursday that the Whiting refinery experienced “an operational incident” on a process unit on the refinery’s north end. Its in-house fire department responded, and the fire was extinguished by 10:55 p.m.  (go to article)

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Helicopter lands on wrong North Sea oil platform

BBCScotland -- Two pilots have been suspended after an offshore helicopter landed on the wrong North Sea oil platform.

Bond Offshore Helicopters said it was investigating the incident on the Ensco 120 drilling rig in the Buzzard field on Friday.

The helicopter was supposed to land about 10 miles away on the Buzzard platform.

Bond confirmed one of its S-92 helicopters landed briefly on the deck of the rig.

It also confirmed that the rig was not on the aircraft's original flight plan.

One passenger was on board the helicopter at the time.  (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.

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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.
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Ohio driver accused of hot-bus punishment resigns

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

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

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

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ISIS burn 3 Iraq oil wells as Kurds attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The most hated car company in America is

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

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

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A brief history of three-wheeled cars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Infographic Shows How Advanced Vehicle Technology Reduces Crashes

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

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

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

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

marketwatch -- China is now exporting gasoline.

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

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

Honda is recalling certain CR-V, Civic, Brio and Amaze, models from 2012-2015, mostly in China and other Asian countries.
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BP says Whiting refinery still in production after fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First 2015 Ford Mustangs roll off the production line

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

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

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

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

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Train delayed again? Blame the oil boom.

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

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

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

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

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Iowa governor blasts EPA on ethanol mandate

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

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

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

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President Carter calls for carbon tax at Aspen renewable energy conference

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

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

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

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GM Finally Is Embracing Diesel Market With New Plans, Projections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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WTI Crude Declines as Stockpiles Expand at Cushing; Brent Steady

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Whiting Refinery fire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Garcia: Block Venezuela’s sale of Citgo

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

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

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

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

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