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Study finds that an oil spill under Mackinac Straits would be “deathblow” to Northern Michigan

MPR -- The National Wildlife Federation says twin pipelines under the Straits are in poor condition and could rupture.

“To have an oil spill of the magnitude that’s potential … with the reach, the scope, and the travel that would occur from such a spill – it would be a deathblow for Great Lakes ecology and economy,” said Andy Buchsbaum, executive director the NWF’s Great Lakes Natural Resources Center.  (go to article)

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Oil price sheds gains as supply worries ease

Yahoo Finance -- The price of oil edged downward again on Friday, surrendering most of the gains made the previous day, when it rose for the first time in two weeks.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 38 cents to $102.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the Nymex contract closed up 64 cents at $102.93.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was 62 cents to $108.05 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil prices shot up in the last month to a 10-month high over concerns that strife in Iraq might disrupt supplies. However, they have since been easing back as al-Qaida-inspired militants' gains in Iraq did not affect oil exporters.  (go to article)

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Update: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a 10 Second Car (with video)

WINDING ROAD -- When we reported that the Challenger SRT Hellcat was officially the most powerful production muscle car ever made, we all knew the performance numbers were likely to be impressive. Still, given the Challenger's mass, there were some reservations about just much sporting prowess 707 horsepower could provide to a car that is expected to weigh in north of 4200 pounds. Well, Dodge continues to exceed our expectations - the Hellcat will roar down the quarter mile in under eleven seconds. But there's a catch.

As you'll see in the video below, Dodge is officially estimating the Challenger SRT Hellcat will tear off a 10.8 second quarter mile time - provided your wheels are shod in drag radial rubber. On the stock Pirelli tires, that time goes up to 11.2 - still certainly nothing to scoff at, but  (go to article)

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Snakes under the hood? Drive finds a slithering surprise

Detroit Free Press -- SANTA FE, N.M. — When a woman’s pickup stalled on a street in Santa Fe, New Mexico, local chef Jackson Ault stopped to lend a hand.

Ault and the driver both ended up with a surprise Thursday when Ault popped the hood and found a brown and yellow python slithering across the engine block.

(great photo of snake under the hood with the story)

A police lieutenant responded to a call for help. He retrieved the 20-pound snake.

The python was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, where spokesman Ben Swan says the reptile has minor injuries but otherwise is in good shape.

Police say the snake likely crawled into the pickup at the motorist’s home several blocks from where the vehicle stalled. And Ault says he thinks the truck stalled because the snake dislodged an electrical wire.
 (go to article)

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Could falling natural gas prices kill some LNG projects?

Reuters -- A sharp fall in European and Asian gas prices this year will put liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects worldwide under heavy cost pressure, and even kill some off, as expected returns on investments have to be revised down along with prices.  (go to article)

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Canada and U.S. to lead global oil production in 2015 amid supply risks: IEA

Reuters -- Global oil demand growth will accelerate next year as the world economy expands and will again be met by rising supplies from the United States and Canada, further eroding OPEC’s market share, the West’s energy watchdog said on Friday.  (go to article)

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Why fuel economy faces law of diminishing returns

Automotive News -- In economics, it’s known as the law of diminishing returns, the shrinking benefit you get when you pour ever-increasing resources toward achieving a singular goal.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency showed a good mathematical example of the principle today with a graphic it released about the consumer benefits of fuel economy.

For consumers, the EIA points out, the fuel savings of upgrading from a 12 mpg vehicle to one that gets 15 mpg is exactly the same as upgrading from a 30 mpg vehicle to one that gets 60 mpg. [...]

... it does highlight the problem automakers face as they move heaven and earth to achieve the aggressive Corporate Average Fuel Economy goals they agreed to in 2012 for 2017 and 2025.  (go to article)

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IEA: US Oil Boom To Extend Into 2015, Risks High

Reuters -- Global oil demand growth will accelerate next year as the world economy expands and will again be met by rising supplies from the United States and Canada, further eroding OPEC's market share, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday.

But the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that risks to oil production in several regions remained acute.

"Supply risks in the Middle East and North Africa, not least in Iraq and Libya, remain extraordinarily high," the IEA said. "Oil prices remain historically high and there is no sign of a turning of the tide just yet."

Making its first forecasts for 2015 in a monthly report, the IEA which advises major consuming nations on energy policy, said it expected global oil demand to grow by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) next year, up  (go to article)

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8 hospitalized after tour bus crash in Wyoming

Associated Press -- Authorities say a bus carrying Asian tourists flipped on its side on a busy highway in Grand Teton National Park, and eight people were hospitalized.

Officials say the other 19 people aboard were taken to a hospital and released after Thursday's crash.

Two of the hospitalized victims were in fair condition, and the others had non-life-threatening injuries. No other details were available.
 (go to article)

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China, US To Cooperate On Strategic Oil Reserves

Rig Zone -- BEIJING, July 11 (Reuters) - China and the United States have signed a preliminary agreement to cooperate on strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), China's National Energy Administration (NEA) said, marking the first such effort between the world's top two oil consumers.

Under the agreement, the U.S. Energy Department and NEA will share information on technical, management and policy issues related to oil stockpiles, the Energy Department said in a statement on Friday.

The pact was forged during a visit to Beijing this week by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz with NEA head Wu Xinxiong, the NEA said on its website late on Thursday.

The agencies will hold annual technical meetings held alternately in each of the two countries.
 (go to article)

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Crude prices slide, could test $99/bbl, lowest since May

GasBuddy Blog -- Motorists have many reasons to cheer: crude oil has fallen 11 out of the last 12 trading sessions and gasoline prices are quickly following with the national average down 4c/gal just in the last week.Gasoline prices in nearly every state will see sizable declines, with some of the largest due to hit California, where average prices are likely to slide under $4/gal in the next week or two. Oregon and Washington state will see similar declines as refinery issues are no longer plaguing the region. Prices are dropping the fastest in Indiana, where prices are down 2.2c/gal today alone (so far!) Similar drops appearing in Michigan- down 2.1c/gal. Nebraska is down 2.1c/gal, Oklahoma is down 1.9c/gal, Delaware down 1.6c/gal. ...  (go to article)

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'Willful Ignorance': Ex-Auditor Blasts GM for Cutting Safety Program

NBC News -- GM deliberately dismantled a global quality and safety program in the late 1990s, reflecting a culture of “willful ignorance” that likely guided the automaker’s response to ignition switch failures and other problems during the past decade, a former company quality auditor told NBC News.

The auditor, William J. McAleer, said in an interview that he ran GM’s Global Delivery Survey program from 1985 to 1998, dispatching teams of GM personnel, including managers, to conduct checks on finished vehicles delivered from GM’s assembly plants.

“We would check them in rail yards around the country, and see what the level of quality was on them,” McAleer said.

McAleer, a career GM employee who began as an assembly line worker in 1968, said GM forced him out of his position ...  (go to article)

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Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways

Associated Press -- The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways.

Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity.
 (go to article)

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GM taps Infiniti exec de Nysschen to head Cadillac

AP -- General Motors Co. has named an Infiniti executive to head its Cadillac division, which has struggled with sagging U.S. sales this year while competing luxury brands have advanced.

GM announced Friday that Johan de Nysschen will become president of Cadillac and a GM executive vice president, starting Sept. 1.  (go to article)

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Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

AP -- BAGHDAD (AP) - Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, escalating a dispute the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  (go to article)

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'Polar Vortex' Flashback? Experts Say Rare Summer Cold Front on the Way

NBC NEWS (VIDEO) -- Remember last winter's cold spot, which turned "polar vortex" into a phrase that sent chills through the spines of Americans east of the Mississippi River? Get ready for a flashback. This time it's a cool wave sweeping away summer's heat. Morning temperatures could dip into the 50s for many Midwesterners next week, potentially setting seasonal records, according to The Weather Channel.

The Washington Post's Jason Samenow says the weather pattern bears a "haunting resemblance" to January's big freeze. The jet stream is dipping down farther south than usual over the eastern United States, just as it did back then. The cause? It's Typhoon Neoguri, thousands of miles to the west, according to the Weather Underground's Jeff Masters. That storm is sparking a chain reaction of weather shifts,...  (go to article)

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Hey, Congress, Oregon Has Your Long-Term Highway Funding Solution Right Here

Citylab -- But the greatest potential of Oregon's program is its ability to change the way Americans think about the cost of driving. Right now the cost of road maintenance is hidden in the price of fuel. In a mileage-based funding system, such as Oregon's, drivers would receive monthly statements showing their driving activity and road expenses. The entire funding system becomes more like a utility—like an electricity or cable bill—enabling people to adjust their behavior in response to their expenses.

In other words, people would think more proactively about their road consumption. Right now, like too many representatives in Washington, they don't.
 (go to article)

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Gas prices could drop up to 25 cents soon

WKYC -- Gasoline prices could fall up to 25 cents a gallon in parts of the USA within the next two weeks, thanks to slumping crude oil prices, weakening demand and robust supplies.

Now averaging $3.64 a gallon - vs $3.48 last July -prices could soon drop to $3.50, with some Southern states falling below $3, says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com.

Crude oil prices were down again Wednesday, with benchmark West Texas crude off$$1.22 to $102.18 a barrel and Brent crude off 67 cents to $108.27 - a ninth straight daily drop.

"The tipping points were cooling tensions in Iraq and Hurricane Arthur come and being no big deal,'' says DeHaan. "Oil bulls had no where to go, and oil prices are higher than they should be and unjustified at this level."

 (go to article)

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2014 Nissan Frontier Diesel Prototype: Around the Block

Automobile Magazine -- Is a Cummins diesel coming to the Frontier? Nissan's not saying, but it did let us drive a test mule of what could become the Nissan Frontier diesel pickup truck. The torquey but noisy 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine promises 35 percent better fuel economy than a gasoline-fueled V-6.

Nissan first floated the idea of a Cummins-powered Frontier at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, when it unveiled the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner (pictured below), a concept truck based on the Frontier 4x2 Desert Runner Crew Cab. Nissan had previously announced that diesel engine specialist Cummins -- which provides the inline six-cylinder turbodiesel for the Ram pickup -- will supply a 5.0-liter V-8 oil burner in the next Nissan Titan.

At Nissan's recent new product event in Nashville, Tennessee, the company had o  (go to article)

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Chrysler Recalls 895,000 S.U.V.s for Fire Risk in Vanity Mirrors

New York Times -- Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling almost 895,000 sport utility vehicles because a wiring problem in the vanity mirror can cause a fire, the automaker said in a report posted Friday on the safety agency’s website.

The action covers 2011-14 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models, including about 651,000 in the United States, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside North America.

Chrysler said that a sun visor screw could penetrate a wire for the vanity light, causing a short circuit that could lead to a fire. The automaker said it discovered the problem in 2011 at its Detroit assembly plant, following complaints from owners about “sun visor thermal damage.”  (go to article)

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Cleanup area extends nearly 2 miles after ND spill

AP -- MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — The path of brine spilled from an underground North Dakota pipeline extends nearly 2 miles down a steep ravine, but dead vegetation is limited to about 200 yards from the source of the spill, a company official said Thursday.
Miranda Jones, vice president of environmental safety and regulatory at Crestwood Midstream Partners Inc., said the cause of the spill appears to involve a separation of the pipe that carries saltwater, a byproduct of oil and natural gas production. Crestwood subsidiary Arrow Pipeline LLC owns the pipeline.
Jones said the path of the brine is 8,240 feet long, and the company has estimated around 1 million gallons spilled. Officials have said it damaged trees, brush and grasses in the area.

Crews are carrying equipment down the steep badlands by  (go to article)

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Riding the modern Indian motorcycles, the revival of an American original

Motoramic -- Harley-Davidson doesn’t have any competition. This is a matter of faith among motorcycle aficionados. Harleys have the iconic rumble, the history and the made-in-America bone fides. Japanese bikes can ape the Sportster and custom shops can build you a sweet chopper, but Harley has a lock on mass-market two-wheeled Americana. Or at least, it did until Indian showed up. Thanks to Polaris, Harley people now have something else they might want to ride to Sturgis this year.

Indian was founded in 1901 and went out of business in the early '50s. The name, though, carries such resonance that there have been multiple stabs at reviving the company. None of them had Harley overly worried. These new bikes, though, maybe should. To make a car–business analogy, Polaris taking over Indian recalls Volksw  (go to article)

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Oil by rail has lost some lustre but is still a hedge against uncertainty

Financial Post Energy -- The economics of transporting oil by rail has suffered in recent months with some oil terminal projects facing cost overruns but fears of pipeline delays will keep companies hedging their transportation bets.  (go to article)

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Chrysler to recall 900,000 SUVs to fix mirror wiring

Reuters -- Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC [CHRY.UL] said it would recall almost 900,000 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to fix the wiring for vanity mirror lights in sun visors, to prevent short circuits.  (go to article)

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5 most-stolen motorcycles

Essurance.com -- Consider this your official motorcycle theft awareness center. We'll bring you up to speed on crucial info — from the most-targeted models to savvy tips aimed at keeping unwanted mitts off your handlebars.

The unique issue of motorcycle theft

What exactly makes motorcycles so stealable? For one thing, compared to cars, motorcycles are lacking in anti-theft technology and thieves have a much easier time cracking their locks. Many models also feature remote-starting devices (now banned in some states, including California) that let bike-jackers turn on the ignition without even bothering with a lock.

Thieves also tend to be attracted to motorcycles because many are powerful, high-performance vehicles that offer both a thrill factor and profit from the sale of whole bikes or stripped parts  (go to article)

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2015 Honda Fit Test Drive

fox -- The Honda Fit has been one of the most popular subcompact cars in America since it hit these shores in 2007, largely because it lives up to its name in many ways. The all-new 2015 version is more of the same.  (go to article)

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Man running illegal towing service busted after towing undercover police car

Detroit Free Press -- SALEM, ORE. — A man accused of running an illegal towing operation in Oregon was arrested after allegedly towing an undercover police vehicle.

Michael Alan Selmer, 35, of Falls City, is under investigation by Oregon State Police in connection to an alleged illegitimate towing business. He was arrested Tuesday on charges of failing to register as a sex offender and violating his parole.

State police were informed that Selmer possessed two tow trucks -- which displayed the name Whoops! Towing -- and began advertising services around Salem and Independence. He reportedly did not obtain a towing certificate but posted impound signs at businesses in Salem, Jefferson and Independence, police said.

Police believe Selmer used a spotter to call for tows before moving vehicles.

Selmer began to  (go to article)

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We Are All Texans Tomorrow: 1,001 Blistering Future Summers

Bloomberg News -- If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, and find the summers there just aren’t hot enough for you, you’re in luck. Just stick around long enough, and it’ll feel just like Kuwait City, where the average summer day registers a lizard-pleasing 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 Celsius).

This new interactive map by nonprofit research group Climate Central draws lines, literally, between the cities of today and the cities they’ll feel like by the end of this century if greenhouse-gas pollution continues on its current path.

For example, the average summer day in Manhattan reaches 82 degrees, but by 2100 it will feel like Lehigh Acres, Florida, at 92 degrees. Summers in Saint Paul seem too chilly? Hang tight, and before long it will feel just like Mesquite, Texas.  (go to article)

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Utility bill spikes caused by lack of electric, gas coordination, experts say

Chicago Tribune -- High price spikes in utility bills during this winter’s polar vortex were caused by a lack of coordination between natural gas pipelines and electric grid operators, policy experts told regulators Wednesday, while assuring them that utilities are prepared for this coming winter.

This past winter, power plants competed with home heating companies for pipeline space to move fuel, driving up prices for utility customers.

The issue, industry experts told regulators, is that during extreme weather, electricity generators which operate only for a few hours each year were asked to switch on by electric grid operators but didn’t have “firm” fuel supplies on hand. That demand drove up prices as gas pipelines had difficulty meeting increased demand.

“Historically, we have not needed to know at t  (go to article)

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Texas company proposes oil pipeline from N.D. to Ill.

Bismarck Tribune -- A Texas company wants to build a 1,100-mile pipeline that would cut diagonally across Iowa from northwest to southeast and carry millions of gallons of crude oil a day extracted from western North Dakota’s oil fields.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners said the proposed 30-inch diameter pipeline would initially have the capacity to carry 13 million gallons daily but that could be increased. The company said in a statement it is a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to reduce the reliance on truck and rail transportation.

The company said wants to have the pipeline in service by the end of 2016. Its board has approved the pipeline, and the company has begun ordering steel and negotiating construction contracts.

The company said it also plans to convert an existing natur  (go to article)

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An American-Built 45 Mile Per Gallon Pickup Truck?

MPGOMATIC -- Most folks won't remember that Volkswagen had an auto plant in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania back in the late 1970s and 1980s, where they VW built Rabbits for a market rabid (initially, at least) for econo-boxes. Legend has it that an American design team first penned the VW Rabbit Pickup to compete with the Japanese compact trucks streaming to our shores.  (go to article)

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Dueling Highway Funding Plans Move Ahead in Congress with Tax Compliance Provisions

Bloomberg -- Lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate are advancing dueling measures today that would provide a short-term cash infusion through May 2015 to a fund covering the federal share of road, bridge and mass-transit projects.

Both measures seek to forestall a slowdown in construction as early as next month resulting from Congress’s years-long inability to reach consensus on boosting infrastructure spending. The Senate plan relies on tax-compliance measures while the House doesn’t.
 (go to article)

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U-M computer model shows Straits pipeline break would devastate Great Lakes

Detroit Free Press -- A rupture of 61-year-old, underwater oil pipelines running through the Straits of Mackinac would be “the worst possible place” for a spill on the Great Lakes, with catastrophic results, according to a University of Michigan researcher studying potential impacts of a spill.

David Schwab, a research scientist at the U-M Water Center, retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he studied Great Lakes water flows and dynamics for more than 30 years. He’s the author of a new study done in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation looking at different scenarios for potential oil spills in the Straits from Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge’s Line 5.

“I can’t think — in my experience — of another place on the Great Lakes where an oil spill would have as  (go to article)

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$6 a Gallon? Where Gas Prices Might Be Without the U.S. Energy Boom

The Daily Signal -- If you think the price of gas is high, imagine paying up to $6 a gallon.

That’s what energy expert Dan Steffens thinks the price could be if not for the domestic oil boom.

“With what’s going on the Middle East, I think it would five or six bucks [a gallon],” said Steffens, president of the Energy Prospectus Group of Houston. “If it wasn’t for the shale revolution, you’d be in big trouble.”  (go to article)

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Axle problems prompt latest Ford recall of 100,000 vehicles

GasBuddy Blog -- Ford is recalling 100,566 vehicles in North America for various safety defects.  The company announced the six separate recalls earlier this week.  Fortunately,  no injuries related to the defects have been reported.The largest recall is for 92,022 vehicles and affects the 2013 and 2014 Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Police Interceptor sedans, the Flex and Lincoln MKT crossovers, the 2012-2014 Edge and 2014 Lincoln MKX.Ford says the right-hand halfshaft, which is part of the axle, "may disengage over time," making the vehicles inoperable.  Does it make you wonder who's paying attention to 'quality control'?...  (go to article)

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WTI Set for Third Weekly Drop as Supply Risks Ease

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate headed for a third weekly drop as Libya boosted its crude output and gasoline stockpiles expanded in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent was steady in London.

Futures were little changed in New York and poised for the longest run of weekly declines since November. Libya’s supply gained as the Sharara field resumed production and two oil-export terminals reopened. Fighting in Iraq, the second-largest OPEC member, hasn’t spread to the country’s south, home to three-quarters of its output. U.S. gasoline inventories rose last week as a measure of demand fell, the Energy Information Administration reported on July 9.

“The increased production in Libya with the opening of two ports has given downward pressure to oil,” Hong Sung Ki, a commodities analyst at  (go to article)

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Why China’s mood is souring on Canada’s oil patch

Financial Post -- Barely 2 years since the national outcry over China’s aggressive push into Canada’s oil patch, some of the major acquisitions are looking messy to hopeless

Instead of reaping the rewards of their first big step out into a free market oil industry, Chinese investors seem more focused on cutting costs and bailing out. Scores of executives have been fired

Some blame Ottawa’s more restrictive foreign ownership rules for the subsequent Chinese investment chill. But China’s sour mood has more to do with bitterness over the high prices paid, frustrations with long timelines to turn resources into production and Canada’s difficult operating environment

The change in mood is having an impact. Among the companies feeling the brunt is Athabasca Oil, which is awaiting a $1.23B payout from PetroChin  (go to article)

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Air Liquide and Linde in Helium Hunt as Texas Reserves Dry Up

Bloomberg -- For 50 years a vast aquifer in the heart of the Texas panhandle has held as much as 30 percent of the world’s helium reserves, acting as a safety valve that buoys supplies when the global market is interrupted.

The site in Amarillo is a hangover from the Cold War era and its phased closure increases the risk of supply shortages and higher prices, spurring a dash by the top two industrial gas companies, Linde AG and Air Liquide SA, to secure other helium resources in markets from Qatar to Siberia.

The Manhattan-sized rock formation, owned by the Bureau of Land Management, is being wound down with its reserves “effectively sold out by 2021,” according to Nick Haines, helium chief at Munich-based Linde, the world’s No. 1 industrial-gas company. As companies wrestle with already squeezed...  (go to article)

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Major New Study Says Obamacare Is Working — Even For Republicans

Business Insider -- Even 74% of Republicans say they're at least somewhat satisfied with their new plans.

The Affordable Care Act has been successful at achieving some major goals in the first year of its full implementation.
There are three important findings from the study: The uninsured rate is dropping, most people like their new insurance plans (even Republicans!), and most people are finding it easy to visit a doctor.
The study found the uninsured rate in the U.S. declined by one-quarter over the last nine months, which included the law's first, six-month open-enrollment period in which individuals could sign up for private insurance plans through exchanges established by the law.
From the July-to-September 2013 period to the April-to-June 2014 pe  (go to article)

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Propane reserve considered

TwinCities.com -- America is awash in propane, a by- product of booming oil and natural gas production. Yet getting it to markets at home and abroad is challenging and controversial.

Long a niche in the energy sector, propane today is sexy. Record exports and supply disruptions this past winter have refocused attention on propane after prices went through the roof for consumers, businesses and farmers alike.

Congress and the Obama administration are studying a possible strategic propane reserve to function like the ones for crude oil and home heating oil. Efforts to create additional private-sector propane storage are resisted at the local and state levels.

"If they could do it with heating oil, they could certainly do it with propane," said Andrew Heaney, chief executive of Propane.pro, a national...  (go to article)

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TEXAS AGENCY: MORE DRIVERS REPORTING ENGINE PROBLEMS FROM CHEVRON GAS

KTRK-TV (ABC 13 in Houston) -- At first Chevron told us they did not know what the problem was with the gas; now we know and we also know there are more than 50 people who had trouble with the fuel.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the agency that inspects gasoline across the state, Chevron premium fuel had unwashed gum content in it.

The state says unwashed gum content leads to sticking in valve and deposits in injectors and can cause damage to some engines. The problem was first reported to the company July 2 and Chevron than stopped selling the fuel.

Chevron tells the state that it now has 70 claims over the fuel and is now working with drivers to resolve the problems. The state is also now going to test the tanks at the stations that sold the bad fuel.
 (go to article)

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U.S. Gasoline Reserve to Be Ready for Peak of Hurricane Season

Reuters -- The U.S. government will have its planned gasoline stockpile for the Northeast region in place in time to respond to possible supply disruptions at the height of the 2014 hurricane season, the Energy Department said on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the department announced creation of the million-barrel gasoline reserve, which was deemed necessary after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left many motorists on the East Coast without fuel.

Contracts to purchase and store the gasoline have already been awarded, with 800,000 barrels of gasoline set to be delivered to storage facilities by Aug. 1 and 200,000 barrels of gasoline set to be delivered prior to Sept. 1.

The department did not specify which companies had been awarded the contracts.  (go to article)

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Report: Maine led nation for share of fatal car crashes on rural roads in 2012

Bangor Daily News -- PORTLAND, Maine — A national report found 98 percent of Maine’s fatal car crashes occurred on rural, non-interstate roads in 2012 as the amount of rural road pavement in poor condition rose about 9 percentage points from three years prior. The percentage of deficient rural bridges rose one point from the 2009 report.

The latest rural road assessment released Thursday from Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group The Road Information Program, or TRIP, found 161 of 164 fatal Maine crashes happened on rural roads in 2012, compared with 137 of 159 fatal crashes, or 86 percent, in 2009.

Maine ranked far higher than the national average — around 50 percent — both years but jumped from fourth to the highest state in the country for the share of vehicle fatalities that occurred on rural r  (go to article)

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US crude export policy may provide de facto stabilization rule

Platts -- With concerns over the volatile nature of Bakken crude growing and US regulators developing sweeping crude-by-rail safety rules, lawmakers and safety advocates are pressing for a new, federal requirement to stabilize certain types of crude before it is shipped by rail.

While such a requirement is seen as unlikely, at least in the near term, the Obama administration may find its recent crude export rulings could create a de facto stabilization requirement. In effect, current US crude export policy and global oil market fundamentals may be enough of an incentive for industry to stabilize Bakken crude before it is shipped.

"It could be a perfect bureaucratic solution to a policy problem," Benjamin Salisbury, a senior energy policy analyst at FBR Capital Markets, said.

"You could stabilize  (go to article)

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More California gas stations can provide hydrogen than previously thought

science daily -- tudy by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories concludes that a number of existing gas stations in California can safely store and dispense hydrogen, suggesting a broader network of hydrogen fueling stations may be within reach.
The report examined 70 commercial gasoline stations in the state of California and sought to determine which, if any, could integrate hydrogen fuel, based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hydrogen technologies code published in 2011.
The study determined that 14 of the 70 gas stations involved in the study could readily accept hydrogen fuel and that 17 more possibly could accept hydrogen with property expansions. Under previous NFPA code requirements from 2005, none of the existing gasoline stations could readily accept hydrogen.
The current  (go to article)

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Report: motorists to spend slightly more on gas this summer

fuel fix -- Motorists will spend more on gasoline this summer, with retail prices for regular averaging 8 cents higher than last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts.

The Energy Department agency forecasts a gallon of regular will average $3.66 for the April through September period, about 2 percent more than during the same time in 2013.

But for the full year, the average price at the pump will move up only 3 cents from 2013 to $3.54, according to the government projection.

The average price for a gallon of regular in Houston Thursday was $3.47, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The national average was $3.64.

Pump prices have been fairly stable recently, up less than a nickel from a month ago in Houston and down a penny nationwide. A year ago, the price was lower,  (go to article)

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TX/ND/PA: The U.S. Axis Of Energy Independence

Forbes -- As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s Declaration of Independence on Friday, it would also be appropriate to take a moment to celebrate those states who are currently leading our nation down the path towards energy independence. No issue facing America today is more important than where we will continue to access sources of abundant and affordable energy.

Energy heats and cools our homes and office buildings, fuels the automobiles that get us to work, facilitates the growing and transport of the food that sustains us, serves as the feed stock for thousands of products that make our daily lives more convenient and raise our standard of living. It is literally the life blood of our economy, and has been for more than 150 years.

For too many years, our country has found itself dependent  (go to article)

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UAW says it has reached 'consensus' with Volkswagen, expects automaker to recognize union

Associated PressJuly 10, 2014 | 6:24 p.m. EDT --
The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a conservative think tank, criticized the UAW announcement and said it will call on state lawmakers to reject incentives for VW.

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AG Bill Schuette vows to move forward in Chesapeake Energy Corp. bid-rigging case

MLIVE -- LANSING, MI – State Attorney General Bill Schuette said his office will move forward against Chesapeake Energy Corp. on a single charge of violating anti-trust laws related to Oklahoma company’s alleged role in a bid-rigging scheme prior to an October 2010 auction of oil and gas leases on state land.

Schuette also said he would appeal the dismissal of two other charges by Cheyboygan County District Judge Maria Barton. Those charges alleged Chesapeake engaged in bid-rigging against individual landowners.  (go to article)

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10 most stolen SUVs in the US

msn autos -- The National Insurance Crime Bureau, which has been tracking statistics related to car and motorcycle theft for years, recently released a study of SUV and crossover (CUV) thefts. Covering thefts of 2011-2013 model-year vehicles in the time between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2013, the NICB analyzed 21,711 incidents for its report. Crossovers accounted for 73 percent of those thefts, and CUVs make up nine of the NICB's top 10 most stolen SUV and CUV models. Here's a countdown of the most stolen SUVs and CUVs: Where does your SUV stand in the affections of car thieves?  (go to article)

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Enbridge pushes Flanagan South oil pipeline start date to Q4

By Catherine Ngai, Reuters | -- Construction of the 600,000-barrel-per-day Flanagan South oil pipeline from Illinois to Oklahoma will be complete late in the third quarter, with the first oil flowing early in the fourth quarter, operator Enbridge Inc said.  (go to article)

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