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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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New F-150's fuel economy will improve, but can it best Ram 1500?

Automotive News -- DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.’s new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup coming this fall might not be able to beat Chrysler Group’s Ram 1500 and claim best-in-class fuel economy.

Ford officials said today the new F-150 -- which would need to deliver better than 28 mpg on the highway to top the Ram with its EcoDiesel engine -- will deliver better fuel economy and greater towing and hauling capability than the current steel-bodied truck. But they dodged questions about the redesigned F-150’s estimated fuel economy ratings.

“Very rarely do you own all of the [best-in-class] claims all of the time,” said Doug Scott, Ford’s truck group marketing manager.

“Stay tuned,” was all he said when asked whether the F-150 will top the Ram.  (go to article)

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Fire at North Dakota oil company is still burning after 12 HOURS... and officials are waiting for th

Daily Mail -- A massive fire was still burning on Tuesday afternoon 12 hours after it began at an oil supply company in an industrial part of oil patch town Williston, North Dakota.

Department of Health Air Quality Division director Terry O'Clair said local fire departments are letting the blaze at Red River Supply burn itself out and a National Guard hazmat unit is heading to the scene.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, which started about midnight on Monday, and state officials said Tuesday there were no injuries

Red River Supply officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and law enforcement will not let anyone past the half-mile evacuation border.

The FAA issued a temporary flight restriction at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for Sloulin Field International Airport until of  (go to article)

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Woman Hits Motorcyclist, Claims God Was Driving Her Car

Aol Autos -- An Indiana woman who ran over a motorcyclist and hit a truck told police she wasn't at the wheel at the time of the crash. God was.
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Let American Ingenuity Lead the Way on Climate Change -- Again!

Huff Post Green -- On Monday June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a regulation that would cut carbon pollution from power plants up to 30 percent by 2030. Within hours, House Speaker John Boehner delivered his response: "The president's plan is nuts. There's really no more succinct way to describe it." But that's politics talking, not science or known results.  (go to article)

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10 Slowest-Selling Cars of April

Autos Cheatsheet -- According to Kicking Tires, the blog of Cars.com, the average time it took to sell a new car in April was 56 days. That’s more than in the same month last year, when it took 51 days to move a new car; it also took 51 days for the month of March. Despite the longer sales time, though, the cars that are bringing that average up — the slowest sellers across the industry — haven’t changed a whole lot from month to month, or year to year.

We covered the month’s fastest sellers here. That list was dominated by new and redesigned models like the Subaru WRX and Subaru Forester, as well as highly anticipated models like the Corvette Stingray and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.


“For the fastest sellers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited  (go to article)

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10 Cars, Trucks, and SUVs That Sold the Fastest in April

Autos Cheatsheet -- With the arrival of spring and warmer weather (for some parts of the country, anyway) new car sales have started to ramp up. Last month saw trucks and SUVs flying off the lots at dealerships across the country, but the numbers bring up some surprises. For instance, no popular sedans, hatchbacks, or wagons cracked the top ten. Instead, 16 of the top 20 fastest movers were trucks or SUVs. Sports cars were the other category holding strong in April.


Luxury SUVs make a particularly strong presence on the list, indicating America’s taste for large, powerful, and elegant vehicles has not faded. Also, with tax season wrapping up, it’s possible that shoppers have a few extra bucks to treat themselves with. Whatever the case may be, the focus of consumers appears not to be a focus on efficiency,  (go to article)

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Consumer Reports: Skip BMW and Benz, buy a Buick

Detroit Free Press -- The 2014 Buick Regal is the second best premium sedan, Consumer Reports said today.

In testing conducted by the influential magazine, the recently refreshed Regal ranked one point behind the class-leading BMW 328i and tied the Mercedes-Benz C250 for second place in the magazine’s overall ratings of premium sport sedans — even though it costs thousands less.

“The Regal is a thoroughly developed and satisfying mid-sized sports sedan that’s more reminiscent of a German sports car than the softly sprung luxo-barges that Buick was once known for,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, said in the report.

Consumer Reports said its engineers found the Regal’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes the car quicker and more fuel-efficient than the previous  (go to article)

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Race for North Dakota's agriculture commissioner is all about oil

Reuters -- North Dakota's biggest oil producers have picked a side and put money into an obscure election for the state's agriculture commissioner, hoping to ward off a rising Democratic challenger who could limit development of new wells and pipelines.

With a legislature that meets only every two years, North Dakota has given an unusual amount of power to the agriculture commissioner and two other members of the state's Industrial Commission, charging the triumvirate with oversight of permitting and other issues critical to the oil industry, which hopes to drill 35,000 new wells within 15 years.

North Dakota produces 1 million barrels of oil each day - more than any state except Texas and even some OPEC members - affording Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, a Republican, outsized influence ov  (go to article)

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In N.J. and nationwide, gas prices continue to drop as refineries boost production

NJ.com -- Retail gasoline in the U.S. slid to the lowest level in almost four months as refineries boosted production to cash in on cheaper domestic oil, offering relief to consumers who saw their costs rise last month.Pump prices averaged $3.593 a gallon Monday, down 4.2 cents from the previous week and the lowest since March 31, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s website show. Gasoline was 2.4 percent below 2013 levels.In New Jersey, gas prices continue to drop.
Today, motorists in the Garden State looking to fill up will pay an average of $3.46 for a gallon of unleaded, according to the website GasBuddy.com. That price was down from $3.54 a month ago, according to the website.  (go to article)

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Electric car record: Tesla drives from California to New York in 67 hours

Detroit Free Press -- A team of drivers from car-shopping site Edmunds.com says it set a record for cross-country travel in an electric car, driving a 2013 Tesla S from Redondo Beach, Calif. , to New York, N.Y. in 67 hours and 21 minutes.

Edmunds says that broke the previous record of 76 hours and 5 minutes set by a team from Tesla.

Edmunds.com's director of vehicle testing Dan Edmunds and photo editor Kurt Niebuhr stopped at 23 Tesla Supercharger stations during the trip.

The Edmunds team had no backup or support team, counting on the Tesla being reliable and the high-power recharging stations being frequent enough.

Edmunds and Niebuhr documented their run on the Edmunds site. They say Tesla was uncertain they'd make it because they were using a charging corridor that Tesla considered undeveloped.  (go to article)

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Whereas Maine and New Brunswick have signed an agreement to promote their mutual interests

Bangor Daily News -- Perhaps the most interesting area of collaboration is energy, which remains perhaps the top regional concern across New England. It’s a focus of the governors and energy officials in all six states and that agreement has prompted a statement from the state’s two major power transmission utilities — Emera and CMP — that they would cooperate on infrastructure projects to transmit wind power from the northern parts of the state to southern New England.

That area is also the focus for Emera’s proposed 230-mile Northeast Energy Link project, which would run a 1,100 megawatt direct current transmission line from New Brunswick, through northern and eastern Maine to denser populations in southern New England.
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EPA Warning: Recharging Air Conditioners with Wrong Refrigerant Poses Injury and Fire Risks

EPA -- WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor vehicle and home air conditioning systems.



A number of refrigerants with “22a” or “R-22a” in the name contain highly flammable hydrocarbons, such as propane. These refrigerants are being marketed to consumers seeking to recharge existing home and motor vehicle air conditioning systems that were not designed to use propane or other flammable refrigerants. These refrigerants have never been submitted to EPA for review of their health and environmental impacts and are not approved for use in existing air conditioning systems.  (go to article)

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Chicago issued motorists thousands of red light fines they didn't deserve

GasBuddy Blog -- The Chicago Tribune has announced a shocking finding: the City of Chicago has hit thousands of motorists with $100 red light fines that city officials themselves can't even explain. Results of the Tribune's investigation are indeed damning. According to the 10-month Tribune investigation, there appear to be more than 13,000 questionable tickets at 12 different intersections across the city. These 12 intersections experienced significant spikes in tickets, but even dozens more intersections also saw similar patterns.“Something is terribly amiss here,” said Joseph Schofer, an associate dean at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who reviewed the Tribune's research....  (go to article)

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Hackers Could Take Control of Your Car. This Device Can Stop Them

Wired -- Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have proven more clearly than anyone in the world how vulnerable cars are to digital attack. Now they’re proposing the first step towards a solution.

Last year the two Darpa-funded security researchers spent months cracking into a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius, terrifying each other with tricks like slamming on the brakes or hijacking the vehicles’ steering with only digital commands sent from a laptop plugged into a standard data port under the dash. At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month, they’ll unveil a prototype device designed to foil the same unnerving tricks they’ve demonstrated: An intrusion-detection system for automobiles. “These attacks seemed serious enough that we should actually consider how to defend against t  (go to article)

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Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge

Associated Press -- Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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What ‘urban physics’ could tell us about how cities work

The Boston Globe -- Ulm calls his new work “urban physics,” and it places him among a number of scientists now using the tools of physics to analyze the practically infinite amount of data that cities produce in the 21st century, from population density to the number of patents produced to energy bill charges. Physicist Marta González, Ulm’s colleague at MIT, recently used cellphone data to analyze traffic patterns in Boston with unprecedented complexity, for example. In 2012, a theoretical physicist was named founding director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, whose research is devoted to “urban informatics”; one of its first projects is helping to create the country’s first “quantified community” on the West Side of Manhattan.  (go to article)

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Contraflow Bike Lanes Finally Get Nod From U.S. Engineering Establishment

http://usa.streetsblog.org/ -- Buffered bike lanes have been used in some American cities for decades now, and an increasing number of cities are implementing contraflow bike lanes. But only just now are these street designs getting official recognition from powerful standard-setters inside the U.S. engineering establishment.  (go to article)

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Venezuelan Airport Now Charges Passengers For The Air They Breathe

Fox News Latino -- Travelers who use the Maiquetía International Airport in Caracas and are paying attention may be quite surprised to see that, in Nicolas’ Maduro Venezuela, breathing comes with a cost.

Starting July 1, every passenger departing Maiquetía has to pay 127 bolivares (somewhere between $2 and $20, depending on the exchange rate used) during check-in, in order to pay for the air conditioner that now flows out of the airport’s ducts.

In a press release, the Maiquetia Airport said the project was put in place to ensure the quality of oxygen and keep the premises free of pathogens.

Some 30,000 passengers use the facility every day, according to El Nacional newspaper.

The new tax has generated all kinds of reactions in the Latin American country mostly outrage, as the new fee must be added to...  (go to article)

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Former DOT chiefs push for more road funding Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/

The Hill -- A bipartisan group of 12 current and former U.S. transportation secretaries is urging Congress to approve a long-term infrastructure funding bill to improve the nation's road and public transit systems.
The secretaries, who served under presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, said a temporary transportation funding bill that is being considered by Congress is insufficient.
"This week, it appears that Congress will act to stave off the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The bill, if passed, should extend surface transportation funding until next May," "We are hopeful that Congress appears willing to avert the immediate crisis,
But we want to be clear: This bill
not “fix” America’s transportation s  (go to article)

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Why scientists have started connecting earthquakes to fracking

Market Realist -- A few studies and other empirical evidence have tied seismic activity to fracking over the past few years.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a technique applied to wells in order to extract shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil. The procedure injects water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a well, cracking the rock to release natural gas and oil.

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Replacing coal, oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming, expert argues

Science Daily -- Bth shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.
Dr. Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, came to this conclusion after assessing the best available data and analyzing greenhouse gas footprints for both methane (including shale gas and conventional gas) and carbon dioxide over a timescale of 20-years following emissions.
The findings are published in Energy Science & Engineering.
"While emissions of carbon dioxide are less from natural gas than from coal and oil, methane emissions are far greater. Methane is such a potent greenhouse gas that these emissions make natural gas a dangerous fuel from the standpoint of global warming over the  (go to article)

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Keeping Oil Production From Falling

Resilience -- Production flows from a given oil field naturally decline over time, but we keep trying harder and technology keeps improving. Which force is winning the race?
An oil reservoir is a pool of hydrocarbons embedded and trapped under pressure in porous rock. As oil is taken out, the pressure decreases and the annual rate of flow necessarily declines. A recent study of every well drilled in Texas over 1990-2007 by Anderson, Kellogg, and Salant (2014) documents very clearly that production flows from existing wells fall at a very predictable rate that is quite unresponsive to any incentives based on fluctuations in oil prices.
When a given region is found to be promising, more wells are drilled, and production initially increases. But eventually the force of declining pressure takes over, and we  (go to article)

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Prices rise in June as consumers feel pain at the pump

Reuters -- U.S. consumer prices rose in June as the cost of gasoline surged, but the overall trend continued to point to a gradual build up of inflationary pressures.  (go to article)

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How Congress Is ‘Killing Our Transportation System’

The Fiscal Times -- The Department of Transportation’s top chief is accusing lawmakers of “killing our transportation system slowly” as Congress scrambles to approve a short-term solution to keep the nation’s highways from going broke.

The Highway Trust Fund is on the brink of insolvency. If lawmakers can’t cut a deal before August 1, nearly 112,000 roadway projects and 5,600 transit projects will be delayed and about 700,000 construction jobs will be lost next year, the Obama administration has warned.

The Senate is expected to vote on highway funding proposals this week, including an $11 billion measure the House approved last week that would keep the fund solvent through May 2015. That measure was authored by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). They will also consider a similar bill introdu  (go to article)

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Want to buy a bridge? Pennsylvania still has 11 for sale

Reuters -- Buying a bridge is not on most to-do lists, but anyone seeking a historic span need look no further than the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which has 11 of them for sale.

PennDOT is trying to save bridges on the National Register of Historic Places that are not up to the demands of modern traffic. Prices range from $1 to $500, and moving costs can often be paid by the Federal Highway Administration.
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Average Diesel Cost Falls for Third Straight Week

Truckinginfo -- UPDATED -- The average cost of on-highway diesel in the U.S. has fallen for the third consecutive week, hitting its lowest level since late November, according to new U.S. Energy Department numbers.

It declined 2.5 cents from last week, hitting $3.869, and is 3.4 cents lower than the same time last year. Over the past three weeks the price is down 5.1 cents.

Prices fell in all parts of the country with the biggest decline coming from the Central Atlantic section, 3.7 cents, for an average of $4.014, with the smallest in the Rocky Mountain region, down 0.7 cent, for an average of $3.889.

Compared to a year ago, prices are slightly higher in the New England, Central Atlantic and Rocky Mountain sections of the country, but are lower in all other parts.

Diesel ranges from a high of  (go to article)

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Brent above $107; focus on Ukraine, US stockpiles

Reuters -- Brent crude held steady above $107 a barrel on Tuesday, supported by escalating geopolitical tension over Ukraine and expectations of large draws in U.S. oil stockpiles  (go to article)

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No Credit? No Problem

Yahoo Screen -- Banks and private equity firms searching for high-yield investments have fueled a boom in subprime auto loans to buyers who can’t afford them, including those who recently filed for bankruptcy. (VIDEO)  (go to article)

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Your Next Car Will Be Smarter Than You Are

Yahoo! Tech -- When my family made its epic pilgrimage across the country last month, our cars — a reliable Honda Fit and a mid-1990s I-can’t-believe-it’s-still-running Honda Odyssey van — did not make the journey with us.

We figured life in a new home in a new state deserved a new car. So we’ve been trying a few out, and it’s been an education on wheels.

It’s been six years since we went shopping for a new car, but it feels more like 60. Automobiles are a lot smarter than they were just a few years ago, thanks to a raft of safety features that rely on cameras, radar, and other sensors built into the body of the car, as well as sophisticated software algorithms that can make lightning-fast decisions on your behalf.  (go to article)

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U.S. Gasoline Falls Below 2013 Levels on Refining Push

Bloomberg -- Retail gasoline in the U.S. slid below year-earlier levels for the first time in a month as the summer driving season entered its second half.

Pump prices averaged $3.593 a gallon yesterday, down 4.2 cents from the previous week, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s website show. Gasoline was 2.4 percent below 2013 levels.

Travelers and commuters are seeing relief at the pumps as U.S. refiners process more crude. A production boom from U.S. shale formations and Canadian oil sands has widened discounts for domestic crudes to seasonal records.

“Refineries are running really smoothly right now and they’re making lots of gasoline,” Michael Green, a spokesman for Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, said by telephone from Washington. “There’s also a stalemate in Iraq that’s helped  (go to article)

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States With the Highest Gas Prices

23/7wallst.com -- After remaining persistently high early in the summer, gasoline prices have tapered slightly in recent weeks. Drivers in some states, however, continue to feel the pinch at the pump.

National gas prices have fallen by six cents over the past month through July 16. But this lower-than-expected drop has not been enough to provide consumers with much relief, Avery Ash, Director of Federal Relations for AAA, explained. “For the last several months we’ve seen prices staying stubbornly high at a time of year when motorists are used to prices declining.”

Geographical location often impacts gas prices in a state. “Proximity to refineries can help with cutting down the distribution costs,” Ash said. Average gas prices in Texas — the state with the most refineries — are generally 14 cents lower  (go to article)

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Oil futures extend gains on U.S. demand, Russia tensions

Market Watch -- Crude-oil futures extended overnight gains in Asian trading hours Tuesday on indications of stronger U.S. oil demand and as European Union officials mull tighter sanctions against Russia.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in August CLQ4 +0.63% traded at $104.90 a barrel, up $0.31 in the Globex electronic session. September Brent crude UK:LCOU4 +0.59% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.06 to $107.74 a barrel.

U.S. refineries ran at 93.8% of capacity in the week ended July 11, the highest level for the week since 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA’s weekly inventory survey is due on Wednesday. The American Petroleum Institute, a trade body, will publish its weekly data later Tuesday and markets expe  (go to article)

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WTI Rises for Second Day Before Stockpiles Data; Brent Gains

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate rose for a second day before stockpile data that will signal the strength of fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent gained in London.

Futures climbed as much as 0.6 percent in New York. Crude inventories probably shrank by 2.8 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s Energy Information Administration report. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution calling for an international probe into the downing of a Malaysian Air passenger jet in Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is holding talks in Cairo to end fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“Inventories are something that can influence prices as in the past weeks there were large draws which were bullish,” Gerrit Z  (go to article)

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Has Nissan created 'the world's cleanest car'?

GasBuddy Blog -- What do you get when you combine the world's best-selling zero emission vehicle with innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt? Answer: a very special Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that might just be the "world's cleanest car."Created to demonstrate its potential use in future production vehicles, this Nissan LEAF's exterior was treated with a specially engineered superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint that is designed to repel water and oils.The "self-cleaning" paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry®, creates a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, effectively stopping standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the LEAF's surface. Nissan is one of the first carmakers to apply this technology to a vehicle....  (go to article)

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Feds will erode crude-oil ban with incremental exceptions, Bloomberg reports

BIZ JOURNALS -- The '70s-era ban on crude-oil exports from the United States will be chipped away in small bits as federal government rulings allow exceptions, Bloomberg News reports citing energy analysts including IHS Inc.
The Commerce Department’s permission for Enterprise Products Partners LP and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. to ship abroad ultra-light oil known as condensate is likely the first step in a sting actions that will weaken the four-decade-old ban until it becomes obsolete, analysts say.
The Commerce Department ruling alone may free as much as 1.2 million barrels a day for export.  (go to article)

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North Dakota's Oil And Gas Boom Has Brought Prosperity, But Critics Wonder About The Costs

HuffingtonPostGreen/AOL -- BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s Heritage Center makes for a jarring sight in this Midwestern prairie capital. The newly-expanded museum consists of four interlocking cubes of stone, steel and glass, a gleaming architectural statement poking out of the otherwise drab Capitol grounds. Each cube features a gallery devoted to an era of North Dakota’s history, but the state’s present is everywhere.
The Northern Lights Atrium at the Hertitage Center mid-construction, in Bismarck, North Dakota Facebook

The legislature approved the dramatic $52 million expansion in 2009, but required the museum to come up with $12 million of that to supplement state money, and more than half has come from energy companies — including a $1.8 million gift from Continental Resources Inc. that put its name on one of  (go to article)

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The Way This City Is Tackling Gas Prices Has Some People Crying ‘Socialism’

TheBlaze/AP -- The town of Somerset, Kentucky, opened a city-run filling station on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, offering gas to the public at below-market rates.

From the Associated Press:

The Somerset Fuel Center opened to the public selling regular unleaded gas for $3.36 a gallon, a bit lower than some nearby competitors. In the first three hours, about 75 customers fueled up at the no-frills stations, where there are no snacks, no repairs and only regular unleaded gas.

Some criticized the move, with one convenience store owner saying, ”They’ve used the taxpayer money that I have paid them over these years to do this, to be against us. I do not see how they can’t see that as socialism.”

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China's President Xi Jinping signs Venezuela oil deal

BBC-Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a series of oil and mineral deals with Venezuela. -- They include a $4bn (£2.34bn) credit line in return for Venezuelan crude and other products.

The agreements came on the latest stop of a four-country visit to Latin America.

Mr Xi has already signed key deals in Argentina and Brazil. He has now departed from Venezuela and will visit Cuba next.

In Argentina the Chinese leader agreed to an $11bn currency swap providing much needed money for the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Argentina has been locked out of the international capital markets since a default in 2001.

Mr Xi also helped launch a new development bank alongside the other emerging powers of the Brics group - Brazil Russia India and South Africa - at a summit in Brazil.

The new bank is intended to create an alternative to the Western-dominated World...  (go to article)

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Halliburton Says Demand for North American Fracking Turn

Bloomberg -- Halliburton Co. (HAL:US), the world’s largest provider of hydraulic fracturing services, said demand for fracking in North America has turned a corner and it’s adding crews this year as the industry burns through excess capacity that has kept prices low.

“On our last call, some of you may have been skeptical when I said I was beginning to feel the turn in North America,” Chief Executive Officer David Lesar said on a second-quarter earnings conference call today. “Based on our performance during the quarter, I believe this feeling was dead on target. Today, we are not feeling the turn, we are in the turn, and I feel even more excited than I was last quarter.”
 (go to article)

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Natural gas vote leaves fueling stations without standard

Fuel Fix -- HOUSTON — The failure of a group of state officials to make a key decision about how to measure natural gas as a transportation fuel leaves the industry without a standard, industry advocates said Monday.

Last week in Detroit, a national conference of state regulators met to decide how fueling stations should measure liquefied natural gas.

Natural gas advocates promote the fuel as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel. While compressed natural gas has been used in consumer and light-duty vehicles for years, liquefied natural gas or LNG is gaining traction in heavy-duty and long-haul trucks.

The growing use of natural gas as a motor fuel prompted the National Conference on Weights and Measures, comprising state government officials who set standards affecting fueling sta  (go to article)

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Oil prices rise above $104; natural gas sinks

AP -- Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $2.89 a gallon.
The price of oil rose more than a $1 for the third time in the last four trading days, and closed above $104 for the first time since July 3.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery rose $1.46 to $104.59 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract fell 6 cents to $103.13. Oil has gained 4.6 percent over the past four trading sessions.
Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, gained 44 cents to $107.68 on the ICE exchange in London.
Meanwhile, natural gas prices sank further below $4 on forecasts for cooler temperatures in parts of the U.S. Natural gas supplies haven’t been dropping as quickly this summer, as milder temperatures compared with last year reduce the need for homeowners to  (go to article)

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In 20 Years, Most New Cars Won’t Have Steering Wheels or Pedals

Wired -- By 2030, most new cars will be made without rearview mirrors, horns, or emergency brakes. By 2035, they won’t have steering wheels or acceleration and brake pedals. They won’t need any of these things because they will be driving themselves.

That’s the takeaway from a new study by the Institute of Electronics and Engineers (IEEE). It’s based on a survey of more than 200 experts who work in the various industries that are slowly pushing us toward a future where humans are so much worse than robots are at driving, it’s not worth letting us even touch a steering wheel.

Automakers have made huge strides toward producing conventional cars that can drive themselves in select situations. A few of those will likely be on the market by the end of the decade or soon after.  (go to article)

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Tesla Model S hack reportedly controls locks, horn, headlights while in motion

Ars Technica -- Tesla Motors officials vowed to investigate reports that its Model S sedan is susceptible to hacks that can remotely control the car’s locks, horn, headlights, and skylight while the car is in motion, according to a published report.
Further ReadingHow mobile app weakness could let hackers track and unlock a Tesla Model S

Lack of limits on wrong passwords, threats from third-party apps increase risks.
The hacks were carried out at the Syscan 360 security conference in Beijing, an article published by Bloomberg News reported. The report cited a brief post on Chinese social media site Weibo from a representative of China-based Qihoo 360 Technology Co., which said the experiment was carried out by members of the company's information technology department.

The news comes a week after  (go to article)

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'State Of The Climate' Report: Continued Disruption

Popular Science -- The cover image of "State of the Climate in 2013," makes the impact of the report, which was released today, clear.

Fairbanks, Alaska saw a record-breaking 36 days with temperatures at 80°F or higher. “I can tell you that that many days at such high temperature is not a pleasant experience,” said Martin Jeffries, a scientist with the Office of Naval Research, “not the least because there is not a lot of air conditioning in Alaska.”  (go to article)

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World breaks monthly heat record 2 times in a row

St Louis Post-Dispatch -- All 12 of the world's monthly heat records have been set after 1997, more than half in the last decade. All the global cold monthly records were set before 1917.

The first six months of the year are the third warmest first six months on record, coming behind 2010 and 1998, according to NOAA

Global temperature records go back to 1880 and this is the 352nd hotter-than-average month in a row.  (go to article)

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Oil-by-rail fight in Washington threatens California gasoline prices

Reuters -- California's chance to keep a lid on some of the nation's highest gas prices and join in the spoils of a domestic oil production boom is threatened by quickly growing opposition to a rail terminal in Washington state.

The hitch in the long-planned project by Tesoro Corp exemplifies growing problems for moving crude oil on trains around the country after a string of fiery rail crashes.

While the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is the marquee battle between pump prices and environmentalist concerns, crude-by-rail is a growing issue and has a more immediate effect on domestic consumers and refiners. The cost of delays from the crude-by-oil fight may be steepest in California, an isolated market increasingly dependent on foreign oil.

Tesoro's project aims by mid-2015 to start sending up to 36  (go to article)

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Maine town fights plan to use pipeline to export oil sands crude

LA Times -- Tom Blake, like thousands of his neighbors in this coastal town, is used to living alongside the oil industry. Tank farms cluster in neighborhoods, by the park where families watch the movie "Frozen" on a summer night, next to schools and senior citizens apartment buildings. As a child, Blake, the town's former mayor, used to jump into high snow drifts from the massive oil tank next door.

Now, after decades as a New England hub for importing crude oil and distributing fuel, South Portland is enmeshed in a dispute with the oil industry that echoes far beyond southern Maine.

On Monday night, the South Portland City Council, including Blake, is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by resid  (go to article)

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Tesla Motors Inc Model 3: Expert Views

ValueWalk.com -- Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it would launch its new Model III at a price point of $35,000, which is substantially lower than the current Model S price of $70,000. Although there is more than one issue that could hinder the company from producing an electric car at such a low-price point, Tesla hopes to keep the price down by economy of scale.
 (go to article)

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Top Texas Regulator: Could Russia Be Behind City's Proposed Fracking Ban?

Huffingtonpost -- The head of the Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates oil and gas operations in the state, is fighting to stop a proposed ban on fracking in one local city, and he's worried it's not the locals who support it. Chairman Barry Smitherman recently insinuated that "out of state sources," like the Russians, may be playing in a local effort to ban fracking.  (go to article)

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How City Park Design Contributes to Resident Health

UrbDeZine Chicago -- City parks are more than pretty outdoor spaces — research shows they can also be critical to improving a community’s health. In fact, from the earliest days of their implementation, parks have been tools for boosting air quality, encouraging safe physical recreation, reducing disease and discouraging crime, according to the George Wright Forum. That’s why park design is so important. The way a park is set up and organized plays a crucial role in how much it is used and, therefore, what level of impact it can make.

And after all, health is "good".  (go to article)

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New safety rules will test the oil train model

Reuters -- North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch has thrived thanks in large part to the once-niche business of hauling fuel on U.S. rail tracks. New safety rules may now test the oil train model.  (go to article)

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