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As we deepen into hurricane season, the energy industry is all too familiar with the impact of hurricanes on day to day operations. Although weather agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have predicted a quiet storm season this summer, one bad storm can send lasting shockwaves through a state.
Hurricane Sandy (c) CNN

In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on a coastline familiar with tropical storms. Forming off the west coast of Africa and ending its ocean conquest on the shores of Galveston, TX as a Category 4 storm. After it was all said and done, Hurricane Ike became the 3rd most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.

Four years later at the end of hurricane season, a storm popped up in the western Caribbean Sea and barreled north. This storm grew to be Hurricane Sandy and showed up on the doorstep of New York City as a Category 2 hurricane in late October 2012. With the heavy population density of the area it’s easy to see how Hurricane Sandy became the 2nd most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.

According to , a new twist in defending against red light tickets has occurred in recent years, with the introduction of photographic automated enforcement systems, also known as red light cameras. These devices work by triggering a camera as a vehicle passes over a sensor in the intersection when the light is red. The camera takes pictures of the vehicle’s front license plate and driver. A citation is then mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner, supposedly after a police officer checks the photo of the driver against the driver’s license photo of the registered owner.

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The Driver Is Usually Liable, Not the Owner

In most of the states that allow photo enforcement of red lights, the law states that the driver, not the vehicle’s owner, is liable for the ticket. (New York treats red light camera violations like parking citations, making registered owners responsible without regard to who was driving when the camera snapped the photo.) In states where the driver—not necessarily the owner—is responsible for the ticket, and the owner was not driving at the time of the violation, the owner can fill out an affidavit, swearing that he or she wasn’t driving when the violations occurred.

Don't have time to research all the vehicles in your price range, or, wait for people to make offers and test drive the vehicle you need to sell?  Don't worry.

According to the LA Times, Shift sends one of its “car enthusiasts” (i.e. independent contractors) to the seller to provide a quote, pick up the car, take it to the company's warehouse for mechanical inspection, handle Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork, and sell the vehicle on the customer’s behalf.

On the buyer’s side, Shift’s contractors bring the car by for a test drive, and handle the paperwork. It’s one of several California start-ups launching in Los Angeles that’s using technology to facilitate peer-to-peer car buying and selling.

Good news at the gas pumps for consumers today in just about every part of the U.S.  The national average price of gas, $2.768, is more than a penny per gallon lower than where it was before your Fourth of July weekend.  

While the national average has increased 1.2 cents per gallon during the last month it still stands 88.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.  

"From LA to Chicago to New York, motorists saw a promising trend at the pump this past weekend that continue to edge lower today," said Gregg Laskoski, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. "That may run counter to consumer expectations but this is what we've seen in recent years when summer prices showed nominal but gradual decline through June and July."

Retail gas prices follow the general direction of crude oil most of the time and our benchmark crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed last week heading lower ($55.47) well below the 2015 peak of $62/barrel," Laskoski added.

2015 Toyota Camry has released its annual list of the most American cars in the site's American-Made Index. The Toyota Camry last claimed the top spot in 2012. This is the fifth time the Camry has ranked number one on the index.

The American-Made Index takes into account three key factors to determine how American cars are, including domestic-parts content (percentage of a vehicle's parts considered to be domestic, meaning built in the U.S. or Canada), final assembly point and overall vehicle sales.

"This year's list of eligible cars is down to just seven, the smallest number we've ever seen," said Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Olsen. "Just five years ago, 29 cars qualified for the American-Made Index, and today it is fewer than 10."

It may come as a surprise to readers that in Europe, diesel powered passenger vehicle sales outnumber gasoline by over 3 to 1. In South America the number is almost equal and for emerging countries, the fuel North Americans equate with commercial trucks and off road vehicles used for mining, agriculture and construction,  is growing rapidly in popularity.
The following information can be found at and  Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. 

The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah. Stretching out for over 30,000 acres, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a fragile resource administered by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. It is located just north of I-80, about 10 miles east of the community of Wendover.

Thousands of visitors, commercial filmmakers, and of course, high speed auto racers, make the Bonneville Salt Flats a world famous destination each year. As such, Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway has been the setting for numerous land speed records.

As nearly 42 million Americans prepare to hit the road this weekend for the Fourth of July holiday, many are taking it upon themselves to ensure their car is ready to handle the journey.

"Although winter car care typically gets more attention, summer maintenance is just as important," says Brian Moody, site editor for Autotrader. "Simple upkeep during the hotter months can go a long way in not only preserving the value of your vehicle, but also saving money and keeping you and your family safe on the road. The good news is that everyone can do these things themselves."

According to the Detroit Free Press, General Motors engineers now say early testing of its upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV is affirming estimates that the car will have a range of 200 miles between chargings.

In order to reduce consumers' anxiety about being stranded without an nearby charging station, engineers developing the Bolt have set their goal at 200 miles on a full charge.

© Pothole Popup
As another holiday weekend is upon us, Americans all over will take to the roads to make the most of their 4th of July weekend. With the lowest gas prices in the last few years, there is no wonder why Americans are topping a trillion miles traveled. However, all these miles take a toll upon the roadway infrastructure. In a recent article by the Washington Post, the newspaper quoted transportation research group TRIP’s recent study saying bad roads were costing Americans an extra $515 annually in operation and maintenance costs on their car.

One of the culprits for causes of extra maintenance costs? Potholes. While every government allocates funds to fix road issues, slimming budgets put many pothole repairs in jeopardy. Governments must prioritize which potholes will receive their attention. Pothole repair prioritization is usually accomplished by busyness of street or number of complaints received. Citizens across the world fed up with potholes have turned to art as a peaceful protest of potholes in their community. You can see how these got their governments’ attention…
On what was otherwise a quiet news day, we learned yesterday afternoon that an unspecified number of US carriers are being investigated by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for "possible unlawful coordination by some airlines" according to the Associated Press.
The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.

Here are some highlights:

Crude oil inventories increased by 2.4 million barrels (mb) to a total of 465.4 million barrels. At 465.4 million barrels, inventories are 80.4 million barrels above last year (20.9%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.8 million barrels to 216.7 million barrels. At 216.7 million barrels, inventories are up 3.0 million barrels, or 1.4% higher than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+0.3mb); Midwest (+0.6mb); Gulf Coast (-2.6mb); Rockies (-0.5mb); and West Coast (+0.5mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).

DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:
Distillate inventories increased by 0.4 million barrels to a total of 135.8 million barrels. At 135.8 million barrels, inventories are up 14.3 million barrels, or 11.7% vs. a year ago.

More Americans are strapping on their hiking boots and reconnecting with nature
this Independence Day, thanks to some of the cheapest gas prices since 2009. GasBuddy, a community-based price comparison app that helps users find cheap gas, shares the top 10 states with the largest savings compared to last year, making them ideal places to take a last-minute road trip to reconnect with nature 

“The 4th of July weekend is our busiest weekend of the year,” said Ken Kosky, promotions director at Indiana Dunes Tourism, a top-rated state park by USA Today. “The low gas prices have played a huge role in the increased amount of visitors we’ve experienced. We are showing an increase of 6 percent so far this year, so an increase of 5-10 percent for the holiday is anticipated. We expect more people flocking to the Indiana Dunes this holiday weekend to enjoy the miles of sandy beaches and the great hiking trails.”

According to a recent GasBuddy summer travel survey, there is no better way to celebrate the Independence Day than by experiencing the natural beauties of this country; over a quarter of respondents said their ideal summer vacation spot is a state or national park.

“The average national savings is 89 cents per gallon from last year and some states are saving even more,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s senior petroleum analyst. “With gas prices the lowest they’ve been in years, this is the time to visit a place that is a little off the beaten path.”

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Georgia’s new gasoline tax goes into effect today, and will add approximately 7 cents to the cost of a gallon of gasoline, increasing the state's combined federal and state gas tax from 45 cents to nearly 53 cents per gallon.

The Georgia General Assembly passed HB 170 this year, which changes the way the state taxes gasoline. Currently, there is a 7.5 cent excise tax on each gallon of gas. Gasoline is also subject to the state sales tax of 4 percent, and local sales taxes. In Coweta, the local sales tax is 3 percent. While the state sales tax will go away, it is  replaced with an excise tax of 26 cents. Local taxes won’t change.  Diesel fuel will be subject to a 29 cent state excise tax.

As a Tuesday deadline looms for Iran to have sanctions lifted on them, energy markets hold their breath for any indication of the outcome. Sanctions being lifted on Iran hinge on whether the U.S. and 5 other nations can agree on the terms of Iran’s nuclear program. A nuclear program agreement could, depending on negotiations, have sanctions on Iran lifted immediately. Iran’s crude exports have been severely hampered by tough sanctions; sanctions being lifted could flood the market with even more crude oil, lowering futures prices worldwide. As imported Iranian crude may be in the U.S.’s future, where does the U.S. currently get its crude?

In America, there has always been a sense of pride for being self-sufficient. The country of origin label on goods manufactured outside the U.S. is hidden on packaging, while American-made creations boldly carry the “Made in America” label. The larger-than-life American dream of the big house with a white picket fence and sports car in the driveway has led to a dependence on oil higher than other countries, a dependence that America has struggled to conquer on its own.
"Consumers working together to save on gas"