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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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Opec under siege as Isil threatens world's oil lifeline

The Telegraph UK -- As the bloc’s 12 oil ministers meet in Vienna, the march of Isil jihadists in the Middle East is putting Iran and Saudi Arabia on a collision course with explosive consequences.

 (go to article)

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Job sprawl hurting minorities and the poor in suburbia

Al Jazeera -- Almost 60 million suburbanites don’t live near jobs compared to 33 million city residents. And those who live in high-poverty, majority-minority neighborhoods – many of them in suburbs – experienced particularly pronounced declines in their proximity to employment.

In more than 60 percent of neighborhoods with poverty rates above 20 percent and 55 percent of majority-minority neighborhoods, jobs are getting farther away.  (go to article)

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Why gas prices are rising

CNN Money -- It's happening again.

It's not even close to the summer driving season -- in fact, it's not even springtime -- but as surely as February gives way to March, gas prices have begun their annual ascent.

The average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.53 a gallon, according to AAA. That's 17 cents higher than it was just a week ago, and 23 cents higher than last month.

In parts of Los Angeles, drivers are already paying more than $5 a gallon.

"I'm shocked. I don't know what happened," Diana Griffitts, a motorist filling up at a downtown LA station, told CNN. "Just a week ago I paid under $4 a gallon. I'd like an explanation."
 (go to article)

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Saudi Arabia Pumps Crude at Record Pace Boosting OPEC Output

Bloomberg -- Saudi Arabia maintained crude production at a record this month, helping send OPEC output to the highest level since October 2012.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer, pumped 10.25 million barrels a day in May, unchanged from April and the most in a monthly Bloomberg survey going back to 1989.
 (go to article)

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Federal agency dings Shell for oil rig mishap in Arctic

The Associated Press -- ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks permits for exploratory oil drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast, a federal agency has concluded the company underestimated risk the last time it moved drill rigs to Arctic waters.
A National Transportation Safety Board report issued Thursday said the probable cause of the grounding of the company’s mobile drilling vessel, the Kulluk, in 2012 was “Shell’s inadequate assessment of the risk for its planned tow” across the Gulf of Alaska
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EPA proposes easing requirements for ethanol in gas

The Spokesman -- The nation’s gasoline supply likely will have more ethanol in coming years – but not as much as was required by federal law.

The Obama administration’s proposed renewable fuel standard won’t have much of an impact on gas prices, but could become an issue in the 2016 presidential elections, especially in farm states that have profited over the years from higher corn prices linked to the use of corn-based ethanol. Campaigning in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for a robust renewable fuels standard.

The proposed standards also represent a blow to renewable fuel companies that have pushed to keep high volumes of their product flowing into drivers’ gas tanks.

The 2007 renewable fuels law tried to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign o  (go to article)

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Gasoline price rocket sputters as prices fall

Central valley business times -- California gasoline prices are dropping by as much as a penny a day in the last week, bringing the nearly 90-cent price spike in April and May to a definitive end, according to price surveys Friday.
“The wholesale price of Los Angeles gasoline has dropped 76 cents since May 11 as more supply has become available,” says Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “Given the more than $1.80 difference between wholesale and retail prices, we would expect gas station prices to be coming down much more quickly, since the normal margin is $1 or less.”
Nationwide, significant yearly discounts remain, due to relatively low prices for crude oil, with the current national average representing a savings of more than 90 cents per gallon compared to this same date last y  (go to article)

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When an Off-the-Rack Rolls Royce Just Won't Do

NY Times -- Just owning a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley is not enough. Now, buyers are looking for even more exclusivity, and automakers are more than happy to serve them, offering custom-tailored cars and limited-production “special edition” sedans — especially to lucrative overseas markets — as owners try to distinguish themselves among the 1 percent  (go to article)

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Billionaire Environmentalist Pushes New Oil Tax in California

Daily Signal -- In an effort to combat high gasoline prices in California, billionaire environmentalist activist Tom Steyer is pushing for a state ballot measure to pass an oil severance tax.

 (go to article)

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U.S. Oil Drilling Retreat Drags on for 25th Straight Week

Bloomberg -- Oil explorers idled rigs in U.S. fields for the 25th straight week, drawing out an unprecedented retreat in drilling that has curbed the country’s shale oil boom and helped crude prices rally.

Rigs targeting oil in the U.S. declined by 13 to 646, the lowest since August 2010, field services company Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Friday. Most of the losses were outside of major basins, with drilling subsiding in states including California and Louisiana.

U.S. energy producers sidelined more than half of the rigs drilling for oil after crude prices collapsed in the second half of last year. The retreat brought production growth from the nation’s biggest shale formations to a halt, suspending a boom that turned the country into the world’s biggest fuel exporter.
 (go to article)

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Eluding police conviction overturned on technicality

The Spokesman Review -- A man sent to prison after he allegedly led a police officer on a car chase will be released because there was no mention during his trial that the officer pursuing him was wearing a uniform.

The Washington Court of Appeal overturned the man’s conviction in a ruling last week.

Sean M. Wright, 31, was convicted of attempting to elude a police vehicle after a car chase on March 6, 2013. Evidence was presented that the officer’s car had its lights and sirens on, but Wright’s attorney argued that there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction on the charge because there was no evidence about the officer being in uniform.

According to court documents, Spokane police Officer Sean Wheeler checked the registration on the car Wright was driving and learned that Wright had a felony warrant  (go to article)

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Apple, Android systems to turn Chevy dashboards into smartphones

The Globe & Mail -- By the end of the year, nearly every major automaker will begin offering Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto, two systems that effectively turn a car’s dashboard screen into a smartphone.

General Motors made the biggest move so far Wednesday, announcing that both systems will be available in seven 2016 Chevrolet models starting in the summer. The Apple system will appear in seven additional Chevy models. Earlier in the week, Hyundai announced the Android system in the Sonata midsize car.  (go to article)

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Midland's XALT Energy says 300 new jobs 'just the beginning'

MLive -- MIDLAND, MI — Officials with advanced battery manufacturer XALT Energy are aiming to increase awareness of the Midland company and attract new employees.

To further that goal, they invited the public to a career fair Friday, May 29, in Midland.

Some anxious job seekers arrived before the start of the 11 a.m. event in the Chippewa Banquet Room at the Holiday Inn Midland, 810 Cinema Drive. The event runs until 4 p.m. Friday.

"They were lining up early," said XALT Energy Marketing Specialist Tina Kent. "They had several resumes that were dropped off at the front desk."

In March, XALT officials announced plans to hire 300 new employees to work at the company's Midland plant, located at 2700 S. Saginaw Road. About half of those new positions have been filled so far, with 86 hired this mont  (go to article)

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The full list of more than 1 million Canadian vehicles affected by air bag recall

The Globe & Mail -- A worldwide recall of faulty airbags made by Japan’s Takata Corp. has now widened to include more than 1.5 million vehicles in Canada.

Transport Canada released a detailed list of the affected vehicles on Thursday following Takata’s agreement with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week to declare 33.8 million airbags in the U.S. defective. That makes this the largest auto recall in U.S. history.  (go to article)

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Spark electric car’s price sparks a sales run

Detroit News -- It took a price cut to generate a run on Chevrolet’s 2015 Spark EV, with savvy car buyers realizing the lower price and federal electric vehicle tax credit can make for a super deal.

Chevrolet lowered the starting retail price for the plucky subcompact electric car to $25,995 last month, making it the lowest-priced 2015 electric car with two rows of seats offered in the U.S. by a major auto manufacturer. With the $7,500 tax credit, the purchase price can wind up at just $18,495 — akin to the price of a gasoline-powered small car like the Honda Fit EX.

There also are the savings the Spark provides: $80 or more a month on gas, according to the manufacturer, because the car uses only electricity. Even buyers who would prefer to lease the Spark EV can get in on the deal with Chevrolet’s $139  (go to article)

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Horsepower, what is it and what has it!

GasBuddy Blog -- Horsepower (hp).  The mere word brings a smile to most people, especially most men’s, faces.  The equation is simple the higher it is, the better it is!  I currently drive a V-6, but also have driven a couple 4 cylinder cars (Toyota multiple models & Hondas, again many models). I thoroughly enjoyed piloting 2 huge, awesome, gas guzzling v-8s (a 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic station wagon previously disclosed here and when the transmission fell out of that a 1973 Pontiac Catalina.  That beast had the fastest reverse gear I ever experienced. Attempting k turns was downright dangerous).  I definitely miss the last 2 cars the most.  I miss the size (I loved owning the road, the lane you were in). I also really miss loading each with my friends and some food & drinks and hitting the beach or a local park or lake.  You know what I miss the most.  I miss the power, the horsepower.  The ’78 wagon (my very first car) definitely ha  (go to article)

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OPEC officials cheer improving market ahead of Vienna talks

Arab News -- OPEC will meet next week amid rising global demand and a reduction in supply, which are both helping to support prices, two OPEC officials said after pre-meeting talks.

A calmer mood among national representatives and officials compared with the last OPEC meeting in November 2014 means it is likely to keep its production policies unchanged despite a persistent global oil glut.

OPEC refused to cut output at the November meeting, seeking to slow higher-cost production in the US and elsewhere that had been eroding its market share.

“The demand is getting better and there is a slight reduction in the supply. Prices are improving,” one of the officials told Reuters after experts discussions in Vienna, known as the economic commission board, which typically precedes the main meeting.
 (go to article)

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Federal Agencies Defend Response To California Oil Spill

AP -- On the afternoon of the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years, graduate student Natalie Phares quickly organized a volunteer bucket brigade to clean a beach north of Santa Barbara.

Seven hours after the discovery of the spill, she was surprised to find her small crew alone on the sand a half-mile east of Refugio State Beach, where the spill occurred. Aside from a couple boats skimming oil from the surface, she didn't see any other cleanup effort.

"It was disheartening," she said. Using headlamps, the 10 volunteers filled 91 buckets in three-and-a-half hours.

"As impressive as those 91 buckets looked it didn't make a dent," she said.

Phares' experience was echoed by others who witnessed the early aftermath of the May 19 spill that sent up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil...  (go to article)

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Using Apple Watch while Driving earns a Man $120 ticket

Uncover Michigan -- Quebec police issued a $120 (about £80) fine on Jeffery Macesin for using his Apple Watch while driving. Macesin told Montreal-based CTV News that the fine left him very surprised as he thought that it was alright to watch his Apple Watch while driving, as long as he was not doing anything on his smartphone.

“I have it in the bag charging while the auxiliary cable is plugged in to the radio and this controls my phone to play the music. So I was changing songs with my hand on the steering wheel”, he said.

He said that he noticed a cop car following him while he was going towards Vaudreuil. He thought that the cop car behind him just wanted him to give some space to let it move forward.

The justification given by the police officer for the ticket was Section 439.1 of the Quebec ...  (go to article)

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Super-luxury SUV sales up 44 percent

Cnbc -- Have a spare $75,000 to spend on a new vehicle?

There's no shortage of choices, but increasingly, the wealthy are opting for super-luxury SUVs instead of traditional sedans.

According to Truecar, the number of SUVs that have sold for at least $75,000 this year is up an astounding 44 percent. ( Tweet this ) That compares with 13.2 percent growth for cars above $75,000.
It's a trend that Truecar President John Krafcik said is just beginning, as more high-end automakers enter the space. On Wednesday, Lamborghini became the latest brand to confirm it will add an SUV to its lineup, with what many are calling the "Rambo Lambo." It's expected to hit showrooms in 2018, after which Lamborghini plans to sell 3,000 each year.  (go to article)

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Oklahoma is latest state to prevent local fracking bans

Fuel Fix -- Oklahoma cities and counties would no longer be able to ban hydraulic fracturing or other oil and gas operations within their boundaries under a bill signed into law on Friday by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Pushed hard by the oil and gas industry, but fiercely opposed by municipalities and environmental groups, the bill specifically prohibits cities or towns from banning operations such as drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations or pipeline infrastructure. Fracking is the practice of high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals underground to free deposits of oil and gas, which has led to a boom in U.S. energy production.

A similar ban was signed into law last week by Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, as energy producing states push back against efforts by local governme  (go to article)

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EPA Raises Fuel Requirements, Lowers Standards, Upsets Everybody

US News and World Report -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday announced long-overdue changes to how much corn-based ethanol and other biofuels are blended into American gasoline and diesel, proposing increases that fell short of targets set by Congress and prompted criticism from both supporters and opponents of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The standard, introduced and expanded under President George W. Bush, sets annual volume requirements for how much biofuel must be combined with the traditional fossil fuels that power roughly 270 million U.S. cars, trucks, boats and motorcycles.

It's heavily opposed by fossil fuels groups, ranchers, motor-vehicle organizations, conservative lawmakers and a handful of environmental advocates,who argue the standard amounts to little more than a corn subsidy that’s ...  (go to article)

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Windshield Devices Bring Distracted Driving Debate to Eye Level

New York Times -- Head-up displays like Navdy’s claim to reduce risk by projecting information from a smartphone into a driver’s line of vision, but some experts worry the additional stimulus will be too distracting.  (go to article)

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Fracking Ban In Maryland Will Go Into Law After Republican Governor Refuses To Veto

Think Progress -- At the end of the day on Friday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will become the first-ever Republican governor to allow a statewide moratorium on fracking.

A two-year ban on the natural gas extraction technique passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the state General Assembly earlier this year, and last weekend, Hogan announced that that he would not veto the bill. However, Hogan also said he wouldn’t sign the bill, instead simply allowing it to automatically become law under time restrictions for signing or vetoing. That time restriction expires at the end of the day on Friday.

Fracking entails injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals underground to crack shale rock and release oil and gas. Environmentalists have long been concerned about the risks fracking poses to d  (go to article)

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Feds’ plan to boost biofuel targets draws fire from all sides

Fuel Fix -- WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to boost the amount of biofuel that refiners must blend in gasoline this year and next but with planned quotas that fall short of ambitious targets dictated by federal law.

The result is that the Environmental Protection Agency plan unveiled Friday angered most major stakeholders, including refiners who say they’re being forced to use more ethanol than can realistically be consumed and biofuel boosters who say the oil industry is stifling their growth.

Top EPA official Janet McCabe repeatedly stressed to reporters Friday that the proposal is “ambitious, but responsible,” reflecting two competing realities: Lawmakers’ desire in an eight-year-old law to boost biofuel use in the United States and market constraints limiting how much...  (go to article)

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OPEC says that its war with shale is far from won

QZ -- OPEC is once again at odds with the market. This time, it’s not about the cartel’s strategy to dominate the oil trade. Instead, OPEC is in a debate with industry analysts and traders who are declaring the cartel the winner in a months-long war with US shale oil.

In a draft long-term strategy paper obtained by Reuters, OPEC—ahead of its June 5 gathering in Vienna—concludes that its days of misery will last for quite a while longer. Shale oil, a much hardier enemy than OPEC had once presumed, will keep oil prices relatively low for another two years and perhaps longer, the cartel says.

If OPEC is right—and by extension, traders are wrong—look for the pressure to increase on the countries that rely on oil exports to support their government spending. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, for example, ha  (go to article)

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GM recalls 375,000 heavy-duty trucks with Takata airbags

Automotive News -- DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors is recalling about 375,000 heavy-duty pickup trucks equipped with passenger-side airbag inflators made by Takata Corp.

The trucks are 2007 and 2008 model Chevrolet Silverados and GM Sierras.

Subaru will expand its recall of 2004 and 2005 model Impreza compact cars with Takata airbags to about 80,000 from 20,000, the company said Friday.

Both automakers said they have received no reports of inadvertent deployments of airbags in the vehicles.

The latest actions follow an agreement last week between Takata and U.S. safety regulators to expand the recalls of vehicles with potentially faulty Takata airbag inflators.

The inflators have exploded with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicles. Six people have been killed, all of them in Honda...  (go to article)

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Ethanol groups blast EPA over renewable fuel mandate

USA Today -- Obama administration Friday proposed lowering the amount of ethanol that must be blended into America's gasoline supply through next year, angering the renewable fuel industry that has fought to keep the volumes in line with much more aggressive targets set by Congress.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled what it called an "ambitious, but responsible" proposal that balanced the Obama administration's commitment to grow renewable fuel use, while acknowledging that congressional forecasts were no longer realistic, given production and consumption changes that have occurred since they were put in place.
 (go to article)

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U.S. Oil Contango Vanishing as Supply Glut Shifts Abroad

Reuters -- The U.S. oil market is on the brink of returning to a more bullish footing known as backwardation for the first time in six months, with the discount for prompt supplies vanishing as a domestic supply glut eases.

The discount for prompt U.S. oil futures versus the second-month contract - a structure known as "contango" that signals a weak market - narrowed to its smallest in five months on Friday as strong demand and flattening production added to expectations that domestic stockpiles will continue to fall over the summer.

If that spread flips to a premium, known as "backwardation," it would come in sharp contrast to the global Brent futures , which is showing no signs of emerging from its 50-cent contango. On Thursday a prompt cargo of Forties crude, part of the European benchmark, trad  (go to article)

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Nenshi says Keystone XL bearing 'sins of the carbon economy'

CBC News - CALGARY -- According to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the Keystone XL pipeline is carrying a heavy psychic burden.
"For some reason that one-metre pipe has been asked to bear all the sins of the carbon economy," he said on CNBC during a trip to New York City as part of a Calgary Economic Development trade mission.
"Not having Keystone is not going to end the carbon necessity, or it's not going to change climate change, but somehow that one pipeline is bearing all of this," he said.
There has been a large protest movement against the project. Thousands of people in North America have gathered in the past to voice their concerns.
Nenshi said market access is critical for Alberta's economy, as is the need to diversify beyond a single client in the U.S.
He says we need an all-of-the-above strategy, with  (go to article)

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Leaving pet in hot car should mean $500 fine: Winnipeg woman

Metro News -- Rosemarie Gauthier is sick of people leaving pets in hot cars in Winnipeg, and now she’s doing something about it.
Gauthier, a 43-year-old River Heights resident, has started a petition that demands people fined $500 for leaving pets in vehicles with the windows up on days that reach 23C or higher.
“Over the years I’ve seen people leaving their dogs in cars on hot days, and what you end up seeing is panicked people running around trying to find the owner.”
“And the people trying to be helpful are usually the ones met with a bad attitude and rolled eyes when they do find the owner.”
She said she wants people to stop thinking of pets as property.
“People have to remember these animals are helpless. They can’t open the door or roll down the window, and if people did this to a child they’d be  (go to article)

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Apple-Leased Vans Gathering Maps Info for Shift to In-House Mapping Database

MacRumors -- For the past several months, Apple-leased Dodge Caravans with equipment-laden roofs have been spotted driving around the United States. While early speculation suggested the vans could be Apple's first attempt at developing a self-driving vehicle, it quickly became clear that the vans were being used for mapping purposes.

The Dodge Caravans are all outfitted with an array of LIDAR cameras, much like the vehicles that Google uses to capture images for its Street View mapping feature, so it is no surprise that a report shared today by 9to5Mac suggests the images and data from the vans is going to be used for future improvements to Apple's Maps feature. Here at MacRumors, we have been aggregating Apple van sightings to give a clear picture of the areas where Apple is currently focusing its  (go to article)

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Oil leaps 5 percent as dollar rally stalls, U.S. rigs fall

Yahoo finance -- NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil prices jumped almost 5 percent on Friday, their biggest rally in 1-1/2 months, as a steady U.S. dollar and a bigger than expected drop in U.S. oil rigs in operation set off a renewed rush of bullish bets.

U.S. crude has risen by as much as $4 a barrel after hitting a one-month low just a day ago, locking in a record 11th weekly gain that was propelled both by declining domestic oil inventories and rapidly shifting sentiment ahead of next week's OPEC meeting, at which the group is expected to keep production at high levels.

Oil bulls were also enthused by Friday's rig count data from Baker Hughes, which showed U.S. drillers again reducing the number of rigs in operation this week despite speculation that they would add more. A lower rig count signals potenti  (go to article)

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USDA to Invest $100 Million in Grants for Ethanol Fuel Pumps

Downstream Today (Reuters) -- Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Friday the agency will invest up to $100 million in grants for fuel pumps at gas stations to distribute higher ethanol blends known as E15 and E85.

Vilsack told reporters on a conference call that the agency will match state funds to install fuel pumps and tanks. The grants could be awarded by September, he said.

"The industry obviously wants to see an opportunity for us to access higher blends and we are looking forward to partnering with states," Vilsack said.

Most fuel stations in the United States sell basic unleaded gasoline containing about 10 percent ethanol, with additional pumps offering premium-grade gasoline. But few stations offer the higher-ethanol blends that can be used by the estimated 17 million "flex fuel" vehicle  (go to article)

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2015, 2016 Renewable Fuel Standards designed to break E10 blend wall: US EPA

Platts -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standards that call for biofuels blending below the statutory levels required by the law, but which the agency says will spur the adoption of ethanol blends higher than 10%.

The 2014 RFS calls for 15.93 billion gallons of biofuels to be blended with US transportation fuels, 16.30 billion gallons in 2015 and 17.40 billion gallons in 2016.

"The proposed volume requirements would push the fuels sector to produce and blend more renewable fuels in 2015 and 2016 in a manner that is consistent with the goals Congress envisioned," the EPA said in its proposed rule. "The proposed volumes are less than the statutory targets for 2015 and 2016 but higher than what the market would produce and use in the absen  (go to article)

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Lawmakers to automakers: How are you protecting cars from cyberattacks?

washingtonpost.com -- The computerized car revolution is here: New cars often contain technology to control or monitor everything from tire pressure to the music you're listening to. Some even come with WiFi hotspots built into the dashboards. And companies like Google are predicting cars that can drive themselves within a generation.

But in era in which cyberattacks have become an almost daily occurrence, some are increasingly concerned about a potential downside to these advancements.

Ten members of the House of Energy and Commerce Committee are questioning how the government and auto-makers are prepping for the potential cybersecurity risks of reliance on software in vehicles.  (go to article)

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Where Are Gas Prices Headed?

CSPnet.com -- NEW YORK -- After a dramatic 6-month decline in fuel prices and with the price at the pump peaking for the year this Memorial Day Weekend, CSP Daily News asked oil analyst Walter Zimmermann for his take on where things will go from here. Here is his exclusive analysis.

Petro-complex Update

As I write this, Brent crude oil is finally breaking below its key $64 support level. An average spring-to-summer decline will target the $54 area. An average spring-to-summer decline in WTI targets the $49 area. In ULSD (ultra-low-sulfur diesel), a break below $1.7400 per gallon will open the door for a dump that may fall as low as the $1.3000 area by year end. However it is in RBOB where the bulk of the speculative length had been residing. I say “had been” because those speculating bulls seem to be  (go to article)

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More Vacationers Will Pile Into the Car This Summer

CSPnet.com -- ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- One in four Americans (27%) said they will take more time on vacation trips this summer, and 86% said they will travel by car, according to new consumer survey results from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Sixty-one percent of vacationers cited affordability as the top reason to travel by car, which is up from 54% last summer when gas prices were, on average, just over $1 more per gallon.

While more vacationers will be traveling by car, they will be staying closer to home. Four in 10 (42%) say they will vacation within their state, up from 38% last year.

Regardless of the length of the trip, vacationers on the road this summer say they plan to stop along the way to use the bathroom (76%), get gas (69%) or get food or drinks (67%)—and convenience  (go to article)

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U.S. oil drillers pull 13 rigs, biggest drop in 4 weeks -Baker Hughes

Reuters --
May 29 Energy firms pulled another 13 rigs from U.S. oil fields this week, the biggest drop in four weeks, data showed on Friday, showing that a near six-month slump in activity had yet to run its course despite a rebound in crude oil prices.

That was the 25th straight weekly decline, bringing the total rig count down to 646, the lowest since August 2010, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report.

However, in the Eagle Ford basin in South Texas, the nation's second biggest shale oil field, drillers added one oil rig in the third weekly increase in a row, bringing the total up to 90.

The market has been eyeing the U.S. rig count and the increases of a few rigs in some basins over the past few weeks ahead of next week's meeting of the Organization of the P  (go to article)

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Fuel economy standards here to stay: ex-regulator

The Toronto Star -- Margo Oge knows the hard effort it took to achieve the fuel-economy standards for American cars that are intended to halve gasoline consumption by 2025.

Oge, recently retired, was director of transportation and air quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when the Obama administration decided to impose the first new limits in more than three decades.
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EPA unveils 'ambitious yet responsible' biofuel targets

Reuters -- U.S. regulators on Friday unveiled much-anticipated targets for the blending of renewable fuels into motor fuel for the three years to 2016, proposing some 17.4 billion gallons of renewable fuels must be used in gasoline or diesel next year.

Ending years-long uncertainty about the U.S. renewable fuels policy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday announced a proposed target that 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuels should be mixed into the country's fuel supply this year.

That would rise to over 17 billion gallons in 2016.

The EPA also revised the 2014 target up to 15.93 billion from the previous proposal of 15.21 billion gallons.
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Flooded Cars: You’re Stuck, What Next

GasBuddy Blog -- As flood waters ravage Texas and other parts of the country, flash floods occur in a second and planning ahead may save you or your property. While flooded car prevention tips may not be new to you, refreshing your memory can quicken response times in case of an emergency. As you make your way through emergency preparedness tips, although the majority of tips may be known, the one tip you didn’t know could be the one to save you....  (go to article)

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What jump? Record U.S. oil output due to revisions, not rigs, EIA says

Cnbc -- A reported jump in weekly U.S. crude production data that set oil traders atwitter on Thursday was chiefly caused by revisions to two-month-old figures, not a surge in immediate output, a U.S. official said.

On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed field production of crude oil rose by 304,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.57 million bpd last week, the highest in weekly records going back to 1983. Monthly data show U.S. output peaked at 10.04 million bpd in November 1970.

While skepticism over the EIA's model-based weekly production estimates is not new, the dramatic increase still surprised traders and investors from London to Houston, causing some to question whether the years-long shale boom was petering out. Oil prices vacillated after t  (go to article)

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Gasoline prices drop slightly in Texas

Fuel fix -- Gas prices across Texas dropped by one cent this week.

AAA Texas said Thursday that the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Texas is now at $2.51. That’s 94 cents less per gallon than last year.

Texans are paying 23 cents less than the national average, which now sits at $2.74. Gas stations in Houston averaged 2.49 Thursday afternoon, according to GasBuddy.com.

Drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average at $2.65 per gallon. Drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $2.42 per gallon.

Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude and localized refinery issues.  (go to article)

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Natrual Gas Prices Decline

Yahoo Finance -- Natural gas price movement
This series analyzes natural gas prices and fundamentals. For an in-depth look at natural gas and related companies, sectors, and drivers, please refer to our Energy and Power page.

The July natural gas futures contract fell marginally by 0.25% on Wednesday—led by the consensus of increasing natural gas inventory. Prices dropped for the third day and closed at $2.81 per MMBtu (British thermal units in millions) on May 27, 2015. Gas tracking ETFs like the United States Natural Gas Fund LP ETF (UNG) followed the footsteps of natural gas prices in yesterday’s trade. UNG fell by 0.29% and closed at $13.78 on Wednesday, May 27.
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Delmarva's Natural Gas Rate Draws Objection

Delaware Online -- Delaware’s chemical industry has branded as unfair and “burdensome” a proposed new Delmarva Power natural gas rate plan that would lower costs slightly for residential customers, while bumping some larger-user costs up by as much as 30 percent.
The changes, now before the Public Service Commission, would affect the way Delmarva bills for balancing costs for larger- or smaller-than-planned gas deliveries to some classes of customers, and for some expenses to maintain pressure in parts of its system.
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Source of oil spill likely local, not Santa Barbara; beaches to remain closed

EasyReaderNews -- The source of the oil that has been washing ashore South Bay beaches is most likely local and not from the Santa Barbara oil spill, an expert from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson said Thursday.

“It’s hard to imagine that it would travel 100 miles, hit one piece of shoreline and not hit other places or be detected,” said Doug Helton, the Incident Operations Coordinator for NOAA’s Emergency Response Division, which responds to oil spills across the county.

NOAA is assessing whether it is possible that the tar balls are coming from Santa Barbara at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We’re doing the modeling right now,” said Helton.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard, Petty Officer Michael Anderson, said that the probability  (go to article)

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Crude oil inventories fall again, but production jumps

Fuel Fix / Houston Chronicle -- HOUSTON — U.S. crude oil prices gave up ground Thursday morning, as Energy Department data showed falling inventories but rising production.
Next-month West Texas Intermediate crude futures changed hands at $57.05, down 46 cents or 0.8 percent in early trading Thursday.
U.S. commercial stores of crude oil fell by for the fourth consecutive week, this time by 2.8 million barrels to a total of 479.4 million barrels, according to U.S. Energy Information .
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US March gasoline demand highest for month since 2008: EIA

Reuters -- U.S. gasoline demand rose more than 4 percent in March to nearly 9.06 million barrels a day, the highest level for the month since 2008, monthly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released on Thursday showed.

March demand increased 4.7 percent compared with the previous month and 4.3 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
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Michigan's left lane hogs have been at this for decades, despite signage and enforcement

MLive -- You're going 70 miles per hour on a two-lane highway. You move to the left to pass a big truck and -- brakes! -- you're stuck behind somebody going 65 miles per hour in the left lane.

That situation should sound familiar to Michigan drivers. With the vehicles in the right and left lane moving around 65 miles per hour you slow down and wait for one vehicle to inch its way past the other and go on your way. As Vox explains, the people traveling in the left lane at lower speeds than other traffic create a ripple effect and slow everybody down.

And it's not just annoying; it's the law. We're all supposed to be driving "upon the right half of the roadway," in legal terms. There are a few exceptions when drivers can move into the left lane:

* to pass a vehicle in the right lane
when the right  (go to article)

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USGC refiners hold onto their gasoline, as Midwest refiners seek supplies

Platts -- On the backdrop of the severe storms in East Texas, US Gulf Coast refiners are holding onto gasoline barrels at the same time distressed Midwestern buyers are looking to bring supplies north, Gulf Coast trading sources said Thursday.

"I heard only one seller is out there," one source said.

A second source said he had heard of Midwest buyers sourcing barrels for both Chicago and Group 3, "with refiners hoarding" their stocks in the USGC.

Several Midwest refiners have been experiencing production problems. The market has known about issues at ExxonMobil's Joliet, Illinois, refinery and Citgo's Lemont, Illinois, refinery for several days, and talk began circulating Thursday of issues at PBF's Toledo, Ohio, refinery.

It looks likely that refiners with production problems would be looking t  (go to article)

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