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TransCanada bids $848M US to buy rest of Columbia Pipeline Partnership

CBC News - CAKGARY -- TransCanada is offering about $848M cash to buy all the equity in Columbia Pipelinet hat it doesn't already own, strengthening its grip on a pipeline network that stretches from New York to the Gulf of Mexico
The company's offer to other investors in the Houston-based LP follows TransCanada's purchase of the Columbia Pipeline. That deal was valued at $13B, including $2.8B in debt
TransCanada effectively became the main partner of Columbia Pipeline on July 1 and Monday's announcement indicates it plans to buy out the other investors in CPPL for $15.75 per common unit
It says the offer is 11.3% above the 30-day average closing price for the partnership units
The limited partnership has interests in 3 regulated U.S. natural gas pipelines that serve markets extending from New York to the Gulf  (go to article)

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Problem with your hybrid? Burn more gas, Ford tells owner

CBC News - NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR -- Ford has told a NF&L woman who has had ongoing issues with her hybrid vehicle that she hasn't been using the gas engine enough — which she says defeats the purpose of owning it
The automaker said the problem could be solved with changes to her driving habits, and is working with Sweeney to find a solution
But Sweeney is worried she's stuck with a $40K paperweight
"I just want a car that works
Sweeney bought her brand new Ford Fusion Hybrid in May 2014. According to the owner's manual, the vehicle uses a combination of electricity and gasoline for improved efficiency
"We thought this was a way of doing our part for the environment
The problems started a year later, when the check engine light came on
Since then, the car has been back and forth for servicing at the dealership 4 times, and ou  (go to article)

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Short Sellers Run for Cover From Major Oil

24/7 Wall St -- The short interest data have been released for the September 15 settlement date. With oil prices seemingly on the slow path to recovery and the Dow and S&P 500 still near highs, short interest is now more important than ever to follow. Although crude oil prices have backed off slightly as of late, these major oil companies have responded in kind.

The September 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for the selected oil stocks was largely down.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 34.37 million shares from the previous reading of 31.26 million. Its shares closed Monday at $98.78, in a 52-week trading range of $75.28 to $107.58.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) had short interest that rose to 54.17 million shares ...  (go to article)

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Oil prices slip as hopes for a deal in Algiers fade

Reuters -- Crude oil futures fell on Tuesday as optimism faded for an output-limiting deal from an oil producer meeting in Algeria that has so far failed to yield any agreement to curb one of the worst supply gluts in history.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday dashed hopes that OPEC oil producers could clinch a deal in Algeria this week after sources within the exporter group said differences between the kingdom and rival Iran remained too wide.

Brent crude futures slipped 85 cents to $46.50 a barrel by 1113 GMT, having closed up $1.46, or 3.2 percent, in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 79 cents to $45.14 a barrel, after rising $1.45, or 3.3 percent, in the previous session.  (go to article)

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Oil prices slide more than 2% after Iran, Saudis douse hopes for output deal

MarketWatch -- Crude oil futures dropped sharply Tuesday after both Iran and Saudi Arabia played down expectations for a deal to freeze or cut oil production at the closely watched informal OPEC meeting on Wednesday.

Both countries said the meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other heavyweight producers such as Russia, is only “consultative,” reinforcing views that major oil nations will walk away from the negotiations without an agreement.

Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November to $44.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent crude traded on London’s ICE Futures Europe fell $1.23 cents, or 2.6%, to $46.70 a barrel.

“Any hopes for a crude output freeze being agreed [to] in Algiers this week have been dashed today after  (go to article)

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Activists Determined to End Fracking Try to Convince Ohioans that Methane Rules Create Jobs

Energy in Depth -- If at first you don’t succeed try…recycling? That’s the playbook behind a new report stating that “50,000 jobs would be created” by methane regulations, which was released this week through the “Bluegreen Alliance.”

The “Bluegreen Alliance” includes some unions, regulation supporters like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and several anti-fracking groups like the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report itself is essentially a reprint of a report by Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) published just a few months ago that also claimed new methane regulations would “create good jobs” – and that report was based off of a 2014 EDF-commissioned report that presented the same argument. However, the f  (go to article)

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Goldman Sachs trims its oil price forecast as supply surplus grows

CNBC -- U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs has lowered its forecast for the price of oil price, saying its supply-demand balance for the fourth quarter of 2016 is weaker than previously expected.

"We are lowering our (fourth quarter) forecast to $43 (per barrel) from $50 (per barrel) previously," a commodity research team at the bank, led by Damien Courvalin, said in a note published Tuesday.

"Given upside surprises to (third-quarter) production and greater clarity on new project delivery into year-end. This leaves us expecting a global surplus of 400,000 (barrels per day) in (the fourth quarter) versus a 300,000 (barrels per day) draw previously."

It added that this forecast only assumed a limited additional increase in production by Libya and Nigeria. It added that a potential deal between  (go to article)

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Food & Water Watch Sends Fact Free Letter to EPA on Groundwater Study

Energy in Depth -- Anti-fracking activists may not have liked the outcome, but EPA’s science advisors looked at EPA’s groundwater study over the course of several months and in their final recommendations, they did not ask EPA to change its topline finding.

The EPA found, after five years of intensive study that while oil and natural gas development (or indeed any kind of energy development) is not risk free, fracking does not pose an inherent threat to drinking water. As EPA put it, “hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources.”  (go to article)

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Oil prices slide more than 1% after Iran, Saudis douse hopes for production deal

MarketWatch.com -- Crude oil prices dropped sharply on Tuesday after both Iran and Saudi Arabia played down expectations for a deal to freeze or cut oil production at the closely watched informal OPEC meeting on Wednesday.

Both countries said the meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other heavyweight producers such as Russia, is only “consultative,” reinforcing views that major oil nations will walk away from the negotiations without a pact.

Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November CLX6, -1.89% fell 57 cents, or 1.2%, to $45.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent crude LCOX6, -2.07% traded on London’s ICE Futures Europe fell 62 cents, or 1.3%, to $46.73 a barrel.

“Any hopes for a crude output freeze being agreed [to] in A  (go to article)

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If LEDs Are Bad for Our Health, What Should Cities Do Now?

Planetizen -- Cities all over the country are adding LED lights to streets and roadways all over the country, seeking energy efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements. A new report, however, raises alarms about the health impacts of the lights. Michael Ollove reports:

The American Medical Association issued a warning in June that high-intensity LED streetlights — such as those in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and elsewhere — emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and possibly increase the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease  (go to article)

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Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask About Prop. 13

Planetizen -- The California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released a new report to detail Prop. 13—a 1978 law that limited property taxes in the state with consequences lasting to this day.

The report, titled "Common Claims About Proposition 13," endeavors to answer the many questions about the impact of the law, with the data available to the LAO.  (go to article)

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New Florida law cracks down on gas station skimmers

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..flickr.comIf you read your morning paper or tune in to the evening news you know that in just about every state law enforcement is being called much more often these days to investigate thefts from gas station skimmers. Unsuspecting motorists whose credit or debit cards are fraudulently tapped can be exposed to substantial losses. 

Local police, states' Attorneys General, and even the U.S. Secret Service have been called into these investigations from coast to coast.  And so far, it looks like the good guys are losing the war.  Part of the problem lies with the convenience stores and retail gas stations. They're still using 19th century technology in a 21st century battle.   Think about it.  A universal key that opens almost every gas pump?  In 2016?  ...  (go to article)

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Whitehorse MADD chapter vows to make drunk driving laws an election issue

CBC News - NORTH -- In recent years Yukon has topped or come 2nd to the NWT for the highest number per capita of impaired driving incidents in the country, according to Statistics Canada
"We want to work with a government that is willing to recognize how important these statistics are
The CEO of the MADD Canada says the territorial government can make a difference
He points to provincial laws that kick in when drivers go above .05 blood alcohol content with fines and other sanctions including vehicle impoundment
"You know quite frankly people do not want their vehicles impounded and so they will change their habits and attitudes when it comes to drinking and driving and it's become a huge breakthrough for our organization
The Whitehorse chapter of MADD will be putting that issue to the political parties in th  (go to article)

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Fire crews used box-cutters to free man severely burned in tar spill

CBC News -TORONTO -- Armed with grinding wheels and box cutters, fire crews painstakingly worked to cut away at quickly hardening tar that severely burned and enveloped a man after spilling from a 5-tonne truck in Toronto on Monday morning
As the clock ticked, the molten tar cooled, solidifying with each passing second. But underneath the surface, the tar was still a scalding 400F — hot enough to severely burn not only on the man, but also the crews working to free him
"We train for everything…but this this is something we've not seen to this extent before
A total of 18 firefighters and 4 trucks were called to Logan and Danforth, just before 8AM after a road-repair truck carrying the hot liquid was forced to come to a hard stop
The tar overflowed, covering a 46-year-old worker, who had been at the back of the  (go to article)

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Iran is changing the way it sells oil and gas

BUSINESS INSIDER-OilPrice.com -- It’s been an eventful week in oil. With reports from top producer Saudi Arabia showing record August production of 7.622 million barrels per day — weighing on market sentiment. And on the flip side, oil workers in Norway launching a strike involving a full 300 members that could halt production.

But the news was decidedly positive from one critical corner of the oil and gas world.

Iran.

Crude sellers in this emerging producer got a lift from India. When that nation announced it will likely buy 6 million barrels of Iranian crude in order to fill a strategic petroleum reserve.
But the biggest news came from Iran’s parliament. Which said it has finally agreed on a long-awaited new model for foreign petroleum contracts in the country.

The oil and gas world has been eagerly awaiting this...  (go to article)

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Just what we needed Dept: Volvo develops bus that honks at pedestrians automatically

treehugger.com -- Volvo is introducing electric buses and they are not very noisy. In fact, they are almost silent; that's why Volvo is building in noisemakers. According to Peter Danielsson, Director Vehicle Features and Safety at Volvo Buses, a Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection System will set if there is a pedestrian around.

The bus can be heard – but without being disruptive. We’ve solved this problem by developing a synthetic background sound with a frequency range that is not perceived as disruptive. For instance, it does not penetrate windows with triple glazing, unlike the low-frequency noise made by a diesel engine.”

But if the pedestrian doesn't take notice, it will get more aggressive. The Volvo press release notes that " it is important that drivers and anyone moving around near buses – such a
 (go to article)

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Uber's Demand Curve Is a Breakthrough for Users and Economists

Planetizen -- Steven Levitt, author of the best-selling Freakonomics, along with other researchers at the University of Chicago and Oxford worked together with Uber to map out the Uber demand curve, "showing U.S. consumers alone are reaping billions of dollars a year in benefits, far greater than the losses borne by taxi owners."  (go to article)

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How Detroit Beat the Silicon Valley to the Breakthrough Electric Vehicle

Planetizen -- It costs less than $40,000 and gets over 200 miles to a charge. The Tesla Model 3? Yes, and also the Chevy Bolt, which goes to market first. A New York Times technology columnist writes that 'size matters' when it comes to innovation.  (go to article)

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Can Mexico's first supercar compete with the best?

CNN Style -- When you think of famous car-producing nations, Mexico is probably not at the top of your list.

But two brothers, Guillermo and Iker Echevarría, are on a mission to change that with a two-seater built by their own fledgling manufacturer, Vuhl.

Vuhl's first creation, the 05 is a bare-bones halfway home between the sort of car that only cares about going fast around the track, and one that provides more accessible B-road thrills. Yet the fact its 2.0-liter Ford engine develops 285 bhp in something that has a dry weight of 695 kilograms means it is anything but short on performance.

The speed at which the 05 went from an idea to a car you can buy is no less impressive than its design. The 05 first surfaced in concept form back in 2013.

Three years later, sales of the Vuhl 05 have begun.  (go to article)

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President Obama Tells Tribes 'You're Making Your Voices Heard'

NBC News -- The pipeline has evidently touched a nerve across America's Indian Country. For weeks, over 300 tribes have joined thousands of others at Cannon Ball, North Dakota — the site of the Oceti Sakowin Camp — with about 10 tribes joining by the day, according to Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. It has become one of the largest organized Native American protests in decades.

On Sept. 16, a federal appeals court ruled to officially halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that traverses Sioux land to give the court more time as it assessed concerns that the pipeline could destroy sacred sites and burial grounds.  (go to article)

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New car mileage estimates drop as EPA changes test formula

AP Via Yahoo News -- Highway gas mileage estimates for about one-third of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will fall by one mile per gallon because the government has changed the way it calculates the numbers on the window sticker.

The change, which begins with the 2017 model year, comes largely because people are loading up cars with more options such as heated seats that use electricity and create drag on engines. They're also running air conditioning more than in the past, and they're driving faster, both of which cut into mileage.

At least initially, it could make it hard for buyers to compare the mileage of vehicles from one model year to the next, although the government says it will update numbers in the next few weeks so older cars reflect the change.  (go to article)

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Agency probes whether California Dem Party funneled illicit oil donations to governor

Fox News -- California’s campaign finance watchdog agency is looking into allegations the state’s Democratic Party funneled millions of dollars from oil and energy companies to high-profile politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2014 reelection campaign.

“It was a laundry machine for dirty energy contributions to the Brown administration, a slush fund of sorts, hiding big oil, utility and other dirty energy dollars in close proximity to officials’ actions,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, the group that brought the complaint.
 (go to article)

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The U.S. is on course to miss its emissions goals, and one reason is methane By Chris Mooney Septem

Washington Post -- Earlier this year, the U.S. EPA increased its estimate for how much methane is being emitted by the oil and gas sector, and by the U.S. overall, in recent years. The new study has more or less done something similar.

“We made some corrections to the 2005 and 2025 estimates for methane,” says Greenblatt. In particular, he said, in 2005 these changes added 400 million additional tons of carbon dioxide equivalents emitted as methane.

Greenblatt emphasized that assumptions of higher methane emissions aren’t the only reason that the U.S. could miss its goals, but that it’s a significant one. “An increasing amount of methane emissions is part of the story,” he said.  (go to article)

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Human Driver Crashes in Google Sel-Driving Car

MSN Autos -- This Friday, a human driver crashed into a Google self-driving car in Mountain View, California. Google says the vehicle was driving autonomously at the time of the crash. The car began to break when it noticed the other vehicle, a commercial van, coming towards it. The passenger riding in the drivers' seat of the Google Lexus RX took control of the vehicle as the crash happened and applied the breaks as well. The van was running a red light at the time of the accident. No one was injured in the crash.

Google released a statement about the collision:

"Thousands of crashes happen everyday on U.S. roads, and red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes in the U.S. Human error plays a role in 94% of these crashes, which is why we're developing fully self-driving technology to t  (go to article)

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Renault, Nissan Partner with Microsoft for Connected Car Technology

Reuters -- Renault SA's carmaking alliance with Nissan Motor Co is partnering with Microsoft Corp to develop cloud-based services for cars, a step toward the group's plans to build self-driving automobiles by 2020.

The services, based on Microsoft's Azure cloud service, will include advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and over-the-air software updates.

 (go to article)

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Here's how selfies will keep you safe when hailing an Uber

autoblog.com -- Uber now requires that drivers periodically take a selfie that will then be compared to an image on file. The selfie requirement is part of Uber's Real-Time ID Check that utilizes Microsoft Cognitive Services to ensure riders know exactly who their driver is. Before going online and sporadically in between their work hours, Uber drivers will be asked to take a selfie. Verification, Uber claims, only takes a few seconds. If the image doesn't match the one on file, the Uber driver's account will be temporarily blocked.  (go to article)

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CAUSE CLASS-ACTION FORD SHATTERING SUNROOFS LAWSUIT

CarComplaints.com -- September 22, 2016 — Owners who have complained about Ford shattering sunroofs have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the panoramic sunroofs in 16 Ford models can shatter without warning while driving.
The Ford shattering sunroof lawsuit was filed by Douglas and Kathleen Krebsbach, owners of a 2013 Ford Escape equipped with a panoramic sunroof, and one of the Ford models named as the problematic vehicles.
 (go to article)

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Here's how much of the US would need to be covered in wind turbines to power the nation

Business Insider -- On Sept. 27, the US District Court of Appeals in Washington DC will hear arguments over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which dictates carbon-cutting standards for states based on their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Supreme Court put a hold on enforcement of the plan in February to allow legal challenges to it to be resolved in court. If the Court of Appeals rules that the government can legally enforcement the plan, the country would have to start using a lot more renewable energy (like wind and solar) by the year 2030 — and much less coal.

Wind farms still provide less than 5% of the nation's energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

But what would the US only powered by wind actually look like?  (go to article)

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Elected Officials, Union and Business Leaders Tout Fracking at Shale Insight Conference

Energy in Depth -- As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Jim Kunz, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, explained how shale turned the job situation around for his union:

“Half a dozen years ago, Mr. Kunz said his union was nearing 10 percent unemployment. A year later, when the shale industry started to take off, employment ramped up to 100 percent. In fact, Mr. Kunz said, the local had to recruit operators from other areas to fill the need.

And while he’s seen a dip in jobs in the past year that parallels the oil and gas downturn, he expects to be back up to full employment next year.

“It’s all driven by this industry,” he said.  (go to article)

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40 of 50 states see prices ease today; southeast pump prices recede following ColPipe repairs

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..flickr.comBOSTON --(Sept. 26) - The repair last week of Colonial Pipeline's Line #1 and pending recovery of gasoline supply to many eastern states has brought the national average price of gasoline to $2.20/gal.  

While that's only a nominal decrease from the $2.21 reported last week, it's a signal that the spikes experienced in most of the states directly impacted by the Colonial Pipeline damage in Alabama (reported Sept. 9th) are clearly receding.

Since the damage occurred Alabama's average peaked at $2.08 and today stands at $2.07. Georgia's average peaked last week at $2.37 and is now $2.35. N. Carolina peaked at $2.22 and is now $2.21. S. Carolina peaked at $2.11 and, fortunately, has slipped to $2.09.   

However, Tennessee's and Virginia's state averages remain near peak levels, at $2.16 and $2.10 respectively. Atlanta, the U.S. metro market hit hardest by the damage, saw prices spike by 35 cents reaching a peak avera  (go to article)

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Saudi Aramco Sees Oil Demand ‘Steady’ as Supply Growth Slows

The Washington Post with Bloomberg -- Slower growth in oil supply is helping the crude market to re-balance, and prices are set to increase over time, according to the head of the world’s biggest producer.

As investments in new oil and natural gas capacity have been being canceled or deferred worldwide, supply is rising more slowly, especially production of U.S. shale oil, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said Monday. Global demand is “on a steady, if moderate course,” he said in a speech at a conference in Dubai.

“Despite volatility, the market is heading toward re-balance, and prices are likely to strengthen with time,” Nasser said. “However, market volatility could remain with us for the near future.”

Oil-producing nations have been considering limiting output to counter a global glut that ...  (go to article)

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Oil rises as OPEC meets, volatility hits post-Doha high

Reuters -- Oil rallied on Monday as the world's largest producers gathered in Algeria to discuss ways to support the market, with nervous trade driving volatility to its highest since exporters met in April.

Scepticism about any deal being reached has prompted money managers to cut their bullish bets to a one-month low last week, when prices fell by nearly 5 percent, dented by signs Saudi Arabia and Iran were making little progress in achieving a preliminary agreement to freeze production.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are meeting informally on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26-28, where they will discuss a possible deal to limit output.

Brent crude futures rose 73 cents to $46.62 a barrel by 1052 GMT, having rallied ...  (go to article)

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Addicted to oil: US gasoline consumption is higher than ever

The Conversation.com -- August was the biggest month ever for U.S. gasoline consumption. Americans used a staggering 9.7 million barrels per day. That’s more than a gallon per day for every U.S. man, woman and child.

The new peak comes as a surprise to many. In 2012, energy expert Daniel Yergin said, “The U.S. has already reached what we can call`peak demand.” Many others agreed. The U.S. Department of Energy forecast in 2012 that U.S. gasoline consumption would steadily decline for the foreseeable future.

This seemed to make sense at the time. U.S. gasoline consumption had declined for five years in a row and, in 2012, was a million barrels per day below its July 2007 peak. Also in August 2012, President Obama had just announced aggressive new fuel economy standards that would push average vehicle fuel economy  (go to article)

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Verizon flexes its driverless auto muscles

Detroit News -- As Detroit automakers and Silicon Valley tech companies compete over autonomous vehicles, Verizon Communications Inc. is positioning itself to be the leader in managing and analyzing those fleets of self-driving cars.

The New York-based telecommunications giant is rapidly becoming the largest player in telematics — a combination of telecommunications, vehicular technologies and real-time wireless data that are central to connected cars and self-driving vehicles.

“There’s still a lot to be determined about the future and how autonomous vehicles and other developments in the automobile industry play out,” said Andres Irlando, the CEO of Verizon Telematics Inc. “But the collection of assets that we have and we’re building will absolutely make us a player in that space.”

Those assets have  (go to article)

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In gas drilling country, the honeymoon is over on royalties

Pennlive-AP -- Jan Brown pores over his royalty statement and wonders where all the money went.

A few months ago, the nation's second-largest natural gas producer siphoned $2,201 worth of gas from his 240-acre property — but paid him only $359 after taking deductions for transportation and processing.

Brown, 59, who relies on the royalties as his sole source of income, says the deductions are outrageous and claims his lease forbids them. He feels cheated and duped.

In Pennsylvania and other leading gas-producing states, a battle royal has developed over royalties, with landowners bitterly disputing the sums that some drillers have been taking from royalty checks already severely diminished by a collapse in prices.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. alone is facing royalty lawsuits in Texas, Ohio, Louisiana, Okl  (go to article)

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The 10 Most Cutting Edge New Car Features

MSN Autos -- Not since the early days of the Automobile has the industry seen the pace of change that it’s seeing today. Cars are getting smarter, more efficient, safer, and more connected. Technological hurdles for autonomous vehicles that seemed insurmountable only a decade ago are being overcome.

While we haven’t quite reached the point of letting fully autonomous cars roam the streets with no driver behind the wheel to intercede if there’s a problem, most of the building blocks are in place to allow us to make the next leap. Of course there are societal and regulatory burdens to address, but the age of the self-driving car gets closer every day.

But autonomous operation isn’t the only automotive technology that’s advancing. There are many advances that will be coming to non-autonomous vehicles in  (go to article)

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A driverless future is coming — but it won't start with self-driving cars

BUSINESS INSIDER -- Self-driving cars are coming.

Tesla is aiming to have a fully driverless car ready by 2018, and Uber recently kicked off a pilot in Pittsburgh where select users can hail a ride in a self-driving car. And many other companies have plans to roll out some form of self-driving cars by 2020.

But chances are, you're more likely to see a driverless truck in practice before a self-driving car.

There's two reasons for this, the first being the tech itself.

It's a lot easier to build autonomous tech for highway driving than city maneuvering. On highways, there are fewer obstacles for the vehicles to worry about. Cities are a mess of pedestrians, cars, potholes, traffic cones — you get the point. All of those obstacles mean driverless cars have a lot to keep track of, and it can be easy to...  (go to article)

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Component design, improperly tightened bolts blamed for Nipigon River bridge failure

CBC News - THUNDER BAY -- Ontario government says preliminary estimates show repairs will cost $8-12M
The design and installation of a number of components of the Nipigon R bridge were responsible for the structure's failure, according to results of an investigation released by Queen's Park on Thursday
In January, the bridge unexpectedly heaved apart, closing the Trans-Canada highway about 60mi NE of Thunder Bay, ON
In a joint statement the province said that "a thorough engineering analysis" found 3 main factors led to the failure:
The design of the shoe plate and its flexibility
A lack of rotation in a bearing that was constructed
Improperly tightened bolts attaching the girder to the shoe plate,
adding that neither cold temperatures nor wind were responsible, and that overloading — not any kind of flaw — caused  (go to article)

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A legendary investor thinks electric cars will raise the price of oil

BUSINESS INSIDER -- It should come as no surprise that the rise of electric vehicles has broad implications for the price of oil.

Now, you'd think that as more of the cars on the road are powered by batteries rather than petrol, demand for oil will slide. And in the long-term, that maybe true.

In the short term, however, electric vehicles could actually lead to a spike in the oil price, according to Dwight Anderson, the legendary commodities investor and cofounder of hedge fund Ospraie Management.

In an interview with RealVisionTV published earlier this month, Anderson said:

"So that EV side is going to be something that is really going to affect demand growth in crude next decade, and I actually think it could have the odd effect of keeping crude oil prices higher for longer at the tail end of this...  (go to article)

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Shell's offshore gear failure could create 'artificial reef'

CBC News - NOVA SCOTIA -- Company accidentally dropped 2-km pipe off the coast of Nova Scotia
Shell Canada has a decision to make
The offshore oil and gas company must decide whether to retrieve or abandon a 1.25-mi pipe it accidentally dropped off the coast of Nova Scotia, and present its choice to the offshore regulator for approval
A new report offers the first official third-party overview of what's at stake
The report was prepared by Stantec Consulting to compare the environmental effects of 2 options for the pipe: leave it or retrieve it
The report lists the pros and cons of each option
Retrieving the riser, means cutting it into pieces, digging into the sand beneath each piece, attaching a strap and hauling it to the surface
The whole process could take up to 6 months
The alternative is to abandon the riser  (go to article)

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INDYCAR: Schmidt to get autonomous car license

racer.com -- Sam Schmidt, who has torn up racetracks nationwide in the newest generation of Arrow Electronics' semi-autonomous car, will receive the nation's first autonomous vehicle restricted driver’s license to drive a semi-autonomous vehicle at an event in Las Vegas on Wednesday, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

In May, Schmidt, who has been a quadriplegic since a testing accident at Walt Disney World Speedway
in 2000, bested his own record by reaching 152mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the SAM project's modified 2016 Corvette Z06, which boasts more than 200bhp more than the Stingray that it replaces. His previous best of 107 mph was set in 2014 at IMS.  (go to article)

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Google Self-Driving Car in Serious Crash in Mountain View

Fortune -- On Friday, a Lexus outfitted with Google autonomous driving technology was struck by a vehicle that ran a red light in Mountain View, California.

Some observers say it is the worst crash that Google’s autonomous vehicles have been involved in. There were no reported injuries.

A photo of the aftermath shows the Interstate Batteries van apparently at fault.

According to a statement from Google, the autonomous vehicle’s “light was green for at least six seconds before our car entered the intersection.”

 (go to article)

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Just Arrived: The First Federal Safety Guidelines for Automated Vehicles

Planetizen -- Cecilia King reports: "Federal auto safety regulators on Monday made it official: They are betting the nation’s highways will be safer with more cars driven by machines and not people."  (go to article)

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Portland's 10-Cent Gas Tax Gets to Work

Planetizen -- Portland isn’t collecting a gas tax approved by voters in May yet, but the city is already finding a way to spend the money.

“Officials broke ground Monday on the first street-repair project funded by a new gas tax, even though the city won't begin collecting the tax until January,” reports Elliot Njus.  (go to article)

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Exxon tries to dodge leak blame

NWA Online -- Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. is trying to "escape responsibility" for not considering the aging Pegasus pipeline susceptible to seam failure despite a history of such problems, a federal regulatory agency said Friday.

In an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Exxon Mobil has challenged the agency's findings that the oil giant violated safety regulations that led to the pipeline's rupture in Mayflower in 2013.

The industry has known for decades that the type of pre-1970 pipe used in the Pegasus has an increased risk of longitudinal seam failure, specifically manufacturing defects or hook cracks like the kind that caused the pipeline to break open in Mayflower's Northwoods subdivision March 29, 2013. That kind of pipe is no longer made.

The same kind of pipe is use  (go to article)

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What They’re Saying: Third Time “Not the Charm” for Meandering Schneiderman Investigation

Energy in Depth -- Earlier this week, a number of news outlets reported that SEC is in the process now of taking a look at how ExxonMobil assesses the value of its proven reserves, a move that the company welcomed as “appropriate.”

SEC’s involvement is being viewed as a way to move the investigation out of the political arena – where New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman had been grandstanding for months in a desperate bid to drum up support for his gubernatorial bid – and into the authority of the proper federal agency. As the #ExxonKnew campaign collapses all around him, the SEC announcement gives Schneiderman the chance to exit quie  (go to article)

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US Chamber: Without Shale, Ohio & Pa. Would Have Lost Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs an

Energy in Depth -- A new report released today from the US Chamber of Commerce entitled “What if America’s Energy Renaissance Never Actually Happened?” outlines the huge impact shale development has had on the United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The report finds that without our energy renaissance, the United States would have lost 4.3 million jobs and $548 billion in annual GDP.

Ohio and Pennsylvania, and more specifically the “Rust Belt,” would have been hit extremely hard over the past few years. In fact, Pennsylvania and Ohio alone would have lost 232,400, $22.9 billion in state GDP and $13 billion in labor income annually without shale development. From the report:  (go to article)

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Waiting for OPEC: changing circumstances and new possibilities — maybe

CBC News -- For the better part of the past two years, the operative words for OPEC watchers have become "just in case."

And so it will be this week when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gathers informally on the sidelines of a conference in Algeria. The consensus view is that nothing of substance will come from the meeting — no freeze, cut or cap on production — but that doesn't mean the oil world is ready to dismiss the talks as mere theatre.

Don't hold your breath for Saudi-led push to cut output

The likelihood that physical oil supplies will remain unchanged, regardless of what happens in Algiers, will lead to more musing that OPEC's machinations are nothing more than a hollow effort to jawbone oil prices higher. That may be the case for the time being, but...  (go to article)

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Science How satellites are helping decode human-caused earthquakes

Chrisitan Science Monitor -- Prior to 2008, the US Geological Survey had never recorded an earthquake in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but since then the area has seen almost 200.
Until 2008 not a single earthquake had ever been recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey from the Dallas–Fort Worth area.... Since then, close to 200 have shaken the cities and their immediate suburbs. Statewide, Texas is experiencing a sixfold increase in earthquakes over historic levels. Oklahoma has seen a 160-fold spike in quakes, some of which have sent people to hospitals and damaged buildings and highways. In 2014 the state’s earthquake rate surpassed California’s. “Our research is the first to provide an answer to the questions of why some wastewater injection causes earthquakes, where it starts, and why it stops,” study co-author Will  (go to article)

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US Postal Service picks finalist to build next-generation mail truck

Fox News Auto -- The United States Postal Service will be getting a special delivery next year. Fifty of them, actually.

The USPS has issued contracts to six suppliers to develop and build prototypes for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, which will replace the Grumman Long Life Vehicle (LLV) that’s been in use since 1987.

Out of the fifteen companies that qualified to submit proposals, the six that were chosen are AM General, Oshkosh, Utilimaster, VT Hackney, Turkish commercial vehicle builder Karsan, and India’s Mahindra, which has a major technical center in Troy, Michigan.

None of the designs have been revealed, but the preliminary requirements called for right-hand-drive, sliding curbside doors for driver and cargo, a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds, interior height of six feet four inches, and  (go to article)

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Self-Driving Cars Gain Powerful Ally: The Government

NY Times -- Federal auto safety regulators made it official: They are betting the nation’s highways will be safer with more cars driven by machines and not people. In long-awaited guidelines for the booming industry of automated vehicles, the Obama administration promised strong safety oversight, but sent a clear signal to automakers that the door was wide open for driverless cars.  (go to article)

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