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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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Pipelines, red tape and climate change policies are killing Chinese investment in oilsands

FINANCIAL POST -- During his visit to China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to offer to ease ownership restrictions in the oilsands by state-owned enterprises to rekindle Chinese investment in Canadian oil and gas.

The issue of oil-sands investment is one “that we’re certainly going to lean into,” Trudeau said Friday. He left Monday for a 10-day trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hangzhou, where he’ll attend the Group of 20 summit. His schedule includes a meeting with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, the controlling shareholder of Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc., a significant oilsands player.

The Liberal government is focused on “ways we can enhance the Canadian economy,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who is on the trip as well, said on Aug. 21. “In that light, we seek to encourage...  (go to article)

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An economist figured out how much Hillary Clinton's plan to save the world from runaway climate chan

BUSINESS INSIDER -- Our climate is changing. There's no scientific debate about this.

In fact, in 2016 — decades after scientists first warned of the sharp changes necessary to stop global warming — it's more accurate to say that our climate has changed.

"There's no stopping global warming," Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist who is the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, recently told my colleague, Sarah Kramer. "Everything that's happened so far is baked into the system."

At this point, the real question is: What are we going to do about it?

There are limits to our ability to predict the future

So is that a lot of money?

Most of the spending would come from private investors
 (go to article)

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Anti-Fracking Measures Fail to Make Colorado Ballot – Questions Raised about “Potentially Forged” Si

Energy in Depth -- Colorado election officials have determined that national activist groups pushing a pair of anti-fracking initiatives that have faced strong bipartisan opposition, failed to collect enough signatures for the measures to go before the state’s voters this fall. They are also raising questions over whether the group turned in “potentially forged” signatures found during the review process. From a Colorado Secretary of State press release announcing the results of their signature review:

“Two proposed ballot measures aimed at adding more limitations on oil and natural gas drilling in Colorado failed to make the November ballot because supporters didn’t collect enough valid voter signatures, Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today.”  (go to article)

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Iran Detects Malware in Petrochem. Plants, Says Not Linked to Recent Fires

Reuters via DownstreamToday.com -- Iran has detected and removed malicious software from two of its petrochemical complexes, a senior military official said on Saturday, after announcing last week it was investigating whether recent petrochemical fires were caused by cyber attacks.

The official said the malware at the two plants was inactive and had not played a role in the fires.

"In periodical inspection of petrochemical units, a type of industrial malware was detected and the necessary defensive measures were taken," Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran's civilian defence, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

Iran is alert to the threat of cyber attack by foreign countries. The United States and Israel covertly sabotaged Iran's nuclear programme in 2009 and 2010 with the now-famous Stuxnet computer virus.  (go to article)

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North Dakota oil pipeline protesters stand their ground: 'This is sacred land'

The Guardian -- The pipeline’s planned route takes it close to the northern boundary of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the town of Cannon Ball within it, which means it would cross the Missouri immediately upstream, endangering, protesters say, the reservation’s drinking water and threatening sacred sites. At Standing Rock, they have put their bodies between the water and the oil.

A few days earlier, on 24 August, a federal judge in Washington DC delayed a ruling over whether indigenous rights were violated by the approval of the project. Tribal members say they were not sufficiently consulted about the route and are suing for an injunction.  (go to article)

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tesla-discounting-inventory-model S P90D's

Electrek -- Now that Tesla claimed the ‘Quickest Production Car in the World’ title by officially announcing the Model S P100D with the new 100 kWh battery pack, its Model S P90D is now old and useless. Not really. It’s still one of the fastest 4-door sedan ever made and it’s now reportedly a lot cheaper.  (go to article)

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Chevron Swap Trade Successful. My Next Move? Adding Valero

Seeking Alpha -- •In June, I presented an idea to Chevron owners of a way they could increase their shares by 25%.

•I argued that swapping Chevron stock for Twin Disc and holding some cash to pay oneself a dividend had an asymmetrical reward probability.

•Over the last two months the spread between Twin Disc and Chevron had widened to over 30%, which was the target spread for the swap trade.

•If one still finds Chevron a long term hold, they can swap back into Chevron, but I present what I think is a better alternative.
 (go to article)

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Theives used Official Chrysler software to steal cars

Motor 1 -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has tightened controls over its DealerCONNECT system after a ring of car thieves in Texas used the software to steal over 100 of automaker’s vehicles around Houston. According to Automotive News, the company’s updated terms of service for the technology, which now threatens civil or criminal prosecution against anyone using it illicitly.  (go to article)

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Insurers call on G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020

Reuters -- Insurers with $1.2 trillion under management called on Tuesday for the Group of 20 to set a timetable to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels by 2020 when they meet at a summit in China this weekend.

Aviva, Aegon NV and MS Amlin said fossil fuel subsidies were at odds with commitments by G20 nations to combat global warming agreed by almost 200 countries last year at a Paris summit.

"Climate change in particular represents the mother of all risks," Aviva CEO Mark Wilson said in a statement.

The companies called on the G20 leaders, who meet in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4-5, to set "a clear timeline for the full and equitable phase-out by all G20 members of all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020".

A phase-out should start with the elimination of all subsidies for fossil fuel explo  (go to article)

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Congressional leaders ask for more time to study new fuel rules

Reuters -- Three Congressional leaders on Monday asked top federal environmental and safety officials to extend by 60 days the public comment period on new vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards.

The public and their advocates need more time, beyond the comment period that ends Sept. 26, to absorb more than 1,000 pages of a draft technical assessment report, the three said in a letter to the environmental and safety chiefs.

A week ago, U.S. regulators denied a similar request for an extension by major automakers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a July report that automakers have the technology to meet aggressive mandates to hike fuel efficiency, but improvements will not be as great as the Obama administration once forec  (go to article)

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FCA: tough talk on code thieves

AllPar.... -- In the wake of a set of car thefts made possible by stolen or “borrowed” dealer software, FCA had changed its dealers’ terms of use to make it clear that FCA will use its legal power to punish anyone who abuses or shares “key codes, radio codes and other anti-theft or security measures.”

Two men are have been charged with stealing over a hundred FCA vehicles in Texas. It took a three month investigation to catch them.  (go to article)

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Gasoline average prices up 10 cents as Labor Day and the end of summer arrive

Cleveland.com -- The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Greater Cleveland is now $2.19 -- up a full dime a gallon from week ago prices, according to both AAA and GasBuddy.

Meanwhile, the delivered price of of gasoline to local dealers is about $2 a gallon this morning, up about 5 cents from week-ago prices, though the exact price depends on the brand, the wholesale supplier and the location of the station.

The warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam's Club appear to have the lowest prices in Greater Cleveland -- just over $2 a gallon.

The Mayfield Heights Costco was $2.14 a gallon, however, still below prices at nearby stations that averaged $2.20 to $2.25, according to GasBuddy, which updates prices as motorists report them.

The average U.S. price is about $2.21 a gallon and the average Ohio  (go to article)

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Texas gasoline prices back over $2, but only temporarily

FuelFix -- Gasoline prices have risen for two weeks straight — bringing Houston-area prices back up above $2 a gallon — but costs are expected to start decreasing again in September from falling demand and cheaper winter-grade fuels.

The average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Houston region is up 5 cents in the past week to $2.02 on Monday, which is the same cost as the statewide average. The national average is up almost 4 cents to $2.21 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, which tracks prices at the pump and refining activity.

The busy summer driving season is ending on more expensive pump prices, which are still well below past years, because of recently increased oil prices and the last throes of high demand from summer road trips.
 (go to article)

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Energy storage is taking on a greater role in the power grid. But how big can it get?

Los Angeles Times -- In a fast-developing industry teeming with technologies that promise to be the next big thing, energy storage appears to be the biggest.

Its supporters not only sing its praises but also tout what they say is its inevitability.

“We’re going to have 10 times as much energy storage on the grid by the end of this decade and that is going to impact every facet of the energy industry,” said Matt Roberts, executive director of the Energy Storage Assn., an industry trade group.  (go to article)

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Truck carrying Takata air bag inflators explodes in U.S., killing one

REUTERS -- A truck that was transporting Takata Corp (7312.T) air bag inflators and propellants at the center of a global recall exploded in Texas last week, killing one woman and injuring four other people, the auto parts supplier said on Monday.

The truck, operated by a subcontractor, was traveling to a Takata warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas, early on Aug. 22 when an accident occurred, causing an explosion that incinerated a nearby home, local media reports said.

The truck “was involved in an accident," Takata said in a statement on Monday. "According to preliminary reports, the accident caused a fire, which led to an explosion."

Texas state officials did not immediately return calls for comment early on Monday.

A Takata spokesman in Tokyo said earlier on Monday the blast killed one woman and...  (go to article)

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Automobiles boost U.S. consumer spending; inflation still tame

REUTERS -- U.S. consumer spending increased for a fourth straight month in July amid strong demand for automobiles, pointing to a pickup in economic growth that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.3 percent last month after a 0.5 percent gain in June.

July's increase was in line with economists' expectations. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending also rose 0.3 percent in July after advancing 0.4 percent in June.

Consumer spending appears to have retained some of its momentum from the second quarter, when it grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate, the fastest in nearly two years. That jump helped to mitigate some of...  (go to article)

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Sun Setting on Summer Driving Season & Rising Gas Prices

GasBuddy Blog -- As the sun fades away and summer driving season edges closer to completion, the U.S. national average has continued to rise for 14 consecutive days to $2.21/gallon, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.com.

“As the summer driving season wraps up, gasoline prices have risen for 14 consecutive days, thanks in large part due to a late-summer rally in oil markets, driven by OPEC threats," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "While the final note may be a bit sour, the sweetness of what is still the cheapest summer gas in a decade will linger. Motorists shopping around for gas using the free GasBuddy app over the upcoming Labor Day weekend stand to save 5-25 cents per gallon over their counterparts, saving their hard-earned money on a day recognizing their hard work," he said.

Some 46 states saw average prices rise in the last week with just Indiana, Alaska, Kentucky and Utah declining. The national average rose 7 cents per gallon compared to its  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Rejects $50

Seeking Alpha -- Summary

* Oil runs out of gas.

* OPEC freeze is fantasy despite Iran’s statement.

* Shale production continues to weigh on price.

* Products remain weak.

* A trading range.

Last week I wrote in an article for Seeking Alpha that crude oil was entering the sell zone. This past week, crude oil could not even reach the elusive $50 level, and it closed down for the first time in four weeks.

On February 11 crude oil futures traded to multi-year lows at $26.05 per barrel, but the market put in a significant bottom and spent the next four months rallying to highs of $51.67 during the second week of June. Oil futures could not sustain a price above the $50 level, and it fell back to take a peek just below $40 per barrel on August 3, but it rejected those lows and moved higher.  (go to article)

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Oil falls towards $49 on high output, strong dollar

Reuters -- Oil fell towards $49 a barrel on Monday, pressured by high output from Middle East OPEC members and as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on commodities.

Iraq, which has exported more crude from its southern ports in August, will continue ramping up output, its oil minister said on Saturday. Top exporter Saudi Arabia has kept output at around record levels this month.

Brent crude was 62 cents lower at $49.30 a barrel at 0904 GMT. The global benchmark is down more than 6 percent from its 2016 peak of $52.86 reached on June 9.

U.S. crude was down 60 cents at $47.04.

The comments about high oil output have dampened expectations that OPEC and outside producers such as Russia will agree steps next month to support prices such as a production freeze, following the collapse of a similar effort...  (go to article)

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Ford partner Velodyne at frontier of self-driving cars

Detroit Free Press -- Velodyne, founded in 1984 to produce high-end audio systems, is now on the vanguard of the autonomous vehicle frontier with key financial backing from Ford and Baidu, China's largest search engine provider.

The Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company just received $150 million from Ford and Baidu to continue development and production of Lidar, or the 3D light-powered radar that helps self-driving cars see where they are going.

With a presence on three continents, Velodyne is now regularly mentioned in research reports that cite leading companies in the niche field of lidar.

Lidar emits short pulses of laser light so that software in the self-driving vehicle can create a real-time, high-definition 3D image of what’s around it.

In addition to cars, the systems also have growing potential  (go to article)

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Cheap prices halt Mich. drilling, kill oil, gas jobs

Detroit News -- Low oil and natural gas prices are proving to be a short-term ally for environmentalists and consumers but a job killer for the industry as new drilling slows in Michigan.

The state is on pace to issue its fewest number of drilling permits in almost 90 years, while the amount of oil extracted from Michigan properties hit at least a 25-year low last year, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration statistics.

Companies have drilled only two hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” sites this year — one in Clare County and another in Eaton County. Since 2010, water usage in the state for the controversial drilling technique hit a new low in 2015, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

It is a marked contrast from three years ago when the price of unleaded regula  (go to article)

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New Electrical Energy Storage Material Shows Its Power

Northwestern University -- EVANSTON, Ill. --- A powerful new material developed by Northwestern University chemist William Dichtel and his research team could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range.

An electric car currently relies on a complex interplay of both batteries and supercapacitors to provide the energy it needs to go places, but that could change.

“Our material combines the best of both worlds -- the ability to store large amounts of electrical energy or charge, like a battery, and the ability to charge and discharge rapidly, like a supercapacitor,” said Dichtel, a pioneer in the young research field of covalent organic frameworks (COFs).

Modified COFs are commercially attractive: COFs are made of inexpensive, readily available materials, while carb  (go to article)

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Is the oil industry dying?

The Pacific Standard -- Talking about “peak oil” can feel very last decade. In fact, the question is still current. Petroleum markets are so glutted and prices are so low that most industry commenters think any worry about future oil supplies is pointless. The glut and price dip, however, are hardly indications of a healthy industry; instead, they are symptoms of an increasing inability to match production cost, supply, and demand.  (go to article)

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Muscle cars stay strong as others slip

Detroit Free Press -- Muscle cars are showing surprising strength as consumers shift to SUVs and the market for other cars weakens, according to Kelley Blue Book’s expert on vehicles’ residual values.

A three-year-old Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang retains significantly more of its value than other vehicles, KBB’s Eric Ibara said.

“When the muscle car renaissance began more than 10 years ago, a lot of people thought it would be a fad," Ibara said. "But they’re sales are strong and values are holding up well.

“They deliver a lot of power, fun and excitement for the money. On the used-car market, they’re an even better value than new.”

The three muscle cars now retain 48%-49% of their value after three years, Ibara said. “Typically, three-year-old vehicles hover between 40% and the high...  (go to article)

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Why Electric Cars Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

WallStreetJournal -- Aug. 28, 2016 12:44 p.m. ET -
In 2015, about one in every 150 cars sold in the U.S. had a plug and a battery. But mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming, and much sooner than most people realize.

In part, this is because electric cars are gadgets, and technological change in gadgets is rapid.

One big leap is in batteries. A typical electric vehicle today costs $30,000 and will go about 100 miles on a charge, if that. Within a year, you’ll be able to get double that range for just a little more money.

Tesla Motors Inc. is the standard-bearer, promising a Model 3 vehicle meant to appeal to the masses at $35,000 without incentives and more than 200 miles of range. By comparison, the average new car in the U.S. today sells for about $33,000.
 (go to article)

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Oil’s wild ride: What causes oil prices to fluctuate

FINANCIAL POST -- Wild swings in oil prices can have a devastating effect on economies like Alberta, yet supply and demand in the global oil market is dictated by myriad complicated factors, beyond the control of any one country or region.

Join Geoffrey Morgan, Brice Hall and Carolyn Hall as they explain why forecasting oil is a mug’s game and sometimes even the most experienced financial minds get it wrong.(VIDEO)  (go to article)

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LyondellBasell may have its Houston Refinery back on the auction block

FuelFix -- The Houston area’s fourth-largest refinery could be bought for the right price as its owner, the chemical maker LyondellBasell, strongly considers selling its only refinery.

The petrochemical giant confirmed it’s considering, if not definitively, selling its aptly named Houston Refinery that can process up to 268,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and other products. The refinery is located on 700 acres near the Houston and Pasadena city limits.

“We believe that in the longer term, the refinery may be more valuable as part of a larger refining system,” LyondellBasell spokeswoman Faye Eson confirmed in a prepared statement. “We are exploring all options.

LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel said last year the company would consider selling the refinery...
 (go to article)

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Aramco IPO on track as Saudi Arabia weighs best road ahead, minister says

FuelFix -- The initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. remains on track while the government considers how to meet all its objectives from the sale of a stake in the world’s biggest oil company, the kingdom’s Energy Minister said.

Saudi Arabia hopes to list the company, also known as Saudi Aramco, in early 2018, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in Los Angeles on Thursday. The process requires time as the government considers how to “optimize” Aramco’s value for both potential shareholders and for the kingdom as it pursues a plan to diversify its economy, Falih said.

“We have to optimize — optimize for the kingdom’s interest as the owners of the company and the owners of the resource today, optimize for the investors who have to enter into this,” Al-Falih said.
 (go to article)

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New court battle brewing on different pipeline

BismarckTribune -- 4 hrs ago -

NEW TOWN – Construction has resumed on a pipeline that will cross a water body over the objections of a North Dakota Native American tribe.

No, it’s not the Dakota Access Pipeline. This project involves Paradigm Energy Partners, a company that is installing two pipelines under Lake Sakakawea that will be owned by Sacagawea Pipeline Co.

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation asserts that Paradigm was required but failed to get the tribe’s permission to begin pipeline construction under the lake. The Tribal Business Council voted Aug. 3 to issue a cease and desist order to halt all construction under Lake Sakakawea.

“Paradigm was informed on several different occasions that the consent of the MHA Nation would not be granted unless there were adequate assurances that...  (go to article)

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Are There Downsides to Always Keeping Your Gas Tank Full?

Yahoo! Finance -- Q. I like to keep my gas tank full in case of traffic tie-ups, but is it bad for the engine not to let the old gas get used up first?

A. Gasoline does lose octane gradually over time, and old gas sitting in your tank for two months or longer can create residues, but for a car that’s used regularly, that isn’t a problem, says John Ibbotson, chief mechanic at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “The new gas will mix with what’s already in your tank, and any variance in the octane will be adjusted for automatically by your car’s engine computer.” The octane levels in old gas could be a concern only if you’re storing your car for six months or longer, in which case you can add a gasoline additive (or stabilizer) to preserve it.  (go to article)

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Corps says Pipeline Still Needs Easement

Bismark Tribune -- While hundreds are settling in for the long haul at an encampment to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Thursday that the pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners, does not yet have a written easement to build the pipeline on corps property.  (go to article)

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Pipelines: The Worst Way to Move Oil, Except For All the Rest

Fortune -- The past week has seen a huge increase in attention and momentum for protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes have successfully shut down construction on the $3.7 billion line, which is intended to transport crude oil from the Bakken Shale to Illinois. The project is a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, with substantial stakes held by Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corp.

The tribes’ objections are both philosophical and practical. They have claimed in court that they weren’t given sufficient opportunity to assess the pipeline’s impact, and that it continues a legacy of exploitation by crossing ancestral land. The proposed pipeline also crosses the Missouri River just a few milesup  (go to article)

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Dakota Access Pipeline Is Set To Become The Second Keystone XL

Oil Price dot com -- A group of 31 environmental organizations sent a joint letter to the White House asking President Obama to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,168-mile oil pipeline that would connect Bakken oil to refineries in Illinois. The $3.7 billion project would carry 470,000 to 570,000 barrels per day of light sweet crude from North Dakota to be moved out of the region for processing, and it would also allow oil companies to avoid paying to ship crude by rail, a more expensive option.

But there are several problems with the route, which have raised the ire of environmentalists, local communities, and native tribes. Dakota Access moves through the ancestral land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the tribe has mounted an energetic protest against the project, a fight that appear  (go to article)

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Emergency Theater for Paris Agreement: China, US rush to sham ratification

JoNova -- It’s a do or die moment for The Cause. Brexit has hit them hard, and the Trump factor threatens to wreck everything. The Paris agreement has stalled pathetically at 1.1% of all human emissions (they need 55% to come into force). What they need right now is a gamechanger, and if they can’t get it then, true to form, they will manufacture the illusion of it.  (go to article)

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Oil refinery group: Safety measures need to go beyond rail car design

UPI -- WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- A push to overhaul rail car designs to ensure the safe transport of crude oil is a narrow-minded approach, a U.S. refinery group said.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx hosted Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in Washington to announce new standards for "stronger, safer rail tank cars" carrying flammable liquids like crude oil through North America.

North American crude oil production has increased to the point that there's not enough pipeline infrastructure to handle deliveries. That leaves energy companies to rely more on rail as an alternate transit method and, with that, comes more derailments involving trains carrying oil.

Raitt announced new regulations last year aimed at increasing safety on the Canadian rail system.  (go to article)

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Touchdown! Your Football Road Trip Guide

GasBuddy Blog -- via iStock

September's right around the corner—and with it comes football season! Whether you're heading to your alma mater for homecoming or following your favorite NFL team across state lines, follow these tips for the perfect road trip and game-day celebration....  (go to article)

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A huge disconnect is emerging between car buyers and the US government

MSN.com -- The U.S. government has mandated higher average fuel economy from automakers, and the clock is ticking. New standards are supposed to be met by 2025.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. the auto industry is in the midst of a sales boom that's being driven by highly profitable big pickup trucks and SUVs. These are not vehicles that deliver high MPGs.  (go to article)

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Five Things You Need to Know Before the Clean Power Plan Oral Argument

Renewable Energy World -- The Clean Power Plan oral argument is coming up soon. On Sept. 27, attorneys will present their arguments in front of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
EPA and the many supporters of the Clean Power Plan have already filed their written arguments — and so has the coalition of coal companies and their allies that are challenging the rule. (You can read all their submissions here.) And just yesterday, the D.C. Circuit released the final order on the argument’s format and duration.
The Clean Power Plan is America’s first-ever nationwide program to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. It sets eminently achievable carbon emission targets that phase in gradually, in line with current power sector trends, while giving states and power companies tremendous flexibility to d  (go to article)

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The nation’s first offshore wind farm is ready to go, despite critics’ blowback

Washington Post -- BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — The turbines stand like sentinels off the coast of this tiny island, each rising twice as high as the Statue of Liberty. Workers attached the final 240-foot-long blades just days ago, turning the nation’s first offshore wind farm into a reality.  (go to article)

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Another big problem for Exxon and Big Oil

Yahoo! Finance -- 'Plunging oil prices have punished energy stocks, and new measures to combat climate change could now present another underappreciated threat.

The proven reserves of oil and gas are a common metric that helps determine their stock price and overall market value, with the presumption being that an oil company may be able to access 100% of its reserves, over time, as long as it can profitably sell that oil given market prices. The more reserves a company has, the more valuable it is, and big drillers such as Exxon Mobil (XOM) deliberately seek new reserves as one way to boost their value. As oil prices go higher, drillers also have more incentive to find new reserves, and vice versa.

But oil firms may not be able to access all the reserves they claim, especially if many countries adopt ...  (go to article)

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How a U.S.-Venezuelan link helps oil exports

USA Today -- U.S. crude oil is increasingly finding markets around the world now that government restrictions on exports have been dissolved.

That’s good news for U.S. producers who had sought more access to global oil markets for years, though it’s too early to tell how much of a trend is developing.

Nonetheless, exports of U.S. crude averaged 501,000 barrels a day for the first five months of 2016, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, citing the most recent data available.

That’s 43,000 barrels a day — or 9% — more than the average for all of 2015, when government regulations limited crude oil exports mostly to Canada.  (go to article)

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Climate Change and the 1,000-year Flood in Baton Rouge: When Will We Learn?

Common Dreams -- We spoke to Juhasz on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, just before the auction began: “The timing of all of these events couldn’t be more devastating,” she said. “You have this historic flood. You have the president there to offer assistance fromFEMA and to hopefully try and assist those on the ground, while at the same time the Interior Department is continuing the problems that help accelerate this storm in the first place, help make it more ferocious, help make these storms more frequent. And that, of course, is the burning of fossil fuels, leading to climate change.” Adding to the irony is the site of the auction: the Superdome. After Hurricane Katrina inundated most of New Orleans, this sports stadium became a refuge of last resort for an estimated 15,000-20,000 stranded residents.

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Picking the best car to travel with your pet

Detroit Free Press -- Minivans and crossover SUVs dominate a list of the best new 2016-17 model vehicles for dog lovers from car-shopping website Autotrader.

The vehicles win thanks to roomy interiors that provide plenty of space for pets to stretch out, or to secure pet carriers.

It’s important to keep pets secure, whether with a harness that connects to seat belts or cargo tie-downs or in a carrier that’s held in place so it can’t slide around during travel or take flight in an accident.

You should also take your pet for a walk or exercise it inside to burn off nervous energy before travel.

Autotrader’s recommendations include:

Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which offers plenty of space for dogs to lie down and relax or for carriers. Its low ride height, sliding doors and big tailgate make it easy for even  (go to article)

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VW to lower U.S. prices to lift plunging sales

Detroit News -- Volkswagen AG is promising U.S. dealers a wider model range and lower pricing as the automaker tries to broaden its appeal and push the reset button in the world’s second-biggest car market in the wake of record fines and plunging sales.

“We are getting the product we’ve been asking for," Alan Brown, chairman of VW’s U.S. dealer council, said in a phone interview. Volkswagen is also planning to cut the sticker price on cars to boost sales and “is looking at this with a volume mindset,” Brown said.

VW told dealerships about the shift to a more mass-market strategy for the brand as part of a settlement to compensate them for losses incurred from the emissions cheating. VW on Thursday agreed to pay 652 dealers about $1.2 billion, a person familiar with the matter said. The German automaker  (go to article)

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The Louisiana floods and their use by climate change proponents

GasBuddy Blog -- Photo courtesy of eagle102.netIts an interesting time to observe severe international weather reports.While weather reports have been the usual prediction of climate patters affecting one's area with varying degrees of accuracy, the more recent trend in reporting natural weather related disasters is now more frequently infused with their connection to the "climate change" and the arguments supporting them.Always a flashpoint for controversy (and perhaps unwarranted insults), weather patterns influenced by the belief that higher levels of man made carbon in the atmosphere being the dominant reason for dramatic weather events, seems to be an accepted fact as media attempts to not only try to anticipate the weather, but explain its root causes.It's a tall order and unfortunately, to a large extent, igores historical precedents, many, pre-dating the industrial revolution, which too, were adverse climatic events that predated mass, soc  (go to article)

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Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

Daily Herald -- PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Pacific Northwest tribe is traveling nearly 5,000 miles across Canada and the United States with a 22-foot-tall totem pole on a flatbed truck in a symbolic journey meant to galvanize opposition to fossil fuel infrastructure projects they believe will imperil native lands.
"Mother Earth is hurting," said Lummi Nation member Randy Peters Sr. as he began his prayer song, "Mother Earth has been hurting from all of the abuse that has been going on. The unsafe practices of the coal, and the mining and the transportation of energy."
"You can't put a price on the sacred. Our land and our water are sacred," said Reuben George, manager of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative in Vancouver, British Columbia, where his tribe is opposed to a major oil pipeline. "  (go to article)

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Washington responders to get notice of oil train shipments

komonews.com (AP) -- Emergency responders in communities along oil train routes in Washington state will start receiving advance notice of the shipments this fall.

The Spokesman-Review reports that terminals, refineries and other facilities that receive crude oil by rail must begin notifying the state Department of Ecology in advance of shipments under a new rule adopted this week. The state will relay the information to local emergency responders.

Gov. Jay Insless says that following recent oil train disasters, the state is trying to improve public safety and protect the environment.

Typically, two or three oil trains per day transport volatile crude from the Bakken oil fields through Spokane and Spokane Valley en route to Western Washington. A consultant warned state officials last month that a derailment  (go to article)

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South Bend organizations, businesses embrace solar power

dailyherald.com (AP) -- The city of South Bend is seeing growth in its use of solar power with many local organizations and businesses embracing the technology.

The South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/2bEoHQ4 ) reports that the Century Center convention center recently installed 90 solar panels on its roof. A half-dozen church congregations and a housing development also have grant money to install solar panels.

"The average person living in South Bend might drive around town and it doesn't look any different. They don't see any more solar," said T.J. Kanczuzewski, president of Inovateus Solar LLC of South Bend. "But for those of us in the trenches on a day-to-day basis, things are happening."

Kanczuzewski said the amount of solar energy generated nationwide is expected to double that of 2015 by the end of the y  (go to article)

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Colorado Gov. Says He Doesn’t Expect Anti-Fracking Initiatives to Make the Ballot

Energy in Depth --
“My full assumption is that neither of those two initiatives are going to get, going to have the signatures. I don’t think either one is going to be on the ballot and I think that’s a reflection of all the efforts put in by both sides to sit and listen to each other and say, alright, how can we respect private property, how can we acknowledge that we are going to move toward a cleaner environment but at the same time realize that these are jobs and this is inexpensive energy and it helps household budgets, that there has got to be a balance in our conclusions and if we do that well enough then we avoid these gigantic battles at the ballot and we move on with the situation that New York state is, or perhaps Denton, well Denton Texas is or perhaps New Mexico. And I think that’s the lesson l  (go to article)

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The transportation research group, TRIP, tallied costs from additional crashes, higher operating co

Planetizen -- The TRIP report finds that 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. One quarter of California’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.  (go to article)

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Peak Car Revisited

Plantetizen -- U.S. vehicle travel increased 3.2% (8.6 billion vehicle miles) in total and 2.0% per capita between Junes 2015 and 2016. That is a new peak in total VMT, but a 2.75% reduction in per capita VMT. Will these growth rates continue into the future?  (go to article)

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