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Environmental Issues Become a Force in Political Advertising

NY Times -- WASHINGTON — In Michigan, an ad attacking Terri Lynn Land, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, opens with a shot of rising brown floodwaters as a woman says: “We see it every day in Michigan. Climate change. So why is Terri Lynn Land ignoring the science?”

In Colorado, an ad for Cory Gardner, another Republican candidate for Senate, shows him in a checked shirt and hiking boots, standing in front of a field of wind turbines as he discusses his support for green energy.

And in Kentucky, a spot for the Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, depicts him flanked by coal miners as a woman intones, “The person fighting for our coal jobs is Mitch McConnell.”  (go to article)

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British Columbia sets new LNG tax at 3.5%, lower than originally proposed

Financial Post -- 2 weeks before an industry-imposed deadline, BC government unveiled a new, three-tiered tax targeting the province’s nascent LNG industry

But industry players said they are unsure the changes go far enough to allow the sector be competitive with other global jurisdictions

The Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act introduced Tue would tax an LNG project at a rate of 1.5% when production begins, rising to 3.5% after capital costs are recovered. That rate will rise to 5% after Jan 1, 2037 — when the government expects the LNG industry will be well established within the province

In Feb, BC floated the idea of a two-tiered tax system rising to 7%

“BC is a high-cost environment; for these projects to be economically viable, the LNG tax must be considered in conjunction with the overall fisca  (go to article)

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Consumer energy expenditures are roughly 5% of disposable income, below long-term average

EIA -- Total U.S. household energy consumption expenditures have generally declined relative to disposable income since 1960, although during periods of high energy prices, consumers devote increasing shares of their income to energy. Energy expenditures ranged between 4% and 8% of disposable income since 1960. Consumer energy expenditures today are a lower percentage of disposable income than the average from 1960 to present (5.5% average).

Consumer energy expenditures as a percent of disposable income in 2013 remain lower than the average since the 1960s, even though consumer energy prices grew faster than inflation over that period. Because electricity and transportation spending accounts for more than two-thirds of consumer energy expenditures, increasing vehicle fuel efficiencies and changi  (go to article)

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Low Gas Prices: An Explanation.

KLTV Tyler Texas -- TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Gas prices are low right now. In Tyler on Monday, you could get a gallon of fuel for just $2.76. In the past month, prices have dropped by $0.30. There are a lot of things that contribute to what we pay at the pump.

Doctor Harold Doty of UT Tyler says the main thing pushing prices down is the current price of crude oil. Crude oil sold Monday for $82.75 a barrel. That's down from recent highs as much as $110 a barrel. There are several reasons crude oil is so low; the main reason is oversupply.

“The United States is now beginning to produce enough oil that OPEC and the Saudis can't control the price of oil anymore,” Doty explains. Additional global issues include a possible recession in the Euro Zone and relatively calm conditions in the middle eastern countries that p  (go to article)

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Tesla just lost its fight for direct sales in Michigan

washngtonpost.com -- Tesla just lost its fight to sell electric cars in the auto industry's backyard.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder doubled down Tuesday on a state prohibition against letting Tesla sell its vehicles directly to consumers, a policy battle that's playing out in a number of states around the country. Saying he was open to more discussion about the matter, Snyder nevertheless signed HB 5606, a bill that effectively reinforces the power of auto dealers at the expense of challengers like Elon Musk.

Michigan currently requires car manufacturers to sell their vehicles through franchised dealerships, according to the governor's office.

"Based on our research," said Snyder, "[HB 5606] doesn't change current law at all. It merely strengthens existing language, and it had very strong legislative support."
 (go to article)

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Court says not so fast with those red-light camera tickets

Fox News/Watchdog.org -- MIAMI — Big changes could be coming to cities with red-light cameras after a Florida District Court of Appeals judge said it’s illegal for camera operators to issue citations to drivers.

The program works like this: Cameras installed at traffic signals snap photos and are examined by the camera’s owner — not law enforcement — to determine whether a violation occurred. A citation is sent to the alleged violator. The driver has 60 days to appeal the ticket before it’s converted into a fine, just like any other citation issued by law enforcement officers.

 (go to article)

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Chrysler exec: Giving vehicle ‘a soul’ next big thing

Detroit News -- Two letters are helping shape the future of the automotive industry, according to Chrysler Group LLC’s head of design Ralph Gilles.

“UI,” also known as user interface or how people interact with their vehicles, is driving the way automakers design new vehicles and the technologies within them, he said.

“The car keeps reinventing itself,” said Gilles, Chrysler senior vice president of product design, during a speech Tuesday morning at the 2014 SAE Convergence in Detroit. “What we try to do at Chrysler is make cars as soulful as humanly possible, and now the interesting thing is giving the car a soul is becoming the next big thing.”

In the automotive industry, giving the vehicle a “soul” was traditionally done through design. While still true with today’s cars and trucks, new technologies  (go to article)

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Michigan politicians attempt to keep Tesla out of state

GasBuddy Blog -- Michigan is the latest state to join several others that are interested in derailing consumers from buying electric cars directly from Tesla, the California-based automaker that has won praise for its vehicles.

HB 5606, a bill on Governor Rick Snyder's desk awaiting a possible signature or veto contains language that would bar Tesla's direct sales method and instead require franchised dealers, possibly adding thousands to the cost of each vehicle sold.

General Motors issued a statement supporting HB 5606, a bill that saw its language adjusted sneakily to target Tesla, and was passed 38-0 in Michigan's Senate on October 2, then passed by Michigan's House 106-1 with the new language.

It has several Michigan based businesses very concerned as suppliers to Tesla, such as Inteva Products, who sent a letter to the governor opposing any legislation that prevents Tesla from direct sales, said Karen Manardo, global m  (go to article)

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Oil prices hold near $86 on China oil demand rise

CNBC -- Brent crude oil held near $86 a barrel on Tuesday on news of robust Chinese oil demand, although gains were capped by oversupply and concerns over the health of the rest of the global economy.

Implied oil demand in the world's largest energy consumer jumped 6.2 percent in September from August to 10.3 million barrels per day, the highest since February.

China's factory output also beat expectations, rising 8 percent in September from a year earlier and boosting hopes of a strengthening recovery.

Data on Tuesday showed China's economy expanded by 7.3 percent in the third quarter, above forecasts but its slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

"Oil is up in reaction to the Chinese demand figures," said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.  (go to article)

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Oil company CEO dies in Moscow jet collision with snowplow driven by drunk driver

FOXNEWS -- The head of French oil giant Total SA was killed at a Moscow airport when his corporate jet collided with a snowplow whose driver was drunk, Russian investigators said Tuesday.

Total confirmed "with deep regret and sadness" that Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the crash at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

The three other people on board, all of them French crew members, also died when the French-made Dassault Falcon 50 hit the snowplow on takeoff at 11:57 p.m. Monday. The plane crashed onto the runway and burst into flames, investigators said.

The driver, who airport officials said was not hurt, was operating the snowplow under the influence of alcohol, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Russia's main investigative agency.

De Margerie, 63, was...  (go to article)

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Move over, humans, the robocars are coming

Washington Post -- The numbers of fatalities caused by robotic cars will be a tiny fraction of the millions that humans have caused, after all. And if political leaders and lawyers in the United States try to stop progress, other countries will still adopt the new technologies; they are unstoppable. We may just end up playing catch-up with the rest of the world.

The big advantage that self-driving cars will have is that they don’t need the safeguards and controls that humans do. They can communicate with each other to negotiate right of way and speed, warn each other of traffic hazards, and see in the dark — so they don’t need blinding high-beams. The real risks for robotic cars are the hazards that unpredictable humans create. That is why we will need to get humans out of the drivers’ seats.  (go to article)

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Terrorist Ideology Blamed in Canada Car Attack

Associated Press -- A man who was shot and killed by police after he struck two members of the Canadian military with his car was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology," officials said Tuesday.

One of two soldiers hit by a car in a city near Montreal died from his injuries.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney called the attack a "terrible act of violence against our country, against our military and against our values" and "clearly linked to terrorist ideology."
 (go to article)

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NC Attorney General Proposes Cameras On All Buses

WFMY -- North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper has proposed equipping all state public school buses with specialized camera technology.

Cooper issued the idea Monday, during National School Bus Safety Week. He proposed funding the proposal through a statute in the state's Constitution, which allows public schools to receive civil penalties paid by school zone violators.
 (go to article)

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Toyota widens air bag recall, warns passengers

USA Today -- Toyota said Monday it's re-notifying owners of about 218,000 previously recalled vehicles with front air bags supplied by Takata, and adding 28,515 vehicles in high-humidity areas to the recall.

The Takata bags can malfunction and blow shrapnel into front passengers' chests and faces.

And, for the first time, the automaker is warning those owners not to carry front-seat passengers until the air bags are fixed. In fact, Toyota considers the Takata passenger bags so dangerous that dealers are being told to shut off the passenger bags if an owner comes in for recall repairs but parts aren't yet available.

In those cases, dealers will attach a warning label to the glove box door. Safety belts continue to work when air bags are shut off.  (go to article)

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How Renewable Energy Could Leave You Mired in Blackouts

Motley Fool -- There are plenty of things to like about renewable power sources like solar and wind. However, these sources, on a large scale, are relatively new to the U.S. electric grid. That has major implications that utilities may not be ready to deal with. And that risks leaving you without power and, thus, in the dark.

Zig zag
You likely know all about the benefits of solar and wind. The biggest ones being no emissions from burning fossil fuels and minimal costs once they are installed since they are powered by nature. (snip)

However, if you get so caught up in the upside of renewable power you might lose sight of the downside. And there are some pretty notable negatives that have big implications for a U.S. power system that hasn't been designed to handle intermittent power.  (go to article)

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Brent Crude Rises as China’s Growth Exceeds Estimates

Bloomberg -- (7am EDT) Brent crude rose for the third time in four sessions as China’s economic growth beat analysts’ estimates, increasing demand for oil. West Texas Intermediate also climbed.

Futures climbed as much as 1.1 percent in London. China’s gross domestic product rose 7.3 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing. While that exceeded the 7.2 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, it was also the slowest expansion since the first quarter of 2009. The country’s oil demand increased by 7.1 percent in September, more than double the growth rate in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil is paring its collapse into a bear market as banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict  (go to article)

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It Looked Like a Stabbing, but Takata Air Bag Was the Killer

The New York Times -- ORLANDO, Fla. — Hien Tran lay dying in intensive care this month after a car accident, as detectives searched for clues about the apparent stab wounds in her neck.

An unlikely breakthrough arrived in the mail a week after she died from her injuries. It was a letter from Honda urging her to get her red Accord fixed, because of faulty air bags that could explode.

“The air bag,” said Tina Tran, the victim’s twin sister. “They said it was the air bag.”

Ms. Tran became at least the third death associated with the mushrooming recalls of vehicles containing defective air bags made by Takata, a Japanese auto supplier. More than 14 million vehicles from 11 automakers that contain the air bags have been recalled worldwide.  (go to article)

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Studies: Parents set bad examples for driving teens

Cars.com via USA Today -- Parents often subscribe to a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. But studies show parents are unknowingly sabotaging their teen drivers by not practicing what they preach.

Since it's National Teen Driver Safety Week, here are four examples:

Texting and Driving. Parents figuratively beat teens over the head with the "never text and drive" message, yet many do it on a regular basis. A 2012 study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions found 91% of teens reported seeing their parents talk on cellphones while driving. Some 59% witnessed their parents sending a text while driving.

Talking on cellphones. Ninety percent of teens say they've talked on cellphones while driving, and 78% admitted to sending text messages while driving. Parents tell teens to ...  (go to article)

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China data supports oil, but bearish sentiment persists

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures found some temporary support in Asian trade Tuesday after China’s economic data came in slightly better than expected.
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China’s third-quarter gross domestic product rose 7.3% compared to a year earlier, topping market expectations of a 7.2% growth, but lower than the 7.5% growth seen in the second quarter. Its industrial output growth accelerated 8.0% in September from a year earlier, compared to 6.9% in August.

“With higher industrial production, we may see increase in crude demand coming from China moving forward. This likely gives some upward push to crude prices but global crude demand should still remain weak and is likely to persist in the coming quarter,” analyst Daniel Ang at Philips Futures said.

Oil markets will shift focus to weekly U.S. inventory data.  (go to article)

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Consumer Reports sheds light on 'secret warranties' that may cover costly repairs

GasBuddy Blog -- Consumer Reports found car owners can save a significant amount of money if their vehicle qualifies for what carmakers typically call service actions or customer service campaigns—effectively secret or hidden warranties that are rarely announced to the public.Two examples: Owners of 2006 to 2009 Honda Civics may qualify for a free engine block, or even a whole new engine, if their car has been leaking coolant from a crack in the block. Chrysler minivan owners may notice that the front wheel bearings on models from 2008 to 2010 are subject to premature wear, so dealers will replace them for free during a vehicle’s first five years or 90,000 miles.Consumer Reports found these “secret warranties” usually originate when automakers discover that some component or system in a given model is failing at a greater rate than expected. They learn about the problems from numerous sources, including complaints to their customer-service departments and reports from dealers. Other tip-offs are an unu  (go to article)

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Youngstown area has cheapest gas in state

WYTV -- YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown has the cheapest gas in the state, according to AAA.

While prices are up a few cents to start the work week, gas is still the cheapest it has been in two years.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.07 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s 3 cents more than a week ago, but 15 cents less than last month at this time.

Ohio’s average is lower than the national average, which was $3.10 Monday. That’s a dime less than a week ago and about a quarter less than a month ago.

Among Ohio’s metropolitan areas, the Youngstown area has the lowest average at about $2.89 per gallon.

Analysts say gas prices will likely remain low amid decreased demand and lower crude oil prices.  (go to article)

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Ohio gas prices nudge higher

WKYC.com -- COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gas prices in Ohio are up a few cents to start the work week.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.07 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That's 3 cents more than a week ago, but 15 cents less than last month at this time.

Ohio's average is lower than the national average, which was $3.10 Monday. That's a dime less than a week ago and about a quarter less than a month ago.  (go to article)

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Boat captain tortured by Nigerian pirates sues Chevron, Edison Chouest over attack, website reports

The Times-Picayune -- An oil and gas supply boat captain who was kidnapped and tortured by Nigerian pirates last year is suing Chevron USA and Edison Chouest Offshore for failing to take safety measures that could have prevented the attack Courthouse News Service reports.

The report says Wren Thomas who captained Edison Chouest's C-Retriever vessel, which was tasked with supporting Chevron drilling activity offshore Nigeria, filed suit Oct. 16 against both companies in Harris County Texas.

Edison Chouest is based in Cut Off and provides supply boats to support offshore oil and gas operations worldwide.

Thomas accuses Chevron and Edison Chouest of ignoring multiple death threats he reported receiving over the supply boat's radio and for failing to replace the boat's radio communications system with a safer...  (go to article)

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Crude imports from Persian Gulf to USGC set to rise in November

Platts -- Imports of crude from the Persian Gulf into the US Gulf Coast look set to rise in November, an analysis of Platts cFlow ship-tracking software data showed Monday.

During the first half of November, 14 ships are expected to enter the USGC from the Persian Gulf, up from 11 ships for all of October, and 11 ships for all of September.

US imports from Saudi Arabia have been on the decline in recent months, as US refiners have been backing out imports in favor of growing North American production.

However, Motiva - a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco - has been a steady buyer of Saudi Arabian crude, mostly into its 600,000 b/d Port Arthur refinery, but also into its 230,000 b/d Convent, Louisiana refinery.

It's possible the increase in shipments from the Persian Gulf during the fi  (go to article)

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A year later, cleanup still going for ND oil spill

AP via Yahoo Finance -- One year after a pipeline rupture flooded a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota with more than 20,000 barrels of crude, Tesoro Corp. is still working around the clock cleaning up the oil spill — one of the largest to happen onshore in U.S. history.

Cleanup costs have soared from the company's original estimate of $4 million to a forecast of more than $20 million, and it may be at least another year before work is completed, the company and state officials said. The oil-sopped parcel of land, about the size of seven football fields, is no longer usable for planting at present.

"It's a big cleanup and it's become part of our life," farmer Steve Jensen said Monday. "The ground is still saturated with oil. And they're out there seven days a week, 24 hours a day."

Jensen discovered the  (go to article)

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Why Self-Driving Cars Will Change Retirement

Wall Street Journal -- When it comes to advances in technology, young adults are often the first to embrace change. But it’s the 50-plus crowd that could end up as early adopters of a coming revolution in transportation: self-driving cars.

Most major auto makers already are testing such vehicles. In May, Google , the Mountain View, Calif., search giant, which has pioneered the self-driving idea, unveiled its latest prototype car—with no steering wheel, and no accelerator or brake pedals.

But some major areas, he says, could see “robocars” (his preferred word) in wide use by 2020 or so—and older adults, in particular, may reap the early benefits.

“The realities of life just take mobility away from people as they get older,” Mr. Templeton says. “A solution to that problem is going to be highly welcomed.”  (go to article)

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Time to Fill 'Er Up.

Greensboro, NC, News & Record. -- F or the first time in nearly four years, drivers in the Piedmont are paying less than $3 for a gallon of gas.
Average gas prices in the Tarheel state have dropped by 15 cents per gallon in the past month and 64 cents in the past six months, according to AAA Carolinas.

Analysts attribute the drop in prices to increased domestic oil production coupled with a slackening in demand.
“There is not a glut, but there is a perceived overabundance of oil,” said Gary Harris, executive director of the trade group North Carolina Petroleum and Convenience Marketers.
Tiffany Wright, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas, said she anticipates prices to continue falling through the holidays.
“It’s basically supply and demand,” she said. “We’re making a lot (of oil), but we also drive less in the...  (go to article)

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Club for Growth: Kill the federal gas tax

The Hill -- The federal gas tax should be eliminated, the leader of the conservative group Club for Growth said Monday.

''Not only is raising the gas tax misguided, but we should not even have a federal gas tax to begin with because it finances a program that is inherently broken,’’ former Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.), the group's president, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.

The federal gas tax goes toward the Highway Trust Fund, which Congress recently extended through May 2015. The fund subsidizes transportation projects.

Chocola argued the fund is ''outdated,'' and the revenue from gas payments should be kept at the state and local levels, rather than sent to Washington.
 (go to article)

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Dems call for better auto recall system

The Hill -- Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told regulators that the regional vehicle recall system is flawed and putting drivers at risk.

Markey and Blumenthal wrote a letter the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday. They said exploding airbags made by Takata was a prime example of how the “patchwork” recall system is failing.

“Regional recalls that treat cars and trucks like they never leave their home makes no sense as a policy to protect American families,” the senators wrote. “We believe that this practice risks the safety of those whose cars may not be registered in the states in which the recalls occur.”
 (go to article)

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Cell phone found in hand of man, 22, killed in crash

Detroit Free Press -- A 22-year-old man killed in an I-75 crash southwest of Detroit this morning was found with a cell phone in his hand, police said.

Joe Ryan Contreras of South Rockwood drove a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic northbound into the back of a semi truck shortly before 12:05 a.m. near Dix-Toledo Road in Brownstown Township, according to a news release from Michigan State Police.

“There were no skid marks observed at the scene, and alcohol was not a factor,” according to the news release.

It’s unknown why the car drove into the semi, but the cell phone was found in Contreras’ hand after the vehicles were separated, state police report.

The crash is under investigation.  (go to article)

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Consumer Advisory: Vehicle Owners with Defective Airbags Urged to Take Immediate Action

NHTSA -- WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by the regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can check on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. On the site, consumers can search by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.  (go to article)

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US DOE looking at changes to SPR amid US crude production growth

Platts -- The Energy Department will conduct a comprehensive review of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which could result in changes to the size, location and even the composition of the crude it contains in light of changes in the US and world oil markets, according to an agency letter released Monday.

DOE is in the initial stages of this review which will look at what the "optimal configuration and capabilities" of the SPR should be, Christopher Smith, a principal deputy assistant secretary with DOE's Office of Fossil Energy, wrote in a letter dated September 17.

The DOE review is expected to examine the type of crude kept in the SPR as production of light US oil continues to climb and may look at whether the SPR is best positioned along the Gulf Coast as US energy infrastructure shifted with t  (go to article)

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Oilpatch faces project cancellations with crude at $82

CBC.ca -- The falling price of oil will likely result in a round of project cancellations and disappointing results in the Canadian oilpatch, analysts say.

As oil companies bring in third quarter earnings, starting toward the end of this week, they’re facing oil priced at just above $80, down about 20 per cent since June of this year.

Falling oil prices spell trouble for Canada's oil sands and pipelines
Loonie oil prices could fall much further: Don Pittis

Today West Texas Intermediate oil contracts seem to have stabilized at $82.71 US a barrel, down four cents on the day. That’s up from the lows below $80 set last week. Western Canada Select, the price received by many Canadian oil producers, is at $69.10.

“When the price falls to where it is now, certainly a lot of crude oil producers  (go to article)

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5 reasons why gasoline prices will drop

BankRate -- Next time you fill up, don't be surprised if you leave the gas station with a few more dollars in your pocket. Gasoline prices have been falling for months, and they should continue to decline throughout the rest of 2013.

The national average, which has held stubbornly above $3 per gallon since 2010, may finally dip below that mark before next year, according to an October forecast by energy information service GasBuddy.com. If it goes that low, it'll be a discount of about 76 cents per gallon from July, when the national average hit a summer peak of $3.75 per gallon.

That's a lot more than pocket change. Combined with a decline in driving this winter, lower gasoline prices could help American drivers save $13.1 billion in the fourth quarter, according to Bankrate's analysis of governmen  (go to article)

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In Texas, Toll Roads Proliferate---and a Backlash Builds

The Wall Street Journal -- Toll roads are experiencing a growth spurt around the U.S. as states strapped for cash look to relieve traffic congestion without raising taxes.

But a political backlash is rising in Texas, one of the states that most aggressively encouraged toll-road construction, as residents realize that many major urban freeways are increasingly no longer free.
 (go to article)

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How Cheap Oil Could Become a Real Problem for Airlines

Bloomburg -- Oil futures have been on a torrid plunge in recent weeks, touching lows below $80 per barrel. Great news for airlines, right? Maybe not.

For roughly the past 35 years, inexpensive jet fuel has routinely served as a siren call to airline executives. Cheap fuel spurs more flights and wild grabs for whatever business looks attainable in the travel market. Marginal routes become profitable with lower fuel prices, which, in turn, bolsters the argument that new flights can boost revenues with little cost. Cheap fuel also lets an airline experiment more radically with flight schedules in the bid to swipe market share from rivals.

“If it keeps trending lower, it totally changes the economics of the industry again,” says Seth Kaplan, managing partner of Airline Weekly, an industry journal. With o  (go to article)

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Groups wade in to double Maryland's 'clean power' goal

The Baltimore Sun -- Activists waded into Baltimore's harbor Friday to launch a campaign for an increase Maryland's commitment to "clean" electricity from wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.

Leaders of the environmental, labor and other groups stood hip-deep at Canton Waterfront Park to dramatize the threat that rising sea level from climate change poses to coastal communities like Baltmore. A broad coalition, including religious, public health and businesses groups, has formed to press Maryland lawmakers to double the state's mandated goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. Their goal: 40 percent by 2025. Only about 8 percent of the electricity generated in Maryland now comes from renewable sources, with the bulk of that attributable to hydropower. Of the r  (go to article)

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All Hess gas stations to be rebranded as Speedway, says report

SILIVE -- STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Marking the completion of Marathon Petroleum Speedway's $2.82 billion purchase of all Hess retail operations, is the rebranding of each gas station, according to Fox Business.  (go to article)

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Motor Trend names 2015 Honda CR-V its SUV of the Year

GasBuddy Blog -- The 2015 Honda CR-V has won Motor Trend's award for Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year.The CR-V claims the title with a long list of vehicle enhancements for 2015, including its improved fuel economy and uncompromised driving dynamics, thanks to the inclusion of Honda's Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain, the launch of an all-new Touring trim, the debut of Honda Sensing™ safety and driver assistive technologies. Motor Trend editor-in-chief Ed Loh, said, "The 2015 Honda CR-V impressed our judges with its extensive list of delightful design and thoughtful engineering improvements. Our editors were especially impressed by Honda's responsive and efficient continuously-variable transmission and sophisticated safety systems – particularly the smart and seamlessly integrated Lane Keeping Assist system. Efficient, practical, and a joy to drive; the 2015 Honda CR-V does virtually everything well."...  (go to article)

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New Des Moines train port could disrupt freight market

The Des Moines Register -- A new train port in Des Moines could reshape the freight transport market locally, according to a study presented to Des Moines City Council this morning.

The transloading facility would serve numerous area businesses within a 150- to 200-mile region by transferring loads of commodities and goods from trucks to train cars, according to a report from the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
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Making Los Angeles streets ‘great,’ ending pedestrian deaths are Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADOT’s goa

LA Daily News -- “Our streets are our largest public asset,” Garcetti wrote in a forward to the report. “They occupy 15 percent of Los Angeles’ total land area and serve as our city’s circulation system. We need them to also foster community by providing places to gather and enjoy.

“This strategic plan has my full support and reflects my belief that we can provide prosperity for both current residents and future generations through smart investment, strong management and forward-thinking policies.  (go to article)

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Oil Workers Earning $179,000 Expose Norway to Crude Crash

Bloomberg -- Norway, where oil helped create one of the world's most stable and prosperous societies, is among the most exposed to falling crude prices.

Though the blessings of energy wealth have hardly turned to a curse, the industry's labor costs, which saw the average offshore worker earn $179,000 last year, threaten to curb investment in new projects as oil tumbles.

Oil's slump has wide implications for the Scandinavian country that serves as a model of social-democratic enterprise and sober policy making. Oil and gas activity accounts for almost a quarter of the economy and fills the coffers of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund that stands at more than $840 billion and owns about 1.3 percent of the world's publicly traded companies.  (go to article)

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Lower prices benefit drivers,hurt province.

brandon sun -- BRANDON -- Tumbling pump prices have drivers racing to the gas stations, but what's good for the consumer may hurt the provincial government's budget and trip up oil development in southwest Manitoba.
Online price trackers show Manitoba had the second-lowest fuel prices across the country. On average, they were at 113.9 cents a litre on the weekend.
On Sunday, prices in Winnipeg averaged 109 cents per litre. That was less than a cent higher than Alberta's average.
It's a welcome change from mid-summer high of $1.28 average.
But there's a flipside to lower gas prices.
"If there's a slowdown in activity or a slowdown in the market price of oil, I think it'll affect the province's royalty rates," said Fletcher Baragar, a University of Manitoba economics professor.
"It'll depend critically on  (go to article)

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Lower oil prices are unambiguously good

CNBC -- Steep stock market corrections often create shrouds of pessimism that do bad things to people's brainpower. And one of the absolutely stupidest things I have heard in recent weeks is that the recent drop in oil prices is bad. You heard me right. Serious people on financial television are saying lower oil prices are a signal of worldwide economic collapse. Here at home that translates to recession, deflation, a profits collapse, and rising unemployment.  (go to article)

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Will Cheap Oil Choke the Russian Economy?

Bloomberg Business Week -- Among the many threats facing Russia’s economy, cheap oil could be the biggest of all. Crude prices have fallen more than 23 percent since June, depressing the ruble and knocking a potentially gaping hole in the national budget, which draws 45 percent of revenues from oil taxes.

The Kremlin warned today that it will have to dig deeply into reserves if oil prices and the ruble exchange rate remain at current levels. Covering budget shortfalls over the next three years could deplete half of a $74 billion reserve fund the government created to guard against energy price fluctuations, First Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko told the RIA Novosti news agency. Russia’s draft budget for 2015 is based on $100-a-barrel oil, but crude is now trading at about $88, the lowest since December 2  (go to article)

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Why deflation is so scary

Yahoo Finance -- If the price of a car or an iPhone drops, that’s usually good news for consumers. So it might be puzzling that investors and economists suddenly seem freaked out about the possibility of deflation, or a sustained drop in the level of all prices, on average.

Deflation was a concern back in 2010 and it’s a fresh worry now as oil prices plunge, the stock market wavers and consumers put spending plans on hold.

The paradox of deflation is that falling prices on a few items can generally be good for consumers, leaving more money in their pockets for other things. But falling prices on too many things can have ruinous effects on the economy that are hard to reverse. Japan suffered nearly two decades of deflation starting in the early 1990s, and deflation helped prolong the Great Depression in t  (go to article)

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Pumping for change: 'The Oracle of Oil' T. Boone Pickens on low gas prices and keeping it that way

Yahoo News -- In spite of a U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in the Middle East, oil prices have dropped below $3 a gallon across much of the country in recent months. It’s an uncommon confluence of events that billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens said wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. “If this had been 10 years ago … you would've had oil up $50 a barrel,” Pickens, who has been dubbed “The Oracle of Oil” for his uncanny knack for predicting oil prices, told “Power Players” in a recent interview conducted at the Concordia Summit in New York City. It’s quite a shift from just a few years ago in 2008, when gas prices across the country spiked to as much as $4 and $5 a gallon. And the reason for the change, Pickens said, has to do with a growth in U.S. oil production. “The United States has  (go to article)

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8 Tips and Misconceptions About Warming Your Car in the Winter

Autos Cheat Sheet -- Winter is on its way. For those in the northern climes, that time of year when temperatures dive into the 30s and 40s at night only to surge back to the 60s and 70s during the day carry with it the exodus to the nearest garages to have their tires changed over, so as not to get caught out in the first snowstorms on summer slicks. The introduction of winter also means some frigid mornings, and for those who are up and out of the house as the early sun begins to creep over the horizon, getting in your car can be a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Traditionally, the go-to remedy to alleviate such discomfort has been to run the vehicle for a few minutes prior to setting off, but that approach has drawn some criticisms for its potential side effects. Esquire magazine outlined some of the issue  (go to article)

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Hedge Funds Say Oil Is Going to $0

Motely Fool -- Supply and demand are what typically fuel oil prices. However, market fundamentals aren't the only factors at play. Speculators, like hedge funds and other big money investors, play a role in the price of oil as well. They can push it up past market fundamentals or, as they have recently, cause it to plunge -- the latest dip sent global oil benchmark Brent down 25% to around $85 per barrel, and U.S. oil benchmark WTI even lower.  (go to article)

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Does your car have a secret warranty?

ABC 13 Eye Witness News -- HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Nothing's more frustrating to a car owner than discovering peeling paint or a leaking sunroof on a car that's not so old. Having to make expensive, post-warranty repairs can leave you feeling ripped off. But Consumer Reports says you might be able to get your car fixed for free, if you know the secret.

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National average falls closer to $3/gal mark

GasBuddy Blog -- Another week, another drop at pumps across the country. The national average fell another 9.3 cents a gallon in the last week, and stands at its lowest since February of 2011.The national average again saw a hefty decline over the last week, and we now stand a mere dime away from seeing prices nationally average under $3/gallon.Looking back, the national average stands now at its lowest point since January 18, 2011, and by the end of this week, it could stand at its lowest since late 2010. Every day, Americans are spending over $100 million less on their gasoline purchases than they did a year ago, some of which will be injected back into the economy in other forms, and with the economic concerns taking shape lately, it could help jolt things back in the right direction. I still do believe that the national average will break the $3/gallon mark by around Election Day- the timing is ironic, considering the drop has nothing to do with Election Day and everything to do with current o  (go to article)

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