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PG&E Fined $1.4 Billion For Violations Leading To 2010 San Bruno Pipeline Explosion

CBS San Francisco -- SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — PG&E was hit with $1.4 billion in penalties by the California Public Utilities Commission Tuesday for safety violations related to a deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010.

The new fines and penalties bring the total amount PG&E has been ordered to pay in the wake of the explosion—which killed eight people and injured 66 others on Sept. 9, 2010 — to more than $2 billion.

Two CPUC administrative law judges ruled that PG&E had committed nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal laws and regulations over several years leading up to the explosion.

The penalties include $950 million to be paid to California’s general fund, $400 million in pipeline improvements—the cost of which cannot be passed on to customers—and another $50 million to enhance pipelin  (go to article)

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Another Beheading by Isis

CNN -- American journalist Steven Sotloff speaks to the camera in the ISIS video before his apparent execution.  (go to article)

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Spot Gas Prices

EIA -- This shows the spot price of Gas and other fuels at their port of entry. New York, Gulf Coast and LA.
I found it interesting.  (go to article)

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‘Smart’ car group promises less oil use, better air Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/technolo

the Hill -- For instance, tools that give drivers more information about road conditions and traffic through the Web could result in people using 420 million fewer barrels of oil over 10 years, which adds up to reduction of 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas emitted by humans.
Additionally, upgrading infrastructure and traffic system technology could save another 117 million barrels of oil over a decade, it promised.

As an example of those infrastructure changes, the group pointed to Los Angeles County, which implemented a new program to ensure that traffic lights on major thoroughfares were coordinated so people did not have to stop and start at every block. That cut down on travel time by 31.3 million hours, the trade group found, and saved 38 million gallons of gas  (go to article)

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Cost of Denver gasoline 18 cents above the national average

The Denver Post -- The cost of a gallon of gasoline in Denver on Monday was 18 cents higher than the national average, a trend that started several weeks ago.

For most of the year, prices in Denver were far lower than the national average.  (go to article)

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Frankfurt court bans Uber taxi services across Germany

Reuters -- A court has barred ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in the popular app's fight with taxi drivers worldwide.

Frankfurt state court spokesman Arne Hasse said Tuesday the decision that Uber can't offer its services without a specific permit under German transport laws applies nationwide.

The injunction applies pending a full hearing of a suit brought against Uber by Taxi Deutschland, a German cab association that also offers its own taxi-ordering app. The suit is being heard in Frankfurt because it is one of the several German cities in which Uber operates.
 (go to article)

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In 10 Years, Electric Cars Make Home Solar Practical Without Subsidies: UBS

Green Car Reports -- By 2020, the bank says, the combination of a home solar system, batteries, and a plug-in car could pay for itself in six to eight years for the average European consumer.

That estimate applies only to Europe, where electricity rates can be twice the U.S. average of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour and in some cases higher yet.
 (go to article)

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Scientists use E.coli bacteria to create fossil fuel alternative

reuters -- (Reuters) - British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves.

"Although we have only produced tiny amounts so far, the fuel we have produced is ready to be used in an engine straight away," said Patrik Jones of the department of life sciences at Imperial College London, who worked on the research.

He said while work is at a very early stage, possibly 5-10 years from the point where commercial production would be possible, his team's findings were proof of concept for a way of producing renewable fuel now only accessible from fossil reserves.  (go to article)

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Oil Slips as End of Peak Driving Season May Reduce Demand

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude retreated for the first time in five days amid speculation that the end of the peak driving season and start of refinery maintenance will curb demand.

WTI fell as much as 1.5 percent as gasoline futures reached the lowest level for a front-month contract since November. The main driving season in the U.S. typically runs through Labor Day and refineries slow operations during scheduled maintenance that peaks in September and October.

“It’s the typical post-holiday selloff,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “We are going into refinery turnaround pretty soon. All that bullish exuberance has been exorcised out of the market right now.”

WTI for October delivery declined $1.25, or 1.3 percent, to $94.71 a b  (go to article)

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Waldo suspends 2 police chiefs after quota claims

Press-Telegram & Associated Press -- AAA named the tiny town between Jacksonville and Gainesville one of only two "traffic traps" nationwide and even placed an attention-getting billboard outside the limits of the town to warn drivers to slow down before entering.

Now Waldo is facing a scandal following allegations that the town victimizes motorists in order to turn a profit. Two police chiefs have been suspended, the police department has rebelled and the state is investigating possible wrongdoing.  (go to article)

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Halliburton To Pay $1.1 Billion Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

AP -- Houston - Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1B to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next 2 years

Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history

The deal will settle claims assigned to Halliburton as a result of BP's settlement in 2012 and punitive damages from the loss of property or commercial fishing activity resulting from the oil spill
 (go to article)

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Thousands get green energy jobs in California

Desert Sun -- Green energy advocates got some welcome news last week: More than 2,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in California in the second quarter of 2014, including 150 in Riverside County.
Those numbers are courtesy of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a consortium of green energy companies and investors. According to E2, Hemet-based solar installer Horizon Solar said in June it would hire 150 new employees, the only such job announcement in Riverside County last quarter.
In the first quarter of 2014, only 660 clean energy and clean technology jobs were announced in California, bringing the total for the first half of this year to almost 3,200  (go to article)

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Dominion Resources will build 550-mile natural gas pipeline into NC

Charlotte Observer -- Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have selected Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources to construct a 550-mile pipeline to bring natural gas to Eastern North Carolina from the Marcellus Shale and other regions.

Dubbed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the project would cost between $4.5 billion and $5 billion and would go into operation in late 2018.

The pipeline, the second major interstate line into the state, will help meet growing demand from new industries and new power plants that were built in recent years to phase out burning coal in North Carolina.  (go to article)

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Ending crude ban could benefit U.S.

Haynesville.com -- ConocoPhillips senior economist Helen Currie, citing a study by the energy consulting firm IHS Inc., said prices at the pump would fall by about 8 cents a gallon should crude exports be allowed.

Lifting the ban would allow the world’s refineries “to be able to make more gasoline and diesel because it would allow more efficient allocation of crude oil around the world,” she said.
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Canadians expose foreign worker 'mess' in oilsands

CBC News -- "People are angry and upset," said journeyman ironworker Johnny Demosten, who is still working at the site. He said many of the foreign workers don't know crane hand signals and other safety precautions.

"If they are journeymen, they are supposed to know the signals. It's pretty dangerous."
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Gas prices rise slightly as kids head back to school

GasBuddy Blog -- For many schoolchildren across the U.S., today is the day- it's back to school! Motorists should be mindful of that during their commutes. Busses will be returning to transport many kids to school, so be extra careful around them, especially when stopped.
For drivers heading back to work, the national average has inched up slightly in the last week across the country. Some areas of the Great Lakes and Florida (and surely more areas) have seen prices hike in the last week.
While the national average remains double digits lower per gallon lower than last year, we may see little change over the next week as we prepare for another decline in gas prices to take place in a couple weeks. Demand for gasoline declines after Labor Day, and by mid-September, cheaper winter gasoline will start to flow as EPA requirements ease for summer gasoline....  (go to article)

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Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid gets HPD Street Perforamnce supercharge

futurecars.com -- By Aaron Turpen, August 25, 2014
Honda has announced the availability of a new Honda Performance Development (HPD) supercharger kit for the CR-Z Sport Hybrid as part of its full line of street performance accessories for the CR-Z line.

All Honda dealers in the United States have access to the full range of HPD kits for the 2013 and 2014 CR-Z.

The kit boosts powertrain output in the CR-Z Sport Hybrid to 197 horsepower with the air-to-air intercooler, high-flow fuel injectors, and ECU calibration. Suggested retail price for the kit is $5,495, not including installation. The installation of this Honda kit does not affect the owner's warranty.
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Driving Ferrari But Reporting Low Income To IRS Gets Ticket To Jail

Forbes -- Claiming you are destitute while you live like a king can get you into trouble with the tax man. If you get caught, you can claim you have a rich uncle. But if you can’t prove it, you’re still in trouble. And taxing authorities have heard just about every story in the book.

Take the case of the Italian fish trader who got a €210,000 tax bill when Italy’s financial police caught him in a tax story that, well, smelled fishy. The fish merchant claimed a hard luck story—a kind of reverse fish story—on his taxes. He reported that he was earning only €900 a month, about €10,000 a year. There was only one catch.

He was already under suspicion for things that didn’t jibe in his business. When the authorities went to search his home, they discovered that he had a penchant for expensive cars.  (go to article)

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New fuel-efficient cars: The latest hybrids and diesels bring mixed results

Consumer Reports -- When car buyers think of fuel efficiency, many automatically think of hybrid models. Hybrids we’ve tested often lead their classes in gas mileage. And they can be ideal for lower-speed urban and suburban driving, when the vehicle can optimize its electric power.

But not all hybrids are created equal. With some, the trade-off for a high miles-per-gallon figure is performance that’s less smooth and refined. With others, it’s a smaller cargo area or less flexibility in carrying gear. Many automakers also load up their hybrids with extra features, which adds to their already higher sticker prices. And in a few cases, the hybrid’s added fuel economy isn’t much better than a conventional version of the same model.

Another option for stretching your fuel dollars is a diesel-powered . . .  (go to article)

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Tech More: Driverless Car Google Google's Self-Driving Cars Won't Work In Heavy Rain Or On Most Roa

Business Insider -- It seems that Google may be facing a bumpier ride with self-driving cars than initially expected.

An MIT Technology Review report released last week said that the cars rely so much on maps and detailed data that they can't drive themselves around 99% of the USA. It's not a promising outlook for Google's new project.

Although the vehicles have already driven 700,000 miles safely, there is clearly still a lot of testing still to do. The cars have yet to drive in snowy conditions and it's not yet safe to drive in heavy rain either. Many of the problems arise from how good the detection technology is on the car and how well it is able to discriminate between different objects in view and between different weather conditions.

The vehicle's video cameras can detect the blink of a traffic ...  (go to article)

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Surgeons and GPs more likely to cause car accidents than other workers

The Guardian -- Surgeons and GPs are the most accident-prone drivers, according to an analysis of 2 million insurance claims that reveals an extraordinary concentration of problem driving among healthcare professionals.

The analysis, by Moneysupermarket.com, found surgeons and GPs were nearly 100 times more likely to cause an at-fault accident while driving than a building society clerk.

For every 1,000 surgeons who drive a car, 361 made an at-fault claim in the past five years, compared with just 3.5 building society clerks, the research found.

It is not only doctors who are a danger on the roads. The figures show that the top 10 occupations registering an at-fault claim were all, bar one, connected to the healthcare profession – including district nurses, community nurses, health visitors and ...  (go to article)

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Oil steady as global tensions stem a further price drop

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures were little changed in Asian trade Tuesday, with Brent almost flat as tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East stemmed further losses in oil prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at $95.77 a barrel at last check, down $0.19 in the Globex electronic session. October Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.02 to $102.77 a barrel.

U.S. markets will reopen after the Labor Day holiday weekend, and investors are likely to assess recent developments in Ukraine and Libya, and manufacturing and economic data from different countries, traders said.

In Ukraine, the military is moving to adopt a defensive strategy against an incursion by Russian troops, even as U.S. and European officials discuss ...  (go to article)

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Railroad rights of way getting a closer look

The Spokesman Review -- BOISE – Thousands of miles of active railroad tracks in 11 Western states cross public land on 200-foot-wide rights of way granted under an 1875 law intended to encourage westward expansion.

But the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor determined it made a mistake 15 years ago by allowing too much discretion on what modern-day railroads can build or allow third parties to build on that land.

A proposed water pipeline in California having nothing to do with railroad operations prompted the agency to fix the 1989 error that could also be used to put in oil or natural gas pipelines.

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South Carolina Police Caution Motorists Against Ride-sharing

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..cnbc.comPolice are warning the public about the insurance-related risks of ridesharing services Uber and Lyft, according to South Carolina news reports.Charleston police will hold “sting operations” to warn Uber drivers and possibly fine them after the service launched in Charleston weeks ago, according to The Post and Courier, which also reported that Uber intends to pay those fines for its drivers there.Uber and other ridesharing services use smartphone apps to connect passengers and drivers. Drivers typically use their personal vehicles to drive passengers, raising questions with authorities over gaps in coverage and public safety. ...  (go to article)

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From Seoul to Mexico City, pressure mounts to ease US oil export ban

25CNBC-REUTERS -- Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. oil shipments overseas.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye told a visiting U.S. delegation of lawmakers on the House of Representatives energy committee on Aug. 11 that tapping into the gusher of ultra-light, sweet crude emerging from places like Texas and North Dakota was a priority, the lawmakers said.

One of South Korea's leading refiners has opened discussions with the government in Seoul over how to encourage Washington to open the taps, three sources in South Korea with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Mexico is also eagerly awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Commerce on...  (go to article)

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Dodge Ram 1500 Tops Consumer Reports MPG Test

Gas2 -- Consumer Reports says the Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has the best fuel economy of any full size pickup truck sold in America. In their testing, it got 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg overall. Those numbers compare quite favorably with the EPA rating of 28 highway, 2o mpg city and 23 mpg overall. The CR numbers are probably closer to what owners should see in real world driving.

Ram’s brand director Bob Hegbloom said recently that improved fuel economy ratings have definitely helped sell more Ram 1500 trucks. He also said that the first manufacturer to offer a full size pickup that actually gets 30 mpg will “win the pick up truck war.” Others are getting close. Staff member Jo Borras recently took a Chevy Tahoe on a 1000 mile road trip with his family and all their stuff and averaged 25 mpg  (go to article)

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Coal Miners See Signs of Recovery as Prices Stabilize

WallStJournal -- For two years, the world's coal miners have been plagued by a glut that has battered prices and led to the closure of mines, straining tiny towns from Australia to South Africa.

Now, some of the largest coal exporters are signaling the worst may be over as prices stabilize.

Coal-mining executives say a string of pit shutdowns should finally kick-start the market by curbing supply, while demand from buyers such as China and India appears to be picking up. The optimism is a reversal from past months when companies warned of a sustained market surplus, although they are stopping short of predicting a sharp rebound and see any recovery as gradual.

Coal is one of the world's most important energy products and is the biggest source of electricity generation, supplying about 40% of global need  (go to article)

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Massive cyber attack on oil and energy industry in Norway

Naked Security -- As many as 300 oil and energy companies have been targeted by hackers in the largest ever coordinated cyber attack in Norway.

The Local reports that 50 companies in the oil sector have already been breached while another 250 are at risk.

Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet - Norway's National Security Authority (NSM) - has issued warnings to the companies it believes may be targeted including Statoil, the country's largest oil company. The identities of other firms that have been breached or targeted have not been disclosed at this time.  (go to article)

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Solar project showcases innovation between Minnesota Power, military

Fierceenergy.com -- Minnesota Power is joining forces with the Minnesota National Guard to build a major solar energy project at the state's largest military base, Camp Ripley. If approved, the project will be the largest solar energy installation on military property in the state.

A recently signed memorandum of understanding between the two outlines plans to build a 10 MW utility-scale solar array at the central Minnesota camp, which would cover nearly 100 acres of underutilized government property with photovoltaic panels on racks. The National Guard and Minnesota Power will work together to identify and complete programs that will help Camp Ripley meet its energy savings goal of 30 percent over 2003. In fact, they have already identified more than 50 energy conservation measures.
 (go to article)

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Capturing value from oil and gas land operations

Fierceenergy.com -- The continued increases in oil and gas transaction volume and drilling activity have strained oil and gas land organizations, leading to missed opportunities in building efficiencies and capturing value, according to PwC's 2014 Land Management Benchmarking study based on responses from more than 70 oil and gas professionals from different functions across 20 top oil and gas companies in the U.S.

Rapid shifts from land acquisition to development has intensified the resource and organizational gaps in land administration and operations, according to PwC.

"Land functions are being challenged to do more and provide greater value, yet they are finding it difficult to keep pace with today's accelerated rate of deal and drilling activity as leases change hands at greater levels than in the past  (go to article)

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Surge In U.S. Oil Production Finally Reflected At Pump

Oil Price.com -- Geopolitical turmoil, particularly in oil-producing regions, usually means higher retail costs for petroleum products, specifically gasoline.

Not so this year. Oil analysts say American drivers taking their last summer road trips cars will enjoy the lowest pump prices this Labor Day weekend than they have in four years. That’s despite ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and between Russia and Ukraine.  (go to article)

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13 Sweet, Affordable Cars to Take Back to School

Wired -- As a student, you need your car to handle a few essential tasks. It should be able to haul sports gear, get student-budget-ready gas mileage, be reliable enough to avoid costly repairs, have a solid safety rating, and still stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Sure, you could just pick up a Corolla or Civic, but there are way less boring cars to have for not too much money.

To mark the end of summer and the start of a new school year, we've picked out 13 new and used cars that hit all those marks, a few of which have some sly tech to keep students from driving like hellions.  (go to article)

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Russia breaks ground on new gas pipeline to China

APF -- Russia launched construction Monday of a 770 billion ruble ($20.8 bn) gas pipeline that will help bring gas from the far east of the country to China. "We are today starting the biggest construction project in the world," President Vladimir Putin said at the ceremonial joining of the first sections of the 3,968-kilometre (2,466-mile) Siberian Strength pipeline outside the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk. "But it is not about records, it is the fact that it is an extremely important project for the Russian Federation and for the People's Republic of China," he said, according to comments broadcast on national TV. China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who was also in attendance at the ceremony, said he hoped the pipeline would be completed within four years. "China already plans in the first ha  (go to article)

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5 simple steps to saving for a new car

USA Today -- It sounds so simple: If you want to build up your savings, just spend less than you earn.

But while a fourth-grader can do the math on paper, even 40-year-olds can have trouble putting that basic idea into practice.

If you're trying to save up a few thousand bucks for a new car – or a used car that is at least new to you – it helps to have a plan that keeps you disciplined and on schedule if unexpected expenses pop up.
 (go to article)

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Can Tesla Be More Valuable Than GM?

247wallst.com -- Tesla Motors Inc.’s market capitalization is $35 billion. That of General Motors Co. is $55 billion. Can Tesla pass GM by this measure? It is not out of the question, because Tesla’s shares are surging and GM’s legal woes due to recalls and the impact this could have on earnings are not over.

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Researchers at work on using liquid nitrogen instead of water in fracturing

Fuel Fix -- Petroleum engineers in Colorado are working on a process called cryogenic fracturing, which replaces water with searing cold liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide. And natural gas fields in the state may serve as a laboratory for testing this different way to fracture shale rock formations – one that doesn’t pump millions of gallons of water underground or result in contaminated wastewater. Reporter Collin Eaton looks at how scientists at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden hope that the ultra-cold thermal shocks that occur when liquid nitrogen meets shale rock will have a similar effect as water, creating the needed stress to crack open the subterranean stores of oil and gas. And, Eaton found, that because the liquid nitrogen would evaporate underground, cryogenic fracturing could f  (go to article)

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As Solar Power Grows, Dispute Flares Over U.S. Utility Bills

National Geographic -- An energy revolution is happening atop homes in the United States, with one new rooftop solar system being installed every four minutes in 2013.

Great for the environment. Not so good for the U.S. electric companies that happen to be in solar energy hot spots.

So-called "net metering" policies are adding up to a headache for electric company officials, who are watching monthly utility income shrink as more and more solar panels crown the homes in their service areas.  (go to article)

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Oil futures slip as markets weigh Ukraine, Chinese data

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures traded in a narrow price range Monday as markets weighed events in Ukraine and China’s manufacturing data that pointed to further slowing of the economy.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at $95.67 a barrel at last check, down $0.29, or 0.3%. October Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.53, or 0.5%, to $102.66 a barrel.

Nymex crude ended 2.25% lower in August, and Brent crude lost 2.67% during the month. Both oil benchmarks are down for two consecutive months, but recovered slightly in the final week of August on the back of positive U.S. economic data and Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Amid reports of further incursions by Russian soldiers into Ukraine over the weekend, the European Union is ...  (go to article)

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Oil prices dip on faltering demand but Libya chaos threatens output

Reuters -- Brent crude oil prices dipped on Monday as manufacturing growth faltered in Europe and China at a time of ample supply, although the risk of production setbacks remained high in Libya where the government has lost control of most of the capital.

Euro zone manufacturing growth slowed more than expected last month and factory activity in several key countries appeared to be stagnating. French factory output fell at its fastest in 15 months in August.

Chinese factory growth slipped to a three-month low in August as foreign and domestic demand cooled, and the country's huge construction sector is also seeing a slowdown, muddying the outlook for demand from the world's key consumer of most commodities.

"In China, diesel demand growth has been pressured by a slowdown in construction activity  (go to article)

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Speediest and slowest states: Where does yours rank?

Yahoo! Autos (from autos.com) -- This year marks four decades since President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a mandate that set the maximum national speed limit at 55 mph, helping to fend off an oil crisis, diminishing Americans' ability to make good time on a cross-country road trip and inspiring rocker Sammy Hagar's signature song. It's been nearly two decades since that law's repeal and, since then, two-thirds of U.S. states have picked up the pace significantly, raising their speed limits to 70 mph or higher on stretches of their roadways.

So which state is the fastest? Put another way, which states have the highest average top speed limit?  (go to article)

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How Australia Perfected Solar Power and Then Went Back to Coal

NewsVice -- There was a time in the 1980s when Australia led the world in solar technology. To begin with, Australia receives more solar radiation per square foot than anywhere on the planet, and that presents an obvious advantage. But the true catalyst was geography: two thirds of the country consists of uninhabited desert. This posed problems for engineers tasked with constructing a national telephone network in the early 1970s. The solution was to build remote relay stations powered with solar energy, which at the time was a fledgling, expensive technology. Yet by 1978 the national provider, Telecom, had developed reliable solar cells that could be installed affordably across the country and be infrequently maintained. International recognition came in 1983 when Perth was tapped...  (go to article)

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Construction continues at Dakota Prairie Refinery

KFYR -- The city of Dickinson has had a record amount of rainfall in the month of August, but all that precipitation hasn't stopped construction at the Dakota Prairie Refinery.

As the summer construction season winds down, hundreds of workers at the Dakota prairie refinery are speeding up, placing the final touches on the plant.

"We are three months away from finishing our 3 year journey," says John Stumpf of WBI energy. The refinery is the first plant to be build in the United States in over three decades.

"This is the perfect spot for a plant, we are close to the crude oil, close to a big market for the diesel," according to plant manager Dave Podratz. Each day the plant will convert 20,000 barrels of crude oil into 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel.
 (go to article)

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5 things to know about driving on marijuana

Associated Press -- The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states — Colorado and Washington — and medical marijuana in more than 20 others has raised concern that there will be more drivers stoned behind the wheel. What's not clear is whether that will translate into an increase in fatal crashes.  (go to article)

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Libyan crude oil output ramps up to 700,000 b/d despite political chaos

Platts -- Libya's crude production has rallied to 700,000 b/d, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp said Monday, its highest level since June last year when the most recent crisis to hit the country's oil sector first began.

The increase comes, however, as Libya faces arguably its biggest political challenge since the killing of former leader Moammar Qadhafi in 2011 with its outgoing government forced to take refuge in the east of the country after armed militias took control of government offices in Tripoli.

"Libyan oil production is 700,000 b/d," the NOC spokesman said on Monday.

Libyan production has been steadily ramping up in the past month after exports finally resumed from the eastern ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in August after one year of rebel occupation.
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Oil prices will not fall below $100 mark for rest of 2014

Arab Times -- KUWAIT CITY, Aug 31, (KUNA): There should be no anxiety over the global price of oil for the rest of 2014, predicted an expert, who viewed that prices would not fall below the $ 100 mark in spite of their recent drop to just below that. The recent drop as Kuwaiti crude slid by 64 cents to $ 99.14 a barrel is attributed to several factors, including supply exceeding demand, Mohammad Al-Shatti suggested. One of the main reasons of this is the significant increase of global production leading to an overwhelming output, he argues. The recovery of production in Libya, after their recent political revolution, has increased output from 70,000 barrels a day to around 550,000 barrels.
Meanwhile in Iraq, production has not been affected by the threat of armed terror Islamic State jihadists, formerl  (go to article)

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Speculators Turn More Bullish on Oil Before Labor Day

Bloomberg -- Hedge funds increased bullish positions on crude oil for the first time in more than a month, benefiting from a rally before the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Money managers increased net-long positions in U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil by 0.6 percent in the seven days ended Aug. 26, boosting bullish wagers from a 16-month low, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. WTI climbed 2.5 percent last week, the first gain since July.

U.S. refineries operated at the highest rate for this time of year since 2005 before the Labor Day weekend, which AAA estimated would see the most drivers in six years. Oil demand in the U.S. is at the strongest seasonal level in six years. The nation’s economy expanded more than previously forecast in the second quarter, increasing expectations  (go to article)

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Tesla SUV Could Outshine The Model S – Morgan Stanley

Detroit News -- Tesla Motors Inc achieved a big hit with its Model S saloon, but according to investment bank Morgan Stanley, its next model, an SUV, will do even better.

Tesla has achieved much with the four-door $70,000 plus Model S, sweeping up awards and generally wowing the motoring press. Tesla built 8,763 Model S cars in the second quarter, and expects to deliver about 35,000 this year.

Tesla expects to build more than 60,000 vehicles in 2015. The next vehicle on the launch pad is the Model X, and, according to Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, this will feast on the premium SUV market.

“Despite the success of the Model S, we think Model X has the potential to be far more successful and a much better value. Some in the market have described Tesla as a ‘one hit wonder’ with the Model S. We expect the  (go to article)

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Happy Labor Day to All!

GasBuddy Blog -- A little history never hurts...
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.But more than 100 years later, there's still disagreement about which union leader deserves the credit... ...  (go to article)

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Where Jaguar Land Rover may take EVs, hybrids

Automotive News -- Wolfgang Ziebart, 64, head of product development for Jaguar Land Rover, is guiding the expansion of the Land Rover and Jaguar ranges. The former BMW product development chief shared thoughts about Jaguar Land Rover's plans for hybrid and electric vehicles in a chat with Automotive News Europe's Nick Gibbs.
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Exelon opposes renewal of wind subsidy

delawareonline -- Wind power advocates are expressing concern over Exelon Corp.’s proposed merger with the company that owns Delmarva Power, saying its opposition to the major subsidy for wind could hurt the development of onshore and offshore wind farms.

Exelon owns such distribution utilities as PECO in Pennsylvania and BGE in Baltimore. It has filed papers to merge with Pepco Holdings Inc., owner of Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland, Pepco in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and Atlantic City Electric in New Jersey.

Exelon, the largest operator of nuclear power plants in the United States, has been vocal in opposition to the Production Tax Credit a subsidy to wind farm developers that drives down the cost of construction, and thus the cost of the power.

The tax credit expired at the end...  (go to article)

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The 10 Best-Selling Vehicles of 2014 Thus Far

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- We’re well into the 2014 calendar year, and auto sales data is starting to roll in. While there are few surprises on the list, the numbers do provide some valuable insight into consumer habits for manufacturers to consider going into the future. The big names are present, including Honda (NYSE:HM), Ford (NYSE:F), Chevrolet (NYSE:GM), and Toyota (NYSE:TMC). There is a solid mix of consumer cars, trucks and even some SUVs, indicating the varying tastes and trends across sales segments as well.

Our list comes courtesy of the folks at Kelley Blue Book, who supplied the top ten. Wall St. Cheat Sheet has supplemented KBB‘s figures with our own sales data to ensure accuracy. The figures are accurate through the month of July, meaning there’s plenty of time for reshuffling as the year goes on...  (go to article)

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