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Ethanol is Proof our Government Hates Us

Political Outcast -- Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) argues, “The Renewable Fuel Standard is fundamentally broken and beyond repair. Instead of delivering meaningful environmental benefits, it’s driven up food and fuel costs for American families. This flawed program will also inevitably lead to widespread lawsuits against American manufacturers. When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over.”  (go to article)

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Enbridge Sees New Pipeline to U.S. Gulf Operating in Octobe

Reuters -- Enbridge Inc's new 450,000 barrel-per-day Seaway Twin pipeline, to carry Canadian oil sands crude to North America's largest refining complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast, will likely start operating in October, the company said on Friday.

Enbridge, Canada's biggest pipeline company, said mid October is most likely when the Seaway Twin will be filled with crude from the company's new 600,000 bpd Flanagan South pipeline.

Seaway Twin will carry crude from Cushing, Oklahoma, to oil tanks near Houston, and although the pipeline was mechanically completed in early July, it will not start operating before Flanagan South, which will run from Illinois to Cushing, is finished in early October.

Traders have been closely monitoring the progress of the two pipelines, which will give Canadian oil sands pr  (go to article)

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PBF Energy May Build Oil-by-rail Facility at Ohio Refinery

Reuters -- PBF Energy Inc is taking some crude by rail at its Ohio refinery via a third party, but the company may build its own offloading facility there, Chief Executive Officer Tom Nimbley told analysts on Friday.

"We are actively looking at how to effectively put in a rail unloading facility, either within the property of Toledo or very close that will be our own," he said during the company's quarterly earnings call.

PBF recently finished expanding a rail-offloading infrastructure at its Delaware refinery, which now has capacity to offload up to 210,000 barrels per day - 130,000 bpd of North Dakota Bakken and 80,000 bpd Canadian heavy crude.

Whether shipments reach those levels depends on crude pricing, Chairman Tom O'Malley noted. In the third and fourth quarters this year, PBF has "signific  (go to article)

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Slippery Wreck

Las Vegas Review Journal -- INDIANAPOLIS — A semitrailer has overturned on an Indianapolis interstate, spilling what police say are 45,000 pounds of packages of butter and other dairy products.  (go to article)

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Man Freaked - Steals Garbage Truck

Las Vegas Review Journal -- BOULDER, Colo. — A man accused of stealing a garbage truck in Boulder this week may have been scared by officers responding to an unrelated call near his home.  (go to article)

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S Africa: Giraffe dies after head hits highway overpass

USA Today -- Disturbing story that shouldn't have happened.  (go to article)

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Prosecutor: Foster dad in hot car death was high

Associated Press -- A Kansas foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in a hot car, where she died, prosecutors said Friday.

Details of the case surfaced during a bond hearing Friday for Seth M. Jackson, 29, of Wichita, who is charged with first-degree murder in the baby's July 24 death.
 (go to article)

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Gas Prices. Does Anyone Complain Anymore?

WOOD Radio -- We saw gasoline prices increase yesterday. An almost 30 cent increase at some west Michigan gas stations.

Does anyone get worked up about gas prices any longer. Maybe it is because prices begin dropping almost immediately after each price spike. We know this week's $3.23 a gallon wouldn't last.
 (go to article)

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2015 Ford F-150 SFE: Highest Gas Mileage Model For Aluminum Pickup

The Green report -- Various details have already been released about the radical new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, the first-ever to use an all-aluminum body to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.

Now another piece of information has leaked out: Ford will offer an F-150 SFE model, a special option package that boosts fuel economy ratings slightly higher than regular models with the same engine.
Ford spokesman Mike Levine later confirmed that the SFE option will be available for the XL and XLT trim levels, which together make up 70 percent of total F-150 sales.

It will also be offered on two different body styles: regular cab and SuperCab, he said.

Trucks equipped with the SFE package will ride on 17-inch wheels and tires, among the smallest available on any full-size pickup on the market today.

 (go to article)

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Hyundai Recalls More Than 419K Vehicles

abc -- The biggest of three recalls posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators is of 225,000 Santa Fe SUVs from 2001-2006 to replace front coil springs that can rust and crack in cold-weather states. The springs can fracture and make contact with a tire, potentially causing a crash.  (go to article)

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Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Drop in 7 Months on Demand

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude headed for its biggest weekly decline in seven months on concern that demand will fall as refineries slow operations. Brent slid.

Prices dropped for a fifth day. U.S. refineries cut their utilization rate last week for the first time in more than a month, government data show. Operations may decrease further after CVR Refining LP (CVRR)’s Coffeyville refinery in Kansas was shut down after a fire this week and plants begin to shut units for seasonal maintenance. WTI also fell as gasoline slumped.  (go to article)

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Road Trip! Gas prices heading lower

USA Today -- Road trip!

Less than a month after consumers forked out the highest prices for gasoline for a July 4 weekend since 2008, they'll fill up today at the lowest average Aug. 1 price since 2010 and should pay even less this fall.  (go to article)

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Lack of streetlights, people walking in streets faulted as Detroit traffic deaths spike

Detroit News -- A shortage of working streetlights, pedestrians walking in the street instead of using sidewalks and motorists texting while driving are largely responsible for a sharp increase in fatal and critical traffic accidents in Detroit, according to police.

Plans are in the works to add officers to the unit that investigates traffic-related deaths.

Through Monday, Detroit recorded 69 fatal accidents, up from 49 during the same period last year, according to Detroit police statistics. Among those were 41 hit-and-run incidents resulting in either fatalities or critical injuries in 2014, only 16 fewer than all of 2013. The number of people killed or injured in those incidents was not available.  (go to article)

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Erosion exposes Enbridge oil pipelines near river in northwest Minn.

Prairie Business -- Flooding has uncovered three of seven Enbridge Energy pipelines that cross the river, pipes that largely carry crude oil from Canada across Minnesota. Although the pipelines generally are buried 3 to 4 feet below ground, in places erosion has exposed them to the elements.

Chad Jerome, a local farmer, said he has seen an exposed pipe in the spot for the 14 years that he has planted and harvested fields along the river. But until recently he didn’t realize how many pipelines were uncovered.

“I guess I have faith that Enbridge knows what they’re doing and that safety measures are in place and it’s not an issue,” Jerome said.

The three exposed lines include a 24-inch pipe, constructed in the early 1960s, a 34-inch line built about 1968, and a 20-inch pipe laid in 2010, Enbridge spokesperson  (go to article)

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Gasoline prices hit lowest Aug. 1 price in four years.

Fuel Fix -- Drivers across the country are experiencing their lowest Aug. 1 gasoline prices in four years as traders’ concerns about instability in Iraq and Ukraine start to ease, analysts at GasBuddy said.

Nationwide, gasoline prices Friday averaged $3.50 per gallon, a 15 cent drop from a month earlier, according to analysts at the website that tracks gas prices nationwide.

Most Americans are paying their lowest pump prices since March 14 — the day before Ukraine’s Crimea region voted to secede.

Analysts at GasBuddy project that “peak 2014 motor fuel prices are in the rear-view mirror for most drivers,” unless a tropical storm or hurricane affects Gulf Coast refineries.

And prices could continue to slide further, with rising crude production and increased refining output on the horizon. Tom Klo  (go to article)

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Price shock at the gas pump

Mansfield News Journal -- Motorists in Richland and Crawford counties, indeed all across north central Ohio, have enjoyed steadily declining gasoline prices for more than a month now, but that pleasant trajectory has come to a crashing halt this week.  (go to article)

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Another NH speeder - 125 mph motorcyclist

Eagle Tribune, No. Andover MA -- EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 1, 2014
Police: Motorcyclist clocked at 125 mph
EXETER — A Merrimack motorcyclist was traveling at 125 mph on Route 101 in Exeter this morning, according to New Hampshire State Police.

Stephen G. Brown, 48, was driving a 1989 Suzuki GSX750 on Route 101 west just past 7 Friday morning when he caught the attention of Trooper First Class Gary Ingham.

Ingham clocked Brown at 125 mph before he and Trooper Jeffrey Costa were able to stop Brown when heavy traffic caused him to slow down, police said.

Brown is charged with reckless operation and is scheduled to appear in 10th Circuit Court in Brentwood Sept. 25.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact Ingham at (603) 223-8490.  (go to article)

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Diesel Luxury Sedans: Audi, BMW, Mercedes Face Off, Mazda Still Missing

Green Car Reports -- While gasoline power units have seen incremental improvements over the last few decades, diesels seem to have shot up from relative obscurity straight to the big time.

Sales still lag their gasoline counterparts but performance, refinement and driveability are all more than competitive, and economy can be a long way ahead.

That's as much the case with luxury sedans like the Audi A3 and A6 TDI, BMW 328d and 535d, and the Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec, as it is the Jetta TDIs and Cruze diesels that prop up the bottom of the market.

Each offers modest horsepower for the class, but torque is often better than their high-end gasoline equivalents--and when it comes to economy, it's not unusual to seem improvements of a quarter to a third.

Leading the back right now is the BMW 328d, with the bes  (go to article)

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U.S. DOT Proposes New Regulation to Protect Motorcoach and Large Bus Passengers in Rollover Crashes

GasBuddy Blog -- After a rash of bus accidents, the U.S. DOT has taken a closer look at the safety of passengers on the nation's fleet of busses and coaches.The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard to protect motorcoach and other large bus passengers in rollover crashes.  The proposal aims to improve the structural design of large buses to ensure that passengers are better protected in a deadly vehicle rollover by ensuring that the space around them remains sufficiently intact and the emergency exits remain operable.“The consequences for passengers in rollover crashes are severe,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “I want passengers to know that when this Department sees opportunities to make their travel safer so that they can more confidently visit their families or get to work, we are going to do just that and we believe this proposal is a step in that directio  (go to article)

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Venezuela weighs sale of Citgo

Wall Street Journal (WSJ -- Venezuela, strapped for cash at home and staring down costly litigation overseas, is considering a deal for its U.S.-based refinery company Citgo Petroleum Corp. as well as a stake in a refinery run with Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.55% , according to a Citgo document and people familiar with the matter.

People close to Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, say the state-run oil giant is in the early stages of considering a deal for Houston-based Citgo, which operates three refineries. It is separately shopping its 50% stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana, a process that is further advanced, they said.  (go to article)

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HitchBOT Update: Canada’s hitchhiking robot makes it all the way home to Toronto to spend time with

National Post -- It’s a long road for hitchBOT, attempting to travel from Halifax,NS, to Victoria,BC all in the name of a human kindness experiment

On Thu, the hitchhiking robot took a break from its adventure to spend time with loved ones in Toronto

“A big thanks to Margot for dropping me off with my family in Toronto!

It’s been 2 straight days of solid progress for the GPS-equipped talking bot, which is programmed to stick its thumb out on roadsides and ask drivers for a ride

Since the last update Wed eve, when it was just W of Montreal, it travelled all the way to Toronto

The robot has logged more than 1250mi, visited children at summer day camps, dropped by newspaper offices and has even gone camping

With little rest for the wicked, hitchBOT was soon on its way Thu eve

It still has 3150mi to go  (go to article)

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Do You Really Need to Change the Transmission Fluid?

Cars.com -- Many repair shops use flush systems that force out the old fluid and pump in new fluid. Though that sounds good, some manufacturers say you shouldn't do that (Honda is one; there are others), so you need to know this before you agree to a flush. Look in your owner's manual. Some manufacturers, such as Honda, also call for their own type of transmission fluid and warn that using other types could cause damage. Moreover, some automatic transmissions have....  (go to article)

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Got Science? Ohio Wake-up Call on Fracking Disclosure Laws

Huff Post Green -- At a Halliburton fracking site in Clarington, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, a fire broke out on a recent Saturday morning. What happened next should be a wake-up call to every U.S. citizen, especially the millions of Americans who live in communities where fracking is planned or underway.  (go to article)

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How Renewable Energy Will Completely Power California -- Get On Board or Get Left Behind

Huff Post Green -- "If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs - there is little downside," said Mark Z. Jacobson, the study's lead author  (go to article)

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Gasoline vehicles keep their price edge

Houston Chronicle -- Improvements in fuel efficiency have helped make standard gasoline vehicles more competitive against hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles, giving consumers more bang for their buck, a new report finds.

Gasoline-powered cars and trucks are cheaper than those using alternative energy. And even though they are traveling farther on a single tank of gasoline, in part because of new federal mandates to reduce emissions, the prices of those rides aren't expected to increase dramatically, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected in a brief released last week.

Midsize passenger cars, for example, will see their fuel economies improve from 35 miles per gallon to 53 miles per gallon by 2025, but the average price should rise only from $25,000 to $27,000 during  (go to article)

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What does this button do?

Cars.com -- Tons of things go into seats, like passengers, child-safety seats and less convenient items like quarters, cellphones and keys that disappear into the black hole between the cushions. Few things, however, come out of a seat unless it's a coil spring poking you in the rear or the extravagant feature Mercedes-Benz incorporates on its E-Class convertible.

The Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet's mysterious button hints that it expels something from the front seats, but it's not the scented breeze of pine trees when....  (go to article)

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UC Davis Online Calculator Helps Car Buyers Pick Electric, Hybrid or Gasoline

Government Technology -- Is a plug-in electric vehicle a good choice for you and your wallet, or are you better off with a hybrid or a tried-and-true sedan that takes regular unleaded?


The University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies has developed an online tool called EV Explorer that aims to make that tough choice at least a little bit easier.

Simply add a starting address and ending destination, and EV Explorer makes a bar graph comparing the total annual vehicle energy costs of as many as four vehicles simultaneously. So let’s say you drive once a month from the California State Capitol in Sacramento to Los Angeles City Hall. The online calculator says it would cost $1,060 in energy to drive a 2014 Honda Civic, $696 in a Toyota Prius Plug-In, and $969 in a Chevy Volt.  (go to article)

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As Renewable Energy Grows, Wind and Solar Pull Ahead of Hydropower

StateImpact -- Wind and solar energy now routinely surpasses hydroelectric generation as an energy source in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy in the U.S. (but, not surprisingly, not in Texas). The state’s online Window on State Government calls it “a tiny portion of the state’s electricity supply with little economic impact and limited prospects for expansion.”

However, Texas is actually a leader in clean energy development.

Nationally, wind generation has increased from three percent to over 30 percent of total renewable generation since 2003. Texas wind power saw tremendous growth during that time.
 (go to article)

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Gas blasts kill 25, injure 267 in Taiwanese port

Associated Press -- At least 25 people were killed and 267 injured when underground gas explosions ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city, hurling concrete and cars through the air and blasting long trenches in the streets, authorities said Friday, as they searched for the cause.

The series of five explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday struck a densely populated district where petrochemical companies operates pipelines alongside the sewer system in Kaohsiung, a southwestern port with 2.8 million people.
 (go to article)

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Colorado to issue driver's licenses to immigrants

Associated Press -- Colorado will begin issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to immigrants Friday regardless of their legal status, underscoring a sea change in a state that less than a decade ago passed strict immigration enforcement laws.

Now, thousands of immigrants are waiting to get cards they hope will add a degree of legitimacy to their residency in Colorado. About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days to get the documents, with more getting scheduled every day. Both people in the country illegally and those who have temporary legal status will qualify.
 (go to article)

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DHS Seizes Land Rovers

Auto Blog -- 40 owners lose Land Rovers to DHS as part of a Federal Investigation.  (go to article)

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Elon Musk wants Tesla 'elves' to service cars

CNN Money -- Elon Musk wants the Tesla team to work like magic "elves" when servicing cars.

The company has already shaken up the automobile industry. Musk has introduced well-reviewed cars that run only on electricity. He's changed the car shopping experience. Now Musk is aiming to transform how your car gets fixed.

Musk expects that Tesla cars won't have to receive frequent maintenance, but when they need to be serviced he wants it to be quick and with as little disruption to a Tesla owner's day as possible.

Musk is spending a lot of money ramping up production on its Model S, developing a crossover vehicle set to hit the market next spring, and building a new lithium batter factory that's key in the development of the less expensive Model 3.
 (go to article)

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Oil pushes further under $100/barrel ahead of jobs data

MarketWatch -- Oil futures fell early Friday as traders geared up for important U.S. jobs data and brushed aside upbeat manufacturing numbers out of China.

In electronic trading, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September was down 84 cents, or 0.8%, to $98.35 a barrel. On Thursday, bearish inventory data and risk-off action as global stocks tumbled sent oil below $100 a barrel. A monthly decline for July of 6.8% was the biggest fall for any month since May 2012.

Oil got some support earlier from two manufacturing gauges in China that showed improvement in July.

Investors are waiting on the monthly U.S. jobs report. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast a 235,000 increase in net nonfarm payrolls last month. If the number tops 200,000 again, it would be the first time the U.S. has ...  (go to article)

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July car sales reach for an 8-year high

MarketWatch -- Recalls be damned. July is about to go into the books as another stellar month for U.S. car sales.

At least that’s the consensus among auto industry analysts. We’ll find out whether they’re right Friday morning, when the companies release their monthly sales reports.

“Shoppers are looking past news of recalls and rising gas prices and they’re finding affordable interest rates and other incentives that make it easier to buy a car,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.

Industry analysts predict, on average, that overall July sales will come in at about 1.45 million cars and pickups, or 10.5% higher than a year ago. That would be the strongest July since 2006.

It would also boost one of the industry’s most important economic yardsticks, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate  (go to article)

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Oil slips below $106 on oversupply, weak demand

Reuters -- LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil fell below $106 a barrel on Friday as oversupply in the Atlantic basin and low demand outweighed worries over political tensions in the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine.

Analysts say they expect global oil production to exceed demand this year and a supply glut has already built up in the West African and European markets.

Worries over geopolitical risks to oil supply have eased despite escalating violence in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

"Additional oil from Libya, the fact that initial fears of supply interruptions ... have faded, a stronger dollar and concerns about stalling oil demand especially from China have been the bear factors at work eroding prices," said David Hufton, managing director of brokerage PVM Oil Associat  (go to article)

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WTI Trades Near 4-Month Low as Fuel Supplies Expand

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate headed for its biggest weekly decline since January amid signs of weaker fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Its discount to Brent crude widened to the most in five weeks.

Futures traded in New York declined 4.4 percent this week as the dollar strengthened before data on U.S. employment today. The nation’s gasoline inventories rose to the highest level in four months last week as demand fell and crude output advanced to the highest since 1986 in early July, government data show. Brent is poised for a weekly decline amid speculation that energy supplies from Russia will be unaffected by further sanctions over Ukraine.

“Demand has been a bit sluggish,” Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Bank International AG in Vienna, said by e-mail. “S  (go to article)

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GasBuddy Mobile App Now on Amazon's Fire Phone

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..GasBuddy has launched its popular money-saving app in the new Amazon Appstore, accessible to all Amazon Fire Phone Users.
Amazon Fire Phone users will now be able to: ·         Save money by finding the cheapest gas near them ·         Search for gas stations by city, zip code or postal code ·         Report gas prices to help other people find cheap gas ·         Earn points for reporting gas prices ·         Get a chance at winning $100 in free gas every day... ...  (go to article)

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Oneok plans North Dakota natural gas project; plant will be firm's 7th in the state

Associated Press -- An Oklahoma energy company says it plans to build another factory in western North Dakota capable of processing 200 million cubic feet of natural gas daily.

Tulsa-based Oneok Inc. and Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the more than $605 million project on Wednesday. The company says the Demicks Lake factory in northeast McKenzie County is expected to be completed in 2016.

The factory would be the seventh the company is operating or building in North Dakota. Oneok says the factory will bring its total investment in North Dakota to about $4 billion.  (go to article)

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Texas retail gasoline prices fall 4 cents this week due to higher American refinery output

Associated Press -- Texas retail gas prices have fallen 4 cents this week due to high output from American refineries, balancing any potential fallout from world crises.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump was $3.37 per gallon.

Amarillo drivers are getting the cheapest gas at an average gallon price of $3.27, while El Paso gas is reported at $3.45 per gallon.

While fighting between Ukraine and Russia as well as Israel and Hamas have the potential to affect gas supply, AAA says refineries in the United States are reaching some of their highest production levels since 2005.  (go to article)

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The Simmering Climate Battle Over Natural-Gas Exports

National Journal -- A fight is brewing over whether Energy Department regulators should weigh the impact of liquefied natural gas on climate change before granting companies permission to ship the product abroad.

The dueling pressures on the department from industry officials and green groups are part of a wider dispute over whether natural gas is a friend or enemy in battles against global warming.

Natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal when burned to create electricity. But leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane along the production, processing, and transit chain eat into that advantage—and how much is a matter of fierce dispute.

Right now, part of the battle over gas and climate is playing out in public comments on an Energy Department report about exports of liquefied natural gas.

 (go to article)

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The IMF Wants Your Gas to Be More Expensive

National Journal -- Rising gas prices may be the bane of most drivers, but the International Monetary Fund says those costs aren't nearly high enough.

In a book released today, the IMF states simply, "Many energy prices in many countries are wrong." The international bank backs tax reform that would peg fuel, coal, natural gas, and diesel prices to the cost of global warming, air pollution, and the impacts of motor-vehicle use.

For the U.S., for example, that could mean a $1.60 per gallon corrective tax on gasoline to cover health impacts from car exhaust pollution, traffic accidents, and wear and tear on highways, plus taxes on coal and natural gas to account for the energy sector.

But the benefits, the report says, would be felt across the spectrum. Incentivizing people to use less-dirty fuel...  (go to article)

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Suspect Held After Minn. Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

abc7.com -- A suspect in the fatal shooting of a West St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer Wednesday during a routine traffic stop is being held at a local hospital after a manhunt and shootout.

Authorities identified the deceased officer as Scott Patrick, 47. Patrick had been with the Mendota Heights Police Department since 1995.

The suspect, identified as Brian Fitch Sr., 39, of South St. Paul, was arrested in St. Paul tonight after he opened fire on officers, according to Sgt. Paul Palos of the St. Paul police department. He was seen driving in the area after an alert for his car, a green Pontiac Grand Am, was issued, authorities said.

Officers fired back at the suspect and hit him, Palos said. An unidentified woman was with the suspect at the time, according to ABC affiliate KSTP.  (go to article)

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A Stylish City Bike With Useful Tech Touches

Wired -- In an attempt to get more people biking, a nonprofit called Oregon Manifest holds an annual design competition challenging designers in five cities across the country to come up with a ride that’s so cool it’ll get people to ditch their cars in favor of cycles. Portland’s entry, made of 3-D printed titanium and outfitted with haptic handlebars to provide directions, is a perfect embodiment of the city’s bespoke tech culture. New York’s design was optimized for the Big Apple’s compact apartments. Chicago’s no-nonsense entry was built to withstand the city’s blustery winters.

The bike, called Blackline, was crafted by design firm Minimal, the studio who helped Microsoft shape the look of the Xbox 360 and Kinect sensor. Made in collaboration with fabricator Method Bicycle.  (go to article)

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Exxon Bets on Russia as Rivals Stick to U.S. Wells

Businessweek -- As Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s largest oil companies, bet on increasing production from Russia, smaller rivals are boosting crude supplies by exiting foreign fields to focus on booming U.S. wells.

ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY:US) and Apache Corp. reported rising second-quarter output as they divest international assets. Nationwide, U.S. oil production is at a 25-year high because of advanced drilling techniques that cracked petroleum-rich shale formations.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s shares (XOM:US) fell after the company today reported oil and natural gas output decreased 5.7 percent to the equivalent of 3.84 million barrels a day, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  (go to article)

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Crude oil pipeline could cut a swath through the region

myjournalcourier.com -- A Texas-based energy company is proposing to construct a new pipeline to carry crude oil from fields in North Dakota to Patoka in Illinois.

About 1,100 miles of pipeline would travel across Iowa and parts of central Illinois, and some landowners in Morgan and Scott counties have already been approached for initial land surveying.

The “Dakota Access Pipeline” — developed by Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Crude Oil companies — is designed to be a predominantly 30-inch diameter pipeline, providing about 320,000 barrels per day of capacity and connect the northern supply of crude oil to the Patoka and Nederland, Texas, hubs.  (go to article)

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U.S. exports coal to German power plants, as it shuts its own down

Associated Press -- LUENEN, Germany -- One of Germany's newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100-year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world.

Now the coal comes the other way.

The 750-megawatt Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Luenen GmbH & Co. power plant relies completely on coal imports, about half from the U.S. Soon, all of Germany's coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end.

Coal mining's demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply. U.S. exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. In 2013, Germany ranked fifth, behind the United Ki  (go to article)

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Burlington Skyway crash: Driver to be charged with impaired driving

CBC -- The driver of a large truck that crashed into and damaged the Burlington Skyway will be charged with impaired driving, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Toronto-bound lanes of the bridge will be closed for "some time," police say, after the truck hit the superstructure Thursday afternoon.

Police have no estimate of how long the lanes will be closed, but Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring tweeted that the damage may mean the highway is closed for days.  (go to article)

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Build more pipelines: Our view

USA Today -- The recent boom in U.S. oil production has always come with an asterisk: The nation now has more crude than it can move through existing pipelines, which don't yet connect refineries with oil from non-traditional oil-producing areas such as North Dakota. There's no way to move much of the oil except by train.

So rail shipments of oil have soared, from about 9,500 carloads in 2008 to an estimated 650,000 this year. Not surprisingly, accidents have shot up as well.  (go to article)

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GM Confirms Eight-Speed Auto for Pickups, SUVs

AutoGuide.com -- 2014-Chevrolet-Silverado

While it was spread in rumors last week, GM has confirmed that its half-ton pickup trucks and full-size SUVs will both be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There is a catch though. The eight speed will only be paired with the 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, while both the 5.3-liter V8 along with the 4.3-liter V6 solider on with a six-speed automatic.

GM says that the new eight speed is roughly the same size and weight as the outgoing six speed, and allows a wider gear spread which means that more torque is available from the first gear. This also means that the rear-end axle ratio can be numerically lower, allowing RPMs to stay low at highway speeds.

SEE ALSO: GM Truck Tow Ratings Adjusted by Tougher Testing

The Sil  (go to article)

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Exxon profit surges, but production slips

Yahoo Finance -- NEW YORK (AP) -- Exxon Mobil's net income rose 28 percent in the second quarter on a sale of Asian assets and higher oil prices, but oil and gas production slipped a disappointing 6 percent.

Exxon reported net income of $8.78 billion in for the second quarter Thursday, on revenue of $111.65 billion. Last year during the same period, the company earned $6.86 billion on sales of $106.67 billion.

On a per-share basis, Exxon earned $2.05, up from $1.55 last year. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.91 per share, but that estimate does not include the benefit from the Asian asset sale.

Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, does not provide a breakdown of its adjusted results excluding one-time events such as asset sales. Exxon's sale of power  (go to article)

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Gas prices plummet in July. Aren't they supposed to rise in summer?

The Christian Science Monitor -- Washington — Prices at the pump just keep dropping.

The average US gas price is now $3.52 per gallon, according to a Thursday report released by automotive group AAA, making current prices the lowest since March of this year. This July, US consumers saw a bigger drop in gas prices than in any July over the last six years. The price at the pump fell every day but one over the course of the month, according to AAA.

Gas prices generally rise in the summer months, as Americans hit the road and drive up demand for gas. The federal government also mandates that refineries produce a more costly, lower-emission blend of gas in the summer – and those increased costs are passed onto motorists.

Not so this year. A burgeoning supply of domestic crude oil is holding down gas prices at home, even...  (go to article)

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