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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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CFDC calls for ethanol to stand up as alternative fuel

GasBuddy Blog -- In a presentation at the annual Emerging Issues Forum, Clean Fuels Development Coalition Executive Director Douglas Durante called on ethanol supporters to not only defend the federal Renewable Fuel Standard but to move beyond it by capitalizing on the economic, energy supply, environmental and health benefits of ethanol in mid- and high-level blends including E85.

Durante told attendees at the 9th Annual Ethanol Forum that the obsession with RFS volumes has distracted the industry from pursuing other, often higher values that are not bound by the RFS. The key to capturing that value he said is using ethanol in flex fuel vehicles.

"Ethanol is treated like a second class citizen in the alternative fuels community, and we...  (go to article)

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Police Investigate Two Related Multi-Car Accidents

newsplex.com -- Two accidents involving multiple vehicles closed down a busy Albemarle County road Thursday morning, and police believe the accidents are connected  (go to article)

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Electric Vehicle Manufacturers Woo Buyers with Free Energy

Mansfield Oil Company -- Yesterday, news agencies were greeted by auto manufacturers at the New York International Auto Show before it opens to the public tomorrow. This year, manufacturers will showcase several vehicles sporting alternative fuels. With traditional petroleum-based fuel costs exceeding most alternative sources, the industry has been quick to capitalize on demand for “green” vehicles.
As an added bonus, Nissan announced it would offer customers two years of free recharging with the purchase or lease of vehicles from their Leaf line. While only available in 10 markets — most of which are located along the West Coast and South West — Nissan promised another 15 would be added to the program for their 2015 models. Tesla Motors piloted a similar program for their luxury S-series sedan, promising lifetim  (go to article)

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DOE projects diesel prices to drop more than a dime this summer

Overdrive -- The average price of diesel should fall more than dime over the course of the summer, according to projections released this week by the Department of Energy, who expects diesel to average $3.87 a gallon this summer.

The forecast was made in the DOE’s Energy Information Administration’s monthly Short Term Energy Outlook.

The EIA pegged the national average price of diesel in the most recent week at $3.959, so a $3.87 average would likely mean a steadily decline during the next six months.

 (go to article)

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GM faced a Cadillac ignition switch issue in 2006

Reuters -- DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors engineers reported accidentally turning off ignition switches in a Cadillac SRX with their knees more than eight years ago, and they ordered a similar fix to a similar problem in smaller, cheaper cars linked to 13 deaths, according to documents from parts maker Delphi Automotive.

 (go to article)

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Obama Stymies Oil and Natural Gas Production on Federal Lands

Forbes -- A new nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) report quantifies the Obama administration’s hostility towards America’s oil and natural gas industry. While oil and natural gas production has surged on non-federal lands, President Obama has overseen a decline in production on federal lands.

There are four entities that own land in the United States: the federal government, states, private landowners, and Native Americans. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the Department of the Interior is charged with leasing, selling, and generally managing oil and natural gas reserves on federal land.

Although the federal government heavily regulates the exploration and production process through laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, etc, the federal governm  (go to article)

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"Holy Grail" of muscle cars found in old barn

New York post -- Why did have to be G.M.  (go to article)

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Gasoline Heads for Weekly Gain on Supply Drop, Higher Use

Bloomberg -- Gasoline rose, headed for a second straight weekly gain, on lower supplies and higher demand.

Futures advanced after the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that gasoline stockpiles contracted 154,000 barrels to 210.3 million last week, the lowest since Nov. 15. Demand over the past four weeks was 4.6 percent higher than a year earlier, up from 4.4 percent in the prior four weeks.

“You are expecting a seasonal pickup in demand and gasoline supplies are very low,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a research company in London.  (go to article)

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U-M is turning Ann Arbor into the world's largest lab for wireless vehicle communication

MLive.com -- The University of Michigan is aiming to turn the entirety of Ann Arbor into a laboratory.

The city's drivers will become lab rats, and each errand or trip to work will become part of a very large experiment.

U-M's Transportation Research Institute and the federal and state transportation departments have plans to equip 9,000 cars with wireless communication technology.

That's an estimated 10 percent of the city's driving population.

The cars will send and receive wireless communications with each other and much of the city's infrastructure, including equipped traffic lights and intersections, as Ann Arborites go through the motions of their daily routine.

A modest percentage of the vehicles will be outfitted with not only the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I  (go to article)

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U.S. Crude Oil Supplies Rise More Than Expected

Dow Jones Business News -- -U.S. crude inventories rose by more than expected in the week ended April 11, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude oil stockpiles increased by 10 million barrels to 394.1 million barrels, compared with an average survey estimate for stocks to rise by 1.5 million barrels on the week.

The increase was the biggest gain in crude stocks since March 2001.

Gasoline stockpiles fell by 200,000 barrels to 210.3 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 1.4 million-barrel drop.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, fell by 1.3 million barrels to 111.9 million barrels, compared with analysts' forecast of a dip of 100,000 barrels.
 (go to article)

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Food and Gasoline Prices Jump

American Institute for Economic Research -- Food and energy prices are volatile. Although the Motor Fuel index jumped significantly in March, year-over-year the index has declined 8.9 percent. Utility bills, on the other hand, were higher in March (+1.3 percent) and year-over-year (+6.7 percent). Even though trips to the grocery store hurt consumer wallets in March, year-over-year grocery bills declined 0.7 percent. Unfortunately, a 5.0 percent year-over-year increase in restaurant checks offset cheaper meals at home.

The EPI measures the prices of goods and services purchased on an everyday basis. It is designed to reflect an average household’s day-to-day inflation by tracking the prices most relevant to frequent purchases. For example, consumers paid more to keep in touch with family and friends in March. Internet Services inc  (go to article)

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Scientists capture ultrafast snapshots of light-driven superconductivity

phys.org -- Scientists used carefully timed pairs of laser pulses at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to trigger superconductivity in the material and immediately take x-ray snapshots of its atomic and electronic structure as superconductivity emerged.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-04-scientists-capture-ultrafast-snapshots-light-driven.html#jCp

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-04-scientists-capture-ultrafast-snapshots-light-driven.html#jCp  (go to article)

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Insight: In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch

Reuters -- In 1997, Toyota caught its competitors by surprise with the revolutionary Prius, the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid car. Now, the Japanese firm is trying to do the same with a technology that seems straight out of science fiction.

Toyota Motor Corp will next year launch a hydrogen-powered car in the United States, Japan and Europe. For now, people at Toyota are calling it the 2015 FC car, for fuel-cell.

Fuel-cell cars use a "stack" of cells that electro-chemically combine hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity that helps propel the car. Their only emission, bar heat, is water vapor, they can run five times longer than battery electric cars, and it takes just minutes to fill the tank with hydrogen - far quicker than even the most rapid charger can recharge a  (go to article)

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The Navy's Seawater-To-Fuel System: Can I Use It In My Car?

Jalopnik -- Last week, the US Navy flew a model airplane with a small 2-stroke engine. That's not normally news, except for one big detail: the fuel the plane burned was made from seawater via a process the Navy has been working on for years. Let's look a little into what this sorcery is, and if it'll ever power our cars.

Essentially, on a very basic level, what the Navy is doing is extracting CO2 and Hydrogen from the seawater, and then recombining it into hydrocarbon chains, and then liquefying that (via a metal catalyst) into synthetic fuel. The type of synthetic fuel that can be made can vary, but jet fuel (similar to diesel) and petroleum-type fuels, like what was run in that little model plane, and, yes, that same sort of fuel could potentially be run in your normal old gasoline car ...  (go to article)

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Parnell administration wants to bail out ailing refineries with tax breaks

Anchorage Daily News -- A fast-track Parnell administration proposal to give tax breaks to Alaska oil refineries is moving through the state Legislature despite concerns about an estimated cost of $150 million or more over five years and questions about the effectiveness of the strategy.

The proposal would offer a tax credit -- essentially a subsidy -- amounting to $10 million a year to a refinery that invests at least $25 million in its plant. The credits would be offered for five years.

 (go to article)

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How the most fuel-efficient vehicle in America is a Mercedes luxury sedan

Road & Track -- The new Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec is a proper mid-size luxury sedan. It makes no sacrifice to fuel economy, really, but it gets an EPA-rated 45 mpg on the highway. That's spitting distance from the best-performer Prius's 48—and in our experience, diesels usually outperform their EPA numbers, while hybrids underperform in the real world. So my hypothesis was that the Mercedes had a good chance of beating the Prius.

To test the theory, I got a rear-wheel-drive Mercedes E250 Bluetec and a loaded Prius.

I planned out a 430-mile route that both cars should be able to make without refueling, and chose a mix of Interstate and rural back roads that passed through small towns. To minimize the effects of the constant westerly wind we have on the West Coast, I chose a route that's as close to a c  (go to article)

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GM sets up new parts-ordering system for recall repairs

AUTO NEWS -- DETROIT -- General Motors today gave its dealers a revised ordering process that the retailers said should speed the shipment of parts, ease repairs and ensure the job gets done right...................
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Biofuels' future threatened by political uncertainty

The Institution of Engineering and Technology. --

Recent scientific breakthroughs can deliver the next generation of biofuels, but will political uncertainty hold up industry's most promising projects?

Early this year, US researchers unveiled a very simple chemical treatment that could release – literally – a vast resource of renewable energy.

By adding a little sulphuric acid to a plant-derived, innocuous liquid called gamma-Valerolactone, young chemist Dr Jeremy Luterbacher, Professor James Dumesic and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madsion, created a solvent that dissolves the tough waste plant matter that feeds advanced biofuel production.

For decades, researchers have tried to devise methods to extract the difficult-to-reach complex sugars and alcohols – cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin – from agriculture and for  (go to article)

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Keystone Foes Winning Celebrity Battle Supporters Dismiss

Bloomberg News -- Foes of the Keystone XL oil pipeline appear to be winning the battle for endorsements from Hollywood celebrities and prominent personalities.

Will it make a difference?

Actors Mark Ruffalo, Robert Redford, Kyra Sedgwick, Jared Leto, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have come out against the $5.4 billion project. “Splash” star Daryl Hannah has been arrested at least three times at Keystone protests -- once after chaining herself to the White House fence. This week, former President Jimmy Carter joined nine other Nobel Peace Prize laureates in urging President Barack Obama to reject the project.

Having Hollywood stars and former heads of state on your side doesn’t assure success, but it can help “build up public concern and real outrage,” said Larry Noble, a counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a  (go to article)

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Brent Crude Trades Near Six-Week High on Ukraine Risk; WTI Gains

Bloomberg News -- Brent crude traded near a six-week high amid concern that the escalating crisis in Ukraine will disrupt supplies. West Texas Intermediate rose for a second day.

Futures advanced as much as 0.2 percent in London before retreating. Ukraine accused Russia of fueling terrorism in its eastern regions as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization pledged to bolster the defenses of nearby nations. WTI rose after Janet Yellen, in her first speech to a Wall Street audience since becoming Federal Reserve chair, emphasized her commitment to support the U.S. economic recovery.

“The escalating crisis in Ukraine provides strong support to the market amid concerns about oil supply issues in the region,” Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, said in an e-mail. “Yellen comments yesterda  (go to article)

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Company Gears Up Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Environmental Leader -- Spanish company Abengoa Bioenergy is gearing up to produce cellulosic ethanol in the US heartland just in time to face a glut of bio-based fuel in the market and waning government support, the New York Times reports.

The company has bet $500 million in Hugoton, Kan., by building a plant on 38 acres for the cellulosic ethanol, which it calls a low-polluting alternative to petroleum products.  (go to article)

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IIHS: Only 2 of 9 mid-size SUVs earn 'good' rating in overlap crash test

GasBuddy Blog -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) took a close look recently at mid-sized SUVs. What they found may discourage you. The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are the only midsize SUVs out of nine evaluated to earn a "good" rating in the small overlap front crash test.

The 2014 Honda Pilot was "the worst performer in this group," said the IIHS. The 2014 Kia Sorento and Mazda CX-9 also earned a "poor" rating.

The 2014 Toyota Highlander earned an "acceptable" rating.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer earned a "marginal" rating. What happened?

The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle...  (go to article)

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Those Stubborn Facts: 99.9% Proof That IPCC "Expert" Climate Models Are Hugely Wrong

C3 Headlines -- Climate reality and actual evidence-based science has completely eviscerated the global warming claims of the IPCC's "scientists" and those in the "consensus" choir.

Recent climate change predictions produced by the latest bleeding-edge computer models have proven to be spectacularly wrong.

Longer-term proof that the IPCC (and its climate-doomsday religion acolytes) is provided by the original "expert" predictions that were first published back in 1990. That proof is clearly obvious from the accompanying chart.

Simply stated: the IPCC predicted that if human emissions of CO2 kept growing in a business-as-usual (BAU) manner, the world would experience a high likelihood of global warming acceleration - to a per century rate of 2.8°C.  (go to article)

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Solar’s dramatic cost fall may herald energy price deflation

reneweconomy.com -- We’ve seen and published many dramatic graphs about the fall in solar, such as this one tracing the fall over the past 30 years and this from Citigroup, but the following graph from investment bank Sanford Bernstein is quite stunning – not just for its simplicity but because it draws attention to the potential impact of solar to the $5 trillion global energy market.

As you can see, the cost of solar PV has come from – quite literally – off the charts less than a decade ago to a point where Bernstein says solar PV is now cheaper than oil and Asian LNG (liquefied natural gas). It does its calculations on an MMBTU basis. MMBTU is the standard unit of measure for liquid fuels, often referred to as one million British thermal units.

“For these (developing Asian economies) solar is just cheap
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How Solar Energy Could Be The Key To Reducing Economic Inequality

businessinsider.com -- It is widely known that economic inequality — in terms of both income and wealth — has been getting more severe for most of the last 30 years.

..U.S. median household income in June 2013 was 4.4 percent below where it was in June 2009..

Meanwhile, the top 1 percent of Americans — those earning above $366,623 a year — has taken 81 percent of the fruits of the recovery. And the top 0.01 percent — earning about $8 million a year — has pocketed an astonishing 39 percent of the growth.

..falling energy prices mean more disposable income to save and invest, or to spend.

..Having access to an independent energy supply would be highly empowering for individuals and local communities, allowing a higher degree of independence from governments and corporations.

You could power your own lights

 (go to article)

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Federal court upholds EPA rule retiring coal plants

Climate Change Dispatch -- A federal court has upheld an Environmental Protection Agency mercury emissions rule responsible for forcing hundreds of coal-fired power plants to retire across the country.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld the EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants. The rule limits emissions of mercury and other air pollutants from such power plants, and the court victory has been hailed by environmentalists as a victory for public health.  (go to article)

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B.C. backtracks on exempting sweet natural gas plants, ski resorts from environmental assessments

VANCOUVER SUN -- British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak has done a complete turn around on a decision that would have exempted most of the natural gas produced in the province from mandatory environmental assessment.

After quietly passing an order in council Monday without public debate that would have removed about 99 per cent of the natural gas produced in the province from automatic environmental reviews, the government reversed the decision late Wednesday.

The announcement came on the same day a group of B.C. officials were kicked out of a First Nations forum on liquefied natural gas.

Polak has now apologized for the decision, saying the government failed to discuss the amendment with First Nations, prior to approval.

“Our government is committed to a strong, respectful and productive...  (go to article)

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Union backers, anti-drilling advocates clash over Occidental project at Carson meeting

Whittier Daily News -- Supporters of Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s proposed oil-and-gas drilling project in Carson made their largest showing yet at a City Council meeting this week, wearing "Jobs for Carson" buttons and holding placards.

But opposition to the project remained steady during a back-and-forth debate at a special meeting Tuesday night held to decide how to move forward with a City Council-imposed moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling.

Ultimately council members voted 3-0 to hold a hearing April 29 to determine whether they should extend the moratorium. Mayor Jim Dear and Councilman Mike Gipson were absent...

"Think of this as your practice run," Councilman Al Robles told those who came to advocate for or against the project. "The main event will be on April 29. That's when the decision will.  (go to article)

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Germany first to deliver European gas to Ukraine

RT -- German energy company RWE has started delivering gas to Ukraine as natural resource tension between Kiev and Moscow has been heating up over gas debts and prices.

Deliveries to Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national oil and gas company, are being supplied under a 2012 contract where RWE can deliver up to 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine per year, dpa-news reported.

Last week the two utilities began talks to renew gas deliveries to Ukraine. RWE said more could be delivered in the coming weeks or months if transport restrictions are resolved.

The Dusseldorf-based company said the gas is being pumped into Ukraine via Poland, in a process known as “reverse-gas-flow”, a technique that Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller says may not be entirely legal.

After Gazprom raised the price of natural gas  (go to article)

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Begich Earmarked Millions for Bankrupt Green Energy Company

WFB -- As Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) seeks to shore up his energy policy credentials, a now-bankrupt green energy company to which he steered federal subsidies could cloud his message.

Begich received campaign contributions from a lobbyist for an Alaska geothermal plant after helping the company obtain federal financing. The company is now bankrupt, but Begich continues touting his support for alternative energy.

The senator, who is facing reelection in November, will address the Alaska Wood Energy Conference on Wednesday. The conference brings together leaders in the state’s biomass industry.

He has also promoted fossil fuel development, including effort to open areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, and to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

However, Begich’s crit  (go to article)

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Hydrogen fuel cars could be important to California’s future

Hydrogen Fuel News -- According to the representatives from five major motor companies, who were recently involved in a panel discussion that took place in Torrance, California may become the testing place for hydrogen fuel cars over the next several years.

Carmakers will be required to follow new regulations in California by 2025.

There is a strong push for non-gas-powered vehicles in the Golden State. By the year 2025, automobile manufacturers will have to ensure that 15 percent of their total car sales come from selling zero-emission vehicles.  (go to article)

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New Methane Leak Data Adds Doubt About Future Of Natural Gas As 'Bridge' Fuel

Huffington Post -- Natural gas as a means to produce electricity is being hailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the fuel that can act as a "bridge" between carbon-heavy coal and zero-carbon renewables, helping to reduce humans' impact on the climate.

The idea is that burning natural gas involves fewer greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal. The IPCC in its Working Group III report says natural gas as a bridge fuel will only be effective if few gases escape into the atmosphere during natural gas production and distribution.  (go to article)

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Glow-in-the-dark highway a bright idea

Autonet -- Being tested in the Netherlands, these glow-in-the-dark markings charge by absorbing daylight, then stay lit for about eight hours during the night.

On a 500 metre stretch of highway in the Netherlands, streetlights have been replaced with glow-in-the-dark paint.

The glow-in-the-dark markings are created by mixing a photo-luminescent powder into the road paint. The paint charges by absorbing daylight, and stays lit for about eight hours during the night.

As the inventor Dan Roosegaarde explains to Wired UK, "It's like the glow in the dark paint you and I had when we were children, but we teamed up with a paint manufacturer and pushed the development. Now, it's almost radioactive."  (go to article)

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Renewable Energy Cools Earnings View

WSJ --

Renewable Energy Group Inc. shares dropped after the company tempered its expectations for the first quarter, saying unseasonably cold winter weather reduced demand for diesel.

The company said results were hurt by a decline in biodiesel prices and higher-than-expected feedstock costs. Originally, Renewable Energy had projected constant prices for energy and feedstock.

The muted outlook sent the company's shares down 13% to $11 in after-hours trading.

Renewable Energy produces and sells biodiesel in the U.S., while also buying and reselling biodiesel produced by third parties. The company also offers facility management and operational services to the industry.

On Wednesday, Renewable Energy said it now sees first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amo  (go to article)

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Senators press Delphi for answers on recalled GM cars

FOX Business Network -- Lawmakers probing how General Motors used faulty ignition switches in many vehicles are turning their scrutiny to the supplier of the part, Delphi Automotive.

A group of senators on Tuesday wrote to Delphi Chief Executive Officer Rodney O'Neal, asking for information about whether the parts supplier pushed back against GM after the automaker apparently did not accept a proposed fix to the switches.

"It is our understanding that a fix was proposed by Delphi regarding the ignition switch in 2005 but GM did not adopt the change," the letter said. "As we continue evaluating the GM recall it is critically important that we understand the decisions made by Delphi and the company's interaction with GM."
 (go to article)

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Toyota Camry gets top to bottom makeover for 2015

FOX News -- Shaken by the advances of newer, sportier rivals, the Toyota Camry is trying to shed its vanilla reputation.

The redesigned 2015 Camry, unveiled Tuesday at the New York Auto Show, is longer and wider, with a more aggressive design. Toyota says it changed every exterior piece but the roof.

The Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for the last 12 years, supported by loyal buyers wedded to a dependable family car. But Toyota acknowledges that tastes have changed, and buyers of midsize cars want more style, comfort and performance to go with the reliability.  (go to article)

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Senators Urge Ban on Banks’ Physical Commodity Ownership

Bloomberg -- U.S. banks including Goldman Sachs should be banned from owning commodities businesses because they could threaten the institutions and global supply chains, Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren told the Federal Reserve.

Financial holding companies “should be prohibited from owning physical assets like warehouses, pipelines and tankers,” Democrats Brown of Ohio and Warren of Massachusetts said in a letter to the Fed today. “These activities pose significant safety and soundness, legal and reputational risks to the institutions.

”The Fed is concluding a comment period on risks posed by bank ownership and trading of commodities such as oil, gas and aluminum, and the possible benefits of imposing additional capital standards on such activities. The Fed announced on January 14 that it  (go to article)

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High US Gulf Coast crude stocks spark talk of barge conversions

Platts -- Talk of barging crude from the US Gulf of Mexico up to the East Coast is gaining traction as oil inventories along the nation's refinery row continue to swell, traders said on Wednesday.

The demand for domestic Gulf Coast crude has moved to up to include East Coast refiners but constraints on shipping from the Jones Act...has some smaller producers and traders considering conversion of Jones Act Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs) from carrying petroleum products to carrying crude.

"The crude is just sitting there waiting for a good reason to move," said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks.

"If they don't drop [the crude oil] off in the New York Harbor, they can ship it right up to Irving," he added, referring to Canada's largest refinery -- Irving Oil's 300,000 b/d Saint John, New Brunswic  (go to article)

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Performance Tires

Yahoo News -- Buying Performance Tires.  (go to article)

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Carter has it wrong on Keystone XL: PMO

http://t.news.ca.msn.com/canada/carter-has-it-wrong-on-keystone-xl-pmo-1 -- The Keystone XL issue has created a tiff between a former U.S. president and the Canadian government

The PMO reacted swiftly Wed to a letter signed by Nobel laureates, including Carter, urging Obama to reject the pipeline

Carter is the first former president to come out against Keystone XL

Harper's office responded with a warning: Remember 1979

It was a reference to the dip in oil supply which followed the Iranian revolution and touched off a global panic. Prices spiked and long lines formed at gas stations, helping destabilize Carter's one-term presidency

"Mr. Carter knows from his time as president during the 1979 energy crisis there are benefits to having access to oil from stable, secure partners like Canada

Carter asked Americans to avoid unnecessary trips, use carpools and publ  (go to article)

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Ford celebrates Mustang's 50th anniversary on top of Empire State Building

Detroit News -- Ford Motor Co. is gearing up to celebrate the 50th birthday of one its most iconic cars.

The Mustang debuted at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, and the Dearborn automaker hasn’t stopped producing the pony car since.

In New York on Wednesday, Ford unveiled a special edition Mustang to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. called the Mustang “the heart and soul” of Ford.

“Frankly if you don’t like this car, you don’t like cars,” he said.

Dealers, media and other guests will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang this evening atop the Empire State Building. The car had to be broken into five pieces for the ride up the building’s elevators and reassembled late at night, when the deck is closed to visitors. Ford Jr. was at the top Wednesda  (go to article)

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America's Top Young Scientists Warn Of Systemic Brain Drain: Colleagues 'Sort Of Disappear'

Huffington Post -- WASHINGTON -- Every three years, a diverse group of top scientists from around the world convenes at the International Conference of Gas Hydrates. The meetings, which have been taking place since 1993, provide a rare opportunity to explore developments surrounding the highly important ice-like substance.

This year's conference is no different. Held in Beijing from July 28 through Aug. 1, it will focus specifically on how gas hydrate applications could lead to energy innovations and, on the flip side, to "climate change and geohazards." Considering the enormous potential gas hydrates hold for both (methane hydrates, for example, are a tantalizing energy source with a major climate risk), the national incentive to explore and understand the field is self-evident.

Indeed, in conferences pas  (go to article)

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Detroit snow breaks records, topples power lines, creates flooding risk

CSMONITOR.COM -- A spring storm shattered seasonal snowfall records in Detroit and Flint, as melting snow and rising rivers from heavy rain threatened homes Tuesday.
The snow came after a weather roller coaster Monday, with rivers overflowing their banks and hundreds of thousands of people losing power. Mid-70s temperatures in some parts of the state tumbled below freezing by Tuesday morning.

By the time the snow ended Tuesday morning, 3.1 inches had fallen at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, pushing the seasonal total to 94.8 inches, and making it the snowiest winter on record, the weather service said. That exceeded the previous Detroit seasonal record of 93.6 inches from the winter of 1880-1881.

RECOMMENDED: The 10 most expensive US natural disasters

The state's largest utilities said crews  (go to article)

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Texas crude production hits highest level since 1980

fuelfix.com -- HOUSTON — An index that measures oil and gas activity in Texas has reached a record level, bolstered by rising production and wellhead prices, its creators announced this week.

The Texas Petro Index hit the record in February, buoyed by daily crude production levels that soared to the state’s highest level since 1980, said Karr Ingham, the economist who created the index. February crude production in Texas reached an estimated 77.2 million barrels — up 22.4 percent from the same time period in 2013.

Ingham said higher wellhead prices caused an even more dramatic increase in the value of oil and gas produced in February, which rose by more than $2.85 billion from the previous year to $10.63 billion.

Saudi Texas: New data show ‘meteoric’ rise of Texas oil

The Texas Petro Index was create  (go to article)

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GM, Hyundai bring telematics 'in-house'

GasBuddy Blog -- When the 2015 Hyundai Genesis goes on sale later this spring, it will offer an ambitious new telematics and customer service program with it.

The system, which is the second generation of Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity, will include smartphone apps for remote start and other functions, Google speech recognition and web searches for navigation points of interest. GM is also going in this direction; switching to 4G to add features and increase speed this summer, representing the next big step for in-car communications and connectivity.

“This is where the technology is going,” said IHS Automotive senior analyst Stephanie Brinley. “It’s not just about streaming Pandora (Internet radio) in your car. It’s becoming how you’ll...  (go to article)

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GM Launching Product Development Group Focused on Safety

FOX Business Network -- General Motors Co. (GM) will create a new global product integrity organization that will focus on product safety and quality, said GM Chief Executive Mary Barra in a speech on Tuesday.

"This new way of developing vehicles will provide the highest levels of safety, quality, and customer service, and ensure that a situation like the ignition-switch recall doesn't happen again," Barra said in New York.

Barra addressed the recall of 2.6 million cars for defective ignition switches, which she has admitted GM bungled. At least 13 people have been killed in older model GM small cars with the defective switches.
 (go to article)

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Dual Turning Point for Biofuels

NY Times -- HUGOTON, Kan. — There is an old joke in the energy business that advanced biofuels are the fuel of the future, and always will be.

A Spanish company, Abengoa Bioenergy, has bet $500 million on robbing that joke of its punch line. In the middle of a cornfield here it is building a 38-acre Erector set of electrical cable and pipe that will soon begin producing cellulosic ethanol, which it calls a low-polluting alternative to petroleum products. This is just as the George W. Bush administration and Congress intended seven years ago with legislation promoting energy independence.

But even as Abengoa and other companies prepare to produce significant amounts of cellulosic ethanol, using corn stalks and wheat straw as opposed to corn itself, the appetite for such fuels seems to be diminishing.  (go to article)

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Girl texting while driving hits cyclist, says “I just don’t care”

By Tina Robinson | Daily Buzz – -- while driving is so totally wrong.

But according to 21-year-old Kimberly Davis, it’s totally not her fault.
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US crude stocks surged 10 million barrels last week on import boost

Platts -- US crude stocks jumped 10 million barrels last week -- the largest build in 13 years -- on a surge in imports and lower refinery run rates in the US Gulf Coast, data from the EIA showed Wednesday.

Rob Merriam, manager of EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status report, said a large build in commercial stocks of this size is typically seen in January, when companies are replenishing barrels after shedding crude at the end of the year for tax purposes.

US crude imports rose 959,000 b/d, led by a 649,000 b/d increase in imports from Saudi Arabia and a 406,000 b/d increase in imports from Colombia.

At the same time, US crude oil production continues to grow. Domestic crude production reached 8.3 million b/d last week -- the highest since the 8.306 million b/d seen the week ended April 1, 1988.  (go to article)

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WTI Oil Falls From Six-Week High as U.S. Supplies Surge

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude retreated from a six-week high after a government report showed that U.S. supplies rose more than 10 million barrels last week. Brent climbed on the escalating Ukraine crisis.

Inventories grew more than five times as much as forecast in the Energy Information Administration report. Supplies along the Gulf of Mexico, known as PADD 3, rose 5.17 million barrels to 207.2 million, the most in EIA data going back to 1990. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, fell. Ukraine began an offensive against separatists in its east amid claims that Russian special forces were fomenting unrest.  (go to article)

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General Motors to ask bankruptcy court to shield it from ignition claims before bankruptcy

The Associated Press | The Canadian Press -- DETROIT - General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.  (go to article)

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