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Sunday, November 23, 2014

21
votes
This Antiquated Law is Costing You an Extra $18 Billion at the Pump

Motley Fool -- The chorus of voices to have the United States end its oil export ban is growing louder by the day. Last week, ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) CEO Ryan Lance publicly highlighted the positives of eliminating the ban, which would include American consumers saving $18 billion per year at the pump. However, he also warned of the danger of inaction if the 1970s-era ban stays in place. That ban, which was enacted when American oil production was declining, is causing oil produced in the U.S. to trade at a growing discount to oil traded on the global market. According to Lance, "The discount would ultimately threaten the producing industry's ability to make investments in new crude supplies. In short, it could shut down the energy boom." This suggests that instead of seeing an even bigger discount  (read more)

Submitted 4 hours ago By:
221 Comments

20
votes
Flurry of B.C. court battles threaten to drive away investment

The Globe and Mail -- A flurry of court cases has tied up more than $25B worth of resource projects this year as FN, environmental groups and others battle pipelines, mines, a dam and a coal port – a situation that some observers fear will drive away investment

Executive VP/CPO for the Business Council of BC worries BC's reputation could suffer if the wave of litigation continues

“The No.1 reason why investors are reluctant to invest in BC is because of the FN land-uncertainty question

One of the reasons for all the legal action is that the government is not doing enough to protect the environment

One way to restore public confidence and cut down on the litigation would be for the province to get out of the agreement that authorizes the NEB to approve Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipeline proposa  (read more)

Submitted 4 hours ago By:
46 Comments

20
votes
Russia to seek new partners if Western oil majors leave - minister

REUTERS -- Moscow will seek new partners in countries that have not imposed sanctions on it if Western oil and gas companies pull out of projects with Russia, RIA news agency quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Saturday.

The sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis have targeted the delivery of oil technology goods and services, aiming to make it harder for Moscow to access new oil sources.

"If (Western) companies decide for themselves not to take part in organising investment projects in the long term, we will invite investors from countries which have not imposed sanctions against us and our oil and gas companies" Novak was quoted as saying in response to a question at a meeting with students.

Russia, the world's biggest energy exporter, relies on oil and gas exports...  (read more)

Submitted 4 hours ago By:
116 Comments

19
votes
OPEC panel reviews oil outlook in a start to talks on oversupply

Reuters -- (Reuters) - A panel of national representatives reviewed OPEC's oil market outlook for 2015 this week, OPEC sources said, preparing the ground for a policy-setting meeting next week that will decide how to address a looming oversupply of crude.

The Economic Commission Board concluded a two-day meeting in Vienna on Friday ahead of the gathering of the group's oil ministers on Nov. 27. It does not recommend policy to the ministers.

The panel reviewed the supply and demand forecasts published in the oil exporter group's monthly market report, which predicted lower demand for OPEC crude in 2015 and oversupply in the market if OPEC maintains its current output.

"It was a general discussion on the 2015 outlook," one of the OPEC sources said.

Oil prices have fallen by 30 percent since June  (read more)

Submitted 4 hours ago By:
18 Comments

19
votes
NC motorists see lowest gas prices in 5 years

WNCN -- CHARLOTTE, N.C. -
More North Carolinians are heading over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving, and they will find the trip won't cost nearly as much as it has recently.

AAA Carolinas says 1,345,000 North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home. About 1,210,500 of those travelers will drive, an increase of about 48,600 than last year. They will be enjoying the lowest gas prices in five years.

Gas prices in North Carolina are averaging $2.77, down 57 cents from Labor Day. Residents also are paying 46 cents less at the pump compared to last Thanksgiving.

AAA Carolinas President and CEO David Parsons says lower gas prices have encouraged more people to travel for Thanksgiving.  (read more)

Submitted 4 hours ago By:
163 Comments

Saturday, November 22, 2014

73
votes
'America loves you': Jay Leno surprises wounded veteran with new car

Today / NBC News -- Behind every salute and every handshake from a soldier, there's a great story. Jay Leno set out to share one of those stories, and went above and beyond to show his appreciation for their service — by giving a soldier a brand new car.

"We took all these wounded warriors and did sort of a lottery and reached in and picked a soldier at random (to) do something for him and hopefully it expresses what we want to do for all the soldiers," Leno said.

That soldier was Cpl. Ethan Laberge. Laberge had been on foot patrol in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber drove up and detonated himself, seriously injuring Leberge and killing two fellow soldiers who had been standing with him.

..Leno had just the thing for Leberge: a ride in a 2015 Dodge SRT Hellcat.

When Leno asked Leberge if he wanted to tak  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1337 Comments

49
votes
Toyota Unveils Hydrogen-Powered 2016 Mirai

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..caranddriver.comToyota has unveiled a mid-size car that runs on hydrogen fuel cells, joining some of its rivals as they mark a new foray into alternative powertrains.The world’s top seller of cars and trucks said this week the 2016 Mirai will be available starting in the fall of 2015. Toyota expects to make only 700 of the vehicles next year. The Mirai—a Japanese word that translates to “future”—will be rolled out at select dealers that have hydrogen fueling stations nearby.Toyota hopes the Mirai can attract drivers in the same way its Prius helped pave the way for hybrids and electric cars after launching in 1997. In five or six years, the automaker hopes to boost sales to the tens of thousands....  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1404 Comments

48
votes
EPA Delays Decision on Ethanol in Gas

ABC News -- Last year the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in fuel for the first time, acknowledging that a biofuel law that both Republicans and Democrats had championed nearly a decade ago was not working as well as expected.

A final decision was due before the end of the year on the already-delayed standards, but the EPA said Friday the final rule will now come in 2015.

The ethanol targets are required by a 2007 law that tried to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign oil and boost the rural economy by requiring oil companies to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into gasoline annually. But lawmakers did not anticipate fuel economy would improve as much as it has in recent years, reducing overall demand for gasoline.

 (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
825 Comments

41
votes
Safe home heating: Eight tips to stay alive this winter

Cleveland.com -- There is more to home heating than the price of natural gas or electricity. And what you don't know can be fatal.

There is more to worry about winter heating than the price of natural gas or electricity. And what you don't know can be fatal.

Here are eight heating safety tips, courtesy of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and Consumer Reports:

>Have the furnace inspected and if necessary tuned up every fall. And ask for an inspection of the chimney or PVC exhaust piping now used to vent high-efficiency furnaces.

>Never use an oven to heat the house. Most household ovens are not vented, and incomplete combustion can produce carbon monoxide, an orderless killer.

> Make sure chimneys and vent pipes for fireplaces and wood stoves are in good shape, not clogged and will not leak...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
834 Comments

39
votes
US oil manages to settle higher after brief dip

CNBC -- US crude settled below $80 a barrel on Friday after China cut interest rates and on speculation OPEC could agree to reduce oil production.
U.S. crude's front-month contract settled 66 cents higher, or 0.9 percent, at $76.51, after briefly turning lower earlier.

The front-month contract for benchmark Brent crude was up by nearly $1 at $80 a barrel, after having risen $2.28 earlier to a session high of $81.61.
China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years to reduce borrowing costs and support an economy on track for its slowest annual growth in 24 years.

China is the largest net importer of petroleum and metals, and the rate cut sent most commodity prices surging.Expectations of an output cut from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
61 Comments

Friday, November 21, 2014

57
votes
Cold triggers tire sensors: don't ignore your TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) !

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..bostonglobe.comWhile much of the country was blanketed with snow this week and more may be  on the way in the Great Lakes... maybe the last thing you want to worry about is your tire pressure.  After all, if you've been buried in places like Buffalo, it may be some time before you even find your vehicle, let alone drive it. 

Once you turn the heat on and get behind the wheel, don't be surprised if there's a light on your dashboard that you're not familiar with. When it comes to our cars, steep temperature drops can trigger a sign of winter that we don’t welcome: a yellow or orange low tire pressure warning light.When your light comes on, your car is simply telling you that you need more air in your tire and this time of year, the warning is usually related to steep drops in temperature. What should you do?  Don't ignore it. ...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 21, 2014 By:
1613 Comments

50
votes
Takata executive warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw

Reuters-Yahoo -- WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - An executive from Japan's Takata Corp told U.S. senators on Thursday the supplier is urgently trying to ramp up replacement parts for millions of vehicles fitted with potentially deadly air bags, but said it may not be able to move quickly enough.

The U.S. auto safety regulator also warned of the risks of moving to a nationwide recall, as senators have urged, saying such a move could divert replacement parts from humid regions where the defective air bags are more likely to rupture upon deployment, shooting metal shards into cars.

At least five fatalities have been linked to the defect so far, mostly in the United States.

 (read more)

Submitted Nov 21, 2014 By:
985 Comments

47
votes
GasBuddy Outsmart the Pump Sweepstakes Winner Announced

GasBuddy Blog -- If you think gas prices have been low lately, imagine paying $0 at the pump for the entire year. That’s what Brenda Price of Lilburn, Georgia will be paying as GasBuddy’s “Outsmart the Pump” summer sweepstakes winner.

Price and her husband Allen Price are retirees and active volunteers at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and disadvantaged in the community. When asked what they plan to do with the winnings, the couple said they plan to volunteer even more, now that gas costs won’t be much of a concern.

“I couldn’t believe we won!” Brenda Price said. “You never think something like this could actually happen to you. We are very blessed. It’s overwhelming.”...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 21, 2014 By:
2341 Comments

47
votes
Iran Vows to Guard Oil-Market Share as OPEC to Review Output

Bloomberg -- Iran will protect its share of global crude sales under all circumstances, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, as OPEC members prepare to meet next week to review production levels.

The Persian Gulf nation can double oil exports in two months if sanctions against are removed, Zanganeh said, according to the ministry’s news website Shana.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will gather on Nov. 27 in Vienna to assess its collective output amid a supply glut and a 30 percent drop in prices this year. Iran’s crude output has languished under international economic sanctions that deter foreign energy investors and limit its exports to approximately 1 million barrels a day.

“Under no circumstance will Iran decrease its share of the global market, not even by one barrel,”...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 21, 2014 By:
1442 Comments

47
votes
TransCanada Energy East faces new hurdle with demands from Quebec

Bloomberg News -- TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East pipeline is facing another obstacle in Quebec as the province sets conditions for the project linking the oilsands to the East Coast.

Quebec is requiring TransCanada meet seven conditions before allowing construction of the pipeline, according to a copy of a Nov. 18 letter by David Heurtel, the provincial environment minister, to TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling obtained by Bloomberg News and first revealed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Nov. 20.

Mounting criticism from environmental groups is stalling plans for pipelines to expand markets for Canada’s rising heavy crude supplies. Quebec’s conditions risk delaying Energy East and are the latest setback for TransCanada, after the defeat of a U.S. Senate measure this week to ex  (read more)

Submitted Nov 21, 2014 By:
1258 Comments

Thursday, November 20, 2014

45
votes
Thanksgiving driving, what to expect on the highways and why

Cleveland.com -- Here's what you need to know about Thanksgiving holiday driving. And why it can be a nightmare.

•Only four in 10 Americans say their Thanksgiving plans include traveling.

•But most of them will drive rather than fly.

•And about 30 percent are planning round trips of 500 miles or more, meaning the interstate highways will be busy as usual.

•Another 31 percent are driving between 200 and 500 miles.

•Two-thirds of these families are planning to drive either on Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day itself -- helping to create the annual surge that clogs even the largest interstate highways.

•More than 20 percent of these families will head home Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Another 42 percent will drive home over the weekend.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1520 Comments

44
votes
Special fund started to provide military families heating assistance

The Augusta Chronicle -- Natural gas provider SCANA Energy is joining forces with United Military Care to help Georgia service members, veterans and their families stay warm through a special fund they’ve started.

The fund, launched on Veterans Day, has raised around $5,650 and so far helped pay heating bills or open new accounts for 10 military families in Georgia who depend on natural gas for warmth.

United Military Care President Kim Scofi said the nonprofit organization also has around 10 other families who have applied for heating assistance through the program.

SCANA Energy started the fund with a $5,000 donation and plans to match every dollar donated above $5,000 – up to $10,000 – through February.

The fund is open to families of active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1349 Comments

42
votes
CSX Warns Buffalo Snow May Cause Delays on Main Crude Oil Route

Reuters via Downstream Today -- CSX Corp warned customers on Thursday that a massive snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, may cause delays of up to 48 hours on deliveries along its main crude oil by rail route.

"Customers with shipments over the high-volume Buffalo line should continue to expect delays up to 48 hours," the company said in a customer service advisory.

The CSX line carries crude from Chicago to Albany, New York, where it is loaded onto ships that sail to Irving's refinery in St. John, in New Brunswick, Canada, or taken to refineries in the Philadelphia area. It passes through Buffalo, which is digging out of more than five feet of snow, with more expected.

Many trains bypass Albany and head south along the River Line to Phillips 66's refinery in Linden, New Jersey or Philadelphia Energy's Solutions refinery  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
53 Comments

39
votes
Ford Recalls Fusions for Software Problem

Associated Press (AP) Published in Product Design and Development -- Ford is recalling about 65,000 Fusion midsize cars in North America because the ignition keys can be removed if the transmission is not in park due to a software problem.

The recall covers certain Fusions, including gas-electric hybrids, from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Ford traced the problem to a computer program in the instrument cluster. Keys can be removed 30 minutes after the ignition switch is turned off if the cars are left in gear. That violates U.S. safety regulations and increases the risk of cars rolling away unexpectedly.
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
63 Comments

37
votes
Minnesota's specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and costs, national study

Star Tribune -- Minnesota’s specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and save taxpayers money, prompting a call for the program’s expansion.

A national two-year study released Wednesday showed that in nearly all nine of the DWI courts evaluated, the rearrest rates for graduates of the intensive program dropped dramatically compared with offenders who went through the traditional court process. The state’s overall graduation completion numbers were also well above the national average for DWI courts.

Although dozens of DWI and drug courts have been researched, Minnesota’s study is the first to include a cost analysis. Because of the reduced recidivism, local agencies and the state save more than $1.4 million over the two years DWI court participants entered the program.

“We are ple  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1392 Comments

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

49
votes
Brace for Thanksgiving Traffic as Car-to-Plane Gap Swells

Bloomberg News -- With gasoline prices sinking to under $3 per gallon, Americans traveling by car this holiday season will have plenty of company on the road.

Drivers will make up about 89.5 percent of holiday travelers this year, a gain of 0.1 percentage point from 2013, while air passengers will drop by the same amount to 7.5, forecasts prepared by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. (IHS) show. A 0.1 point increase may not seem like a lot, but based on last year’s estimate that 39.6 million people traveled by car for Thanksgiving, that would roughly equate to at least another 40,000 people piling onto America’s highways.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1180 Comments

46
votes
Fracking to be Permitted in GW National Forest

AP -- Environmentalists and energy boosters alike welcomed a federal compromise announced Tuesday that will allow fracking in the largest national forest in the eastern United States, but make most of its woods off-limits to drilling.

The decision was highly anticipated because about half of the George Washington National Forest sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, a vast underground deposit of natural gas that runs from upstate New York to West Virginia and yields more than $10 billion in gas a year.

The federal management plan reverses an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing that the U.S. Forest Service had proposed in 2011 for the 1.1 million-acre forest, which includes the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers. Those rivers feed the Chesapeake Bay, which is the focus of a...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1487 Comments

41
votes
ISIS in trouble: What could this mean for oil?

CNBC -- One of the most important areas captured by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) looks as though it's back in Western-backed hands.

Iraqi security forces have re-entered the key Baiji oil refinery, which has been held by ISIS since June, in what the Iraqi General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi said to state media could be the "main key in liberating each span of Iraq".
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
59 Comments

41
votes
Hackers attacked the U.S. energy grid 79 times this year

CNN -- In fiscal year 2014, there were 79 hacking incidents at energy companies that were investigated by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. There were 145 incidents the previous year.

The outermost defenses aren't holding up. Between April 2013 and 2014, hackers managed to break into 37% of energy companies, according to a survey by ThreatTrack Security.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE) identified nearly 50 types of malware that specifically target energy companies in 2013 alone, according to its annual report. Energy firms get hit with more spy malware than other industries, according to a 2014 study by Verizon (VZ, Tech30).  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
689 Comments

40
votes
Oil Near 4-Year Low as OPEC Seen Resisting Cutting Output

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for a third day as U.S. oil inventories gained unexpectedly. Brent rose in London.

Futures fell as much as 1 percent in New York. Ecuador and Venezuela will ask members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce excess output, an Ecuador official said. A car with explosives blew up in Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdish region, the local Rudaw news agency reported, with Al Jazeera television reporting six people killed. U.S. crude inventories expanded by 3.7 million barrels last week, countering forecasts expecting a drop, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. The Department of Energy’s stockpile figures will be published later today.

Oil has collapsed into a bear market as the U.S. pumps at the fastest pace in more than three deca  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
437 Comments