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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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GM Needs to Show Recalls Didn't Hurt Brands

Wall Street Journal -- All eyes are on General Motors this month to see if there will be an impact on its sales from the large ignition switch recall which has dominated auto industry headlines. GM execs at the Beijing Auto Show say sales trends have been strong, despite the negative publicity following the recall and ongoing scrutiny from regulators and Congressional committees. However, an early read from J.D. Power indicated that sales of GM vehicles were down over 6% Y/Y during the first five days of the month. The automaker will report April U.S. sales on May 1.  (go to article)

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Oil stays above $104 amid Ukraine jitters

ap -- The price of oil edged down Monday but stayed above $104 per barrel as investors watched simmering tensions in Ukraine.

U.S. crude for May delivery was down 12 cents at $104.18 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading resumed following a three-day holiday weekend. The contract rose 44 cents to $104.30 in the previous session.

Markets are on edge at the possibility of European or U.S. sanctions that might disrupt Russian supplies. Tensions were fueled by an Easter morning shooting at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian insurgents.
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Sales results for natural gas-powered F-150 draw mixed reactions

Fuel Fix -- When Ford announced last summer it would sell a version of its F-150 pickup specially made to run on natural gas, many saw it as a watershed moment.

Few light-duty vehicles used by everyday consumers are available in a natural gas configuration. Suddenly, the most popular model in America’s best-selling line of vehicles would come in a version that could run on the relatively cheap, clean fuel.

But early sales numbers show that the public isn’t exactly clamoring for an F-150 powered by compressed natural gas. Ford readies the trucks for CNG conversion on the assembly line, and contractors later perform the conversion by special customer order.

Since sales began in December, just over 200 of the CNG-prepped trucks have been sold.

Ford officials say they aren’t worried.

“The first year  (go to article)

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Running Out of Time

NY Times -- There are years, not decades, left to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and American leadership is urgently needed.  (go to article)

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25 Amazing Facts About Solar

Motley Fool -- In the past few years alone, the solar industry has gone from a clean energy source that required subsidies just to stay afloat to a full-fledged economic force. Solar energy is now passing grid parity in Europe, the southwestern U.S., South America, South Africa, and many other parts of the world. As costs fall, even more locations will find solar power to be economical, opening up a global electricity market worth over $1 trillion annually.

Here are just a few amazing statistics that show just how far solar energy has come and how big an opportunity it is for investors.

What's amazing about the progress in solar, wind, oil, and gas is that it was only a decade ago that the U.S. was worried about energy imports. Today, the situation has been turned on its head and all of these energy so  (go to article)

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7 Things to Love About Toyota’s Fuel Cell Beauty

Wall Street Cheat Sheet -- Amid the slate of luxury rockets and hypercars gracing the stands at the 2014 New York Auto Show, Toyota (NYSE:TM) is showcasing its full range of automobiles. At the Javits Center through April 27 are the new Lexus sport sedans, the different Prius models, a brand new Camry, and the redesigned Highlander. Tucked away in the corner of the automaker’s vast display was the type of car that would be a headliner in other circumstances: the Toyota FCV.

This green car, which is powered by hydrogen fuel tanks rather than lithium-ion batteries, made its formal U.S. debut at the CES conference earlier in 2014. At the New York auto spectacle, Toyota brought both a display and “ride-alongs” in a fuel-cell utility vehicle to give attendees a taste of the technology.  (go to article)

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Fracking Foes Cringe as Unions Back Drilling Boom

abcNEWS-AP -- After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.

"The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.

Martire said that as huge quantities of natural gas were extracted from the vast shale reserves over the last five years, union work on large pipeline jobs...  (go to article)

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Suncor Energy Employee Dies After Injury At Oil Sands Site

Huffingtonpost -- FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Canadian company Suncor Energy says an employee has died after being "severely injured" at its oil sands site.

A statement posted on the company's website says the employee was pronounced dead at a hospital after being injured Sunday morning. The employee's name was not released.

The publicly traded company says it is working with authorities and will "complete a full investigation into the cause of the accident."  (go to article)

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U.S. Gas Prices Rise, But Not Because of Global Factors

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- Global energy markets are jostling between the return of Libyan crude oil and lingering tensions over Ukraine. It’s domestic supply and demand issues, however, that are weighing on U.S. gasoline prices, AAA said Monday.

Prices waxed and then waned amid dueling overseas developments. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned European energy security was at risk because of Kiev’s debt obligations. The state-run oil firm in Libya, however, said the port of Zawiya and associated oil infrastructure were open and operating normally after protesters there ended their blockade.

West Texas Intermediate traded Monday morning at $103.74, up 0.34 cents from the previous session, while Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded down 0.13 cents to $107.33.  (go to article)

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Chinese Chevrolet Cruze debuts at the Beijing Auto Show

CAR NEWS CHINA -- The brand new Chinese Chevrolet Cruze debuted today at the Beijing Auto Show. Chevrolet had only one vehicle on display, with darkened windows, indicating production won’t start very soon. The car was called ‘New Cruze’ to differ this Cruze with the current Cruze, which will continue in China, and soon receive a facelift.
The Chinese New Cruze is an entirely different car than 2015 Chevrolet Cruze for North America that debuted last week on the New York Auto Show. The Chinese Cruze is a more premium-orientated vehicle that will compete with vehicles such as the upcoming Ford Escort, Kia K4, the Hyundai Mistra, the Volkswagen Sagitar, the Citroen C4L and Honda Crider. Price will start around 120.000 yuan and end around 160.000 yuan............  (go to article)

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Camaro Crashes Mustang's 50th Birthday With Predictable Results

JALOPNIK -- I'm not exactly sure why this Chevy Camaro got towed at the Mustang's 50th Birthday celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but I can't say I'm surprised it happened.
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Federal studies report that biofuels are worse for the environment

Guardian -- Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a new study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study – paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change – concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.  (go to article)

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Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

Associated Press -- WASHINGTON (AP) -- Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won't meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a bi  (go to article)

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Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

University of Nebraska-Lincoln -- Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Corn stover -- the stalks, leaves and cobs in cornfields after harvest -- has been considered a ready resource for cellulosic ethanol production. The U.S. Department of Energy has provided more than $1 billion in federal funds to support research to develop cellulosic biofuels, including ethanol made from corn stover.  (go to article)

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Two hours northwest, oil boom is in the making

Sun Herald -- Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in southern Mississippi to develop oil and gas production that, if successful, could cause a boom for the Coast and the rest of the state not unlike the one North Dakota is experiencing with its Bakken formation.

Technology is the key for this, however.

Oil companies need a way to drill into the especially deep oil and gas deposits without eating up profits. There's no doubt the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale -- deep beneath central and southern Louisiana and southwest Mississippi -- holds untold caches of sweet crude and natural gas. Studies put the amount of oil there at 7 billion to 9 billion barrels; information about the amount of natural gas there isn't as available.

And hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the techniques that h  (go to article)

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Study: Fuels from corn waste worse than gas

USA Today -- Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help fight climate change.

A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won't meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than $1 billion in federal support  (go to article)

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The return of the car stereo tuning knob

Consumer Reports -- In recent years, dashboard touch screens and center-console unified “multifunction” control knobs have become all the rage. Which in many cases means a fashion trend that infuriates practically everyone. Want to tune a radio station or find the seat heater in a brand-new car? Figure on knob-jogging or finger-poking your way through up to five separate steps.

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It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use

Forbes -- OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? With huge subsidies for ethanol in gasoline, with all States now selling gasoline having some ethanol blend, and a general misconception that these biofuels are green, corn ethanol has taken on a $30 billion/yr life of its own.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released two of its Working Group reports at the end of last month (WGI and WGIII), and their short discussion of biofuels has ignited a fierce debate as to whether they’re of any environmental benefit at all.

The IPCC was quite diplomatic in its discussion, saying “Biofuels have direct, fuel-cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels.  (go to article)

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Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama's political base

Reuters -- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

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Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their sights

latimes.com -- The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry.

But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent.

He was a solar-energy consumer.

Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies.

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.

..Kochs invested millions
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Solar power: generating electricity at home

ourmidland.com -- As any homeowner knows, heating and cooling bills can top the charts during the height of summer and winter in many parts of the country. Homes that are well insulated can aid in keeping bills in line by helping to keep temperatures at a constant — but there are additional ways to tackle energy bills, and increasingly popular solutions include solar energy.

Depending on your climate and surrounding buildings, trees and topography, solar energy can be a resource that could be harnessed to lower your bill from the local electric company. In fact, many people are able to generate enough electricity and heat from the sun to power their home without the need for power from a utility company at all, and a few even manage to generate excess energy that they can sell back to the power company en
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Teen Driving: Loud Talking & Rowdiness Are Risky Distractions

Live Science -- Although texting and talking on the phone can be hazardous for young drivers, old-fashioned distractions such as loud conversations and rowdy passengers may be more likely to lead to car crashes and other dangerous driving situations, a new study suggests.

Teen drivers in the study were six times more likely to have a serious driving incident — such as a collision, near collision, or loss of control — when there was a loud conversation in the car, compared to when there were no loud conversations.

And teens were about twice as likely to need to stop or slow the car quickly (hard braking) when there were rowdy passengers, compared to when there were no rowdy passengers, the study found.

While use of electronic devices was a more common distraction, it was not linked with serious ...  (go to article)

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Photos: Inside Colorado’s fracking boom

AP -- Workers bustle at an oil and gas drilling site near Mead, Colo., a town of about 3,800 people north of Denver.

The hydraulic fracturing operation, also known as “fracking,” and others like it pump hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, mixed with fine sand and chemicals, deep underground to split the rock, and make the oil — and dollars — flow.

Fighting back: Anadarko joins ad blitz to thwart Colorado fracking bans

But the drilling has come much too fast — and too close — for several communities, where fracking bans have been enacted out of concern about its possible impact on groundwater. The state government and the energy industry are challenging those prohibitions.

In this photo essay, AP photographer Brennan Linsley looks inside a walled-off fracking facility, one of many site  (go to article)

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A Better Way to Make Biofuels

PM -- By 2030 biofuels such as ethanol could replace up to one-third of the gasoline consumed in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. Instead of burning irreplaceable fossil fuels, we'll use reliable, renewable energy sources that are more environmentally benign. That's the idea, anyway. In practice, integrating ethanol into gasoline has been a messy business. Critics claim ethanol additives are expensive for consumers, take too much corn out of the food supply, and provide environmental benefits that are marginal at best.

In a new study in Science, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have begun to address the pricing issue by finding a way to efficiently remove sugars from wood and leftover cornstalks, or stover. Those energy-packed sugars can then be used to pro  (go to article)

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EPA acknowledges ethanol damages engines

AMA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures.

Yet, even with this knowledge, the Federal Trade Commission is recommending more labeling at the gas pump as its solution to the problem.

The American Motorcyclist Association believes that is not enough.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a rule proposal to provide requirements for rating and certifying ethanol blends and requirements for labeling blends of more than 10 percent ethanol.

But this rule exempts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s E15-approved label.

This rule is for an additional label to be placed on the fuel pump “in response to the emergence of ethanol b  (go to article)

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Putting a price on Deepwater Horizon: For BP, $27 billion and counting

al.com -- While the ultimate impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is likely impossible to calculate, the toll paid by BP PLC in the spill's aftermath is much easier to pinpoint.

The British oil giant says it has paid approximately $27 billion so far in clean-up costs, fines and settlements since the 2010 explosion and subsequent undersea gusher that vented an estimated 4.9 million barrels (210 million gallons) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. And there will be more to come.
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Spotted at the Easter Jeep Safari: European Jeep Wrangler Diesel caught uncovered

TheFastLaneCar.com -- Spotted during the 2014 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT we saw (and heard) this Jeep Wrangler diesel as it was being moved in the official Jeep display. Sure, the handlers of the Diesel Wrangler wanted to keep it quiet as they moved it; however, it’s hard to hide the rat-a-tat-tat of a diesel engine which Roman and I clearly heard.

Just to be clear: Jeep has yet to make any announcements about an American Jeep Wrangler Diesel. In fact when when we asked Jeep about this vehicle they said in no way does this mean the European Diesel Wrangler is coming to America.

This Euro Jeep Wrangler Diesel most-likely had a 177 horsepower, 2.8-liter VM Motori turbo-diesel that makes about 295 lbs of torque (about 339 lbs-feet according to the Jeep UK website).  (go to article)

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Gas prices soar above $4, respite not due until September

Daily Breeze -- Southland gas prices have risen dramatically over the past week, and one industry expert figures they’ll remain above $4 a gallon until September.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Los Angeles County hit $4.30 Friday, up 12 cents from a week ago and 26 cents from a month ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

And, as usual, no one is happy about the spike in gas prices.

“It’s definitely a hard thing for us, especially with deliveries,” said Chelsea Gaudenti, operating manager of Rolling Hills Flower Mart in Redondo Beach. “We can’t increase our delivery fees just because gas prices go up. ... When we get flowers shipped from one place to another, it’s a challenge, too, because our cost goes up with that. So that’s another struggle.”  (go to article)

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Crude oil ships imperil the Hudson

The Journal News -- How many more indignities must our dear Hudson River suffer before sanity takes hold and those in positions of power act decisively?

If the expansion of tanker and barge shipments of crude oil on the river is permitted, a disastrous spill is inevitable. In December, a ship ran aground near Albany and a major spill averted only because the ship had, luckily, a double hull; we were that close to a 12 million gallon spill. Remember the Exxon Valdez? That was a 12 million gallon spill and, despite all the cleanup efforts, today the area remains intensely polluted to the detriment of the fish, birds and fishermen whose livelihood depended on those waters.

An oil barge can carry the equivalent of 45 railroad tanker cars. Those are what you see going by while you wait at the crossing in Val  (go to article)

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Surging oil traffic puts region at risk

The Seattle Times -- The amount of oil leaving Prince William Sound is a quarter of what it was when the Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude in Alaska. But as the energy industry transforms the Pacific Northwest into a fossil-fuel gateway, tanker traffic could explode.

Efforts to transform the Northwest into a fossil-fuel hub for North Dakota’s crude, Alberta’s oil sands and coal from the Rocky Mountains mean the risks of major spills and explosions in and around Washington state are rising and poised to skyrocket.

Millions of gallons of oil are suddenly transiting our region by train. Barges now haul petroleum across the treacherous mouth of the Columbia River and on to Puget Sound. Oil-tanker traffic through tricky channels north of Puget Sound may well increase dramatically in coming years  (go to article)

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GM to invest $12 billion in China and plans more plants

Reuters -- BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. car giant General Motors Corp (GM) (NYSE:GM - News) plans to invest $12 billion in China from 2014 to 2017 and build more plants next year as it steps up its presence to compete with aggressive rivals in the world's largest auto market.

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Road kill bill would make claiming animals simpler

Detroit News -- Lansing— Getting a drive-through meal could take on new meaning in Michigan if legislation is approved making it easier to take home road kill.

Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, is sponsoring a bill to simplify the road kill claiming process and allow more people to keep dead animals for food, bait or pelts. It unanimously passed the Senate last month.

“All of us are disgusted by looking at deer lying on the side of the road for weeks until they rot right out,” Booher said in a telephone interview while driving. “The only thing that distracts me anymore is that I look along the road” and see animal carcasses, he added.

The lifelong hunter said he’s hit 11 deer with his car since joining the Legislature in 2004, but hasn’t kept any. It can take hours for officials to deliver a salvage tag nee  (go to article)

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Usual Suspects Surface as California Gasoline Prices Soa

AllGov.com -- One month ago, Charles Langley at FuelTracker.com made a bold prediction:

“At this time, the price of fuel SHOULD be declining due to an over-supplied market, yet refiners will probably do their utmost to push prices higher in the next couple of weeks with an announcement of a major shutdown, fire, or a series of announcements about minor production problems that could put a pinch the gasoline pipeline and raise the price of wholesale fuel.”

Right on cue came this week’s headlines. “Gasoline Prices Jump in California As Refineries Encounter Trouble,” “Gas Prices Rapidly Rise” and “Southern California Gas Prices Soar above $4 a Gallon.”

The statewide price of regular gasoline was 4.196 a gallon on Thursday, around 13 cents higher than a week ago, and 23 cents more than a month or year a  (go to article)

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Russia writes off 90 per cent of North Korean debt, expected to build gas pipeline

ABC Radio Australia -- Russia's parliament has agreed to write off about $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline to South Korea across the reclusive state.

The State Duma lower house in Moscow on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to excuse the bulk of North Korea's debt.

It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of September 17, 2012.

The rest of the debt - $1.09 billion - would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal instalments every six months.

The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank Vnesheconombank.

Russia's deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak told Russian media that the money could be used to fund mutually beneficial projects in North Korea, including...  (go to article)

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Methane gas from waste is used to generate electricity

Detroit Free Press -- Pete Nichols keeps a close eye on a vast engine of sorts — one that runs on the trash discarded from homes throughout the Lansing area.

One of five operators at the Granger landfill in DeWitt Township, Nichols oversees a vast network of underground pipes that serve as a fuel line for this engine — a line that captures methane gas from waste and sends it to an adjacent generating station.

There, it powers seven large generators that can produce electricity for 10,000 homes in the Lansing area.

“I’m a very, very happy man,” Nichols said recently after reviewing computer readouts showing optimal methane levels at the station that day.

For electric utilities, green energy is more than a buzzword. It’s a state mandate, and it represents much of the recent and future growth in energy...  (go to article)

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Red-light cameras still reducing crashes

Delaware Online -- Delaware's red-light cameras continue to reduce the frequency of dangerous crashes at 30 intersections statewide, even as they net fewer dollars than in previous years, according to the annual report on the state's program.

The Delaware Department of Transportation's monitoring program generated 39,068 red-light-running citations and roughly $4 million in 2013. After expenses – including sending a collection agency after delinquent violators – the program netted just under $900,000.

DelDOT has seen an average 29 percent drop in red-light-running crashes since monitoring began and an average 47 percent drop in the most severe type of crashes where the impact occurs at an angle.

The total number of crashes at the intersections remains unchanged, in part due to an increase in rear-end cras  (go to article)

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Sahara Forest Project Grows Food, And Biofuel

Clean Technica -- We’ve been following the Sahara Forest Project in Qatar since 2008, but somehow we missed an interesting connection with the US Department of Energy. The connection is the Energy Department’s Algae Biomass Consortium, of which the Sahara Forest Project is a member. That brings into focus how both of these oil-rich countries are beginning to develop transitional economic models that prepare for a future in which their domestic petroleum reserves become less competitive in global energy markets.

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Virginia Corless, Science and Development Manager of The Sahara Forest Project, earlier this month at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, and she helped us tease out some of the implications of that transition.

To clarify, although the pilot and R&D facility  (go to article)

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Keystone Review Delay Draws Angry Reaction From Backers

Bloomberg -- The Obama administration’s announcement yesterday that it was delaying a ruling on the Keystone XL oil pipeline drew an angry reaction from supporters of the $5.4 billion project, including some who said it was designed to push the issue beyond the November election.

“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement that called the move “nothing short of an indefinite delay.”

Opponents of the pipeline applauded the move, saying TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed link between Canada’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries would worsen global warming.

The delay could push until after the November midterm elections an issue that pits President Barack Obama’s ...  (go to article)

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Will Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Be A Success And Be Sold In 2015?

Forbes -- It’s a gimmick and it’s going to fail.

Toyota keeps telling the world, “this is like the Prius, people made fun of that too!”

Where “here” was a super generous description as the yellow flags don’t exist yet and the orange ones are private stations. The green ones are real.

So even though the range of the vehicle will easily eclipse, say, the Tesla Model S, one of those vehicles can comfortably be driven between San Francisco and Los Angeles. And it’s not the Toyota.

If the Toyota FCV was able to say as an odd, but much-more-convenient Nissan Leaf competitor, it might have a chance. Unfortunately, it’s going to cost about twice as much and offer only some unique attributes. For example, the Leaf won’t do a day trip from Palo Alto to Napa; the FCV would. And if things go funky, you can  (go to article)

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Chevrolet Reveals the Latest Generation of Autobots [Photo Gallery]

AutoEvolution -- The General Motors subsidiary once again teamed up with director Michael Bay by providing a new generation of four-wheel Autobots for the upcoming "Transformers: Age of Extinction" movie.

The fourth installment of the saga will come to a theatre near you at the end of June, and will feature all sorts of Chevrolets sold around the world.

“The Transformers movies have been a great partnership for Chevrolet by allowing us to introduce our vehicles to new fans, young and old, around the world,” said Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet's chief marketing officer. “Now for the fourth time, you’ll see a Camaro as a heroic Autobot, a fitting role for one of the stars of Chevrolet’s lineup.”

For this latest film, GM's automotive stars will once again convert to Autobots in order to defeat the menacing Decepti  (go to article)

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How the Mustang Evolved in the Last 50 Years [Video]

AutoEvolution -- Yesterday, the original pony car turned 50 years old since it was first unveiled at the 1964 New York World Fair. To celebrate this grand feat, the Blue Oval displayed 95 examples of the breed (including the all-new 2015 model) in front of the Unishpere at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NYC.

“Standing where my grandfather, Henry Ford II, stood to reveal Mustang five decades ago is both humbling and inspiring – especially since we are launching the next 50 years of Mustang at Ford Motor Company,” said Ford Vice President Elena Ford. “Since then, Mustang has become the heart and soul of Ford Motor Company, and a symbol of my great-great-grandfather Henry Ford’s vision of putting the world on wheels.”

By the end of the day it was introduced back in 1964, more than 22,000 World Fair  (go to article)

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Fiat Chrysler strikes deal to produce Jeeps in China

yahoo News - Reuters -- MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler has reached an agreement to start producing Jeep vehicles in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co <601238.SS>, the companies said on Saturday, as Fiat tries to catch up with competitors in a fast-growing market.

The plan to produce three new Jeep vehicles in China for the domestic market, through the GAC Fiat joint venture, has received the necessary government approvals, the companies said.

Production is expected to begin by late 2015.
 (go to article)

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EPA acknowledges ethanol damages engines

American Motorcyclist Association -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures.

Yet, even with this knowledge, the Federal Trade Commission is recommending more labeling at the gas pump as its solution to the problem.

The American Motorcyclist Association believes that is not enough.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a rule proposal to provide requirements for rating and certifying ethanol blends and requirements for labeling blends of more than 10 percent ethanol.

But this rule exempts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s E15-approved label.

...  (go to article)

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Labor shortage threatens to bust shale book

Fuel Fix -- How high is demand for welders to work in the shale boom on the U.S. Gulf Coast?

So high that “you can take every citizen in the region of Lake Charles between the ages of 5 and 85 and teach them all how to weld and you’re not going to have enough welders,” said Peter Huntsman, chief executive officer of chemical maker Huntsman Corp.

So high that San Jacinto College in Pasadena,Texas, offers a four-hour welding class in the middle of the night.

So high that local employers say they’re worried there won’t be adequate supply of workers of all kinds. Just for construction, Gulf Coast oil, gas and chemical companies will have to find 36,000 new qualified workers by 2016, according to Industrial Info Resources Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas. Regional estimates call for even more new hires once th  (go to article)

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NHTSA investigates Nissan Leaf EV fire blamed on faulty charger

Detroit News -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether a EV charging unit damaged a Nissan Leaf and led to a fire poses a safety hazard.

NHTSA said Saturday the agency is opening an investigation into 50 Bosch Power Xpress 250V charging units after a complaint that while charging a 2013 Leaf the EV "began to emit smoke around the vicinity of the vehicle/charger interface when charging at a private residence."

After 90 minutes of charging "signs of overheating were first noticed. The overheating condition can cause damage to the vehicle and charger rendering both inoperable. Charging vehicles are typically left unattended and there is a risk of fire that could affect the vehicle and its surrounding environment."

The complaint was filed in late August. "The connection  (go to article)

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You'll Never Guess Which State Has the Most Wind Energy

The Motley Fool -- When it comes to wind energy, not all states are created equal. They say everything's bigger in Texas -- and for wind energy and rib-eye steak, they're right. Here's how Texas tops the list of wind energy producers.

Where's the wind?
Wind energy is making major moves in the United States. In 2012, wind accounted for 3.5% of U.S. electricity generation -- in 2013, that amount jumped to 4.1%.

While Texas is often stereotyped as anti-Federalist separatist state (just ask Texans about their constitutional right to secede), some of the state's biggest additions came in December 2012 on the back of a subsidy shutdown scare. The U.S. government's lucrative Production Tax Credit was set to expire in 2013, and capacity additions soared in the final months of 2012. Of the 12,620 MW of total 2012  (go to article)

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Electric cars get a boost in Quebec

CBC News -- Rebates for electric cars and Get Connected Day are helping QCers get into electric cars

Gilles Villeneuve Racetrack was the site of a Guinness World Record-breaking event on Fri: 431 EC in one place, at one time

It was part of Get Connected Day, 3rd annual event celebrating the EC

As part of the QC’s transportation electrification program, would-be buyers are being offered substantial rebates — up to $8K for a car and up to $1K for a charging station

The province has allocated $516M toward its 2013-2017 electrification strategy. Some of that money will go to installing more than 3,000 charging stations

“QC is among the best places to drive electric because we have zero emissions in terms of electricity and the price for driving electric is very low here

ECs come at $40K with taxes  (go to article)

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Leak from nuclear waste site would be diluted: Experts

OurWindsor.Ca -- The “immense” waters of the Great Lakes will greatly dilute any radiation-bearing water that might leak from a proposed nuclear waste site on Lake Huron, says an expert group.
Fast-flowing surface water would also dilute leaking radiation, should the site be located in the ancient rock of the Canadian Shield, the group says.
The four-member group has filed a report with the federal panel examining Ontario Power Generation’s proposal to bury low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a limestone formation 680 metres below the surface, on the shore of Lake Huron.
The federal panel asked the expert group to compare whether it would be better to inter the waste at the Bruce site, or in ancient granite formations in the Canadian Shield. The question of leakage from the site has heated  (go to article)

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Documents detail another delayed GM recall

USA TODAY -- DETROIT (AP) — General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and found 12 crashes and two injuries in the United States caused by the problem.

The documents, posted on the agency's website, show yet another delay by GM in recalling unsafe vehicles and point to another example of government safety regulators reacting slowly to a safety problem despite being alerted.....  (go to article)

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How to Put a Mustang on Top of the Empire State Building

Wired -- (With Photos) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, Ford recreated a publicity stunt it pulled in 1964 when it installed a Mustang on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The task required six weeks of preparation, which included cutting the car into six sections and shuttling them up 86 floors.

Measure (at least) twice, cut once. A fabricator at DST Industries lays out the lines to be followed while dissecting the car, which was cut into six pieces.

Mechanics prepare the front sub-frame and suspension components. Everything had to fit into a freight elevator, so the crew reduced major assemblies to their constituent parts, then reassembled them. The car features a custom frame to make assembly a wee bit easier.

A fabricator gets medieval with a cutting wheel,  (go to article)

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8THEIST license plate rejected. Why?

Associated Press -- A New Jersey woman who says she was denied a license plate referencing atheism filed suit this week, claiming her online application was rejected because it was deemed potentially offensive.

 (go to article)

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