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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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Pennsylvania: hundreds of water supplies contaminated while audit finds state unprepared to protect

Switchboard -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that oil and gas operations have contaminated Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007.  (go to article)

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Good news for electric cars: boost energy density by 7X

Green Car Reports -- All electric vehicles currently in production use some form of lithium-ion chemistry in their battery packs.

Finding ways of improving that chemistry is therefore very important — the aim being to make future electric car batteries cheaper, more stable and more energy-dense for longer range.

Researchers from the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo have found a way to develop a lithium-based battery with seven times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries, according to Nikkei Technology.
 (go to article)

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Porsche Buys South Africa's Kyalami Race Track

Motor Authority -- No motorsport fan likes to see a classic race track get bulldozed, but the land these tracks occupy is often valuable, so there's typically no shortage of developers waiting in the wings for an operator to falter.

READ: One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Headed To Pebble Beach Auction

Demolition appeared to be the fate of the Kyalami track in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the owners ran out of cash, it was auctioned off. However, the winning bidder isn't going to turn it into condos.

That's because the official importer of Porsche cars in South Africa is now the owner of Kyalami. A winning bid of 205 million Rand (about $19.5 million at current exchange rates)—submitted over the phone by Porsche South Africa CEO Toby Venter—secured the track for the German automaker. It beat  (go to article)

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GM revamps key vehicles for 2015

GasBuddy Blog -- When Chevrolet's Colorado and Canyon mid-sized pickups hit showrooms this fall, Chevy and GMC will have churned out new generations of every pickup and SUV in their lineups in about 15 months. Next, Chevrolet's focus turns to cars. Chevy is planning launches next year for three key car redesigns: the Cruze compact, General Motors' top-selling car globally; the Volt plug-in hybrid, a high-profile launch as GM tries to fend off growing competition in electrified powertrains; and the next-generation Camaro sports car, which should arrive about one year after the launch of the redesigned Ford Mustang....  (go to article)

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Bulls Fleeing Natural Gas as Goldman Sees Further Decline

Bloomberg -- Speculators are fleeing natural gas after prices dropped below $4 for the first time since December and power plant production fell to a 13-year seasonal low.

Hedge funds reduced net-long positions, or bets on rising prices, by 11 percent in the week ended July 22, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. Bullish wagers have declined 51 percent since February.

Futures slid as the output from electricity generators, the biggest consumers of the fuel, fell 11 percent in the week ended July 19 from a year earlier to the least for the period since 2001, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Mild weather and a record pace of inventory gains may push prices lower in the next three months, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.  (go to article)

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Ford's aluminum-body 2015 F-150s to cost more than previous models

Detroit News -- Ford Motor Co. said Monday that base prices of its aluminum-body 2015 F-150 pickup will be as much as $3,615 more on some models than the 2014 F-150s now in showrooms.

The new pickup is making headlines because of its aluminum body, which is more costly to produce but reduces weight by as much as 732 pounds compared to the 2014 F-150.

The Dearborn automaker said the new truck will come in five models: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, simplified from the 10 2014 models offered.  (go to article)

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Radical Polaris Slingshot is part car, part motorcycle, all excitement

fox -- The three-wheeled Slingshot is a daring new machine, seemingly crafted from DNA drawn from Polaris’ extensive recreation-focused portfolio of ATVs, motorcycles, side-by-sides, and snowmobiles. The result is a street machine that blurs the lines between cars and motorcycles.  (go to article)

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Good News for Tesla Motors: This 84 MPG Car Just Copied Its Business Strategy

The Motley Fool -- Tesla Motors is attempting to fix the problem at its source: the car dealership. Forget haggling with a sales representative paid on commission; each Tesla will come at the same fixed price based on model and options. That has attracted the much-expected ire of the dealership camp; but the company will soon be getting help from another unlikely automobile start-up, Elio Motors. The company is working with well-established parts suppliers such as Henkel, Lear Corporation, and Flame-Spray Industries -- which is working with Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F ) to boost fuel efficiency -- to introduce an 84-mpg, $6,800 mass-market car sold with a "No Haggle" sales policy.  (go to article)

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Britain reopens way for fracking

Associated Press -- The British government has reopened the way for energy firms to explore for shale gas, three years after seismic tremors led to the suspension of fracking.

Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock says shale gas has the potential to improve energy security but stresses national parks will be protected.

He said Monday that, "Done right, speeding up shale will mean more jobs and opportunities for people and help ensure long-term economic and energy security for our country."
 (go to article)

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As Recalls Mount, Was It Worth Bailing Out the 'Old GM'?

Real Clear Markets -- The U.S. automotive industry has surged past the previous vehicle safety recall record of 33.01 million it established in 2004, reaching 39.85 million vehicles recalled through July, and with five months yet to go in this year, the final number is tragically still "blue sky" in nature. This past week, General Motors (GM) announced six additional recalls covering 717,950 vehicles in the U.S. - although none of these recalls were for faulty ignition switches. This latest recall brings to 60 for the automotive manufacturer in 2014, totaling a record-setting 26.41 million vehicles globally, and with nearly 15 million of these recalls related to potentially lethal issues concerning ignition switches. While GM acknowledges that it is aware of three vehicle crashes and two injuries related to thi  (go to article)

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Tanker full of Kurdish oil arrives in Texas

Aljazeera America -- Baghdad bristles at Kurdish region's attempt to sell oil, seeing threat to Iraq's territorial integrity. A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, on Sunday, a delivery that has infuriated Baghdad, which has threatened to sue anyone who buys the black gold. The Iraqi government sees such deals as smuggling, raising questions about Washington's commitment to preventing oil sales from the autonomous region — an area where most people do not speak Arabic but Kurdish, a language that is closer to Persian, and people do not consider themselves to be Arabs.  (go to article)

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A good sign for the economy: Pickups are selling

washingtonpost.com -- He’d been eyeing the truck for weeks, even since he dropped by the dealership for a free car wash and drove right past that black beauty. That truck got in his mind. Jon Rullkoetter couldn’t shake it.

The truck was sharp. Tuxedo black. Bumpers painted to match. Darkened tail lamps. The Ford F-150 Fx4 Supercrew, stickered at $53,900, sat preening just outside the showroom doors. He couldn’t miss it. And that was by design.

“I call it getting the juices flowing,” Sunset Ford salesman Brett Bergman said with a smile.
 (go to article)

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Ram start stop

RAm Zone -- Start-Stop technology automatically shuts off your RAM’s engine at traffic lights and other travel interruptions, then automatically restarts it again when you press on the throttle. No driver intervention is required. Since the engine no longer idles for prolonged periods, the result is a significant reduction in fuel consumption, especially in city driving.  (go to article)

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Massive oil depot burns as militias battle in Libyan capital

AP, Postmedia News -- The Libyan government on Mon appealed for international help after a huge oil depot caught fire amid clashes over the country’s international airport in the capital, Tripoli

The interim government said in a statement posted on its website that the fighting between rival militias caused the huge blaze, which could trigger a “humanitarian and environmental disaster”

It appealed for “international help”

Libyan TV called on residents to evacuate areas within a 3-mi radius of the airport. Many families responded to the call and scrambled to leave their homes. Social networking sites posted images of black smoke billowing over the skyline

The battle for the airport began 2 wks ago and has killed 79 and wounded 400

On Sat, the U.S. evacuated its diplomats from Tripoli and shut the embassy  (go to article)

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WTI, Brent Decline as Flow of Crude Unaffected in Mideast

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes dropped as the flow of oil from the Middle East was unaffected by the upsurge in violence in Libya and Iraq.

Crude in New York slipped for the fourth time in five days after clashes between militias in Tripoli didn’t spread to oil-export terminals. The conflict in Iraq spared the country’s main oil-producing region. WTI slid last week after government data showed that gasoline stockpiles rose to a four-month high as demand declined.

“The battles in Libya and the rebellion in Iraq haven’t had an impact on oil shipments,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “This is the status quo these days. There’s also lackluster demand, which is adding to the downward pressure.”  (go to article)

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University of Wisconsin?Milwaukee and ABB Collaborate on Installation of EV Fast-charge Stations

National Electrical Manufacturers Association -- With the rise in the numbers of electric vehicles (EVs), the proliferation of local charge stations is becoming important in enhancing range confidence to maximize the benefits of all-electric driving.

With support from Nissan and ABB Inc., the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has installed two EV fast chargers on their campus for public use.

The two new UWM stations are the first EV fast-charge stations in Milwaukee County. They bring the number of fast-charge stations in Wisconsin to four: ABB offers one to the general public at its New Berlin facility and another is available in Madison.  (go to article)

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BP’s Estimate: World’s Oil Will Last 53.3 Years

Business Cheat Sheet -- BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels.

The increased amount of oil in the report include 900 million barrels detected in Russia and 800 million barrels in Venezuela. OPEC nations continue to lead the world by having a large majority of the planet’s reserves, or 71.9 percent.

As for the United States, which lately has been ramping up oil extraction through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, BP says its proven oil reserves are 44.2 billion barr  (go to article)

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The 10 Most Oil-Rich States

24/7 Wall -- 1. Texas
> Proved oil reserves: 9.6 billion barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 93.5 trillion cubic feet (the most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 324.9 million BTUs (21st highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 27 (the most)
2. North Dakota
> Proved oil reserves: 3.8 billion barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 4.0 trillion cubic feet (11th most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 254.7 million BTUs (14th lowest)
> Number of operating refineries: 1 (tied, 24th most)
3. Alaska
> Proved oil reserves: 3.3 billion barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 9.7 trillion cubic feet (9th most)
> Energy consumption per capita: 872.7 million BTUs (the highest)
> Number of operating refineries: 6 (4th most)
4. California
> Proved oil reserves: 3.0 billion barrels
> Natural gas reserves: 2.1 trillion cubic feet (8th  (go to article)

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Wishful Thinking About Natural Gas

Huff Post -- Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels.  (go to article)

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GM Isn't Alone in the Race to the 200-Mile Electric Car

The Street -- A few days ago, the Internet was again abuzz with rumors about a future electric car from General Motors (GM_). The claim was that it would have 200 miles of range, be available by the end of 2016 and be part of the Chevrolet Sonic nameplate.

In essence, this is only a variant of rumors based around seemingly inconsistent statements from then-outgoing GM CEO Dan Akerson last December. I analyzed these inconsistencies on Dec. 16.

This time, it's really not a lot better, except for one thing: LG has recently said that it will have a battery capable of providing 200 miles of range by 2016. LG is GM's current battery supplier, but LG also supplies a long list of other automakers.

To understand what GM's situation is in the area of plug-in electric cars, let's first review what the compa  (go to article)

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National average slump continues to glee of motorists

GasBuddy Blog -- The national average has declined for over a month straight- a streak many motorists likely doubted when we first posted about this likelihood several weeks ago. This morning, the U.S. average stands at $3.509/gal, and will likely drop under $3.50/gal in the next 48 hours. The most common price found across the nation today according to GasBuddy.com data is $3.399/gal, down from $3.499/gal a week ago, and down from $3.599/gal a month ago. Today, just 3.8% of stations nationally stand over $4/gal, down from 4.1% yesterday, and down from 5.5% last week. Just a month ago, 8.8% of gas stations in the U.S. were over $4/gal....  (go to article)

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Survey: US gas prices fall 9 cents a gallon to $3.58 in largest drop this year

Fox Business -- Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday the decrease came despite a rise in crude-oil prices.  (go to article)

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Place Mobility: Sometimes good transportation is slow

Better Cities and Towns -- Streetcars are slow and expensive, and yet people keep building the darn things.

That streetcars can result in billions of dollars in economic development and that people simply like them is ignored or dismissed as irrelevant.  (go to article)

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Senate Sets Vote for Highway Funds as Clock Ticks

Wall Street Journal -- Senate leaders have agreed to vote next week on a bill to replenish the fund that covers the federal share of highway and mass-transit spending, a timetable that would leave just days to spare before the money is expected to run dry.  (go to article)

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Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad

Associated Press -- As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America's unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama's strategy for reducing the gases blamed for climate change and reveals a little-discussed side effect of countries acting alone on a global problem. The contribution of this exported pollution to global warming is not something the administration wants to measure, or even talk about.
 (go to article)

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The fastest selling cars in America

Market Watch --

After vehicle sales reached a six-year high last year, the U.S. auto industry has continued its torrid growth pace in the first half of 2014. With more than 8 million cars sold in the first six months of the year, total U.S. car sales were up 4.3% from the same time in 2013. In fact, demand for some models is so high that dealers can sell them in an average of just a few weeks.

To identify America’s fastest-selling cars, 24/7 Wall St. used days-to-turn figures provided by TrueCar. Days to turn is the average number of days it takes dealers to sell a car. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights at TrueCar, noted that days to turn strips out factors such as transport time and the distance from the plant to the dealership. As a result, this measu  (go to article)

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WTI Trades Near Week-Low

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for the fourth time in five days as economic data may signal slowing growth in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent declined in London.

Futures fell as much as 0.7 percent in New York after dropping 1 percent last week. A preliminary index of U.S. service industries is forecast at 59.8 for July, the lowest level in three months, a Bloomberg News survey showed before a report from Markit Economics today. The Federal Reserve is scheduled to review monetary policy at a two-day meeting starting tomorrow.

“The PMI figures could be a good indicator of American economic growth ahead of the Fed meeting, U.S. GDP figures and payrolls later in the week,” Thina Saltvedt, an analyst at Oslo-based Nordea Bank AG, said by phone.

WTI for September del  (go to article)

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Cheap Speed Challenge: Best car for practical fun?

USA Today -- Many of the regular head-to-head market segment showdowns that USA TODAY does with Cars.com and PBS TV's MotorWeek involve more mainstream vehicles — midsize sedans, compact SUVs, minivans.

Evaluating them is useful to shoppers — those are the high-volume sellers — and satisfying to the judges. But they don't get your heart thumping.

Not this time.

We wanted to see which automakers could provide honest, sporty performance in a car you might actually be able to afford — and further, to see how practical it would be in daily duty.

1 -- 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
2 -- 2015 Subaru WRX
3 -- 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
4 -- 2014 Kia Forte5 SX
5 -- 2014 Scion FR-S
6 -- 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo
7 -- 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO RS
8 -- 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth
 (go to article)

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Exxon’s $19 Billion Papua LNG Plant Running at Full Capacity

Bloomberg -- Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), operator of a $19 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, said the development is producing at full capacity after starting ahead of schedule earlier this year.

The milestone follows an increase in output in the last few months, Exxon’s PNG unit said today in an e-mailed response to questions. The plant was expected to be operating at full capacity by the end of 2014, according to a report last week from Citigroup Inc.

“Having reached full capacity within three months of startup is exceptionally good performance by comparison with most international LNG projects,” Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based oil and gas analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said today by phone.

The project in the Pacific nation with partners including Oil Search Ltd. (O  (go to article)

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General Motors Goes Solar in Toledo

Solar Novus Today -- When the global car manufacturer, General Motors, installed a 1.8 megawatt (MW) rooftop solar array at its Toledo Transmission plant in Ohio, the company was acting locally while keeping its corporate sustainability mission in mind.“Having 21,000 solar panels on Toledo’s roof is a great visual representation of our commitment to renewable energy,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM manager of renewable energy. “It proves to our employees and the people who live in and around Toledo that clean energy plays a significant role in the building of our vehicles.”  (go to article)

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Environmentally-Friendly Savior Of Oil Fracking Industry Could Be… Haliburton? New Fluids Made With

CBS FS -- (CBS SF) — In the environmentally sensitive Bay Area, “fracked” oil may be a dirty word, but new technology being pioneered by some environmentalists’ arch nemesis, Haliburton, could make fracking literally palatable by using fluids sourced from the food industry.  (go to article)

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A Carbon Tax Even Republicans Can Support

Bloomberg -- A new survey suggests the conventional wisdom about carbon taxes is wrong: Promising to give people their money back with rebate checks isn't the best way to win public support.  (go to article)

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Electrifying vehicles: assessing the efficiency/price trade-off

Climate Spectator -- Vehicle price and fuelling costs are important factors consumers take into account when deciding to purchase a new light-duty vehicle. While vehicle purchase is influenced by cost and fuel economy, other important factors such as environmental concerns, performance, and style also play a part. Comparison of the fuel savings and incremental vehicle cost among various vehicle fuel types sheds light on how at least some consumers may perceive the value of purchasing a given vehicle fuel type relative to another.  (go to article)

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‘Finally,’ a Light Bulb That Exceeds Gov’t Standards, Gives Off an Incandescent Glow and Costs Less

THEBLAZE -- While you might ruefully consider LED or CFL lighting technologies, Gizmodo recently featured another option that could be a good middle ground between the government’s standards and the traditional look to which many have become accustomed.

Gizmodo described Finally as “an efficient, affordable bulb using technology Nikola Tesla once patented,” which is a form of “drastically miniaturized induction light.”

The company calls Finally the “only energy-efficient light bulb [that] shines just like the incandescent you grew up with.”

The makers of Finally explained on their website that instead of looking toward solid state lighting, it “stepped back in time to revisit induction, a lighting system that was developed at the same time as incandescent.” Induction lighting can be found in wareho  (go to article)

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Observers mixed on grid backup amid carbon rules, natural gas uncertainty

TRIB LIVE -- If the electrical grid that powers the United States encounters a supply problem, the easiest solution takes five years.

That's the minimum time it takes to build a large, natural gas-fired generation station, from siting to lining up investors, permitting and constructing.

“If you wait until you have a power problem, you've got a five-year problem,” said Bill Pentak, a vice president at Dallas-based Panda Power Funds.

The company is building seven gas-fired plants, including the Liberty and Patriot projects in the Marcellus shale fields of Bradford and Lycoming counties, because it believes the ever-increasing amount of gas from shale will become the grid's backbone.

Not everyone agrees.

“Natural gas cannot replace nuclear, it cannot replace coal,” U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper...  (go to article)

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Germany named world's most energy efficient country

Science Alert -- A new report has ranked the world’s nations according to their energy efficiency, and Germany has come out on top.

'Energy efficiency' means using less energy to achieve the same result. A new report by the Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has analysed and ranked 16 major economies from around the world according to their public policies and performances related to energy use.

Some of the policies included in the report were the presence of a national target for annual energy savings, fuel economy standards for vehicles, and energy efficiency standards for household appliances. [...]  (go to article)

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Oregon Jeep Crash Caused by 3-year-old Boy

AutoEvolution -- Just in case you need more proof that you should never leave young children unattended and you should always set your parking brake, check out this story. KPTV Fox 12 reports that a 3-year-old Oregon boy was the cause of a crash this week that left a Jeep Wrangler embedded into the side of a house. And no, we’re not talking about a Power Wheels Jeep.

Left unattended by a relative who was watching him, the boy managed to get out of the house and crawl into a Jeep Wrangler owned by his aunt. A police officer had actually noticed the boy playing in the Jeep, and he was able to find the woman who was supposed to be watching him and issued her a ticket. At the time, the boy claims his babysitter was sleeping, but the relative says she had been in the bathroom.

Either way, the police were  (go to article)

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The New Technology That Can Save You Hundreds On Gas

Money -- Over the years, one urban fuel-efficiency myth has been pervasive—that you’ll save gas by letting your car idle rather than shutting the engine off when, say, waiting at the curb for someone running into a store. Popular Mechanics, AAA, and others have busted this myth, pointing out that a vehicle gets negative miles per gallon while idle. The consensus advice now is that if you car is stopped for more than a minute, the smart move is to turn the engine off.

The arrival of auto stop-start, a technology most often seen in hybrids, does this work for you, and not only if you’re idle for minute or more. The technology has slowly been spreading beyond hybrids to a few vehicles powered by traditional internal combustion engines, and new research from AAA indicates that this is a good thing.  (go to article)

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US exports help Germany increase coal, pollution

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

Now the coal comes the other way.

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

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

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There's A U.S. Energy Boom, No Thanks To Obama

Investors Business Daily -- It would be easy to look at the dramatic 35% increase in America's oil and natural gas production since President Obama took office and think the administration deserves much of the credit. But the energy boom has happened in spite of him.

Production could have been even greater if the administration embraced America's new energy superpower status instead of being so hostile to the development of our fossil fuel resources.

Since Obama took office, oil and gas production has soared on private and state land, for which he deserves little or no credit. Meanwhile, production on federal lands has dropped sharply due to a cutback in leasing of deepwater areas for energy development.

The U.S. government leases less than 2.2% of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf, and less than 6% of feder  (go to article)

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Robert Rubin: How ignoring climate change could sink the U.S. economy

Washington Post -- Good economic decisions require good data. And to get good data, we must account for all relevant variables. But we’re not doing this when it comes to climate change — and that means we’re making decisions based on a flawed picture of future risks. While we can’t define future climate-change risks with precision, they should be included in economic policy, fiscal and business decisions because of their potential magnitude.

The scientific community is all but unanimous in its agreement that climate change is a serious threat. According to Gallup, nearly 60 percent of Americans believe that global warming is caused by human activity. Still, for many people, the effects of climate change seem like a future problem — something that falls by the wayside as we tackle what seem like more immedia  (go to article)

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As U.S. kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia

Reuters -- The United States faces an awkward rival in its first attempts in 40 years to export crude oil - Iran.

Iran, whose economy has been throttled by Western sanctions that have halved its crude shipments, is now selling higher quality and cheaper oil to China that leaves little room for the U.S. crude to enter the world's top energy consumer.
 (go to article)

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The sinister ones: 10 cars that look downright evil

fox -- Like people, certain cars have a sinister look about them. Especially in dark colors and particularly in black. Some cars have been typecast for the large and small screens and others just look evil without any help from the mass media. Here are a handful of production cars that look as if they could scatter children and make law-abiding citizens run for their lives.  (go to article)

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TOTD: Which Non-SRT 2015 Dodge Challenger Would you Pick?

Motor Trend -- Believe it or not, the SRT Hellcat isn’t the only 2015 Challenger variant that exists. While lots of fun can be had with a supercharged V-8 pumping out 707 hp, the fact is that the Hellcat will be out of reach for most buyers. A bulk of Challenger sales will go to the non-SRT models that include the choice of three engines.
The big news is the addition of the 6.4-liter V-8 that was previously reserved for the Challenger. This engine makes 485 hp and 475 lb-ft and is priced at around $40,000, putting it toe-to-toe with the Ford Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Meanwhile, the 5.7-liter V-8 carries over and its power output is unchanged at 375 hp and 410 lb-ft. This engine is fitted in the Challenger R/T, which starts at $32,490. Also available is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, which we’ve pra  (go to article)

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Survey: US gas prices fall 9 cents to $3.58

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) -- A national survey finds the average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has plummeted 9 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.58.

That's the largest drop this year.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday the decrease came despite a rise in crude-oil prices.

Lundberg says U.S. refiners, enjoying plentiful supplies, aggressively cut wholesale prices to chase sales.

Midgrade averages were $3.78, and premium averages were $3.93.

The U.S. average retail diesel price is down 4 cents per gallon, to $3.90.

The lowest average price Lundberg found in the lower 48 states was $3.23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The highest was $4.03 in San Francisco.

The lowest average price in California was $3.86 in Sacramento.  (go to article)

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Oil Market Weighs Fear and Reality

Peak Oil News -- Earlier this week the wise oil-market watchers at PVM, a brokerage and consultancy, summed up the state of the market.

“Not a day goes by without a political, economic, international or data event that adds further color and often confusion to an already very complex scene,” said analyst David Hufton. “Who needs the distraction of fiction when real life constantly throws up twists and turns that would stretch credibility if written in any novel?”
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Anti-fracking group claim legislators put oil, gas interests above workers

The Southern Illinoisan -- An anti-fracking group Wednesday claimed Illinois legislators are putting oil and gas interests ahead of worker safety, a group spokesperson said in response to calls for faster movement on pending rules needed to regulate the industry.  (go to article)

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Arctic oil well blowout could spread more than 1,000 km -WWF study

Reuters -- Reuters) - Oil from a spill or oil well blowout in the Arctic waters of Canada's Beaufort Sea could easily become trapped in sea ice and potentially spread more than 1,000 kilometres to the west coast of Alaska, a World Wildlife Fund study showed on Friday.  (go to article)

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Elite oil fields redefine meaning of crude's 'Big Three'

CNBC -- Move over ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips—there's a new "Big Three" in U.S. energy production. And they're not companies.

In a new update to its drilling productivity report from last week, the Energy Information Agency said North Dakota's Bakken and Texas' Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale are quietly generating more than a million barrels of oil per day each–comprising at least a third of total U.S. daily oil production. Shale oil drilling generated the equivalent of nearly 90 percent of the U.S.'s total energy needs in 2013, according to EIA figures.

Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, crunched the EIA's numbers even further. His analysis suggests the output of the combined three oil fields is actually exc  (go to article)

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Kentucky town opens filling station to the public

·Associated Press -- Somerset's city hall ventured into the retail gas business Saturday, opening a municipal-run filling station that supporters call a benefit for motorists and critics denounce as a taxpayer-supported swipe at the free market.

The Somerset Fuel Center opened to the public selling regular unleaded gas for $3.36 a gallon, a bit lower than some nearby competitors. In the first three hours, about 75 customers fueled up at the no-frills stations, where there are no snacks, no repairs and only regular unleaded gas.
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Booming July New Car Sales Pass Volkswagen By — Again

24/7 Wall St -- With one exception, automakers are expected to post year-over-year sales gains in July. That exception is Volkswagen, which is looking at a year-over-year decline of 4%.

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