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Economic Struggles are Biggest Hurdle to Millennials 'Going Green'

AccuWeather.Com --
By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.Com Staff Writer
April 23, 2014; 5:02 AM

An estimated 80 million Americans, ranging in age between their late teens and mid-30s, will change the way Americans live within the next decade, according to a report written by John McIlwain of the Urban Land Institute.

With a growing demand among young adults to live in more connected, urban communities, it remains unclear if they will make the push toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

"The age of suburbanization and growing homeownership is over," McIlwain said in his 2010 report. "The demographics of the next decade indicate that the market for urban living will continue to grow."

Of those individuals comprising Generation Y, or Gen-Y, 76 percent place a high value on walkability in communities,  (go to article)

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Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling General Motors

ECONOMICTIMES -- TOKYO: Toyota kept its position at the top in global vehicle sales for the first quarter of this year, outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it sold 2.583 million vehicles in the January-March period, ahead of Detroit-based GM at 2.42 million and Volkswagen of Germany at 2.4 million.

The Japanese automaker's first quarter sales rose by more than 6% from the same period the previous year. GM's sales grew 2%, while Volkswagen's ....................  (go to article)

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Russia Taps Arctic Oil, Leaving Rivals in Its Wake

Newsmax-LIGNET -- As Western nations struggle to appease environmentalists, Russia is moving fast to tap huge oil and gas deposits in the Arctic Circle, making its first oil shipment from an offshore drilling platform in the Arctic Ocean on April 18. Moscow is likely now to attempt to fortify its dominant position in the icy region in a bid to protect its interests.

Canada, Norway and the United States struggle with adamant opposition at home to any exploration of the Arctic, which holds almost a third of the world’s undiscovered natural gas deposits and nearly a seventh of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves. The allure of immense Arctic reserves may, however, prove irresistible to an energy-hungry world.  (go to article)

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Ukraine’s Unpaid Gas Bills Dwarf U.S. Aid Offer

Bloombreg -- Ukraine’s best hope for keeping furnaces and factories running through next winter is to store as much natural gas as it can after a U.S. aid pledge fell far short of the nation’s needs.

Energy supplies have given Russian leader Vladimir Putin powerful economic leverage in his battle with Ukraine. Ukraine gets half its gas from Russia, and it’s the transit route for 50 to 60 percent of the gas Russia sells to other European nations.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian leaders this week that the U.S. would provide help so that, “Russia can no longer use energy as a weapon.” Biden announced medium- to long-term initiatives to support Ukraine’s energy sector and announced $50 million in aid, an unspecified part of which would go to develop the country’s gas reserves, explore...  (go to article)

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Apple aims to disable texting while driving

CNET -- Several mobile apps on the market already try to prevent you from texting while driving, but a freshly-published Apple patent filing suggests a more automated solution.

Despite the dangers of texting while driving, many behind the wheel just can't seem to stop. One idea from Apple could put up more of a roadblock.

Published on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, an Apple patent called "Driver handheld computing device lock-out" proposes a couple of different ways to cut off texting and other cell phone features while you're driving.  (go to article)

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Don't Replace Fuel Tax With Tolls, A New Transportation Alliance Urges

Forbes -- With a federal gas-tax increase off the table for now, a new group of trucking and business interests is trying to put a stop to the most obvious alternative for funding maintenance and construction of the nation’s interstate highway system: tolling.

Officially launched in February of this year, the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates is pushing the position that “a long-term sustainable funding source for transportation infrastructure in this country must not include the tolling of current federal interstate capacity,” said spokesperson Hayes Framme. Members include McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, FedEx, UPS and the American Trucking Associations.

The group came together in response to growing pressure in states to impose tolls on portions of the interstate system that fall within their bord  (go to article)

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Navy develops fuel from seawater (video)

Biofuels -- Navy researchers say they have turned seawater into fuel that could power military vehicles for less than $6 per gallon.

The researchers announced this month that the seawater-based fuel successfully powered a remote-controlled model jet with a standard two-stroke internal combustion engine. Carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas extracted from Gulf of Mexico water were converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuel using gas-to-liquid technology. The renewable fuel mirrors its petroleum-based counterpart and could be used in standard military engines.

“The potential payoff is the ability to produce JP-5 fuel stock at sea, reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and increasing the Navy’s energy security and independence,” said Naval Research Laboratory chemist Heathe  (go to article)

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5 honored for helping save Clovis man's life after accident

ABC30.com -- FRESNO, Calif. - Five men received honors for their heroic acts in saving the life of a Clovis man after a nearly fatal accident last year.

Mary Ann Carousso is incredibly thankful her husband Jack is OK. "Mr. Carousso is the love of my life, I am thrilled that he is still here with me and I am so grateful for the five men who had just cared enough," said Carousso.

On September 9th, Jack, who works as a seventh grade teacher, was driving near Shields and Temperance when he had a heart attack and ran a stop sign. Investigators say he hit another car.

Doug Bolton, who was on his way to work that morning, stopped to make sure everyone was OK but realized Jack was not. "Undid his seat belt, started to pull him out, got on my radio, called for assistance and went into action," said Bolton.  (go to article)

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Kemp: Obama Stalls Drilling On Federal Lands

Rig Zone -- The White House likes to claim a share of the credit for the drilling revolution that has transformed North America's energy production and security. Except the revolution has largely taken place on private rather than public land, and energy producers feel frustrated about the numerous obstacles and long delays in obtaining permission to drill in areas directly controlled by the administration. "Crude oil production has grown each year President Barack Obama has been in office to its highest level in 17 years," the Council of Economic Advisors wrote back in the summer of 2013. "Over the past four years, domestic oil supply growth has accounted for over one-third of global oil production growth." "Government-funded research supplemented private industry's work to develop the technology tha  (go to article)

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New plays may put pressure on pipelines

The Advertiser -- Louisiana is poised to be the world's pipeline epicenter where lines carrying oil and gas from Midwestern and Northeastern shale plays and reserves are carried to coastal refineries and ports. That is the prediction in a new study from research firm ICF International. The study also notes that Louisiana does not have enough pipeline for this new demand. Some of the thousands of pipelines currently in Louisiana need of repair or replacement. Some of the existing Louisiana pipeline will need to reverse the direction of their flows.

ICF vice president Greg Hopper, who authored the study, learned about Louisiana as a founding partner of Lukens Energy Group, a consulting partnership which became part of Black & Veatch. He started his career in the industry at Williams Gas Pipelines, where he  (go to article)

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ND Oil Companies Fight Plan to Slow Production

ABC -- Dr. Lyle Best traveled nearly 200 miles from the heart of North Dakota's oil patch Tuesday to tell state regulators one thing: "Slow down."

The North Dakota Industrial Commission is considering a proposal that would cut back on the state's booming oil production as a means of controlling the amount of natural gas that's being burned off at well sites and wasted as a byproduct of the more valuable substance, oil.

But oil companies are fighting the idea of slowing production, and want regulators to consider self-imposed steps to curb natural gas flaring, such as submitting plans for natural gas gathering before applying for a drilling permit.

North Dakota drillers currently burn off, or flare, a record 36 percent of the gas because development of pipelines and processing facilities to cap  (go to article)

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Fearing lost profits,...investor-owned utilities are moving to blot out the solar revolution

Sierra Club -- For Cynthia Cantero, putting solar panels atop her Oahu, Hawaii, home seemed like a no-brainer...
Their loan payments would be less than the family's current $500-plus monthly electric bill, and once they paid off thenote, their home would be powered practically for free.

Math like that has made Hawaii one of the nation's solar leaders, with a higher proportion of solar-powered households than any other state--including 1 in 10 homes on its most populous island, Oahu.

But that same math is denting the revenues of the state's dominant utility, Hawaiian Electric Company. After Cantero's loan closed and her family had fully committed to going solar, Hawaiian Electric refused to approve their system. ...

"Here I am stuck in a nightmare, where a powerful utility can just change the rules..."  (go to article)

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EPA Lowers Ethanol Requirements

The Detroit News -- Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday set the 2013 requirements for cellulosic ethanol for use by the nation’s cars and trucks at 810,000 gallons — the amount the industry produced and a fraction of the 1 billion gallons that Congress sought to require in a 2007 energy law.

The alternative fuel could eventually lower the costs of driving for Americans and help wean the country off imported oil, but critics contend that in the short term it adds to the cost of refiners complying with advanced fuel rules.

In 2007, Congress passed a sweeping requirement that the nation’s cars and trucks use a growing amount of cellulosic ethanol made from algae, wood chips and other biomaterials.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140422/AUTO01/304220104#ixz  (go to article)

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World's 10 most polluted places

Yahoo -- (None of them are in North America!)
Remote industrial towns, e-waste processing centres and the site of an infamous nuclear disaster top 2013's worst polluted places, according to a new list from the New York-based nonprofit Blacksmith Institute.  (go to article)

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This New Oil Patch Might Have Just Become One of the Best in America

The Motley Fool -- The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale isn't exactly a name that has been associated with America's shale boom like the Bakken or the Eagle Ford, but Goodrich Petroleum's (NYSE: GDP ) recent discovery there proved it to be very economical. Goodrich's recent well results were so good that it's even had a major effect on the stock price of Halcon Resources (NYSE: HK ) and the only thing they have in common is that they have abutting acreage in this shale formation.

While the geology of the region has been challenging for drillers so far, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has one distinct advantage over the almost all other shale formations in the U.S.: its location. In the video below, find out why the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale's location in Louisiana and Mississippi could make it one of the belles of Amer  (go to article)

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U.S. railroads show untapped value from delay in building oil pipeline

Reuters -- U.S. railroads are obvious winners from the latest delay in the Keystone XL Pipeline approval, and some of the freight operators with the biggest growth in petroleum shipments look undervalued, according to an analysis of Thomson Reuters data.

While shares in some railroad companies have recently hit record highs, there may be still more upside potential. CSX and Norfolk Southern are both trading 15 percent or more below their warranted share price, according to a measure of "intrinsic valuation" tracked by Thomson Reuters StarMine.

The Obama administration's decision to extend indefinitely the review process for the controversial oil pipeline connecting Canada with the U.S. Gulf Coast effectively cements the view that U.S. freight rail haulers are here to stay as big players in the oil-  (go to article)

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U.S. Crude Exports Estimated at Least Five Years Away by BofA

Bloomberg -- The U.S. probably won’t lift its ban on crude exports within the next five years, undermining long-dated prices of New York-traded West Texas Intermediate relative to Brent, according to Bank of America Corp.

Rules against the overseas shipping on U.S. crude will remain in place despite surging domestic production, unless oil prices collapse, the bank said in an e-mailed report. The discount on the December 2019 WTI contract of $11.50 to European marker Brent “seems justified.”

“A full repeal of the crude oil export ban is at least five years away under most scenarios, unless of course domestic U.S. crude oil prices collapse,” Francisco Blanch, New York-based head of commodities research, said in the report dated April 17.

Some steps could be taken to relieve the U.S. supply glut that  (go to article)

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Barclays Plans to Exit Most Commodities Activities

Bloomberg -- Barclays Plc (BARC) said it will withdraw from most of its global commodities activities, joining banks from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Morgan Stanley that are pulling back as revenue drops.

The “refocused” business will emphasize electronic trading, Barclays said today in an e-mailed statement. It will continue to trade precious metals and derivatives tied to the price of oil and U.S. gas, as well as commodity indexes, the statement showed. The London-based bank already cut raw-materials jobs in January as part of a reduction in fixed income, currencies and commodities, and shut power-trading desks in the U.S. and Europe in February.

Commodities revenue at the 10 largest banks fell 18 percent last year amid reduced volatility, Coalition, a London-based analytics company, said in February.  (go to article)

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Stalling of Keystone will hurt U.S. energy security, Canadian economy: Oliver

The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press -- HALIFAX - Finance Minister Joe Oliver says stalling the Keystone XL pipeline project will harm American energy security and the economies of both the U.S. and Canada.

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Earth Day: Clean Air Act impact on gasoline and prices

GasBuddy Blog -- Today marks the 44th anniversary of the start of a movement to clean and protect the environment of the United States. The Clean Air Act of 1970 was a huge step forward in cleaning up so much that was wrong with environmental policy decades ago.

The result is profound, especially when it comes to air pollution: huge reductions of pollution from burning gasoline and diesel. Had the Clean Air Act not been established, we could be looking at pollution clouds, smog, and health impacts for millions, but instead, as I write this in my Chicago office, the sky is a deep blue and I can see for dozens of miles.

Today, the type of gasoline we buy and how clean it is depends on where you are and how many cars are on the roads in those...  (go to article)

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Study: Fuels from Corn Waste Worse for Climate than Gas

Real Clear Energy -- 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 billion dollars in fe  (go to article)

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New Keystone XL Delay: 'A Stunning Act Of Political Cowardice'

Forbes -- Don’t you wish President Obama would just tell us straight up whether he was in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline or not? In his speech today at Georgetown, Obama said that the Keystone XL pipeline would only be approved if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

It was the quote of Obama’s speech. On Twitter, climate activist Bill McKibben said, “So pleased that Barack Obama understands that the KXL fight is about climate.” Al Gore, on his blog, wrote that “This was a terrific and historic speech, by far the best address on climate by any president ever.” But Obama certainly did not say that Keystone would be rejected. On the contrary, any rational parsing of his words can only suggest that the pipeline will be approved after all.  (go to article)

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Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline: Some B.C. First Nations say there will be no compromise

CBC News -- Gerald Amos explains why no concession from the company could win his support for the project

The community leader has argued for years that the risk — no matter how small — of an oil spill in these waters outweighs any reward the controversial project might offer

That resolve is shared by the aboriginal communities who see the streams, rivers and oceans in their traditional territories as the lifeblood

"Our connection to this place that we call home is really important

The $7.9B N Gateway pipeline would carry diluted bitumen 700mi from AB's oil sands to the deepwater port in Kitimat, in N BC, to be loaded on supertankers and shipped to Asia

N Gateway is loathed by environmentalists who fear it will hasten the development of Canada's oil sands and exacerbate climate change

Protecting  (go to article)

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US military told to boost renewables in energy policy overhaul

Responding To Climate Change -- The US Department of Defense must use more renewable energy and increase the energy efficiency of its weapons and other equipment.

This is the outcome of a major overhaul of the Department’s energy policy, which sets out the first overarching set of guidelines on the department’s energy use to be released in 20 years.

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Oil Slips Ahead of US Inventories

Wall Street Journal -- Oil futures fell from seven-week highs Tuesday as traders who had bet on higher prices locked in profits ahead of a storage report expected to show U.S. crude-oil supplies near record highs.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell $1.06, or 1%, to $103.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The May contract expires at settlement. The more-actively traded June contract fell $1.06, or 1%, to $102.59 a barrel.

Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe slid 54 cents, or 0.5%, to $109.41 a barrel.

As of April 11, U.S. crude-oil inventories stood at 394.1 million barrels, just 3.4 million barrels below the peak reached in May 2013. Domestic oil production is booming, due to new technologies enabling producers to access shale-oil supplies, and demand for crude oil is reduced as refineries  (go to article)

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Spring gasoline average prices are poised to peak well under $4

Cleveland.com -- The annual spring spike in gasoline prices is well underway, but this year prices may peak sooner than later.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline this morning in Greater Cleveland was $3.66 and in Akron $3.59 -- about a dime higher in both cities than a month ago, reports GasBuddy, the Internet-based price watchdog.

Barring a geopolitical crisis that would spike already-high oil prices, gasoline prices are about as high as they will get this spring, say both private and government analysts.

What this means to motorists and family budgets is that the spring price peak will probably come within weeks rather than over the Memorial Day weekend or later.

"You'll pay more on the Cinco de Mayo than on the first day of summer," predicted Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for GasBuddy and the  (go to article)

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Why TransCanada won’t back down on Keystone XL now

Financial Post -- Retreat and cut your losses, or carry on fighting. Those are the choices facing TransCanada after Obama’s Good Fri non-decision

Pulling the plug would be liberating. Why fight the fight when the rules keep being changed by a U.S. President who ignores his own commitments, makes a mockery of his regulatory system and tramples over the free trade between the U.S. and Canada

Delays are expensive: equipment sits idle; staff time could be put to better use; commitments expire; lobbying and legal costs

Delays are also exhausting and demoralizing. Investors get nervous. Bad choices are made. The unionized workers who had been hoping to start building the N portion this summer and are instead facing unemployment

If TransCanada’s combative response Mon is any indication, the fight is continuing  (go to article)

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Washington County (PA) crash sends fracking water in stream

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- Potentially dozens of gallons of fracking wastewater and diesel fuel spilled into Chartiers Creek at 3 a.m. Monday after a fuel tank truck caused a rear-end, chain-reaction collision with two wastewater tank trucks stopped at a traffic light on Henderson Avenue in Canton, Washington County.

The tractor-trailer owned by 1923 Transportation LLC, owned by Zappi Oil of Washington and transporting off-road diesel fuel, was traveling south on Henderson Avenue (Route 18) when it slammed into the first tank truck owned by Highland Environmental LLC in Somerset.  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices Jump 9 cents on Ukraine Fears

The Associated Press -- The crisis in Ukraine is hitting Americans -- at the gas pump.

The price of gasoline has jumped 9 cents a gallon in the past two weeks, bringing the total increase to 40 cents over 10 weeks, according to a widely-watched industry survey.

The Lundberg Survey said the the average for a gallon of regular is now $3.69 -- the highest since March last year.
Of cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, the lowest price, $3.29 a gallon, was in Salt Lake City. Los Angeles had the highest, at $4.26, according to Lundberg. The survey covers the period ended April 18 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations.

The rise in prices is mostly attributable to higher crude oil prices.The price of oil edged down Monday but stayed above $104 per barrel as investors watched si  (go to article)

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WTI Falls From Seven-Week High

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude declined from its highest closing level in seven weeks on estimates that U.S. supplies rose last week. Brent slipped as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian leaders.

Crude stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, probably increased for the 13th time in 14 weeks, a Bloomberg News survey shows before Energy Information Administration data tomorrow. Russia and the U.S. traded blame for failing to rein in extremists in Ukraine as a diplomatic accord, reached last week to ease the crisis, neared collapse. Vice President Biden is meeting with officials in Kiev today.

“U.S. stocks are up massively, U.S. production is further on the rise,” Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG, said by e-mail. “Other than Ukraine  (go to article)

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Price of Gas in U.S. Rises as Refiners Export More to Other Countries

WSJ -- Drivers in the U.S. are facing rising gasoline prices ahead of summer-vacation season, just as refiners here are shipping more gas to other countries.

A new pipeline, built to release a glut of crude oil that was stuck in the middle of the country, is now feeding oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast that churn out gasoline and diesel. While these fuels still make their way to the Southeast and the East Coast, growing amounts are being sold to Mexico, the Netherlands, Brazil and other countries.

The push into these markets has been spurred by the U.S. oil boom. Rising oil output had been flooding the nation's oil market in recent years, keeping U.S. crude prices low relative to world prices. Facing tepid fuel demand in the U.S., refiners have been ramping up exports, creating more global  (go to article)

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Diesel price sees first jump since March 10, climbs 1.9 cents

Overdrive -- The national average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel jumped 1.9 cents in the week ended April 21 to $3.971, snapping a streak of six consecutive weekly drops that totaled 6.9 cents. The data comes from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

The price of diesel had fallen every week since the week ended March 10, and the price of diesel in the most recent week is 8.4 cents higher than the same week a year ago, according to the EIA.

ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index reported this week a 2.3-cent increase, bringing its reported national average to $3.917 a gallon, up 8.2 cents from the same week a year ago.

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Panelists predict EPA will revise proposed RFS targets higher in final rule

Platts -- The proposed blending targets in the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard will likely be revised higher, advocates for multiple industries said Monday.

For 2014, the EPA has proposed cutting the required volume of biofuels to 15.21 billion gallons, down from 16.55 billion gallons in 2013, citing the inability of the US fueling infrastructure to absorb blends higher than 10% -- the so-called E10 blend wall.

When asked to make predictions on what direction the EPA might take with its finalized blending targets, the panelists even struggled to agree on when the numbers might be released. The EPA has said that the finalized mandates will be released by June 20, but most were skeptical that the agency will meet its own deadline. "I think the easiest thing to predict is that we'll be in court after t  (go to article)

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200 urge driving privileges for undocumented immigrants

Philadelphia Inquirer -- CAMDEN Guillermo Lopez drives his son to doctor's appointments and himself to work, with fear in the back of his mind.

He lacks a driver's license, because he does not have U.S. citizenship. And, like others in his situation, he is afraid of being pulled over - but he still needs a car.

"Without a car, we cannot work," said Lopez, 30, of Camden. "And without work, we cannot have the money for our families."

Lopez was among more than 200 people who gathered Monday night at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral to advocate for a proposed bill that would expand driving rights to many undocumented immigrants who cannot obtain a driver's license. The meeting was organized by Camden Churches Organized for People, a faith-based community group.
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Tesla to build cars in China

CNN Money -- "At some point in the next three or four years we'll be establishing local manufacturing in China," CEO Elon Musk said in Beijing. "China is very important to the future of Tesla."

Musk was in Beijing to mark the first deliveries of Tesla's Model S to customers in China, where the sports car sells for around $115,000.

Electric vehicle sales in the world's second biggest economy have been tepid so far, but many automakers see great potential. The country's middle class is expanding rapidly and is increasingly interested in luxury cars.

China also faces a growing air pollution problem, and the government is working to encourage the adoption of electric cars.

Yet much of China lacks the infrastructure needed to support them.  (go to article)

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Four years later: BP busier than ever in the Gulf of Mexico

Fuel Fix -- BP’s oil empire began to shrink many decades before a massive oil spill first fouled the Gulf of Mexico and then nearly toppled its industry reign four years ago Sunday.

Forty years ago, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich states began to siphon BP’s 1 billion barrels of Middle Eastern oil — four-fifths of its reserves in 1975 — into state-owned companies like Saudi Aramco. That tightening grip on global oil is one big reason BP, even after the worst offshore oil spill in American history, is doubling down on the Gulf of Mexico.

The London oil company in 2012 sold stakes in three deep-water Gulf fields in part to collect cash for oil spill costs. But in the past year, BP has begun to regain its momentum and help push the U.S. deep-water region past its previous oil production peak, reached i  (go to article)

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Debate on crude export ban ignites lobbying in DC

fuel fix -- A high-profile debate over the 39-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude unleashed a wave of lobbying in the nation’s capital, government filings reveal.

Disclosures submitted to the House of Representatives ahead of a Monday deadline show that 14 companies and two trade groups lobbied lawmakers and the federal government on the issue during the first three months of this year, more than double the seven entities that did so during the fourth quarter of 2013.

All told, they spent up to $10.2 million on lobbying efforts at least partially related to the export ban. Because the statutorily mandated lobbying disclosures do not require spending to be broken down by issues or even broader categories, it is unclear how much was directed to the effort — only that at least some of the money was.
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Biofuels are worse than gasoline for global warming

By DINA CAPPIELLO Associated Press -- 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.  (go to article)

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UPDATE 1-GM seeks court protection against ignition lawsuits

MSN MONEY -- General Motors Co filed a motion in a U.S. bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction.

The plaintiffs also filed a class action lawsuit on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities.

The faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles.

GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity than the so-called old GM. Under those terms, the "new GM" shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit related to pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought.........................  (go to article)

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CarOffer™ Breaks Ground In The Automotive Industry Launching The First-Ever Smartphone ...

Digital Journal -- CarOffer™, launched in Dallas, Texas by industry entrepreneur Bruce Thompson, went live across the country on Thursday, April 17th with the industry's first-ever smartphone centric tool. The user-friendly app, employing the latest mobile technology, gives consumers the ability to launch their car within minutes from wherever they may be and receive real-time cash offers from premier dealers within their market area. For the first time, dealers with the CarOffer™ tool will be able to tap into unchartered territory and acquire inventory directly from consumers.

"Buying cars directly from consumers is the 'holy grail' in our industry," said Bruce Thompson, CEO/Founder of CarOffer™. "However, dealers have been unable to gain significant traction due to large used vehicle operations like Car  (go to article)

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GA reminds politicians: Don't put signs in right of way

GasBuddy Blog -- The Georgia Department of Transportation is cautioning political candidates and campaigns not to place signs on rights of way. Signs that are found on rights of way will be removed by Georgia DOT maintenance crews. There's an important message here...

Georgia law stipulates that the Department is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to motorists. Any sign along Georgia’s state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by Georgia DOT to be within our right of way.

Typically, the most frequent offenders are signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates...  (go to article)

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One in Four in U.S. Are Solidly Skeptical of Global Warming

Gallap -- PRINCETON, NJ -- Over the past decade, Americans have clustered into three broad groups on global warming. The largest, currently describing 39% of U.S. adults, are what can be termed "Concerned Believers" -- those who attribute global warming to human actions and are worried about it. This is followed by the "Mixed Middle," at 36%. And one in four Americans -- the "Cool Skeptics" -- are not worried about global warming much or at all.  (go to article)

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The Weekly Oil & Gas Follies

Forbes -- The radical anti-fracking advocates at the Post Carbon Institute took over leadership on the whole “Peak Oil” argument a few years ago. Since doing so, they have turned what was at one time a somewhat misguided and short-sighted mathematical endeavor into a full-blown religious cult, in which every data point, regardless of its nature, becomes twisted into a support point for the argument that the dreaded “Peak Oil” – and/or “Peak Gas” depending on what day it is and which side of the bed these activists wake up on – is just around the corner, and nations that depend upon petroleum products for much of their energy mix, i.e., pretty much every nation on the face of the earth, are DOOOOOOMED!

 (go to article)

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Ford COO Mark Fields to become CEO

Market Watch -- Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally likely will retire before the end of the year and Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields is set to replace him, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Mulally, who is 68 years old, previously has said he would stay through at least 2014, and Mr. Fields has widely been seen as his likely successor, even before his promotion to operating chief in late 2012.

Bloomberg News reported earlier that the announcement may come by May 1.

A spokeswoman for Ford (F), the second-largest U.S. auto maker by revenue, said the company can’t comment on speculation.
 (go to article)

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Have gas prices reached their 2014 peak?

WALB -- After two and a half months of steady and steep increases, gas prices may be leveling off.

According to Triple-A, Monday's average in Georgia was slightly below $3.648 a gallon, down from $3.65 on Sunday.

Last year, prices nationally peaked in February. The year before they hit their high in April. In 2011, the high point came in May.

Experts say it's too soon to say whether we've reached this year's peak, but this is a good sign for drivers.

 (go to article)

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This Gas Pump Malfunction May Be Costing You

AOL Autos -- Are you sure you got all the gas you paid for the last time you refueled your vehicle?

A technical glitch, called the "Pump Jump," is costing consumers. It occurs when charges are left on a gas pump and it starts collecting money before the user begins filling up their car. It's not necessarily a scam. With gas prices constantly changing, customers are sometimes accidentally overcharged, Fox59 reported. Those orphaned charges, which can range from a few cents to a few dollars, end up on the bill of the next person to use that pump.

Most filling stations are checked yearly by state officials, but accidents can happen. The problem could be a faulty "check valve," which is responsible for dealing out the correct amount of gasoline. Fox News reported that such valves often wear out, an  (go to article)

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Halliburton sees recovery in North America’s fracking market

Dallas News -- Dave Lesar sees better days ahead for Halliburton Co. in North America’s oversupplied fracking market.

The more than two-year glut in pressure-pumping equipment used to shoot water, sand and chemicals underground to release trapped oil and natural gas is easing “much faster” than expected, the chief executive officer said today.

“I’m starting to feel the momentum swing,” Lesar said on a conference call after Houston-based Halliburton posted better-than-expected results for the first quarter. “I am more excited about North America now than I have been since late 2011.”

The recovery is being led by increased drilling in the oil-rich Permian Basin of Texas, as well as natural attrition, according to the world’s biggest provider of fracking services. Halliburton expects to increase earnings  (go to article)

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MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures price ticks up before Easter holiday

Oil & Gas Journal -- The New York Mercantile Exchange May crude oil contract price increased 54¢ to close at $104.30/bbl on Apr. 17. Markets were closed Apr. 18 in observance of the Good Friday holiday. The June contract, meanwhile, gained 34¢ to $103.37/bbl.

The May natural gas contract rose 21.1¢ to a rounded $4.74/MMbtu.

Heating oil for May delivery was virtually unchanged at a rounded $3.01/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for May delivery edged up 1.42¢ to a rounded $3.05/gal.

In London the June ICE contract for Brent crude delivery was down 7¢, closing at $109.53/bbl. The July contract declined 9¢ to close at $109.16/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May was up $2.50 to $927.75/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries did not post a price on Apr. 17 for its bask  (go to article)

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Keystone XL pipeline: New delay could move decision beyond midterms

Christian Science Monitor -- In announcing the delay Friday, the State Department cited a Nebraska court case that could affect the route of the pipeline, as well as the need for more time to review 2.5 million public comments. Republicans cried politics.  (go to article)

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America's most fuel-efficient new car isn't a Prius

Road & Track -- Mercedes-Benz's new E250 Bluetec Sedan earns Toyota Prius-level numbers on the EPA's highway fuel-economy test. Shocking, because it's an evaluation we know to be hard on diesels and generous to hybrids. We therefore figured the oil-burning Benz had a chance to best the Prius in real-world driving—thus winning a small battle in the war of "cars we want to drive" versus "cars we feel we should drive"—so we set up a test. We mapped a route of backcountry, highway, and in-town roads that both cars could complete on a tank of fuel. There were only two rules for our test drivers: stay together and drive like reasonable human beings.  (go to article)

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ExxonMobil owes $105M for contaminating city water: Supreme Court

New York Daily News -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to overturn a $105 million verdict against ExxonMobil for contaminating the city’s ground water.
The justices had no comment Monday on their order rejecting ExxonMobil’s appeal of the 2009 verdict the city won for the costs of removing a gasoline additive known as MTBE from Queens drinking wells. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/text deleted  (go to article)

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