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Three energy game changers: Achieving oil-free mobility

reneweconomy.com -- This decade China is set to regain the status it has held for 18 of the past 20 centuries: the world’s largest economy. A major engine of historic success was China’s inexorable drive to develop and deploy new technologies, far outpacing other civilizations. As Joseph Needham documented, and his student Robert Temple summarized in The Genius of China, about 90 percent of the technologies that underlay the West’s industrial revolution were actually invented in China. Today, revitalizing China’s innovation engine presents unique opportunities to accelerate the world’s next industrial revolution—especially in energy.

China’s recent decades of rapid development and urbanization have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty but contributed to significant energy challenges. China is now the w  (go to article)

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Energy storage: generators to be the biggest losers

reneweconomy.com -- Conventional electricity generators have already received a battering from the revolution inspired by rooftop solar. Most fossil fuel generators – particularly those in Europe and Australia, are struggling to make a profit.

But things are likely to get worse. The influx of battery storage is destined to further reduce demand from conventional generators.

A major new analysis from global investment bank HSBC – Energy Storage, Power to the People – says the boom days for the fossil fuel generation are over. “There is no prospect of any return to anywhere near the level of profitability seen in the latter part of the last decade in generation,” it writes.

The HSBC analysis looks at a range of storage technologies and how that will impact the conventional energy systems. Its major conclusio  (go to article)

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Waldo (Fla.) City Commission votes to dissolve police department

ActionNewsJax.com -- AAA named Waldo as a known speed-trap.

WALDO, Fla. — The Waldo City Commission voted to suspend Waldo Police Department operations on Tuesday night.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will take over law enforcement functions.

City Of Waldo Police Department operations like responding to calls or patrols end at midnight on Tuesday.

The officers will receive paid administrative leave and will be doing inventories until October 31.

After Oct. 31 the officers' positions will be dissolved.

Waldo residents will not see disruptions in law enforcement services.

Acting Captain Steve Maynard will go back to his normal duties at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.  (go to article)

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Ford confirms increased aluminum use on next-gen Super Duty pickups

fox -- After months of speculation fueled by reports from spy photographers, Ford has confirmed that the next generation F-Series Super Duty pickups will feature aluminum bodywork like the 2015 F-150 does.  (go to article)

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5 Policies That Would Make Gas Cheaper

The Daily Signal -- Sick of paying too much at the pump?

If you are, there’s good news: There are policies Congress and the Obama administration could implement that likely would lead to lower prices.

If you’re looking to lower gas prices, first look at crude oil prices.

Crude oil contributes the largest component to the price of gasoline. As of June 2014, crude prices made up 67 percent of the price of gas, with refining (14 percent), taxes (12 percent), and retailing and transportation (8 percent) accounting for the rest, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. States levy their own taxes, ranging from a low of 12.4 cents per gallon in Alaska to more than 52.6 cents per gallon in Califor  (go to article)

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Coal competing with oil and gas for space on rail

Post Gazette -- In 2010, Chuck West, manager of coal procurement for one of the country's largest power generators, American Electric Power, rode a train down from the coal fields of Wyoming to Denver. Out the window, he took note of the many empty coal cars parked along the tracks.

Coal shipments have been on the decline since 2008 as low gas prices invigorated coal-to-gas switching at power plants. In 2008, coal reached a 20-year peak in railroad shipments. By 2013, it was at the lowest point during the same period of time.  (go to article)

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Zero Motorcycles' new e-bikes can last 185 miles on a single charge

Engadget -- With the bad memories of 2012 product recalls firmly banished to the past, Zero Motorcycles is today unveiling its 2015 lineup of e-motorbikes. Changes from the 2014 models include improved seats, a slight increase in price, and larger batteries that extend the bikes' range to a maximum of 185 miles with the $2,495 Power Tank accessory (a 14-mile boost from last year). The base Zero FX model now clocks in at $9,845, while the top-of-the-line Zero SR will set you back $17,345. You won't be able to buy any of the new bikes until December (February in Europe), but you can whet your appetite with a selection of videos below.
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NTU, German scientists create new motor for electric vehicles

todayonline.com -- With some consumers put off by the limited distance an electric car can travel, scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have collaborated with German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to invent a two-in-one electric motor that uses energy more efficiently.

It merges the electric motor and air-conditioning compressor — typically installed as two separate units in vehicles — creating space for an auxiliary battery to provide up to 20 per cent more mileage. Keeping the two units separate is more energy consuming, a situation made worse by use of air-conditioning.
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Offshore Wind Turbines Could Tame Hurricanes

Wall Street Journal -- Could an armada of giant windmills reduce damage from the next big hurricane?

A study by scientists at Stanford University and the University of Delaware suggests that U.S. coastal cities could be spared by installing tens of thousands of gigantic wind turbines offshore in arrays up to 20 miles long. The scientists say the turbines, as high as a football field is long, would suck much of the energy out of storms and pay for themselves with the clean electrical power they produce.

The idea is that if you take away enough wind speed and reduce the height of the waves, you will break the feedback loop that makes hurricanes more powerful.  (go to article)

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Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells

Phys.org -- Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team led by Alejandro Briseno of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has taken a major step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost power-conversion efficiency of light to electricity for use in electronic devices.

Briseno, with colleagues and graduate students at UMass Amherst and others at Stanford University and Dresden University of Technology, Germany, report in the current issue of Nano Letters that by using single-crystalline organic nanopillars, or "nanograss," they found a way to get around dead ends, or discontinuous pathways, [...]  (go to article)

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Fed Up With Federal Inaction, States Act Alone on Cap-and-Trade

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- Unsatisfied with the pace at which the federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several U.S. states and a few Canadian provinces are forging ahead with their own initiatives.

In 2013, California kicked off a cap-and-trade program in an effort to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The first year of the program was a resounding success, with the state’s economy expanding while at the same time adding renewable energy. But carbon markets are more effective — and far more efficient — when they involve more entities in more places.

California is by far the largest generator of renewable energy, but capping emissions only within its borders could lead to “leakages” — dirty generators moving across the border to Nevada, for example, and selling power back to...  (go to article)

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Crude oil in U.S. slides most in 22 months on growing supply

Bloomburg -- West Texas Intermediate crude on Tuesday slid the most in 22 months, while Brent reached a two-year low, as ample supply shielded the market from the risk of disruption due to the conflict in the Middle East.

Futures slumped 3.6 percent in New York and 2.6 percent in London. OPEC oil production increased in September, led by a rebound in Libyan output to the highest level in more than a year, a Bloomberg survey showed Tuesday. Both benchmarks capped their biggest quarterly declines in more than two years. WTI may approach $90.63 after breaking below $91.50, according to Bloomberg First Word oil strategist Eric D. Pradas.

“We are going to continue to see lower prices as we go forward,” said Tariq Zahir, a New York-based commodity fund manager at Tyche Capital Advisors. “Fundamentally we a  (go to article)

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Autumn brings fall in gasoline prices

Fuel Fix -- This year’s relatively good fuel price news continues as motorists steer into the fourth quarter.

The national average price for a gallon of regular was $3.33 Tuesday, AAA reported, the lowest average in seven months and about a dime less on the last day of September than on the first.

The Houston-area average price Tuesday was $3.12, down 13 cents from a month ago and 3 cents less than on Sept. 30, 2013, according to the motor club’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Gasbuddy.com, which also monitors prices, reported that the lowest price available in Houston Tuesday was $2.86 per gallon.

The main factor in the price of gasoline is the price of oil, which also has been dropping. U.S. benchmark crude fell $3.41 to $91.16 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was abo  (go to article)

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Better to have global warming than global cooling

calgary herald -- The emergence of climate change as a pivotal global issue has brought with it an array of assumptions and predictions, many of which evoke fear and guilt.

There is no conclusive proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such proof, it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

“Extremely likely” is not a scientific term, but rather, a judgment. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as “95-100% probability.” But upon further examination,  (go to article)

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Who Is Buying The Islamic State’s Illegal Oil?

Oil Price.com -- In June 2014, computer files captured from a courier for the Islamic State shortly after the fall of Mosul revealed that the group had assets of $875 million, largely gained in the sacking and looting of Mosul and its central bank.

The size of the group’s bank account has now risen to an estimated $2 billion dollars, thanks in part to revenues from ransom paid for kidnapped foreigners and more pillaging. However, oil remains the group’s primary source of income.Select the reports you are interested in:Who Will be the Big Winners in the Coming LNG Bonanza

How to Play the Coming Boom in Advanced Fracking Technology

Why the Subsea Processing Sector will See Huge Gains in the Near Future

Investment Opportunities in Geothermal Power Generation

Machine to Machine Technology – A $1 Tr  (go to article)

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U.S. Oil Exports Hit 57-Year High in July

CBS News -- U.S. oil exports hit a 57-year high in July, according to federal data.

It was the second month in a row that exports were the highest since March 1957, according to EIA data going back to 1920.

Exports have increased in recent months as growing supplies of light, sweet oil in the U.S. threaten to overwhelm the nation's capacity to refine it, leaving producers searching for other legal outlets.

Most of July's crude-oil exports--373,000 barrels/day--went to Canada, according to the EIA. Some Canadian refineries prefer light crude to the heavy oil produced by the country's tar sands.

Oil from the U.S. made up 71% of Canadian crude imports in July, compared with just 14% in July 2013, according to Canadian trade data.

Italy imported 14,000 barrels a day from the U.S., the first time the  (go to article)

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Gasoline prices heading for a fall.

Greensboro, NC, News & Record. -- GREENSBORO - Gas prices are falling fast.
So fast, in fact, that North Carolina could see prices below $3 at some point in October, one analyst said.
“The prices we see right now are at the lowest level that we’ve seen since 2010,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior analyst with GasBuddy.com.
The average price for gasoline in North Carolina is $3.26 per gallon compared to $3.33 per gallon a year ago, Laskoski said Monday.

The national average is $3.33 per gallon — down from $3.42 per gallon a year ago.
At $3.08 per gallon, South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices, with several stations reporting prices below $3, according to GasBuddy.com.
No stations in North Carolina have reported prices below $3 yet, Laskoski said.
The cheapest gas in Greensboro reported as of late Monday afternoon....  (go to article)

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EPA says greenhouse gas releases from wells, pipelines decline

TribLive Business -- The U.S. oil and gas sector reduced greenhouse gas emissions from well sites, pipelines and processing facilities last year despite the industry's continued growth, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

Use of technology and improvements in hydraulic fracturing techniques in natural gas production led the way, accounting for a 73 percent decrease in methane released by that process since 2011, the EPA said.

The industry as a whole reduced methane emissions by 12 percent in two years, even as the number of sources reported to the government grew by 13 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions from the industry increased by 2.5 percent last year, but the methane reduction brought the overall number down by 1 percent.
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Natural gas production is bullish despite falling rig count

Market Realist -- Natural gas production

Since mid-2011, natural gas production increased even though the number of natural gas-targeted rigs has fallen.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (or EIA)—in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (or STEO) released in September 2014—reported that dry natural gas production is set to increase to 69.7 billion cubic feet per day (or bcf/d) in 2014 and 71.1 bcf/d in 2015. In 2013, the country produced 66.5 bcf/d.

For reference, it averaged ~69.3 billion bcf/d for the first half of 2014.

In contrast, natural gas rigs continued to fall over the past three years. From ~930 in October 2011, it has come down to the current level of ~338.  (go to article)

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Walmart Claims Tracy Morgan, Others Didn't Wear Seatbelts in Crash

WSYX-ABC 6-AP -- Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and other people in a limousine struck from behind by a Wal-Mart truck on a highway in June are at least partly to blame for their injuries because they weren't wearing seatbelts, the company said in a court filing Monday.

The filing was made in federal court in response to a lawsuit Morgan filed in July over the accident, which killed his friend James McNair, who was accompanying the former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" star back from a show in Delaware. Morgan spent several weeks in rehab with rib and leg injuries.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said in the filing that the passengers' injuries were caused "in whole or in part" by their "failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device," which it said...  (go to article)

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Can GE Continue To Grow Its Oil & Gas Business?

Forbes -- GE‘s oil & gas business has grown at strong rates over the last many years through strategic acquisitions and organic growth. The industrial conglomerate currently is one of the largest suppliers of oil and gas drilling equipment with leading position in many segments such as subsea and turbomachinery solutions. During 2009-2013, revenues from GE’s oil & gas segment increased at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 15%, from $9.7 billion in 2009 to $17 billion in 2013. Profits from this segment also rose steadily during this period, from $1.5 billion in 2009 to $2.2 billion in 2013. But with global crude oil prices expected to remain stable over the next few years with rising oil production from the U.S., can GE continue to grow its oil & gas business at such strong rates  (go to article)

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What's the most worry-free car you can buy?

Yahoo! Autos -- Car shoppers have a lot to sort through when looking for a new car. Often, one of their biggest concerns is how much a car will cost to repair over time. We took a stab at translating a lot of information to give shoppers more peace of mind. That's why we came up with the Worry-Free Index.

Cars.com's Worry-Free Index gives consumers a list of cars that editors are confident will provide the most worry-free ownership experience, based on proven reliability, low expected maintenance costs and strong warranties. We analyzed reliability scores given by hundreds of Cars.com consumers, and years of reliability data from two leading industry sources, J.D. Power and Associates, and Consumer Reports. We scrutinized five-year estimated maintenance costs and manufacturer warranties.  (go to article)

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Supply cuts necessary to shore up oil prices: Credit Suisse

Platts -- Should world crude prices continue to weaken into 2015, any forward price support will likely have to come from supply cuts, rather than increased demand, Credit Suisse analysts said Tuesday.

And even though there has been no evidence yet of a pullback in Saudi Arabian production, the investment bank's top oil economist Jan Stuart said in a conference call that Saudi Arabia will play a key role in balancing the market.

Amid a steadily bearish fundamental picture, Credit Suisse analysts this week cut their 2015 forecasts for ICE Brent and NYMEX crudes to $97/barrel and $89/b, respectively.

"Oil market fundamentals have continued to weaken," the analysts said. "The real problem, in our view, is supply. In contrast to the consensus, we find that oil demand growth is tracking close enough t  (go to article)

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Electric Vehicles Sell Power Back to the Grid

Wall Street Journal -- In the 1990s, Willett Kempton, a professor at the University of Delaware, proposed in a paper that electric vehicles could help pay for themselves by selling power back to the grid. When no one jumped on the idea, he decided to develop the technology himself.

Now, the pilot project he spearheaded at the university in conjunction with power-plant operator NRG Energy Inc. brings in roughly $110 a month per electric vehicle. The operation uses software to link a minimum of nine electric vehicles, mostly Mini Coopers, together into a virtual power plant on wheels that can both draw energy from the grid and discharge energy when needed.

"We're not earning enough money to get rich," says Dr. Kempton. But "it earns money, and it earns more money than it costs to do it."  (go to article)

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Enbridge to start filling reversed 9B pipeline with crude Nov 1

Platts -- Enbridge's plan to start filling its reversed 9B pipeline in Eastern Canada will provide a much-needed option for refineries in Quebec to source competitively priced crude, Guy Jarvis, the company's president for liquids pipelines, said Tuesday.

"The pipeline will provide access to light crude [from Western Canada and the Canadian Bakken] and also an alternative for the more expensive rail option," he said...

Enbridge is due to start filling the reversed pipeline on November 1, which will result in 300,000 b/d of primarily light crude flowing north from Westover in Ontario to Montreal, Quebec, he said.

A major beneficiary of the pipeline reversal will be oil sands producer Suncor, which also owns a 137,000 b/d refinery in Montreal. The company, which has traditionally relied on imports  (go to article)

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Oil, Rail Industries Want 7 Years To Fix Tank Cars

RigZone -- WASHINGTON (AP) — The oil and railroad industries are urging U.S. regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday. The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that the institute and the Association of American Railroads are jointly asking the Department of Transportation for six to 12 months for rail tank car manufacturers to gear up to retrofit tens of thousands of cars and another three years to retrofit older cars. The two industries — which were at odds until recently over how best to prevent oil train collisions and fires — also wa  (go to article)

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Honda CR-V goes high tech to prevent crashes

USA TODAY -- In a class of family vehicles where safety can be a big selling point, Honda is betting on high tech to avoid wrecks in its 2015 CR-V.

The 2015 CR-V will be the first vehicle in Honda's lineup to get what the automaker has named Honda Sensing, a bundle of six technologies that the brand hopes will put it a step ahead of the razor-sharp competition in the compact crossover segment.
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EPP completes first segment of Aegis ethane pipeline

Oil&Gas Journal -- Enterprise Products Partners LP reported that construction has been completed of the first segment of the Aegis ethane pipeline between Mont Belvieu and Beaumont, Tex. This 60-mile segment of 20-in. pipeline is part of the 270-mile Aegis ethane pipeline that when complete will create a 500-mile header system that extends from Corpus Christi, Tex., to the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Including EPP’s existing South Texas infrastructure, this system is now in service from Corpus Christi to Beaumont. The remainder of the Aegis pipeline will be completed in two phases. The next segment between Beaumont and Lake Charles, La., is slated for completion in third-quarter 2015. The final segment from Lake Charles to the Mississippi River is expected to be completed by yearend 2015. Aegis will have  (go to article)

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Drivers, Put Your Google Glass Away: Another Study Proves That Hands-Free Texting Isn't Safe

The -- As of today, 44 states prohibit texting and driving. (The six outliers: Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas.) Twenty-two place at least some restrictions on using handheld devices to make or take calls behind the wheel.

No state in the U.S.A. prevents drivers from using a cell phone at all -- the assumption being that going hands-free is a-okay. However, a new study from the University of Central Florida confirms what many have suspected: that even hands-free devices constitute a dangerous distraction for drivers.

BACKSTORY

Three years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that drivers be prevented from using cell phones at all. Study data suggested that hands-free devices weren't really any safer than their handheld equivalents, because the  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Price Crashes, Gasoline at 4-Year Low

Yahoo Finance -- Shortly after 9:00 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil started dropping from an intra-day high of $94.93 to reach a low point of $91.02 shortly after noon, a drop of more than 4%. WTI traded at around $91.30 in the early afternoon, down about 3.3% from Monday’s closing price of $94.57.

A report from Reuters that OPEC had increased its output to a level not seen in nearly two years, combined with a stronger dollar, torched crude prices following the report. OPEC produced nearly 31 million barrels of crude per day in September, according to Reuters, up from 30.15 million barrels in August.

ALSO READ: 10 Companies Cutting the Most Jobs

In the United States, AAA reported that drivers paid the lowest average September price in four years for a gallon  (go to article)

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ConocoPhillips tanker carrying Alaska crude oil headed to S. Korea

Alaska Dispatch News -- An oil tanker left Valdez on Friday with a crude oil shipment bound not for the West Coast of the United States but for South Korea, the first export shipment of Alaska oil in a decade, according to Genscape, which operates a vessel tracking business providing market information to traders.

Genscape said the Polar Discovery, owned by ConocoPhillips, is expected to arrive Oct. 10 at Yeosu, the home of the fourth largest refinery in the world.

ConocoPhillips on Monday confirmed the shipment to Asia.

"This will enable the state of Alaska and ConocoPhillips to potentially realize a higher value for this important natural resource," the company said in a statement.

The oil company said terms of the deal are confidential and that future shipments would be "primarily determined by market co  (go to article)

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Study reveals most ticketed vehicles in U.S.

Detroit Free Press -- The Subaru WRX is the most ticketed car by percent in the United States, according to a study Insurance.com released today.

One out of every three WRX drivers — or 33.6% — has reported receiving a traffic citation recently.

The Pontiac GTO came in second with or 32.7%.

Rounding out the top five are the Scion FR-S with 32.6%, the Toyota Supra with 30.8% and the Subaru Tribeca with 29.7%.

Three other American cars also made the list: the Mercury Topaz ranked seventh with 28.8%, the Pontiac G8, 15th with 27.7%, and the Saturn Aura, 18th with 27.1%

None of the four cars are manufactured anymore; Ford has discontinued the Mercury brand and the Topaz was last produced in 1994. General Motors abandoned Pontiac and Saturn in its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.

The most-ticketed brand by perce  (go to article)

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U.S. Crude Futures Slide Most in 17 Months; Brent Falls

Bloomberg -- headline says it all - -3.5%!!!  (go to article)

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The top 10 ticket magnets

Insurance,com -- Cars don't get tickets. Drivers do. But lead-footed drivers like certain cars a lot.

Here are the top 10 ticket-getters, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 car insurance quotes delivered through Insurance.com. (You can find .) Most of the tickets were for speeding, but all types of violations were included in the rankings.

One in three drivers of the Subaru WRX reported a recent traffic violation. For all models, the average was 19.9 percent.

Unlike accident claims, which ultimately drive up rates for everyone insuring that particular model of car, tickets jack up the premium for only the driver involved - but those penalties can be huge.Every insurance company looks at cars, drivers and violations based on its own experiences, and their rates reflect huge differences of opinion.  (go to article)

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The Cheapest Generation

The Atlantic -- In 2009, Ford brought its new supermini, the Fiesta, over from Europe in a brave attempt to attract the attention of young Americans. It passed out 100 of the cars to influential bloggers for a free six-month test-drive, with just one condition: document your experience online, whether you love the Fiesta or hate it.

Young bloggers loved the car. Young drivers? Not so much. After a brief burst of excitement, in which Ford sold more than 90,000 units over 18 months, Fiesta sales plummeted. As of April 2012, they were down 30 percent from 2011.

Don’t blame Ford. The company is trying to solve a puzzle that’s bewildering every automaker in America: How do you sell cars to Millennials (a?k?a Generation Y)? The fact is, today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did. In 2  (go to article)

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Ford F-Series launch critical after lowered guidance

msn money-CNBC -- With investors questioning Ford (F)'s near-term outlook, the American automaker heads into the fourth quarter needing a shot in the arm from its bread and butter truck: The F-Series.

The new pickup, which is a dramatic shift incorporating aluminum panels, rolls into showrooms later this year and comes at a time when Ford finds itself dialing back earnings expectations.

Ford could have played it safe and refreshed the pickup with steel panels and it would likely have seen solid sales for the next few years.

"That is the big gamble with changing something as radical as they are changing it. Not only could it affect sales in the short-term, but sales down the road," said Nerad.  (go to article)

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Beware of Zombie Drivers in Allergy Season

GasBuddy Blog -- Beware of the zombie drivers with allergies! We blogged back in July about how drivers with allergies are similar to drunk drivers, so its time to follow up on this issue.Americans who spend half their time sneezing, rubbing itchy eyes and wiping their noses know all too well the reality of hay fever and the allergies that strikes both in spring and fall. In the United States, it is estimated that a whopping 60 million people suffer from pollen allergies.And where you have people irritated by allergies you can also have motorists who might be too drowsy to drive. According to hay fever solutions.com, some of the most pollen-heavy trees are Oak, Ash, Elm and Mountain cedar....  (go to article)

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Permian Producers Get No Relief as BridgeTex Start Seen Slow

Bloomberg -- Producers in the largest U.S. oil field got little relief from a pipeline startup as bottlenecks in West Texas make it difficult to transport surging crude production to market.

West Texas Intermediate crude in Midland, Texas, weakened by 75 cents relative to the same grade in Cushing, Oklahoma, to a discount of $8 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Midland is the pricing point for the Permian Basin, which produces 1.76 million barrels of oil a day.

Magellan Midstream Partners and Occidental Petroleum Corp. started delivering crude today to Houston from Colorado City, Texas. The pipeline wasn’t able to alleviate prices because of a lack of capacity remaining between Midland and Colorado City, about 80 miles apart. Plains All American Pipeline LP plans to start the Sunris  (go to article)

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Safety agency studying Toyota acceleration problem

Yahoo News -- DETROIT (AP) -- A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner's allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker's past.

The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 1.69 million Corolla compact cars from the 2006 to 2010 model years. The agency said in documents posted Monday on its website that the inquiry will determine whether a formal investigation is needed.  (go to article)

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US poised to become world’s leading liquid petroleum producer

The Financial Times Limited 2014 -- The US is overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid petroleum,  (go to article)

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Israel's Leviathan gas field group submits $6.5 bln development plan

Yahoo News -- JERUSALEM, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The partners in Leviathan, Israel's largest natural gas field, have submitted their initial development plan to Israeli authorities, which one source said on Tuesday envisages producing 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

The group, led by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel's Delek Group, handed in its proposal after months of trying to determine the best way to develop the Mediterranean field, which lies in about 1500 metres of water about 80 miles (130 kilometres) off Israel's coast.  (go to article)

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Sun may be our main energy source by 2050: IEA

CNBC -- Solar power could trump alternatives like fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear to be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050, according to a prominent energy watchdog.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which is best known for its monthly oil updates, published two reports on Monday detailing how greater use of solar energy could radically cut the need to use polluting carbon dioxide. The Paris-based agency said that if countries embraced solar energy, carbon dioxide emissions could be cut by more than 6 billion tons per year by 2050.
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Oil Set for Biggest Quarterly Drop Since 2012 on Adequate Supply

Bloomberg.com -- rent and West Texas Intermediate headed for the biggest quarterly decline in more than two years as abundant crude supplies offset the risk of disruption from conflict in the Middle East.

Futures were up 0.2 percent in London, trimming a drop of 13 percent since the beginning of July. The U.S. and its European and Arab allies have conducted thousands of air missions since starting a bombing campaign to counter Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer. U.S. crude stockpiles probably expanded by 1.5 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow.

“There’s plenty of supply but no demand,” said Michael Hewson, a London-based market analyst at CMC Markets Plc, who forecasts that Brent could  (go to article)

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New Orleans East company says 'good-bye' to the gasoline pump

Fox8live.com -- The future has come to the Metro Service Group yard off Old Gentilly Road in Eastern New Orleans.

On Monday, the company cut the ribbon on its brand new compressed natural gas fueling station, which will power its fleet of 85 trucks. For the Woods family, which owns Metro, it's a $14 million investment.

"It's happening across the country," Jimmy Woods said. "We happen to be the first private fleet to do it in this market."

In New Orleans, Woods said only the RTA will have a larger fleet of natural gas-powered vehicles.

"We're in a game-changing situation with the United States having over a 200-year supply of natural gas," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, who joined in the ribbon-cutting.

The natural gas industry touts itself as a greener alternative to gasoline and diesel  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices Look Set To Stay Low

OilPrice.com -- To the delight of American drivers, gasoline prices are continuing to slide downwards. The national average price of gasoline hit $3.35 per gallon at the end of September, which is about 14 cents lower than at the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Better yet, gasoline prices could drop further in the coming months.

In recent years it has become commonplace for many drivers to see a gallon sell for well over $4 per gallon. Why have gas prices dropped to such low levels all of a sudden?

There are a complex set of factors that determine the price at the pump, but the largest contributor is the global price of crude oil. Oil prices have plummeted by more than 17 percent since peaking in June of this year, when the Islamic State, also known  (go to article)

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Audi receives first autonomous driving permit issued by the State of California

Toronto Star --

Audi will be the first company to receive a newly established autonomous driving permit issued by California. A range of new regulations that govern the testing of automated driving on the state’s roads is now in effect.

Audi has conducted research over tens of thousands of miles in Europe and various U.S. states, where such testing is permitted.

The research is aimed at preparing a highly automated Piloted driving system for freeway traffic conditions. Audi envisions this technology could be ready for consumer introduction within five years.
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Saudi focus on Asia may result in cheaper crude

Reuters -- Asian refiners may be about to get a welcome boost from major oil producer Saudi Arabia, which is likely to keep lowering the cost of crude to the region.

Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil producer, looks set to again cut the official selling prices (OSPs) for November cargoes when details are published early in October.

There are several reasons this may be the case, but chief among them is probably concern over market share in Asia.

It appears that Saudi Aramco has decided to make Asian markets its main focus, which makes sense given that the region takes about two-thirds of the producer's output.

The Saudis aren't exactly retreating from the North American and European markets, but they seem to have read in the tea leaves the trend that physical oil flows are moving toward ...  (go to article)

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Oil stays rangebound; Brent-WTI spread narrows further

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures traded sideways in Asian hours Tuesday with the premium of Brent crude over Nymex WTI crude narrowing further.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $94.59 a barrel, up $0.02 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.06 to $97.25 a barrel.

The Brent-WTI spread has been narrowing on the back of gains in the U.S. oil benchmark this week. The spread narrowed to $2.63 a barrel at the overnight close, and was at around $2.61 a barrel in Asian trading hours.

WTI crude prices rose 2.9% after last week’s preliminary U.S. manufacturing data, and as markets anticipate a positive final reading Wednesday, analyst Howie Lee at Phillip Futures said.  (go to article)

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Electric Rates Soar in New England

U.S. News -- Bargain-basement natural gas prices are sending New England's electricity bills through the roof – and House Republicans warn it's an omen of worse to come nationwide.

Last week, barely half a year after the polar vortex sent frigid weather swirling across much of the country, utility National Grid announced that rates in New England would leap by 37 percent, ratcheting up a household’s average bill by about $33 a month over last year.

The reason: gas prices are way down, and as a result, demand is way up – but the region’s two major natural gas pipelines are already practically filled to the brim, constricting supply and sending already-elevated rates ever higher.

“We’re a stranded region,” says Gilbert Metcalf, an economics professor at Tufts University. “We have a major bottleneck fo  (go to article)

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Honda introduces its self-driving vehicle

GasBuddy Blog --

Image From ..design-engineering.comAs part of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, an annual gathering of engineers and other researchers in Detroit, Honda announced plans to introduce a car that safely drives itself on the freeway while the driver's hands are off the wheel.
While the car is just a prototype, Honda says the technology could start appearing on Honda cars in 2020 and beyond. The prototype -- an Acura RLX sedan -- has cameras that monitor lane marking and multiple radar sensors on the front and sides. On top is a beacon that uses laser beams to continually scan the car's surroundings, similar to self-driving prototypes already introduced by Google, Ford and Toyota. GPS also helps the car stay on a previously mapped course and follow the speed limit....  (go to article)

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Chevrolet Corvette security system device could be illegal to use

FoxNews.com -- Stealing a car is illegal, but keeping an eye on it could be too.

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette is available with a Performance Data Recorder system equipped with cameras and GPS tracking that’s meant to capture your on-track antics, but also has a password-enabled Valet Mode that monitors the vehicle when you hand over the keys to someone else, like a parking attendant.  (go to article)

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