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Death by Solar Farms

Washington Times.com -- A new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds that solar facilities in California are acting like “mega traps” that kill and injure birds. As a result, “entire food chains” are being disrupted.

USFWS’s National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory studied three solar farms in Southern California: Desert Sunlight, Genesis Solar and Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS). Two-hundred and thirty-three different birds from 71 species were found over the course of a two-year studyRead more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/death-calif-solar-farms-71-species-bird-found-enti/#.U0shnaVBEW4.facebook#ixzz2zXBI0w8B
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
 (go to article)

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Ottawa to force energy companies to report payments made to native bands

Ottawa Citizen -- The federal government is proposing measures that would require mining and oil companies to report all payments made to native band councils and their corporations as part of Ottawa’s push for greater transparency among aboriginal governments

Unlike similar regulations in the U.S. and Europe, the federal rules would include aboriginal governments and their corporations

In a high-profile case last week, the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service charged the former co-manager of the remote Attawapiskat Reserve in N ON – who is also the common-law spouse of chief Theresa Spence – with 2 counts of fraud and theft after the band council conducted its own investigation

The oil industry signed impact benefit agreements with First Nation. As well, industry often employs aboriginal-owned companies to pro  (go to article)

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Did the Koch brothers run an Alaskan oil refinery into the ground?

Tampa Bay Times -- Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, is hitting back against billionaire conservatives David and Charles Koch. Their group Americans for Prosperity has spent millions on TV ad buys in the state so far, but Begich is buying airtime as well.

Begich’s March 10 ad attacks the Kochs’ impact on the Alaskan economy.

A different Alaskan worker utters each phrase: "They come into our town, buy our refinery, just running it into the ground, leaving a mess. A lot of Alaskans are losing jobs, and I’m definitely concerned about the drinking water."

A text overlay reads, "Laid off almost 100 workers."

PolitiFact wanted to take a closer look at what happened to the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole, Alaska. Is it accurate to say the Koch brothers ran it into the ground?

The Koch Industries company  (go to article)

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With mineral right leases underway, oil drilling forum planned to educate residents

MLive.com -- A group of Scio Township residents are encouraging their neighbors to attend a forum Thursday to learn about the potential impact of oil drilling in their area.

People living on a number of streets in the area near the intersection of Zeeb and Dexter-Ann Arbor roads have received inquiries about leasing the mineral rights on their property from Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company. The company conducted seismic testing in the area in September and is now exploring the possibility of drilling for oil or natural gas.

Washtenaw County environmental analyst Jennifer Conn said her office has received inquiries from residents who are concerned about hazards that could result from oil or gas drilling in their neighborhoods.

“There has been a lot of concern over potential for ground  (go to article)

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Northeast leads nation higher

GasBuddy Blog -- Another miserable week at the pump for motorists across the nation as the U.S. national average continues to move higher. The national average added 2.3 cents per gallon since last week, and stands at $3.63/gallon, or 12.1 cents per gallon higher than last year.

Areas of the East Coast have seen some of the worst pain in the last week- New Jersey and Delaware saw prices jump 9 cents per gallon, while Washington, Oregon, and Kentucky saw prices jump 7 cents per gallon.

The Rockies still hold on to some of the cheapest gasoline prices across the country this morning, with Utah at $3.35/gal, Montana at $3.38/gal, Idaho at $3.39/gal, New Mexico at $3.39/gal, and Wyoming at $3.40/gal.

Prices in Hawaii remain the...  (go to article)

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Thieves tap UK pipeline, steal 30,000 liters of fuel-paper

Reuters -- LONDON (Reuters) - UK police are hunting a gang of thieves who are thought to have tapped into an underground oil pipeline, stealing thousands of liters of fuel, a newspaper reported on Monday.  (go to article)

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NHTSA closes four-year probe of Ion steering issues after GM recall

Reuters -- DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. safety regulators closed a four-year probe into power steering problems  (go to article)

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Crude Headed Lower Again

Seeking Alpha -- Summary

Crude is seeing record long speculation again.
At the same time, fundamentals are turning unfavorable for long speculators.
The fundamentals point to an increase in U.S. production, inventories above average and Libya restoring exports. Ukraine is not a large producer and Russia is not going to lose production.
These factors put together mean that crude will likely trade lower in the weeks and months ahead.
The last time I commented on crude (USO), the fundamentals had mixed with wild speculation to make it likely that the prices were headed significantly lower. They did, dropping by 15% or so over the next few months. Since then, most of the carnage was again recovered, and again we're witnessing wild speculation.

Interestingly, this presents a setup where, again, the mo  (go to article)

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STUDY: FUELS FROM CORN WASTE NOT BETTER THAN GAS

Associated press -- 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.  (go to article)

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Many recalled GM cars won't be repaired

CNN Money -- Owners of the 2.6 million General Motors cars with faulty ignition switches have started to get their cars repaired. But if history is any indication, there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of the cars that never get fixed.

That's because roughly a third of all vehicles recalled by automakers are never brought to dealers.

Experts say there are many reasons that people don't take advantage of free repairs for their cars. Many people believe the notices are junk mail solicitations from the automakers. Others minimize the safety risk, having never seen the problem prompting the recall. Still others can't give up their car for the time it takes to make a repair.

 (go to article)

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Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

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

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

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GM Needs to Show Recalls Didn't Hurt Brands

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

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Oil stays above $104 amid Ukraine jitters

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

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

Markets are on edge at the possibility of European or U.S. sanctions that might disrupt Russian supplies. Tensions were fueled by an Easter morning shooting at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian insurgents.
 (go to article)

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Sales results for natural gas-powered F-150 draw mixed reactions

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

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

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

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

Ford officials say they aren’t worried.

“The first year  (go to article)

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Running Out of Time

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

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25 Amazing Facts About Solar

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

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

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

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7 Things to Love About Toyota’s Fuel Cell Beauty

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

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

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Fracking Foes Cringe as Unions Back Drilling Boom

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

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

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

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

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Suncor Energy Employee Dies After Injury At Oil Sands Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chinese Chevrolet Cruze debuts at the Beijing Auto Show

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

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Camaro Crashes Mustang's 50th Birthday With Predictable Results

JALOPNIK -- I'm not exactly sure why this Chevy Camaro got towed at the Mustang's 50th Birthday celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but I can't say I'm surprised it happened.
 (go to article)

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Federal studies report that biofuels are worse for the environment

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

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

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Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

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

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

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

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

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Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

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

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

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

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Two hours northwest, oil boom is in the making

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

Technology is the key for this, however.

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

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

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Study: Fuels from corn waste worse than gas

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

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

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

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

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The return of the car stereo tuning knob

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

 (go to article)

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

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

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

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

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Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama's political base

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

 (go to article)

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Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their sights

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

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

He was a solar-energy consumer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photos: Inside Colorado’s fracking boom

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

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

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

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

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

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A Better Way to Make Biofuels

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

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

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EPA acknowledges ethanol damages engines

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

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

The American Motorcyclist Association believes that is not enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spotted at the Easter Jeep Safari: European Jeep Wrangler Diesel caught uncovered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Crude oil ships imperil the Hudson

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

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

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

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Surging oil traffic puts region at risk

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

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

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

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

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

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Road kill bill would make claiming animals simpler

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

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

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

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

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Usual Suspects Surface as California Gasoline Prices Soa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Methane gas from waste is used to generate electricity

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

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

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

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

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

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Red-light cameras still reducing crashes

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

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

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

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

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Sahara Forest Project Grows Food, And Biofuel

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

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

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

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Keystone Review Delay Draws Angry Reaction From Backers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chevrolet Reveals the Latest Generation of Autobots [Photo Gallery]

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

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

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

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

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