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Halloween requires extra caution: Be watchful of Trick-or-Treaters & stay safe!

GasBuddy Blog -- Milky Ways. Nestle's Crunch.  Hershey's. Almond Joy. Twizzlers. Reese's. Kit-Kats. Charleston Chews.  It's very important that the kids arrive home safely tonight!

Whether you're walking with young kids who'll be Trick-or-Treating, or driving home after work or stepping out, it's critical to remember some important Halloween tips to keep everybody safe... ...  (go to article)

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Oil price declines have small-cap shale investors scrambling

Reuters -- (Reuters) - Plummeting oil prices are pushing some of the small-cap companies which flourished as part of the U.S. shale energy boom close to their breaking point, while also prompting some well-known fund managers to aggressively buy energy stocks.

Concerns about slowing growth in Europe and a stronger dollar have helped push the price of light crude oil down about 25 percent since June to about $82 a barrel, creeping closer to the average marginal cost of crude production of about $73 a barrel for U.S. onshore work, according to a research note from Baird Equity Research. Those declines have sent the SIG Oil Exploration and Production index down 21.2 percent over the last three months.

"The market is selling all of these companies, even if it's clear that $75 a barrel oil is not going  (go to article)

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Faulty GM ignition switch linked to 2nd crash death in Canada

CBC -- On a clear winter day in March 2014, 55-year-old Danylo Kulish was on his way to pick up his girlfriend at Montreal’s Trudeau airport in his GM Saturn Ion. He never made it.

Kulish died in a crash in which Transport Canada investigators are probing a faulty ignition switch as the “probable” cause — just six weeks after General Motors issued a recall of millions of cars because of the potentially deadly defect.

The Kulish family says no one told them about the GM recall until after his death.  (go to article)

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Transport Canada aware of deadly GM defect 8 months before recall

CBC -- Transport Canada was aware of a potential problem with ignition switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt eight months before General Motors Canada issued a recall notice for the deadly defect, the fifth estate has learned.

General Motors has so far accepted 29 wrongful death claims related to the ignition switch failure in the U.S. and Canada. In all, it has received claims for more than 150 deaths.

One Canadian death has been linked to the defect. But an investigation by the fifth estate and Radio-Canada's Enquete reveals that the faulty GM ignition switch is being probed as the "probable explanation" of a second fatal crash that occurred in Quebec just over one month after the recall.  (go to article)

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Crude Falls on Federal Reserve Stimulus Halt, U.S. Supply

BLOOMBERG -- West Texas Intermediate oil fell after the Federal Reserve ended its asset-purchase program and U.S. crude production surged to the highest level since the 1980s. Brent declined in London.

Futures slipped 1.3 percent in New York. The dollar strengthened a second day against the euro after the Fed’s announcement, curbing the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency as a store of value. U.S. crude supplies rose for a fourth week as output increased to 8.97 million barrels a day, Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday.

“Yesterday’s Fed announcement is pushing the dollar higher, which is putting selling pressure on commodities,” Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by phone. “The supply build yesterday may have...  (go to article)

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Inside America’s Energy Addiction

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- We drill miles under the ocean, run nation-length pipelines, and even go to war just to get our fix. Our reliance on cheap fuel sources has helped bring untold prosperity to the United States, powering industry and residential expansion, and supplying everyone with ample power to properly heat and cool their homes. There is also plenty of oil power the millions of vehicles, not to mention ships, airplanes, and most other methods of transport.

Since the United States depends so largely upon energy, we have needed to develop several reliable sources from which to harvest it. Not only are traditional fossil fuels on that list, but new developments and innovations are leading us to exciting ways of harnessing energy every year. One hundred years ago, harvesting power from nuclear plants,...  (go to article)

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Suncor to increase spending in oil sands despite crude woes

The Globe and Mail -- Suncor will pump billions into AB’s oil sands next year even as lower crude prices chip away at the company’s profits

Suncor plans to spend $7-8B and next year, up from a projected $6.8B this year, CEO said Thu, as construction on the company’s Fort Hills mine ramps up. The $13.5B JV with Teck and Total SA is slated to add 180Kbpd of new capacity in N AB, with first oil slated for 2017

The spending plans are the strongest signal yet that oil sands companies are prepared to wait out the current market rout, betting that the sharp plunge in benchmark crude prices is a temporary blip

Analysts have said integrated companies with deep pockets such as Suncor – Canada’s largest oil and gas company – are better equipped to withstand lower prices, in part because of the impact of a weaker Canadi  (go to article)

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Canadian Oil Sands profit plunges 65% in quarter

The Globe and Mail -- “Unplanned outages” at its only project continue to dog the company – troubles that forced it to again axe production expectations for 2014

Production reductions have become the norm for this aging mining project. Syncrude chopped production guidance 3 times in 2013 because of hiccups at its major facilities

The company brushed off falling oil prices. “With spending on major capital projects coming to an end, [Canadian Oil Sands] is positioned to fully fund its business in this current environment of lower crude oil prices,” the press release said

Canadian Oil Sands’ cash flow from operations also fell in the quarter, hitting $302M, down from $340M this time last year. Syncrude produced 22.5M barrels of synthetic oil in the quarter, compared to 20.9M un the same quarter last year  (go to article)

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Here's Everything You Need To Know About Fiat-Chrysler Spinning Off Ferrari (FCAU)

Business Insider -- The ground shook slightly this morning when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would spin off its most valuable brand — Ferrari.

This move caps a wild run of weeks for the maker of exotic, bright red sports cars and 4-wheeled objects of desire. Prior to FCA listing on the New York Stock Exchange and fully merging Fiat and Chrysler, longtime Ferrari Charmian Luca di Montezemolo stepped down after over two decades at the helm.

It was widely speculated at the time that he had been if not exactly forced out then definitely pressured to leave by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who moved swiftly into the head spot. The strategic dispute between Marchionne and Montezemolo went right to the core of the Ferrari brand, which defines power, prestige, performance, and exclusivity — at least as  (go to article)

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Ford recalls 205,000 SUVs for fuel tank leaks

Canadian Press -- DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is recalling about 205,000 SUVs in cold-weather states and parts of Canada to fix gas tanks that can rust, leak and cause a fire.
© Provided by thecanadianpress.com
The recall affects Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The company said Wednesday that it traced the problem to rust under some mounting brackets in areas where salt is used to clear snow from the roads.

Ford said that it knows of one fire due to the problem, but no crashes or injuries.

The SUVs are being recalled in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Also co  (go to article)

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High Levels of Dangerous Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Sites

national geographic --
Dirk DeTurck had a years-old rash that wouldn't go away, his wife's hair came out in chunks, and anytime they lingered outside their house for more than an hour, splitting headaches set in.

They were certain the cause was simply breathing the air in Greenbrier, Arkansas, the rural community to which they'd retired a decade ago. They blamed the gas wells around them. But state officials didn't investigate.

So DeTurck leapt at the chance to help with research that posed a pressing question: What's in the air near oil and gas production sites?

The answer—in many of the areas monitored for the peer-reviewed study, published today in the journal Environmental Health —is "potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures" that can make people feel ill and raise their risk of getting canc  (go to article)

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Ukraine, Moscow clinch deal on Russian gas supply

AP -- BRUSSELS — Moscow and Kiev on Thursday clinched a multi-billion dollar deal that will guarantee that Russian gas exports flow into Ukraine and beyond to the European Union throughout the winter despite their intense rivalry over the fighting in eastern Ukraine.  (go to article)

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Gas Prices Are About to Hit a Key Symbolic Mark

Yahoo Finance -- Drivers, get pumped. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the average national gas price could fall below $3 a gallon in the coming weeks, a symbolic level that could help boost consumer sentiment and spending ahead of the holiday season.

The average price as of the beginning of the week was $3.06, already the lowest since December 2010, the EIA survey reports. The AAA survey shows the average at $3.01, down from $3.04 at the start of the week. The auto club said Monday that 55 percent of U.S. gas stations were selling gas for less than $3 a gallon, up from 30 percent two weeks earlier.
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ConocoPhillips Becomes First to Cut Spending on Lower Oil

Bloomberg -- ConocoPhillips became the first major oil company to announce plans to reduce spending due to falling crude prices as drilling in some emerging North American fields becomes less profitable.

The third-largest U.S. energy producer can meet its target to boost production by as much as 5 percent a year even as it reduces annual spending to below $16 billion, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance told investors today.

ConocoPhillips plans to scale back drilling in emerging oil regions such as West Texas and the Rocky Mountains. The company’s ability to produce oil at lower costs in more established areas that have fueled the U.S. shale boom make growth sustainable. Houston-based ConocoPhillips could also reduce exploration spending, he said.

“Events like the recent price downturn  (go to article)

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Capline, Biggest U.S. Crude Conduit, to Study Future Options

Reuters -- The 1.2-million-barrel-a-day Capline crude pipeline, the biggest in the mainland United States, is reviewing its future operations, its owners said on Thursday, as the North American oil boom upends the flow across the continent.

Shipping volumes on the pipeline, which runs south to north from the Gulf Coast to Illinois, have fallen has steeply in recent years as midwestern refiners tap into the growing supply of Canadian and North Dakota crude to replace costly imports via Capline.

Traders and analysts have speculated for several years that the line could be reversed to carry Canadian crude to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, allowing it to increase throughput.

"This analysis is being conducted to address the expanding crude oil supply in North America and the significant changes in crude o  (go to article)

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These countries are getting killed by cheap oil

CNN Money -- Oil is selling for roughly $83 a barrel on the global market. That's bad news for Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They need the black stuff to trade at far loftier levels in order to balance their budgets.  (go to article)

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Ford Recalls 205K SUVs for Fuel Tank Leak

Associated Press (AP) Published by Product Design & Development -- Ford is recalling about 205,000 SUVs in cold-weather states and parts of Canada to fix gas tanks that can rust, leak, and cause a fire.

The recall affects Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The company said Wednesday that it traced the problem to rust under some mounting brackets in areas where salt is used to clear snow from the roads.  (go to article)

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It's Coming: $65 Oil

The Atlantic -- Gas prices are falling below $3 a gallon across the United States for two big reasons: (1) the world economy is growing slower than we hoped, and (2) global oil production is improving faster than we expected.

"India and China are slowing down,” said Charles K. Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings. "The IMF just downgraded Europe’s growth to less than 1 percent, and they're already quite energy efficient. Brazil’s a problem, too. All around the world there is no great growth story, and expectations are that things will stay that way or get worse."

There is also unanticipated supply. A few years ago, political turmoil was taking up to 2 million barrels a day off the market. Now production is roaring back in Libya, southern Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and even Iraq,  (go to article)

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Emotions Running High Over Denton Fracking Ban Vote

CBS-DFW -- Bobby Jones and his family have owned 82 acres in Denton for decades. Now, he worries if voters approve a ban on fracking in the city, the mineral rights they lease will dry up.

Jones said, “It’s going to take away income from us that we deserve to get.”

He says his property has been fracked twice, and that he and his family still have two active horizontal wells on their property?. “We’ve owned minerals for 72 years, and we get a chance to develop them and we get to develop them for 11-12 years, then all of a sudden they say, oh no, you can’t do that, there’s something wrong there.”  (go to article)

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Is oil sands development still worth it?

The Globe and Mail -- André Goffart was blunt. The chief executive of Total SA’s Canadian arm spoke hurriedly on a late-afternoon conference call. It was May, summer beckoned, and, with it, the four-day workweeks much of corporate Calgary enjoys.

After years of false starts, Goffart confirmed suspicions that the French energy giant’s foray into mining bitumen from Northern Alberta’s oil sands was a dud. The company’s $11-billion Joslyn mine was being shelved indefinitely, he said. Costs were too high. Workers had to be let go–150 Canadian staff by year-end. Total’s partnership with Canadian oil giant Suncor Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Inpex Canada “is facing the same challenge that most of the industry worldwide is,” Goffart explained.

That challenge, in a word: costs. The price of developing megaproject  (go to article)

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U.S. says working with Iraqi Kurdistan to stop Islamic State oil smuggling

Reuters -- The United States is working closely with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to clamp down on oil smuggling in a bid to cut off a key source of funding for Islamic State, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Islamic State militants have seized oilfields and refineries in north Iraq and have been exporting oil through smuggling networks to help finance their campaign, along with ransom, extortion and other criminal activities.

"We are working with the regional government in Arbil to support their efforts in stopping those shipments and those smuggling operations," Acting Energy Envoy for the United States, Amos Hochstein, told Reuters at an energy conference.

"It is of critical importance to the United States, the international community and to Kurdistan itself to see an increas  (go to article)

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SolarWorld's $10M expansion includes 200 new jobs

Portland Business Journal -- SolarWorld Americas LLC will expand production capacity at its Hillsboro plant and add 200 new workers as it moves to compete with rivals with innovation and quality.

Mukesh Dulani, president of the U.S. arm of German-based SolarWorld AG, announced the $10 million investment in its plant this morning, flanked by long-time supporter, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.

"This is possible because we have an amazing management and executive team," he said.

SolarWorld has not received public funding for the project, though Dulani said it is talking to state and local officials for possible support.

The expansion will add 150 megawatts of
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Proposal to spare drivers from extra parking meter charges would cost New York millions

New York Daily News -- The city of New York has 10 million reasons why it can’t give motorists a break on parking meter charges.

A proposal to spare drivers extra charges if their time on a meter runs out shortly before parking regulations expire for the day is a nice idea, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the City Council on Wednesday.

But she said it would cost the city big bucks.

“While I sympathize with motorists who may be overpaying at our meters, this bill raises serious financial and technical challenges,” Trottenberg said — adding that the city could lose $8 million a year in parking revenue, plus $2 million to reprogram the meters.
 (go to article)

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Merkel to End Free Driving on Autobahn by Making Non-Germans Pay

Bloomberg -- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to make foreigners driving on Germany’s autobahns pay as much as 130 euros ($164) a year, ending free use of the highways for passenger cars.

The proposal unveiled today is a concession by Merkel to Bavarian allies in her coalition government who are complaining about road tolls collected by their Swiss and Austrian neighbors. Owners of German-registered cars would be able to deduct the toll from their vehicle tax.
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TransCanada Corp.’s submits massive 30,000-page application for Energy East pipeline

Canadian Press -- The $12B project would ship AB crude through pipe that’s already in the ground for 2/3 of the way, with new pipeline being built through QC and NB

“Energy E will be built and operated in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, while generating significant benefits for all Canadians, TC president and CEO said in a statement early Thu

Energy E would deliver crude to export terminals planned for QC and NB, enabling shipments to Europe, India and other

TC also touts the project as a boon to E Canadian refineries. It aims to supply cheaper inland crude to refineries in QC and NB, supplanting imports from the Middle E and other

The project has drawn the ire of environmental groups concerned about the impact of a potential spill. Many also see it as an enabler of growth of GHG emission  (go to article)

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When Gas Is This Cheap, Who Needs QE?

Fox Business -- While the U.S. gets ready to end QE, it seems the U.S. is getting stimulated in a different way, courtesy of Big Oil.
Consumer confidence soared in October, as gas prices fell, proving once again that the way to win the heart of America is cheap gas prices. In fact, the Conference Board said consumer sentiment hit 94.5, the highest level since October 2007, the same month that then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke started to lower U.S. interest rates as he started to realize that failures in the subprime market were indicative of a much larger unfolding economic crisis.
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It Looks Like $80 Oil Is Here to Stay

Bloomberg Business Week -- The oil selloff appears to be permanent. Record-breaking increases in U.S. production, a resurgent Libya, and Saudi Arabia lowering its prices in a bid to keep its share of Asian customers—all of it has combined to knock oil prices down 25 percent since June, and there might be more room to fall.  (go to article)

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Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets

Toronto Sun -- TORONTO - Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets, a new report says.

What Goes Up, a Fraser Institute report by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams to be released Thursday, makes a number of controversial recommendations to ease the upward pressure on electricity bills.

The Ontario government should announce an immediate moratorium on new wind and solar power facilities, and revisit existing contracts that commit Ontarians to paying well above market rates for renewable electricity, the authors conclude.

“Wind and solar power systems provide less than 4% of Ontario’s power but account for 20% of the cost paid by Ontarians, yet the government wants to triple the number of wind and solar generators,” energy analyst Adams said in a statement. “That’s a good deal for wind and so  (go to article)

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These countries are getting killed by cheap oil prices

CNN Money -- The price is not right for many oil rich nations.  (go to article)

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Faulty GM ignition switch linked to 2nd crash death in Canada

CBC News -- To date, GM has stated that one of the 29 wrongful death claims it has accepted was a Canadian, but has declined to identify the victim.

An investigation by CBC's the fifth estate and Radio-Canada’s Enquete now adds the Kulish crash as a 2nd Canadian fatality under investigation as part of the ignition switch problem

“A sudden failure within the ignition switch appears to be a possible and probable explanation," says a preliminary Transport Canada report into the crash

"According to the data retrieved from the car's ACM, the driver's frontal airbag never deployed because the ACM never commanded its deployment

GM is facing claims of at least 150 more fatalities and hundreds of injuries

“He died for no reason. He died for a 57-cent piece that should have been fixed over 10 years ago an  (go to article)

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Millenials Drive Less

Orlando Sentiinel -- Christina Cook often rides her bike from her home near downtown Orlando to day care, where she drops off her young son. She prefers the bike to the family car, a 2003 Camry with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer.

"We enjoy it [biking]," she said. "I've never felt I was inconvenienced."
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Cook, 26, is like a lot of her contemporaries, the generation of millennials who are not as enamored with the automobile as their elders — who flocked to the internal-combustion engine as a symbol of freedom and a passport to far-flung suburban homes.

A recent study by the nonprofit consumer group U.S. PIRG based in Boston found that millennials — or those born roughly from 1983 to 2000 — are driving less in favor of walking, biking and catching the bus or train, if on  (go to article)

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Shell Profit Increases as Refining Trumps Lower Oil Prices

Bloomberg -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said third-quarter profit rose 31 percent, beating estimates, as earnings from refining and natural gas countered the impact of lower crude prices at Europe’s biggest oil company.
*
Even as Shell’s oil production slumped and prices fell since June, a mix of better refining margins, lower spending and higher earnings from selling natural gas around the world bolstered profit. *
The drop in oil prices “underlines the importance of our drive to get a tighter grip on performance management, keep a tight hold on costs and spending, and improve the balance between growth and returns,” Van Beurden said in the statement.

The third-quarter results have borne only a third of the impact of the fall in prices, Henry said.
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Why Oil Prices Went Down So Far So Fast

Bloomberg -- The reasons oil prices started sliding in June were hiding in plain sight: growth in U.S. production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, Mideast violence that threatened to disrupt supplies and never did.

After three-and-a-half months of slow decline, the tipping point for a steeper drop came on Oct. 1, said Ray Carbone, president of broker Paramount Options Inc. That’s when Saudi Arabia cut prices for its biggest customers. The move signaled that the world’s largest exporter would rather defend its market share than prop up prices.

“That, for me, was the giveaway,” Carbone said in an Oct. 28 phone interview from his New York office. “Once it started going, it was relentless.”

The 29 percent drop since June of the international price caught traders and forecasters by surprise.  (go to article)

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Crashes double at Houston intersections after red light cameras pulled

Houston Chronicle -- Auto crashes more than doubled at busy Houston intersections after red light cameras were pulled from those areas, according to figures released by the Houston Police Department.  (go to article)

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As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

NPR -- Yes, fixing all this infrastructure will affect vehicular transportation all over the country--because most of it is laid in road rights of way.  (go to article)

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California tightens emissions regulations on refineries... again

GasBuddy Blog -- California’s  Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay, has launched an aggressive plan to cut emissions from the region’s five refineries.By unanimous vote on Oct. 15, BAAQMD’s board passed a resolution that commits the agency to completing a series of actions over the next several months to further a newly announced goal of reducing local refinery emissions. ...  (go to article)

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The Cheapest States for Gas

Yahoo Travel -- If you want to see how big a difference geography can play in gas prices, have we got the chart for you.  (go to article)

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NY state to open upstate fuel reserve in November

25CNBC-REUTERS -- A strategic fuel reserve at six locations in upstate New York is expected to be operational in November to ensure gasoline and diesel fuel are available to emergency responders in the event of an emergencies like 2012's Hurricane Sandy.

Approximately 2.5 million gallons of gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) will be kept in the reserve in terminals in Rensselaer, Brewerton, Rochester, Marcy, Vestal and Buffalo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a release.

Sandy battered the Northeastern coast at the end of October 2012, destroying homes and buildings, closing refineries and leaving motorists without fuel and exposing vulnerabilities in the fuel distribution network.

The reserve will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority using $10...  (go to article)

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Why OPEC's losing its ability to set oil prices

25CNBC -- OPEC's glory days of steering global oil prices may be at an end.

U.S. shale oil will replace the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as the first-mover "swing producer," according to a Goldman Sachs report from the weekend—meaning OPEC is losing its power to set global prices for crude.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, no longer has "the ability to push prices lower than the production costs of U.S. shale" because any cuts from the kingdom would "accommodate the further expansion of U.S. shale, as well as reduce Saudi profits," Goldman said.

The shift in pricing power became apparent to Goldman when U.S. shale's spare capacity, at around 5 million barrels per day, exceeded Saudi Arabia's spare capacity of 1.5 million. Spare capacity refers to the amount...  (go to article)

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OPEC Head Tells Oil Market to Stop Panicking About Prices

Bloomberg News -- Everyone in the oil market should stop panicking because crude supply and demand will return to equilibrium, OPEC’s Secretary-General said.

Members of OPEC, who pump about 40 percent of the world’s oil, aren’t waging a price war and haven’t demanded an emergency response to the plunge in crude futures, Abdalla El-Badri said at the Oil & Money conference in London yesterday. While the direction of oil prices, which have collapsed about 25 percent since June, remains unclear in the short term, they will have to rebound to guarantee long-term supply, he said.

“We don’t see really fundamental changes in the supply side or the demand side,” El-Badri told reporters during a briefing at the event. “Unfortunately everyone is panicking. The press is panicking, consumers are panicking. We really s  (go to article)

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WTI Falls From 1-Week High as U.S. Supplies Expand; Brent Drops

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate retreated from a one-week high after government data showed crude stockpiles rose as output surged to a record high in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent slid in London.

Futures fell as much as 0.6 percent in New York. Crude stockpiles gained for a fourth week as production increased to 8.97 million barrels a day, the fastest rate since January 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration. Supply and demand will return to equilibrium and OPEC members aren’t waging a price war, Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said yesterday.

“Expanding stockpiles are putting downward pressure on oil,” Kang Yoo Jin, a commodities analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul, said by phone today. “Oversupply concerns in the market are not easing  (go to article)

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Bank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz says low oil prices could cut quarter point off nation’s growth

Canadian Press -- If the low price of oil persists, it will knock a quarter-point off the growth of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2015

Losing a 0.25% off the country’s economic growth would be big enough to make him concerned

Slowing the economy by 0.25% is significant when the bank is predicting moderate growth in the 2-2.5% range

The central banker says a quarter point matters a lot when Canada needs more than 2% growth to help close the output gap and help create jobs
 (go to article)

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Dark side of the boom: Diving oil prices could curb U.S. production

Kansas City Star -- Kenneth White has spent 30 years in the oil business, and as owner of White Exploration Inc. in Wichita he’s more than a casual observer of the recent 25 percent drop in oil prices.

Any decision to drill for more oil is tied to its price, and although he’s not cutting back yet, the question looms for White and the rest of the country’s oil industry.

If prices “continue to go down or stay down, you’ll see a bit of a slowdown,” he said.

The plight of oil producers probably won’t elicit much sympathy from motorists who are enjoying the lowest gasoline prices in four years. Prices in Kansas and Missouri have fallen below $3 a gallon, down 33 cents in just the last month. Average households, if prices stay down, will save $500 or more annually at the pump.  (go to article)

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Fracking-well explosion forces 400 families from homes in eastern Ohio

Columbus Dispatch -- From his fishing boat on a rural Jefferson County pond, Mike Poole could see the natural-gas wellhead less than a tenth of a mile away.

Poole spent part of his Tuesday afternoon on that boat with a friend and his dog. The well, at that time, was just part of the landscape.

By Tuesday evening, though, it had forced him from his home in Bloomingdale, Ohio.

Poole, who lives above the Mingo Sportsmans Club less than a mile from the well, was one of about 400 families to be evacuated after the well ruptured on Tuesday night, spewing natural gas and methane into the air.

Jefferson County’s emergency-management officials worried about what those gases could do to people and homes.

Methane can become explosive in small amounts, and can cause headaches and dizziness.

 (go to article)

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Kasich: Fracking tax is a ‘complete ripoff’ for Ohioans

Columbus Dispatch -- A week before he’s expected to easily win a second term, a combative Gov. John Kasich voiced readiness to increase taxes and regulations on Ohio’s oil and gas industry.

Thwarted twice already by his fellow Republicans in the legislature — many of whom receive substantial campaign contributions from oil and gas interests — Kasich called the current 20-cents-a-barrel severance tax “a total and complete rip-off to the people of this state. It’s outrageous.”  (go to article)

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Drilling for oil and gas is on the decline in Michigan

MPR -- News of a decline might sound surprising since there has been so much excitement and controversy over horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in recent years.

But not many high-volume, horizontal wells were actually drilled since 2010, and the company that led the recent fracking boom has left the state.

That leaves the industry and its watchdogs wondering where new action will come from.

The oil and gas business has been around in Michigan for almost 100 years.

Drilling activity peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when oil and gas companies went after natural gas in a layer of the earth called the Antrim Shale  (go to article)

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Oil industry says US EPA's refinery emissions rule would cost $20 billion

Platts -- The US Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regulations on toxic air emissions from oil refineries would cost the industry $20 billion, according to trade groups representing oil producers and refiners.

In comments filed with the EPA Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute and and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers said the proposed rule would be too onerous and could actually lead to higher greenhouse-gas emissions.

"EPA's proposed regulations could drive up costs and roll back environmental progress, forcing refineries to increase emissions by installing hundreds of costly new flare systems at a time when industry has been working with EPA to reduce flaring," API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman said in a statement.

Tuesday was the deadli  (go to article)

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U.S. Oil Output Surges to Highest Since 1980s on Shale

Bloomberg -- U.S. crude production climbed to the highest level in at least three decades last week as the shale boom moved the country closer to energy independence.

Output rose 0.4 percent to 8.97 million barrels a day, according to weekly Energy Information Administration estimates that began in January 1983. The EIA’s monthly data, which goes back to 1920 and is based on data collected by state and federal agencies, shows production at the highest since 1986.

“The flip side of the growth in domestic crude production is the drop in imports,” Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA in New York, said by phone. “This structure ain’t going to change anytime soon.”

U.S. crude production will grow by a million barrels a day this year and next to reach 9.5 million in 2015, the m  (go to article)

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Cheap gas is back.

CNN Money -- About two-thirds of the stations nationwide are now charging $3 or less for a gallon of regular, according to the Oil Price Information Service.

The national average has plunged to $3.02 a gallon, according to AAA, its lowest level in nearly four years. And twenty states actually have averages below $3.

In fact, most drivers are actually paying less than $3, despite what the AAA numbers suggest. That's because places with high priced gas like Hawaii, Alaska and cities like San Francisco and New York are distorting the national average.

Related: What gas costs in your state

U.S. oil production has jumped, sending crude oil prices lower here. A stronger U.S. dollar also helps keep oil prices down.

At the same time, demand is weak thanks to more fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. and s  (go to article)

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Lac-Mégantic: Lisa Raitt announces rail safety rules based on crash findings

CBC News -- New requirements for hand brakes and other safety devices to ensure parked trains stay put are among the changes Transport Canada will enforce in response to the 2013 rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que.  (go to article)

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Chrysler recalls over 566,000 trucks, SUVs

Associated Press -- DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 566,000 trucks and SUVs in two recalls for malfunctioning fuel heaters that can cause fires and a software glitch can disable the electronic stability control.

The recalls bring the newly merged company's total for the year to 6.4 million vehicles worldwide and 5.1 million in the U.S. as it continues to struggle with reliability problems. It was not immediately clear whether those totals were annual records.

On Tuesday, its longtime quality chief abruptly left after Fiat Chrysler performed poorly in Consumer Reports magazine's annual reliability rankings.

The largest of two recalls announced Wednesday covers almost 382,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups and Ram 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs from 2010 through 2014.
 (go to article)

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