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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

60
votes
Dodge Ram 1500 Tops Consumer Reports MPG Test

Gas2 -- Consumer Reports says the Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has the best fuel economy of any full size pickup truck sold in America. In their testing, it got 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg overall. Those numbers compare quite favorably with the EPA rating of 28 highway, 2o mpg city and 23 mpg overall. The CR numbers are probably closer to what owners should see in real world driving.

Ram’s brand director Bob Hegbloom said recently that improved fuel economy ratings have definitely helped sell more Ram 1500 trucks. He also said that the first manufacturer to offer a full size pickup that actually gets 30 mpg will “win the pick up truck war.” Others are getting close. Staff member Jo Borras recently took a Chevy Tahoe on a 1000 mile road trip with his family and all their stuff and averaged 25 mpg  (read more)

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549 Comments

56
votes
Massive cyber attack on oil and energy industry in Norway

Naked Security -- As many as 300 oil and energy companies have been targeted by hackers in the largest ever coordinated cyber attack in Norway.

The Local reports that 50 companies in the oil sector have already been breached while another 250 are at risk.

Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet - Norway's National Security Authority (NSM) - has issued warnings to the companies it believes may be targeted including Statoil, the country's largest oil company. The identities of other firms that have been breached or targeted have not been disclosed at this time.  (read more)

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652 Comments

56
votes
13 Sweet, Affordable Cars to Take Back to School

Wired -- As a student, you need your car to handle a few essential tasks. It should be able to haul sports gear, get student-budget-ready gas mileage, be reliable enough to avoid costly repairs, have a solid safety rating, and still stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Sure, you could just pick up a Corolla or Civic, but there are way less boring cars to have for not too much money.

To mark the end of summer and the start of a new school year, we've picked out 13 new and used cars that hit all those marks, a few of which have some sly tech to keep students from driving like hellions.  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
1103 Comments

55
votes
Solar project showcases innovation between Minnesota Power, military

Fierceenergy.com -- Minnesota Power is joining forces with the Minnesota National Guard to build a major solar energy project at the state's largest military base, Camp Ripley. If approved, the project will be the largest solar energy installation on military property in the state.

A recently signed memorandum of understanding between the two outlines plans to build a 10 MW utility-scale solar array at the central Minnesota camp, which would cover nearly 100 acres of underutilized government property with photovoltaic panels on racks. The National Guard and Minnesota Power will work together to identify and complete programs that will help Camp Ripley meet its energy savings goal of 30 percent over 2003. In fact, they have already identified more than 50 energy conservation measures.
 (read more)

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515 Comments

54
votes
Surge In U.S. Oil Production Finally Reflected At Pump

Oil Price.com -- Geopolitical turmoil, particularly in oil-producing regions, usually means higher retail costs for petroleum products, specifically gasoline.

Not so this year. Oil analysts say American drivers taking their last summer road trips cars will enjoy the lowest pump prices this Labor Day weekend than they have in four years. That’s despite ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and between Russia and Ukraine.  (read more)

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696 Comments

Monday, September 01, 2014

75
votes
Texting while driving, woman impaled through buttocks

USA Today -- ELIZABETH, Colo. — A woman says she was texting and driving when she hit a pole that went through her car, piercing her thigh and buttocks.

Elizabeth firefighters had to saw off the front and back end of the pole to get the woman out.

Christina Jahnz says she was in the parking lot of Elizabeth Middle School on Wednesday morning to deliver her daughter's saxophone, which had been left at home. As she was driving away from the school, Jahnz started texting her friend.

"I was running late for a business meeting, so I did a voice text. I looked down to make sure it was all right. The next thing I knew, I was looking up, there was white powder from the air bags deployed," Jahnz said.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1517 Comments

68
votes
Happy Labor Day to All!

GasBuddy Blog -- A little history never hurts...
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.But more than 100 years later, there's still disagreement about which union leader deserves the credit... ...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
2113 Comments

67
votes
Global crude shortages now outweighed by US production

Haynesville.com -- The results of a multi-year EIA study of America’s effect on the global energy market were released yesterday. The organization concluded that the country’s growing liquid fuel industry, which produces crude oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels among other types, has become substantial enough to insulate the global market against crude price fluctuations caused by unforeseen circumstances.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1009 Comments

65
votes
Thank Fracking For Falling Gas Prices This Labor Day Weekend

The Daily Caller -- Good news for families trying to get in one last road trip before school starts: Gas prices are falling ahead of Labor Day weekend, thanks to booming U.S. oil production from shale formations.

The current average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.44, according to AAA. A good sign for the 34.7 million Americans who will be traveling this Labor Day weekend — 29.7 million of which will be travelling by car, notes AAA.

“As the economy makes modest gains, more Americans are joining the labor force this year,” said AAA COO Marshall Doney in a statement. “With Labor Day symbolizing the American workers’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country, it’s only fitting that millions are choosing to celebrate this positive direction with an all-American road trip.”

This is more t  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1473 Comments

63
votes
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles poised to get rolling

Earthtechling -- A convergence of factors is propelling a market rollout of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, according to a new study from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. A key to hydrogen’s potential success is a new smart solution that clusters hydrogen fuel infrastructure in urban or regional networks, limiting initial costs and enabling an early market for the technology before committing to a full national deployment, suggests the study.
The researchers behind the study, “The Hydrogen Transition,” probe the variety of factors combining to increase the likelihood of successful hydrogen-powered car commercialization. These include new thinking by government and industry on strategies for developing fuel station infrastructure,  (read more)

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62 Comments

Sunday, August 31, 2014

73
votes
When Does a $5 Toll Cost $30? When You're Driving a Rental Car

Bloomberg Businessweek -- With the rise of “cashless” turnpikes, where tolls are collected via a device such as EZ-Pass rather than at tollbooths, rental car companies have found two ways to pass those costs on to their customers, both unpopular: Customers can choose to rent a pass for as much as $20 a day, which they’ll pay whether or not they pass through a toll plaza, or they can pay the fines for going through the lanes without a pass, plus a hefty processing fee tacked on by the rental company.

Customers are ticked at what seems like yet another charge, like fees for checked baggage. After a Florida Dollar Rent a Car added $30 in administrative fees to a bill for $2.74 in tolls, Roxanna Usher of Redwood Valley, Calif., vented her spleen on the entire state. “I’m angry beyond belief ..."  (read more)

Submitted Aug 31, 2014 By:
573 Comments

72
votes
The power of salt: Power generation from where river water and seawater meet

Science Daily -- Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers. The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Through osmosis, water from the less-salty stream would cross the membrane to a pre-pressurized saltier side, creating a flow that can be sent through a turbine to recover power.

 (read more)

Submitted Aug 31, 2014 By:
1119 Comments

70
votes
Kurdish tanker carrying $100 million in oil disappears from radar off Texas coast

Daily News -- A Kurdish tanker loaded with $100 million worth of oil vanished off Texas' coast Thursday.

Radar systems showed no signs of the United Kalavrvta cargo ship, which has been at the center of a long legal battle between Iraq's government and the country's Kurdish region.

The ship, which was 95% full and carrying 1 million barrels of disputed crude, was on its way to Galveston when it mysteriously went dark Thursday night. Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan each claim the oil onboard as its own.

Baghdad — which claims to have the exclusive right to export crude oil from Iraq — filed a lawsuit in American courts demanding U.S. Marshals seize the oil when it reaches Galveston.

The Kurdish Regional Government, Iraq claimed, has no right to control crude. The Kurds say exporting oil is crucial to the r  (read more)

Submitted Aug 31, 2014 By:
1230 Comments

69
votes
Secretive Company Claims Battery Breakthrough

Scientific American -- Two of the most sacred numbers in the electric-vehicle industry are 300 miles and $100. The first is generally considered to be the distance electric cars need to travel on a single charge for Americans to take them seriously. The second is the cost, per kilowatt-hour, to which batteries need to drop before EVs can compete with gas-powered cars on sticker price.

Sakti3, a Michigan startup that auto-industry insiders have been whispering about for years, says it might soon hit those two sacred targets. The company has long been in semi-stealth mode, talking to the press but offering few particulars about its technology. Now, Ann Marie Sastry, co-founder and CEO of the company, tells me that the company’s prototype solid-state lithium battery cells have reached a record energy density ...  (read more)

Submitted Aug 31, 2014 By:
154 Comments

63
votes
California drivers brace for costly new gas tax

Fox News -- Californians already pay the nation's second highest gas tax at 68 cents a gallon -- and now it will go up again in January to pay for a first-in-the-nation climate change law.

"I didn't know that," said Los Angeles motorist Tyler Rich. "It's ridiculous."

"I think it’s terrible," added Lupe Sanchez, pumping $4.09-a-gallon gas at a Chevron near Santa Monica. "The economy, the way it is right now with jobs and everything, it's just crazy."

When gas prices go up, motorists typically blame oil companies, Arab sheiks and Wall Street speculators. This time they can blame Sacramento and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for passing a bill requiring California to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The tax on carbon already raised about $1 billion in revenue by requiring m  (read more)

Submitted Aug 31, 2014 By:
344 Comments

Saturday, August 30, 2014

74
votes
As Obama drags heels, Canada turns to China

WND --
NEW YORK – With the increasing importance of oil sales to the Canadian economy and the Obama administration’s continued blocking of plans to build the Keystone Pipeline, Canada is moving ahead with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a pipeline to expedite the shipping of land-locked oil reserves in Alberta to China.

Calgary-based energy giant Enbridge received the approval of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government June 17 to proceed with the construction of the $7.3 billion Northern Gateway Project connecting Canada’s rich oil sands in Alberta to a British Columbia port, despite the strong objections of aboriginal “first nation” tribes and environmental activists.

The Harper government in recent months has become increasingly frustrated with the refusal of the Obama admini  (read more)

Submitted Aug 30, 2014 By:
1479 Comments

61
votes
Progress on a Powerful New Way to Generate Electricity

MIT Technology Review -- A powerful new way to generate electricity could eventually make electric cars and electronic gadgets run longer.

About four years ago, researchers in Michael Strano’s chemical engineering lab at MIT coated a short piece of yarn made of carbon nanotubes with TNT and lit one end with a laser. It sparkled and burned like a fuse, demonstrating a new way to generate electricity that produces phenomenal amounts of power.

At the time, no one understood how it worked, and it was so inefficient that it was little more than a “laboratory curiosity,” Strano says.

Now, Strano has figured out the underlying physics, which has helped his team improve efficiencies dramatically—by 10,000 times—and charted a path for continued rapid improvements.  (read more)

Submitted Aug 30, 2014 By:
896 Comments

61
votes
Natural gas drives up revenue, alternative vehicles

Bakken -- Clay Clemmer filled up his company’s Chevrolet truck with compressed natural gas on Wednesday at Tyler’s new fueling station — First Alt Fuel.

Clemmer, 50, co-owner of the Granite Division Inc. in Tyler, bought the company’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) truck in December in anticipation of the fueling station opening in Tyler.

“We’re trying it out to see how it works,” Clemmer said. “It’s been good so far.”

The Granite Division is one of several businesses converting to vehicles that run on natural gas for efficiency and to save money.  (read more)

Submitted Aug 30, 2014 By:
1254 Comments

59
votes
Labor Day outlook in the Valley: Cheaper gas, plentiful campsites

The Fresno Bee -- Valley residents looking for a final summer getaway this Labor Day weekend have some good news: Gas prices are down a bit, and campsites in Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon national parks are still available.

Gas prices dropped slightly in the lead up to the Labor Day weekend. Thursday, the average gas price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.87 in Fresno and $3.83 in the Visalia-Tulare-Porterville area, according to AAA of Northern California.

AAA's Labor Day travel survey found that more than 3.9 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend, a 1.6% increase compared to last year.

"Californians are more optimistic about their financial situation, and consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income," Cynthia Harris said.  (read more)

Submitted Aug 30, 2014 By:
453 Comments

59
votes
Waldo, FL Police Admit to Required 'Quota' for Aggressive Ticketing

GasBuddy Blog -- Anyone who has received a speeding ticket in Waldo has probably suspected that officers were acting under a quota.  A remote stretch of highway 301 has nearly half a dozen speed changes in less than two miles; and Waldo police have pounced on unsuspecting tourists and out-of-towners for decades. Put simply, Waldo is a Florida embarrassment.  As it turns out, finally, there's proof that a quota has been standard operating procedure for years and the illegal actions there warrant investigation and prosecution. The Gainesville Sun is reporting that five of the seven officers with the Waldo Police Department have told city leaders that police Chief Mike Szabo required officers to write a speeding ticket during every hour of their shifts. Quotas are illegal. ...  (read more)

Submitted Aug 30, 2014 By:
4125 Comments

Friday, August 29, 2014

68
votes
Europe will be Russia's hostage over gas supplies for at least another decade

The Telegraph -- Europe will remain heavily reliant on Russian gas for at least another decade, according to a leading rating agency.

Fitch said a lack of alternative sources meant policymakers would have no choice but to continue buying gas from Russia until at least the mid-2020s and "potentially much longer".

Europe already buys a quarter of its gas from Russia, and analysts expect consumption to increase by a third by 2030 as economies recover from the debt crisis and gas-fired electricity generation replaces old coal and nuclear power.

Major natural gas pipelines

Many of the main gas pipelines into Western Europe run through Ukraine (Source: Fitch)

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Submitted Aug 29, 2014 By:
1398 Comments

65
votes
Domestic crude begins to cut into Saudi U.S. sales volumes

Houston Chronical -- HOUSTON — Since about 2009 and until just recently, Saudi Arabia shipped discounted crude to the U.S. in growing volumes even as total U.S. waterborne imports fell. But while Saudi Arabia isn’t about to exit the U.S. market, cheaper domestic crude oils are beginning to displace Saudi imports.  (read more)

Submitted Aug 29, 2014 By:
954 Comments

60
votes
Researchers recommend eco-friendly solutions to recycle frack water

WaterWorld -- Scientists at Rice University have produced a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at three gas reservoirs in the states of Texas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico and have suggested that environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it. Rice chemist Andrew Barron, who led the study, suggested that more advanced recycling rather than disposal of produced water pumped back out of wells could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year.

The amount of water used by Texas drillers for fracking may only be 1.5 percent of that used by farming and municipalities, but it still amounts to as much as 5.6 million gallons per year for the Texas portion of the Haynesville formation and 2.8 million gallons for...  (read more)

Submitted Aug 29, 2014 By:
708 Comments

59
votes
Roadway safety a major concern over final summer holiday weekend

Deseret News -- While Labor Day weekend is considered the unofficial end of the summer vacation season, it also has the more notorious distinction of being the close of the period known as the “100 deadliest days” on Utah highways.

Last year, 85 people died on state roadways during the nearly four-month period from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This year, that number has already reached 91 fatalities, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper, with Labor Day still to come.

“It’s been a deadly summer,” Hopper lamented.

Data from the Utah Department of Public Safety shows at least 217 deaths occurred annually on state roadways from 2004 to 2013, including a high of 299 in 2007. Last year marked the second-lowest total — 220 deaths — in Utah since 1959.  (read more)

Submitted Aug 29, 2014 By:
57 Comments

53
votes
Mid-Sized Pickup Trucks: Does GM Have the Price You Like?

GasBuddy Blog --
Image From ..gmauthority.comGM has a challenge and it's found an opportunity.  According to Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press, the company GM is under pressure to differentiate its midsize trucks from its full-size duo, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.
And they plan to do just that using a wide range of prices to make those distinctions. Consequently, General Motors prices for 2015 mid-size trucks start as low as $20,995 — as the auto industry’s pickup tug-of-war intensifies....  (read more)

Submitted Aug 29, 2014 By:
1480 Comments