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Documents detail another delayed GM recall

USA TODAY -- DETROIT (AP) — General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and found 12 crashes and two injuries in the United States caused by the problem.

The documents, posted on the agency's website, show yet another delay by GM in recalling unsafe vehicles and point to another example of government safety regulators reacting slowly to a safety problem despite being alerted.....  (go to article)

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How to Put a Mustang on Top of the Empire State Building

Wired -- (With Photos) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, Ford recreated a publicity stunt it pulled in 1964 when it installed a Mustang on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The task required six weeks of preparation, which included cutting the car into six sections and shuttling them up 86 floors.

Measure (at least) twice, cut once. A fabricator at DST Industries lays out the lines to be followed while dissecting the car, which was cut into six pieces.

Mechanics prepare the front sub-frame and suspension components. Everything had to fit into a freight elevator, so the crew reduced major assemblies to their constituent parts, then reassembled them. The car features a custom frame to make assembly a wee bit easier.

A fabricator gets medieval with a cutting wheel,  (go to article)

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8THEIST license plate rejected. Why?

Associated Press -- A New Jersey woman who says she was denied a license plate referencing atheism filed suit this week, claiming her online application was rejected because it was deemed potentially offensive.

 (go to article)

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Keystone non-decision keeps some Democrats on the hot seat Read more: http://www.politico.com/story

Politico.com -- The Obama administration pulled a classic campaign-year move Friday: It punted on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Politically, it seems like a great idea, since kicking Keystone down the road — probably long past November — is better than an outright rejection for vulnerable oil-state Democrats, whose voters love the proposed project. And it keeps environmentalists at bay, boosting hopes that President Barack Obama might still swing their way.
But the non-decision decision also makes life a little harder for several groups of Democratic senators and Senate candidates fighting for their lives.

Some, like Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, have yet to take a firm stance on the Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline — and the State Department’s announcement Friday that it’s extending its review of the project remov  (go to article)

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Cost of oil transported by pipelines up 60% in five years, NEB says

Financial Post -- A combination of higher costs for system expansions, larger payouts to landowners and more strident regulatory conditions is pushing up fees charged by pipeline companies to shippers

Tolls on the Enbridge system, which carries the bulk of Canadian crude exports into the U.S., doubled over the period, the data show

Most of that increase can be attributed to system expansions undertaken by Enbridge since 2008, including construction of its Alberta Clipper pipeline to Chicago. New pipelines are expensive, and tolls tend to decline over time as assets depreciate

But the overall escalation comes with regulators increasingly flexing their muscles, attaching new environmental, financial and technical conditions to pipeline approvals in response to public calls for greater scrutiny on the indus  (go to article)

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UN, Obama Flog Global-warming Alarmism — As More Scientists Defect

The New American Magazine -- Carbon dioxide has been made out to be some kind of toxic gas but the truth is it’s the gas of life. We breath it out; plants breath it in. The green lobby has created a do-good industry and it becomes a way of life, like a religion. I understand why people defend it when they have spent so long believing in it, people do not like to admit they have been wrong.

“If you talk to real scientists who have no political interest, they will tell you there is nothing in global warming,” says Woodcock. “It’s an industry which creates vast amounts of money for some people."

“Even the term ‘global warming’ does not mean anything unless you give it a time scale,” Prof. Woodcock notes. “The temperature of the earth has been going up and down for millions of years, if there are extremes, it’s nothing  (go to article)

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No Keystone XL pipeline this year, following new delay

The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press -- WASHINGTON - The Canadian government demanded an answer immediately on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. It has now received a reply from the United States government that amounts to: Maybe next year.  (go to article)

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Sandpoint innovators’ solar road panels remove snow, generate power

The Spokesman Review -- The streets of Sandpoint may soon lead to an energy revolution.

The city is on track to be the first to replace a traditional road surface with super-strong, textured glass panels that harness solar power.

The 1-inch-thick panels developed by Scott and Julie Brusaw of Sagle, Idaho, will melt snow and ice, power LED lights embedded in the roadway and generate electricity. The city is getting ready to apply for a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to use the technology in a test project downtown.

“We want to do a sidewalk and a driving section,” City Engineer Kody Van Dyk said. “That way we can demonstrate which one works best, which one has best opportunity for viability, and see what the constructability issues are.”  (go to article)

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Oil trading alert: Will Ukraine news push crude higher?

Resource Investor -- On Thursday, crude oil (NYMEX:CLK14) gained 0.76% as the escalating conflict in Ukraine weighted on the price. Thanks to this news, light crude bounced off an important support/resistance line. Will it increase further with the tensions in the background? Does yesterday growth change the outlook for the commodity?

Yesterday, foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union started talks in Geneva on Thursday in a diplomatic effort to ease tensions between Kiev and Moscow. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would not rule out sending Russian troops into Ukraine. Similarly to what we saw in the recent days, concerns over the situation in eastern Ukraine remained supportive for crude oil as the West may impose new sanctions against Russia and brin  (go to article)

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Gas prices rise with spring temps

The Sentinel Newspaper -- Temperatures are rising and flowers blooming, and there’s that unwelcome sure sign of spring — higher fuel prices.

Gasoline prices in the Harrisburg region rose an average of 3.3 cents per gallon to $3.60 per gallon between April 7 and April 14, according to fuel price reporting company GasBuddy.com. The national average rose by about 3.4 cents to $3.59 per gallon during the same time period, GasBuddy.com reported.

An uptick in prices is typical in April as fuel companies switch to a legally mandated summer blend that is more environmentally-friendly but also more expensive, said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com.

Refineries often complete maintenance in April in anticipation of the heavier demand of the summer season, DeHaan said.  (go to article)

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FERC officials raise concerns over coal shipments in US' Upper Midwest

Platts -- Top US energy regulators are raising concerns about how supply disruptions of coal shipments in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere could create challenges for the electricity sector, particularly as a number of plants are set to retire in coming years.

Calling it "an issue we're increasingly keeping our eye on," Tony Clark of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission raised concerns Thursday regarding how a tight rail system, events during the winter and increasing crude shipments on some lines "have caused supply disruptions for some of the operators" in the Upper Midwest in particular.

Clark pointed to an April 10 hearing of the US Surface Transportation Board, which responded to a petition by the Western Coal Traffic League over concerns that service issues on BNSF Railway's system have c  (go to article)

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Fracking Sand Spurs Grain-Like Silos for Rail Transport

Bloomberg -- The U.S. shale oil boom is putting millions of tons of sand onto North American railroads, enabling carriers to pack trains full instead of hauling just a handful of cars at a time.

With help from Union Pacific and Warren Buffett’s BNSF Railway, the sleepy silica sand industry that once mostly supplied glassmakers now ships more than 20 million tons of the material a year. Buyers including Halliburton and Schlumberger use the sand in hydraulic fracturing at oil fields in Texas and North Dakota.

For decades, sand-mining companies catered mostly to glassmakers that sent a few rail cars... Now, with fracking helping drive oil output, Emerge fills trains pulling 100 cars on newly laid track from shiny metal silos.

“The whole shale development for us is great,” Union Pacific Chief Executive  (go to article)

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The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy

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The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
Solar power is not just any energy source. It could be the key to saving civilization.
By John Aziz | April 17, 2014

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We shouldn't be taxing these guys.
We shouldn't be taxing these guys. (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny)
I

n a setback for the renewable energy movement, the state House in Oklahoma this week passed a bill that would levy a new fee on those who generate their own energy through solar equipment or wind turbines on their property. The measure, which sailed to passage on a near unanimous vote after no debate,  (go to article)

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Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

AP -- WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.

Fat chance.

An indefinite extension of the government's review of the contentious oil pipeline, announced late Friday by the State Department, almost certainly pushes a final decision past the November elections, keeping the project in a politically expedient holding pattern. But it is doing little to quell posturing over the project, which has taken on a life of its own as climate change activists battle with energy advocates from both parties.

Republicans jumped at the chance to paint Democrats as powerless to rein in their own party's president. Keystone opponents w  (go to article)

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Behind the wheel of a pre-recall, 2006 Chevy Cobalt

Detroit News -- "I would allow my son . . . to drive" a Chevy Cobalt, General Motors CEO Mary Barra told a Senate Committee recently. “As long as he only had the ignition key. If you take all the keys off the ring, or use just the ignition key, our analysis is that it is safe to drive." Shot back Florida Senator Bill Nelson: "I suspect Cobalt drivers would not take comfort from that advice."

Beyond the Beltways’ political fireworks over Switchgate are thousands of Cobalt drivers who are worried about their daily driver.

GM has recalled 2.6 million Cobalts, Saturns, Pontiacs, and other Chevys to replace their ignition switches. I suggest owners do so immediately. But if they must wait I tested a 2006 Chevy Cobalt this week with the original, faulty ignition switch to both verify Barra’s claim as best I  (go to article)

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Kia's 2015 Soul EV prepares to enter U.S. market

GasBuddy Blog -- Kia Motors said it will start building a battery-powered version of its Soul compact in Korea next month. The car will be Hyundai-Kia's first battery-powered EV export, with destinations including the United States and Europe.

For this year, the global sales target is 5,000 Soul EVs. In Korea, the Soul EV will cost about half of its 42 million won ($39,400) price tag after government subsidies, similar to the higher-end model of the gasoline version, Reuters reports.

The car can run up to 148 km (92 miles) per 24- to 33-minute fast charge or 4 hours on slow charge.

Hyundai, like Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., has long concentrated on fuel cell vehicles powered by electricity generated using hydrogen, touting...  (go to article)

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Deepwater Horizon disaster continues to harm environment

chron -- This week, as we mark the fourth anniversary of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, evidence of that catastrophe's effects on wildlife continues to emerge.

Despite sunny assurances from BP, the largest oil spill in U.S. history is leaving its mark on everything from marine mammals to mollusks.

Bottlenose dolphins have been particularly hard-hit.

Some 900 of these graceful creatures have been found stranded, most of them dead, in the northern Gulf between April 2010 and March 2014, and a study linking the ill health of dolphins in Louisiana's Barataria Bay - anemia, adrenal problems and lung disease - to oil exposure.

Birds that migrate through the Gulf Coast or winter here are likewise showing signs of oil exposure.

Exposure to oil and dispersants also appears to have affect  (go to article)

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BP Gets an Anniversary Gift From the Obama Administration

Huffinton post -- April 20 is the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and dumped over 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a three month period in 2010.

You wouldn't think that the London-based company that spilled the oil would get an anniversary gift from the federal government. But the Environmental Protection Agency has just given BP a big one. The EPA ruled that the corporation could start bidding on lucrative new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

That suspension was lifted on March 13, less than a week before the yearly government auction for drilling rights. The company whose negligence was responsible for the worst marine oil-spill in history won 43 new leases in the Gulf,which is still fouled by million of gallons of unrecovered crude.  (go to article)

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Gasoline reported stolen from postal vans in Paris

News 12 -- With the recent increase in gas prices, Paris Police say they've received reports of someone stealing gasoline from postal vans.

They say it happened sometime between closing Wednesday and opening on Thursday.

Police say someone cut the chain linked fence on the south side Paris' post office, in the 500 block of Clarksville Street, draining around 84 gallons of gasoline.

Police estimate the cost around $1,000.

The incident is under investigation. If you have any information on this crime, contact Police.  (go to article)

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Long lines form as church gives away free gasoline in Slidell on Good Friday

NOLA.com -- Churches are always looking for new ways to reach people. One church in Slidell has decided to go where folks spend a lot of their time: their vehicles.

For the fourth consecutive Good Friday, members of Living The Word International Church stationed themselves at a Slidell gas station and pumped $25 of free gas into the vehicles of the first 200 motorists who stopped by. The church spread the word through area radio stations and before long, you guessed it, the line of traffic waiting to pull into the Texaco station at Fremaux Avenue and Seventh Street stretched several blocks long.

"We look at this as a blessing," said the church’s pastor, the Rev. Lawrence Weathersby. "We are blessed to be a blessing."  (go to article)

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Judge strikes down Minnesota's anti-coal energy law

Star Tribune -- A federal judge on Friday struck down a landmark 2007 Minnesota law that bans new power generation from coal, saying it regulates business activities of out-of-state utilities in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson enjoined the state from enforcing key sections of the law, which North Dakota coal and utility interests said hampered their ability to find buyers for power from existing coal-fired generating plants or to plan for new ones.

Under Nelson’s order, Minnesota can’t enforce state restrictions on electricity imports from new power plants that increase greenhouse gases.

Minnesota relied on western coal for 46 percent of its electricity in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. North Dakota got 79 pe  (go to article)

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Jimmy Carter: Reject Keystone XL oil pipeline

cbsnews,com -- Former President Jimmy Carter urged President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to reject construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Wednesday, warning that the project would worsen the damaging effects of climate change and saying their decision would define their legacy "on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced."

"As you deliberate the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to do the right thing for our shared climate," explained a letter signed by Carter and nine other former recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. The letter appeared as a newspaper advertisement on Wednesday morning.

The proposed project wo  (go to article)

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Voestalpine CEO calls for Europe to frack in low-density areas -paper

REUTERS -- Europe should consider allowing fracking for shale gas in sparsely populated areas, the chief executive of Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine told a German newspaper.

"Each drill hole that we can open in Europe will allow us to decrease our dependence (on natural gas from Russia)," Wolfgang Erder said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Recent tensions with Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine have heightened concerns among the EU's 28 members about the security of their energy supplies.

The European Union relies on Russia for about a third of its oil and gas, and some 40 percent of its gas is shipped through Ukraine.

The United States has benefited from a shale boom by using fracking, a controversial drilling process in which sand, water and chemicals are injected deep...  (go to article)

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Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

MIT Technology Review -- When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station — that caused most of the harm.

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.  (go to article)

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Harold Hamm: The Billionaire Oilman Fueling America's Recovery

Forbes -- Harold Hamm has transformed the U.S. oil industry like no one since John D. Rockefeller, while helping to keep domestic prices low — and making himself a $17 billion fortune. The great domestic energy boom, he says, is just beginning.  (go to article)

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Texas Supreme Court will not review ruling favoring TransCanada

KETR/NPR -- Lamar County landowner Julia Trigg Crawford’s petition for review of a lower court’s ruling in favor of TransCanada Corp. has been denied by the Texas Supreme Court. Crawford had been contesting the Canadian company’s right to build the Keystone XL pipeline through her family’s farm in northwestern Lamar County.  (go to article)

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Toyota Experiment Shows How Hybrids Will Relief Traffic Stress [Video]

AutoEvolution -- Driving through today busy city traffic can be a real pain in the back... Too many cars on the streets, inattentive drivers, many stoplights, intersections where you need to give way to an endless row of other vehicles, pedestrians using the crosswalks just after you picked up some speed and a lot more.

And all of these are combined with two other stress factors - needing to arrive at your destination in time and even worrying than that, fuel consumption. With fuel prices having doubled since, lets say ten years ago, in many of the world’s regions, sitting in the traffic with you engine running will put a heavy load on your mind.

That’s why in many drivers’ subconscious everyone surrounding them in traffic are just morons for wasting both their time and gas.  (go to article)

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Toyota Corolla Now Exporting to South and Central America

AutoEvolution -- Mississippi-made products such as luxury furniture, petroleum items, cotton and paper are finding their way to out the US each year. And now the 2014 Toyota Corolla will add up, with the automaker officially declaring it up for export recently.

At a ceremony yesterday, Toyota Mississippi put out the first 2014 Corolla intended for export towards clients in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

“Since 2011, Mississippians have been successfully producing Toyota’s best-selling model globally, the Corolla, for the U.S. market. Today, Toyota once again puts Mississippi on the world’s stage with the rollout of the first export vehicle manufactured at the Blue Springs facility,” Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This new export opportunity further strengthens Mississippi’s growing  (go to article)

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Railway car manufacturers won't talk safety despite concerns

Toronto Sun -- OTTAWA — The manufacturing of railway oil tanker cars in North America is a closely guarded secret.

The five companies that control the market refused to talk to QMI Agency about how many cars they can make in one year and how much production would cost.

Despite the fact it's been almost a year since the derailment disaster at Lac-Megantic Que., there is still no concrete timeline to replace the dangerous and aging fleet of DOT-111 tankers that transport millions of litres of crude across the country every year.

The vast majority of DOT-111 tankers on North American railroads have been called ticking time bombs because they puncture and explode more easily than the DOT-111s made after 2011
 (go to article)

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Former drilling chief: US ‘on a course to repeat’ Gulf oil spill

Fuel Fix -- The United States is “on a course to repeat” the same mistakes that led to the devastating Deepwater Horizon disaster four years ago, a former top offshore drilling regulator warned Thursday.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, the former Minerals Management Service director, Elizabeth Birnbaum, says the Obama administration “still has not taken key steps . . . to increase drilling safety.”

Birnbaum, who was ousted from her job overseeing offshore drilling just weeks after BP’s Macondo well blew out in the Gulf, penned the op-ed with Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for U.S. oceans at the conservation group Oceana.

Birnbaum and Savitz say the chief problem is regulators’ failure to impose new mandates that would boost the performance of blowout preventers, afterthe Deepwater Hor  (go to article)

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Crude oil pipeline to Twin Cities to get $125M upgrade

Minneapolis Star Tribune -- Yet another Minnesota crude oil pipeline is set for a major upgrade. Minnesota Pipe Line Co., which owns four pipelines that supply the state’s two oil refineries, said Thursday that it will invest $125 million to maximize the capacity of the largest of the lines. The company said the goal is to increase the system’s reliability, not to increase overall oil shipments.

Minnesota Pipe Line Co.’s project, which requires state regulatory approval, won’t require digging new trenches or burying more pipe. Instead, the company said it will more than double the capacity of Line 4 to 350,000 barrels per day by adding six pump stations along the 295-mile route. The line connects an oil terminal at Clearbrook, Minn., with refineries in Rosemount and St. Paul Park.

Another reason for the upgrade is  (go to article)

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VW reveals new 300mpg coupe

AUTOCAR -- Diesel-electric XL1 ‘one-litre’ concept showcases VW’s ultra-frugal new powertrain

The new car is the third concept built to the vision of travelling 100km (62 miles) on a single litre of fuel. The first two vehicles, introduced in 2002 and 2009, used tandem seating, but the XL1 achieves the goal (or at 0.9l/100km, surpasses it) while looking remarkably conventional.

The XL1 is powered by an 800cc, two-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant (half a BlueMotion engine), producing 47bhp. It’s supported by a 27bhp electric motor that is fuelled by lithium-ion batteries. These can be charged from a domestic plug, allowing the car to travel for 35km (22 miles) on electric power alone.

The electric motor can also be used to support the diesel engine’s torque during ‘full power’ acceleration, lifting  (go to article)

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US delays review of Keystone XL pipeline

.AP By JOSH LEDERMAN and DINA CAPPIELLO -- WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is extending indefinitely the amount of time federal agencies have to review the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department said Friday, likely punting the decision over the controversial oil pipeline past the midterm elections.

The State Department didn't say how much longer agencies will have to weigh in but cited a recent decision by a Nebraska judge overturning a state law that allowed the pipeline's path through the state, prompting uncertainty and an ongoing legal battle. Nebraska's Supreme Court isn't expected to rule for another several months, and there could be more legal maneuvering after that. The delay potentially frees President Barack Obama to avoid making a final call on the pipeline until after the November election.

"The ag  (go to article)

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Gas prices, utility hikes hurting businesses and consumers

CTV Ottawa -- Gasoline prices in Ottawa have reached a 3 year high. Most pumps are now at almost $1.39 a litre, representing a 15% increase from last year. That's just one source of fuel that's risen in recent weeks, fuelling anger among consumers. At the Bread By Us Bakery in Ottawa’s Hintonburg, energy prices are rising faster than their loaves of sour dough bread. The bakery is just a few months old, already stretching a tight budget. Co-owner Jessica Carpinone says they don't have extra dough to pay for the rising cost of hydro and gas.
"I can't absorb anything beyond what I'm already absorbing so when I see new gas bills, if they're higher, I will have to find ways to make more or find creative ways to absorb that.”
Natural gas prices rose April 1st. It'll cost $400 more a year to heat the av  (go to article)

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TOP Oil Market News: WTI Crude Rises After Jobless Claims Drop

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate crude rose to a six-week high as a report showed fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits.  (go to article)

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San Diego Gas Price Rises For 17th Consecutive Day

KPBS.org -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose Friday for the 17th consecutive day, increasing two-tenths of a cent to $4.272, its highest amount since March 2, 2013.

The average price has increased 23.7 cents over the past 17 days, including three-tenths of a cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 12.5 cents higher than one week ago, 26.7 cents more than one month ago and 30.3 cents above what it was one year ago.

There are "signs of relief'' from the rising prices, according to Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

"Wholesale prices dropped back down by 20 cents as of Wednesday and local pump primes seem to be staying steady in the last couple of days,''  (go to article)

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Keystone Delayed again

Fox -- Keystone, Obama faces Dem revolt
Published April 18, 2014
FoxNews.com
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Keystone_climate.jpg

FILE: February 17, 2012: Protestors rallied in front of the Lamar County courthouse before a hearing on the Keystone pipeline in Paris, Texas.REUTERS

The Obama administration once again has punted on a final decision for the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing ahead of the holiday weekend that it is extending a key review period indefinitely -- a move that could push off a determination until after the midterm elections.  (go to article)

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When Is the Price of Gas Cheaper? Weekdays or Weekends?

NBC -- People tend to grouse about gas stations jacking up their prices on weekends, but in most states, gas prices are higher during the workweek.The crowdsourced gas-price aggregator GasBuddy.com took an exhaustive, four-year look at what days gas was cheapest in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.  (go to article)

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Ford reveals 10 torture tests for 2015 F-150 including shrapnel, acid bath, frame twisting

Equipment World -- When the 2015 F-150 was announced in January a lot of people wondered just how durable a pickup with an aluminum body could be. Wonder no more. Today, Ford let us in on their torture-testing process for the 2015 F-150 with video of all 10 steps. Some of these steps are so grueling that just five days of prolonged testing would equal 10 years or 150,000 miles by what Ford calls the “roughest customers.” By the time the new F-150 hits dealers this fall, it will have been subjected to 10 million miles of combined real-world and simulated durability testing. Below are descriptions of all 10 steps. If you’d rather see the full video of testing we’ve included it below.(GIFs, VIDEO)

 (go to article)

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Monthly natural gas price fluctuations could be more than expected, analysis shows

Ottawa Citizen -- The unrelenting cold this winter has left Enbridge with a $655.5M tab it now needs to recoup from consumers

The utility applied to the ON Energy Board last month for a major increase to the natural gas rate it charges consumers

Consumers are facing the prospect of major spikes in their billing for the colder months of 2014 beyond what they may be expecting

Enbridge does not profit on the sale of natural gas, though, responsible for negotiating the price it pays for natural gas and for anticipating colder temperatures to protect its customers from wildly fluctuating gas prices. But the winter of 2013-14 led to unprecedented natural gas across N Am

Enbridge had expected to pay $88M for natural gas during Jan, but ended up spending $291M and $491M in Feb. The cost in Mar is $332M  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices in California Jump as Refineries Encounter Trouble

Los Angeles Times --
Problems at some of the state's fuel refineries have sent gasoline prices soaring in California just in time for the kickoff of the busy driving season.

A gallon of regular gasoline hit a statewide average of $4.196 on Thursday, up about 13 cents in a week, according to AAA. That's the highest price since March 2013.
 (go to article)

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Gasoline prices jump in California as refineries encounter trouble

LA Times -- Problems at some of the state's fuel refineries have sent gasoline prices soaring in California just in time for the kickoff of the busy driving season.

A gallon of regular gasoline hit a statewide average of $4.196 on Thursday, up about 13 cents in a week, according to AAA. That's the highest price since March 2013.

But problems at a few refineries in the Golden State undergoing routine spring maintenance have squeezed inventory and boosted prices, analysts said. And only a handful of refineries outside the state are capable of making the ultra-clean type of gasoline mandated in California.

However, the refinery snags have been extensive enough to temporarily reduce gas inventories in the state 17% compared with this time last year.

Aside from production issues, bad weather has also p  (go to article)

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Auto airbag maker Continental named in GM recall suit

Reuters -- (Reuters) - Plaintiffs' lawyers are seeking to draw Continental Automotive Systems U.S., the maker of airbag systems in recalled General Motors Co vehicles, into litigation over an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to 13 deaths  (go to article)

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Illinois eyeing gas tax increase

GasBuddy Blog -- Motorists in Illinois should beware: a transportation advocacy group wants to raise your gasoline taxes, and if it happens, you can bet retailers would be forced to pass it on to you in the form of higher gasoline prices.

According to the Northwest Herald, the group wants to hike motor fuel taxes by 4 cents a gallon to fund a new road-building program that would replace a $31 billion, five year program that terminates this year.

Gas station and convenience store owners are expectedly livid. “This tax, as a retailer, would be pushed to the consumer. We as retailers live in penny profits and cannot afford to absorb this tax,” said Amy Chronister Ridley, vice president of Chronister Oil and Qik n EZ Convenience Stores, which...  (go to article)

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Texting Driver Who Slammed Cyclist: I, Like, 'Just Don't Care'

Huffington Post -- The 21-year-old Australian woman was livid when she slammed into a bicyclist while texting late last year, putting dents in her car. The victim suffered a spinal fracture and would spend the next three months in a hospital, but Davis wasn't having any of it, The Standard reports.

"I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is, like, pretty expensive and now I have to fix it," she told a responding officer two days after the Sept. 20 collision. "I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist."  (go to article)

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GM could benefit, too, from an ignition-switch victims fund

Reuters -- Reuters) - If General Motors Co creates a fund to compensate victims of its faulty ignition switches, an option that a top legal adviser suggested it is exploring, the company could give up strong defenses to a wave of lawsuits. But it could stand to gain even more.
 (go to article)

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US exporting a ‘tidal wave’ of gasoline, other fuels

Fuel Fix -- U.S. refiners are sending a “tidal wave” of gasoline, diesel and other refined products onto the world market, taking advantage of the surge in domestic oil development that has helped drive Gulf Coast crude stockpiles to record levels, according to a new report.

The jump in domestic oil supplies means the U.S. is on track to become a net exporter of gasoline — producing more than it needs — next year, said Wakefield, Mass.-based ESAI Energy in an analysis released Thursday.

The supplies keep prices low enough that refiners can benefit from “healthy margins” between their raw materials costs and the prices they get for final products, ESAI said.Ultimately, ESAI predicts the average U.S. output of nearly 8.9 million barrels per day of gasoline in 2015 will be more than enough to supply U  (go to article)

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GM's recalled Cobalt was a failure from the start

CNN Money -- The Chevrolet Cobalt, the car at the center of the General Motors recall crisis, was a losing bet from the start.

The automaker never really wanted to build the compact sedan, and it showed. Critics and car buyers alike reacted with little enthusiasm for the vehicle.

"They couldn't stop making them," said Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer, "but they stopped caring about doing a good job on them."

GM now admits it should have fixed a faulty ignition switch in the Cobalt and similar models a decade ago when it was first discovered. At least 13 deaths have been tied to the problem, which can shut off the cars when they're on the road.  (go to article)

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Who Needs Keys? This Siri Hack can Unlock Your Car

NBC News -- Apple’s Siri is handy for checking weather and making appointments with voice commands, but what if she were smart enough to turn the lights on or unlock your car? That’s what the folks behind GoogolPlex had in mind, as they’ve developed a unique Siri hack that makes the voice assistant compatible with third-party apps and connected home devices.

 (go to article)

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W. Pa. gas prices inch higher

The Courier Express --

Western Pennsylvania gas prices rose 1 cent, to $3.66 a gallon, this week, according to AAA East Central. The average price a year ago was $3.636 per gallon.

Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.64 per gallon. That is 6 cents more than one week ago, 13 cents more than one month ago and 12 cents more per gallon than the same date last year.
 (go to article)

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New GM's talk is getting old

DETROIT NEWS -- General Motors Co.’s campaign to prove it’s new is making it look pretty old — and using the world’s largest media market to do it.

Behind the glitz of new metal at this week’s New York Auto Show, or the improving results in that automotive black hole also known as European operations, or the evanescent novelty of being led by the first woman to head a global automaker, is a GM struggling to match what it’s doing with what it’s saying.

The largest automaker’s chance to show it “gets it” by doing the right thing and honoring claims for Cobalt accidents that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy is falling short. It knew of the problems, tied to 13 deaths, as far back as 2001; it replaced the faulty ignition switch in its parts bin, but declined to issue a recall.
....................  (go to article)

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