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Whats Up With That?

WIRED -- "... Can dogs, or other animals, actually understand time in the same way that we do? ..."  (go to article)

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10 Most Power Hungry States in America

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- Earlier last month we profiled the ten most energy efficient states in the U.S. Well, these next ten states represent an altogether different group. These are the ten states that consume the most energy per capita, according to data and reports from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Surprisingly, many of the states on our list are rural, several boasting less than ten people per square mile according to Census Bureau data, making them among the smallest states in the nation per capita.

These rural states are often also big energy producers, as is the case with states like Texas, Alaska, and Wyoming, all of which appear on our list and all which actually produce more energy than they consume, though they remain some of the biggest energy consumers...  (go to article)

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US to restrict exports of energy technologies to Russia for oil projects

PLATTS -- The US on Tuesday said it will impose restrictions on exports of US energy technologies to Russia for use in deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale oil projects, as part of a sanctions packaged aimed at punishing Moscow for further escalating the crisis in Ukraine.

The export restrictions dovetail with similar measures the EU is expected to impose on Russia later this week.

Under the sanctions, US companies wishing to export such technology to Russia would need to receive permission from the US Department of Commerce.

US officials said the restrictions should not impact Russia's current oil production and sales.

"But it will have a cumulative impact on the development of future fields," an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters. "The impact of these restrictions...  (go to article)

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How Dodge Packed 707 HP Into the Hellcat Without Destroying It

Wired -- The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful production car a major American automaker has ever produced. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine delivers a ludicrous 707 horsepower. To put that in perspective, an Oshkosh M1070A1 heavy equipment transporter has 700 horsepower, and it tows 70-ton tanks around battlefields for a living. That’s way more than any passenger vehicle needs, and it’s way more than the average car is built to deal with.

For Dodge engineers, stuffing a huge engine under the hood was the easy part. The real work was in taking a car that’s used to offering 470 hp and making sure it could handle nearly double that. They had to beef up key parts of the engine, exhaust, and transmission to withstand a beating. They had to address federally mandated ...  (go to article)

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EVs, small cars get mixed ratings in crash tests

Detroit News -- Washington— Only one small car out of 12 — BMW’s Mini Cooper Countryman — earned a “good” rating earning from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its latest round of tough, new front-end crash testing.

The latest testing marked the first time electric cars have been subjected to the challenging IIHS small-overlap front crash test: General Motors Co.’s plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt earned an “acceptable” rating, while the EV Nissan Leaf was rated “poor.”

The Volt was the only car to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award, because it is the only one with an available front crash prevention system. The other five cars that got “good” or “acceptable” ratings were given Top Safety Pick awards. They include the Mini Cooper and the four other cars with “acceptable” ratings ...  (go to article)

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Coordinated Sanctions Aim at Russia’s Ability to Tap Its Oil Reserves

The New York Times -- The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin’s premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine.

In announcing coordinated sanctions, American and European leaders went beyond previous moves against banking and defense industries in an effort to curtail Russia’s access to Western technology as it seeks to tap new Arctic, deep sea and shale oil reserves. The goal was not to inhibit current oil production but to cloud Russia’s energy future.

The new strategy took direct aim at the economic foundation of Russia, which holds the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.  (go to article)

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Demand Response Will Double By 2020: Here's Why

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Recent findings from Navigant Research indicate that demand response (DR) is poised to take over the world as a solution to electric grid instability.







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 (go to article)

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Study: It Is Feasible to Power California With Renewables

Daily Fusion -- A new Stanford study discovers that it is economically and technically feasible to convert California’s energy infrastructure to renewables like solar energy, wind and hydroelectricity.

Published in Energy, the plan shows the way to a sustainable, inexpensive and reliable energy supply in California that could create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in pollution-related health costs.

“If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs—there is little downside,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering.  (go to article)

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What A World Powered By The Sun Would Look Like

Oil Price.com -- The Sun powers our solar system, so could it power all our Earthly needs, too? And if it someday could, where would all those solar panels go?
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Daily Prices

EIA -- Wholesale Spot Petroleum Prices, 7/28/14 Close
Product Area Price Percent
Change*
Crude Oil
($/barrel) WTI 105.68 +0.4
Brent 106.70 -0.2
Louisiana Light 108.48 +2.7
Gasoline (RBOB)
($/gallon) NY Harbor 2.84 -0.8
Gulf Coast 2.76 -0.7
Los Angeles 2.83 -0.6
Heating Oil
($/gallon) NY Harbor 2.78 -0.8
Gulf Coast 2.76 -0.5
3:2:1 Crack Spread
($/barrel) Gulf Coast (LLS) 8.69 -30.5
Low-Sulfur Diesel
($/gallon) NY Harbor 2.89 -0.9
Gulf Coast 2.85 -1.1
Los Angeles 2.93 -0.8
Propane
($/gallon) Mont Belvieu, TX 1.03 -0.8
Retail Petroleum Prices (AAA), 7/28/14 ($/gallon)
Regular Gasoline U.S. Average 3.52 -0.5
Diesel U.S. Average 3.84 -0.2
 (go to article)

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Energy Department takes steps to plug methane leaks

Fuel Fix -- The Obama administration on Tuesday rolled out a series of initiatives meant to help pare the amount of methane escaping the nation’s natural gas pipelines, following a government report that faulted the Environmental Protection Agency for doing too little to plug the leaks.

The administrative actions include plans to write efficiency standards for energy-hungry natural gas compressor units and launch a new research and development program aimed at devising better ways to find and plug leaks.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz also is urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider ways it can give gas transmission companies the certainty that they will recover the costs of replacing leak-prone pipes, swapping out inefficient compressors and making other retrofits. Right now, mos  (go to article)

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Drivers Got High On Federal Weed For A Stoned Driving Study

Huffington Post -- For several months in 2013 and 2014, federal researchers administered free marijuana and alcohol to a group of people and set them loose in a driving simulator -- all in the name of science.

In what may be the most comprehensive study yet of cannabis' effects on drivers, around 20 volunteers, all between the ages of 21 and 55, got high on weed grown at the University of Mississippi, home of the federal government's only sanctioned marijuana farm. On some occasions, the volunteers were also given small amounts of alcohol. Once sufficiently high and/or buzzed, the subjects then performed a series of tests in the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa as researchers looked on.  (go to article)

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Is Nuclear Power Vanishing as a Major Global Resource?

Desert Sun -- While most of the discussions, analyses, and confrontation regarding energy power in the context of a slowly expanding world economy and population regards fossil fuels and renewables, nuclear power seems to be strangely absent from this contentious argumentation.

With President Barack Obama zeroing in on carbon dioxide emissions, and the condemnation of future dependence on fossil fuels, especially coal, nary a word is to be heard regarding the expansion of commercial nuclear development. This was once considered a leading answer to power generation by most of the world's developed nations. The first major downside shock, indicating nuclear's popularity downturn was the Three Mile Island leakage in the late 1970's in the U.S.  (go to article)

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Nuclear Plants Should Focus on Risks Posed by External Events, Study Says

The New York Times -- Engineers at American nuclear plants have been much better at calculating the risk of an internal problem that would lead to an accident than they have at figuring the probability and consequences of accidents caused by events outside a plant, a report released Thursday by the National Academy of Science said.

Accidents that American reactors are designed to withstand, like a major pipe break, are “stylized” and do not reflect the bigger source of risk, which is external, according to the study. That conclusion is one of the major lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, which began after an earthquake at sea caused a tsunami.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission calculates which problems are most likely and most troublesome, and aims to find components or syst  (go to article)

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The Islamic State appears to be the globe’s newest petrostate

Merced Sun-Star -- WASHINGTON — The Islamic State, like many shady and not-so-shady groups before it, are apparently getting into the oil business. And it seems to suit them as they reportedly are making millions of dollars a day off of it.

The militants, who have conquered broad swaths of Iraq and Syria, are turning to good old-fashioned crime – oil smuggling, in this case – to underwrite its main line of work. The money it can earn from illicit oil sales further bolsters the group’s status as one of the richest self-funded terrorist outfits in the world, dependent not on foreign governments for financial support but on the money its reaped from kidnappings and bank robberies. The group has also managed to steal expensive weaponry that the United States had left for the Iraqi military, freeing it from the  (go to article)

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Senate changes highway bill, risks construction shutdown

The Hill -- Funding for federal highway projects were at a crossroads on Tuesday after the Senate approved legislation that House Republican leaders say is a nonstarter in the lower chamber.

The Senate bill extends funding for the highway projects until December instead of May, as the House prefers.

The differences mean the House and Senate could be ping-ponging legislation back and forth, right up until they are scheduled to leave Washington on Thursday for a five-week recess.

The Transportation Department has warned that, by Friday, it will begin cutting payments to state and local governments for road and transit projects by as much as 28 percent if Congress doesn’t take quick action.  (go to article)

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Iowa GOP hopeful wants higher ethanol mandate

The Hill -- Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday to increase the amount of ethanol and biodiesel refiners must use, a day after she was accused of not supporting the mandate that is popular among Iowa farmers.

The EPA has proposed to reduce the volume of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline this year, while keeping the biodiesel mandate the same under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“As you know, the RFS ensures our national fuel supply provides increased consumer choice, less dependence on foreign oil, improves the environment, and creates jobs for those in my home state of Iowa — and across the country,” Ernst wrote to EPA head Gina McCarthy.
 (go to article)

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Canada’s first grid storage system launches in Ontario

PV TECH -- The first grid-connected energy storage facility in Canada, in the country’s leading solar province, Ontario, is now operational.

The 2MW flywheel storage facility will provide regulation service to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, allowing it to balance increasing volumes of intermittent renewables on the grid.

Developed by storage specialist start-up NRStor and built by Temporal Power, the facility uses a spinning steel flywheel on magnetic bearings to store energy in the form of kinetic motion, rather than chemicals, as are used in battery systems.

To 'charge' the system, grid to power is used to drive a motor that accelerates the flywheel to high speeds. When discharging, momentum from the wheel drives the motor in reverse to act as a generator.

The so-called Mint  (go to article)

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Euro 6 regs will boost car engine sensors

Electronics Weekly -- The new Euro 6 car emissions standards coming into force in September will require at least 20 sensors per auto engine, says IHS.

Most of the new sensors are related to exhaust aftertreatment because of new emissions laws with NOx reduction a focus alongside that of carbon dioxide.

As a pollutant, NOx has long been a stronger focus for US legislation, which also dictates that the emission parameters are measured under realistic driving cycle conditions.

But European legislators have also become tougher on this gas in recent years. IHS forecasts that the market for NOx sensors will grow at a CAGR of 9.3% during the next five years from 2014 to 2019.

The global market for sensors used in internal combustion engines (ICE) is on the road of steady growth for the next few years, propell  (go to article)

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Condensate Oil Export Decisions 'Not Coordinated' with White House

Reuters -- The U.S. Commerce Department's decision to give two companies permission last month to export lightly processed crude oil was not coordinated with the White House, a top adviser to President Barack Obama told reporters.

"Those were decisions made at the Commerce Department, and were not coordinated with the White House, to my knowledge," said John Podesta, counselor to the president.

"The Commerce licenses were in the regular order of applying their current standards to two license applications," Podesta said, replying to a question on Monday on a call about unrelated White House climate initiatives.

Podesta, who oversees climate change and energy policy, emphasized that the Obama administration has not changed its policy on crude oil exports.

But the administration is continuing to e  (go to article)

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Kansas refinery shut after fire at small iso unit; four injured

Reuters -- CVR Refining's 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, was shut on Tuesday after a fire broke out at a unit that upgrades gasoline, injuring four employees.

The fire in the isomerization unit began just after midnight and was extinguished just over an hour later, but news of the closure fuelled a $1 drop in U.S. crude oil prices because the refinery is a large consumer of benchmark West Texas Intermediate and is located near the Cushing storage hub.

The Kansas refinery produces mainly clean-transportation products such as gasoline, diesel fuels and propane. An isomerization unit helps produce isobutane and higher-octane gasoline. The plant has one such unit with a capacity of 8,500 bpd...

Crude oil traders on Tuesday said the Coffeyville refinery runs a lot of Cushing cr  (go to article)

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GM offers job training for U.S. army veterans

Grace Macaluso -- General Motors, the U.S. Army and Raytheon Company announced Monday they are teaming up to provide eligible American soldiers with skills to become service technicians at GM dealerships after they return to civilian life.

The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program, a multi-year partnership between the two companies and the military, will begin next month at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Shifting Gears will be part of the Army’s Soldier for Life support program, which helps soldiers reintegrate into their communities after leaving the army. Upon successful course completion and program graduation, veterans receive career counseling, job-placement recommendations and employment assistance from Army Soldier for Life centers, and access to available GM technician employment  (go to article)

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Building the nation’s first per-mile road charging system

Oregon.Gov -- The implementation team for Oregon’s Road Usage Charge Program is now seeking private-sector companies to build and manage services for Oregon’s mileage charge collection system. “Our vision is to create a reliable, easy-to-use, low-cost, enforceable, and publicly acceptable ‘open’ system that replaces the fuel tax,” said Jim Whitty, Manager of ODOT’s Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding. Prospective account managers will submit proposals in July. Selected account managers will be under contract in fall 2014 to launch the program July 1, 2015  (go to article)

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Zhou Yongkang: oil man whose well of power finally ran dry

AFP -- Embattled former top Communist Zhou Yongkang rose through China's state oil industry to become the country's internal security chief -- and amassed so much power, according to analysts, that he brought about his own downfall.

The investigation into him announced Tuesday comes on the back of President Xi Jinping's much-publicised anti-corruption drive, but experts say it is driven more by internal politics within the factionalised ruling party.
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Natural gas injection season continues on pace for record refill

EIA -- Nearly midway through the summer storage injection season, working natural gas in storage is on pace to meet EIA's expectations for a record overall build. The current Short-Term Energy Outlook projects a record build of close to 2,600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) from the beginning of April through the end of October, which would put inventories at 3,431 Bcf at the end of October.
Following an extremely cold winter, storage inventories at the end of the heating season were only 857 Bcf, the lowest level since 2003. Inventories were around 1,000 Bcf less than the five-year (2009-13) average. While the refill season began slowly in April, injections quickly ramped up in May and have substantially exceeded five-year average levels each week since then. For eight straight weeks, the weekly net in  (go to article)

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Poll: Drivers love idea of driverless cars

USA Today -- More than three out four U.S. drivers of the 2,000 surveyed say they are "very likely" to buy or consider buying a car with self-driving capabilities, says the survey by Insurance.com. Even more, 86%, found the idea appealing when the notion of cheaper car insurance was dangled as a possibility, the result of self-driving cars being safer than those with human drivers.

"People are aware that they already drive cars controlled partly by computers," says Insurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups in a statement. "Now they see features like collision avoidance on new models and hear about Google cars hitting the roads in a couple of years. An autonomous car is not science fiction anymore."  (go to article)

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Nissan Chief Outlines Launch for Autonomous Drive Tech

GasBuddy Blog -- Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., last week announced the Japanese carmaker's launch timetable for the latest vehicle automation technologies aimed at accelerating consumer adoption of Autonomous Drive systems. 
The Nissan CEO said new technologies including automated lane controls and highway traffic management systems, to be introduced over the next four years, would demonstrate to consumers the viability and value of Autonomous Drive systems, which Nissan intends to make commercially viable by 2020. 
Autonomous Drive technologies, which are being introduced progressively by Nissan, are designed to enhance road safety and driving conditions by automating everyday tasks for motorists. Unlike pilot-projects for completely self-driving vehicles, currently undergoing preliminary tests elsewhere in the industry, drivers remain in control and `at the wheel' in Nissan models equipped with Autonomous Drive functions....  (go to article)

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2 railroads sue Md. to prevent disclosure of crude oil shipments

The Baltimore Sun -- Two major Eastern railroads have filed lawsuits against the Maryland Department of Environment to block it from disclosing their shipments of crude oil through the state, according to court records.

Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation claim the release of the information would pose a security threat and compromise commercially sensitive information, according to complaints filed in Baltimore Circuit Court.

The federal government began requiring railroads in May to report all shipments of more than one million gallons of Bakken crude oil to emergency officials in the states the shipments pass through, following several rail accidents involving the volatile fuel. Norfolk Southern and CSX say Tom Levering, director of emergency preparedness planning for the environment departmen  (go to article)

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Woman forgives husband who left son in hot car

Richmond Times Dispatch -- NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut woman whose 15-month-old son died this month after her husband left him in a car on a hot day says she forgives him.

Lindsey Rogers-Seitz (SITES), of Ridgefield, says that her husband, Kyle Seitz, was extremely distraught after bringing their son to a hospital. She says she told her husband she loved him and made sure he looked at her.

Rogers-Seitz, who also has two daughters, said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that her family is grieving together.

Police say the father was supposed to bring Benjamin to daycare but went to work and left his son inside the car on July 7 for "an extended period of time."

A police investigation is continuing. The official cause of death has not been determined.  (go to article)

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Tesla, Panasonic reach 'gigafactory' deal

Marketwatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Japan's Panasonic Corp. (jp:6752) have reached a deal for Panasonic to invest in Tesla's 'gigafactory,' according to reports Monday citing Japan's Nikkei. Panasonic would invest about $200 million to $300 million in the factory, and an official announcement is expected by the end of the month. Shares of the electric car maker rose 2.5% on the news.  (go to article)

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Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coral Communities Is Deeper and Broader than Predicted

Penn State Science -- A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts of human activity on corals in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the last week of July 2014 in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The footprint of the impact of the spill on coral communities is both deeper and wider than previous data indicated," said Fisher.  (go to article)

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3 oil-train protesters jailed for blocking tracks to Anacortes refinery

Seattle Times -- The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office says three oil-train protesters have been arrested for blocking the railroad tracks at the Tesoro refinery near Anacortes.

About two dozen people were taking part in the demonstration Monday morning when deputies arrived. Most agreed to leave, but three remained locked to each other on the tracks.

The sheriff’s office says they ultimately unlocked themselves and were arrested for criminal trespass.

Emily Johnston, a spokeswoman for the protesters, identified the three as 62-year-old Annette Klapstein, a retired lawyer from Bainbridge Island; 28-year-old Adam Gaya, of Seattle; and 60-year-old Jan Woodruff, of Anacortes.

Johnston says the derailment last Thursday in Seattle of a train carrying volatile Bakken oil from North Dakota to the refinery highli  (go to article)

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2 arraigned, denied bail in deadly Pa. carjacking

Associated Press -- Two men accused of carjacking a woman in north Philadelphia and plowing into a family selling fruit on a street corner, killing three children, have been ordered held without bail.

Court documents show that 23-year-old Cornelius Crawford and 19-year-old Johnathan Rosa were arraigned early Tuesday on charges including murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault.
 (go to article)

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Diesel cars face £10 charge for driving into central London

BBC News -- Plans to charge drivers of diesel cars about £10 ($16.97) to drive into central London are being considered.

The levy would be on top of the current £11.50 ($19.52)congestion charge for driving into the centre of the capital.

Only diesel vehicles meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard will be exempt, while petrol cars registered before 2006 will also have to pay.  (go to article)

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States with texting-while-driving laws have lower traffic fatalities

Birmingham Business Journal -- A new study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health suggests texting-while-driving laws are curbing traffic fatalities.
Accidents caused by distracted drivers killed 3,331 people and injured 387,000 more across the country in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the main cause of those distractions is a phone.
The UAB study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, said 31 percent of drivers aged 18 to 64 had read or sent text or email messages while driving at least once in the 30 days prior to the study.
But the study found that states that have enacted laws completely banning texting-while-driving for all age groups are saving lives, according to head researcher Alva Ferdinand.
 (go to article)

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National lab: New oil additive saves 2% on gas

Detroit Free Press via USA Today -- Projects under way at Oak Ridge National Laboratory include:

•An oil additive that may reduce any vehicle's fuel consumption at least 2% and cut U.S. oil consumption by billions of gallons a year.

•A way to slash the cost of carbon fiber so everyday cars and trucks can use the strong, light material that's currently reserved for exotic sport cars.

•A charging system to eliminate the batteries that currently account for much of electric cars' cost and weight.

The labs and research centers here have worked with the auto industry since the energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Oak Ridge helped develop materials, fuels and systems used by millions of vehicles.

The Department of Energy has final approval over all projects with private companies, said Ron Graves, director of the lab's ...  (go to article)

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Oil Prices Dropping, Refiners Sink

Barrons -- Refiner stocks are falling this morning, in line with the margin squeeze that could result from the drop in crude oil prices.

Tensions in Libya continue to affect energy assets, the BBC reports. But attempts for detente between Israel and the Palestinians over the weekend, while failed, may be taking some of the risk out of energy markets. Prices for the international oil benchmark, Brent, are down more than 1% this morning to $107.13 per barrel, narrowing the spread with the U.S. benchmark, which is off 0.8% this morning to $101.28 per barrel.

Refiners set their prices based on the difference, the spread, between their domestic oil input costs and the international benchmark.  (go to article)

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SUVs & Crossovers: Now More Popular Than Sedans

GasBuddy Blog -- Image from...fullcarsreview.comSUVs and crossover vehicles have overtaken sedans as the most popular vehicle body style in the U.S., according to a study from IHS Automotive.
SUVs and crossovers now account for 36.5 percent of the new vehicle market versus 35.4 percent for sedans, according to IHS' analysis of new vehicle retail registrations. Consumers appreciate the SUVs' higher seating position, higher ground clearance, more interior space and towing capacity, the study said.  So are we sacrificing fuel efficiency for comfort? ...  (go to article)

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Safety of oil tankers in question as crude oil production soars, new report finds

The Times -- The risks posed by shipping crude oil by rail were highlighted last week when the Department of Transportation announced new proposals to increase the safety of tank cars. But according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service, shipping domestic crude oil by water poses a number of safety and financial challenges that are often overlooked in debates over oil pipelines and tank car derailments...

The report, written by transportation policy specialist John Frittelli, notes that new sources of crude oil from North Dakota, Texas and parts of western Canada have forced the U.S. transportation industry to find new ways of shipping it. Pipelines can no longer accommodate the rise in domestic oil production, the report says, placing greater demands on railroads, barges and tankers.  (go to article)

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UN takes aim at Islamist oil grab in Syria, Iraq

The Peninsula -- UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council yesterday backed a Russian initiative to bar trade in oil with Islamists in Iraq and Syria.

The 15-nation Council warned in a joint statement that buying oil from groups such as the Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra fighting in Iraq and Syria could lead to sanctions.

“Such engagement constitutes financial support for terrorists and may lead to further sanctions listings,” the council said.

Russia presented the statement in late June, seeking to clamp down on middle-men who are selling the oil from Islamist-controlled areas.

Islamic groups such as ISIL, which rebranded itself as the Islamic State and Al-Nusra have seized oilfields and pipelines to bankroll their offensives.

The council said control of oil facilities “could...  (go to article)

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Iraq lays claim to Kurdish crude cargo in Texas court

Reuters -- Iraq filed suit on Monday in a Texas court to gain control of a cargo of crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan that Baghdad says was sold without its permission.

The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million, arrived off the coast of Texas on Saturday but has yet to unload its disputed cargo.

The ship, which is too large to enter the port of Galveston near Houston, was given clearance by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday to transfer its cargo offshore to smaller boats that would deliver it to the U.S. mainland.

Iraq, in its filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, asked for an order allowing the cargo to be seized by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Sale of Kurdish crude oil to a U.S. refinery would infuriate Baghdad, which sees  (go to article)

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Gas Prices Don’t Reflect Record Levels Of U.S. Refinery Output

Oil Prices ,com -- The price of gasoline in the United States will remain fairly static for the immediate future, even though refineries are working at record levels because of the surge in oil production.

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IEA: $80 Billion In Power Wasted By Connected 'Things'

Forbes -- Once upon a time, you used to hear a lot about the “vampire power” load that televisions, monitors, desktops and other electronics equipment consume while in standby mode.  (go to article)

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Dealers Blamed for Dismal EV Market

Ward's Auto -- Luke Tonachel thinks he knows why battery-electric vehicles aren’t more popular: because dealership personnel aren’t well trained or motivated to sell them.

The senior analyst from the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council spoke at a fuel-economy conference hosted last week by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and says consumers frequently are just plain turned off by the dealership experience.

Tonachel cites ongoing research at the University of California-Davis that finds 83% of consumers are dissatisfied with the process of buying an EV. That compares with a 25% dissatisfaction rate for shoppers of conventional vehicles, he says.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to get dealers focused on understanding the benefits (of EVs) ..."  (go to article)

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Cool-burning flames in space, could lead to better engines on Earth

Science Daily -- A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool burning flames that could lead to cleaner, more efficient engines for cars. The discovery was made during a series of experiments on the International Space Station by a team led by Forman Williams, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Researchers detailed their findings last month in the journal Microgravity Science and Technology.
"We observed something that we didn't think could exist," Williams said.
A better understanding of the cool flames' chemistry could help improve internal combustion engines in cars, for example by developing homogenous-charge compression ignition. This technology is not currently available in cars. But it could potentially lead to eng  (go to article)

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Kemp: Forecasts for Higher Oil Prices Misjudge the Shale Boom

Rig Zone -- The world of energy may have changed forever," according to Professor James Hamilton of the University of California. "Hundred dollar oil is here to stay." Hamilton, who is one of the most respected economists writing about oil, made his bold prediction in a paper on "The Changing Face of World Oil Markets", published on July 20. "Old hands in the oil patch may view recent developments as a continuation of the same old story, wondering if the high prices of the last decade will prove another transient cycle with which technological advances will eventually catch up," he wrote. "But there have been dramatic changes over the last decade that could mark a major turning point." The shale revolution will turn out to be only a pause in the upward trend in prices, Hamilton argues, as growing dema  (go to article)

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EPA Says Industry Ahead of CAFE Curve

Ward's Auto -- ANN ARBOR, MI – The auto industry is working faster than expected and introducing new technologies that had not been foreseen by government regulators when long-term corporate average fuel-economy standards were promulgated in 2012, an Environmental Protection Agency official says.

“Innovations are coming at us faster than originally anticipated,” says Michael Olechiw, director of the EPA’s Light-Duty Vehicle Center here, at a powertrain conference hosted this week by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The event was dedicated to an update of the midterm assessment of CAFE, which will result in a technical report issued by Nov. 15, 2017, and a final determination by April 2018.  (go to article)

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The shared role of oilfield safety

Bakken Breakout -- The Bakken is big business, but it's also a hazardous one...

Safety measures become paramount to ensure the people who live and work in the impacted areas can do so without fear of losing land, limb or even lives...

Safety issues are not taken lightly by most in the industry, and others have learned to make it a top priority based on past mistakes. Enbridge, a pipeline company, shifted its design standards to a new level after its pipeline ruptured four years ago and spilled a million gallons of crude oil in Michigan, contaminating 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River...

"It shook our organization to the core," Enbridge Vice President Paul Fisher said. "We need to operate in a safe and reliable manner. We need to regain public trust."  (go to article)

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Alternative energy failures abroad should serve as a warning

Your Houston News --
At $3.65 a gallon, gas is already expensive enough. Now imagine paying an additional "carbon tax" every time you fill up.

That's what a new report from the United Nations has recommended. To combat global climate change, the United Nations has urged governments everywhere to institute a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system to disincentive fossil fuel use.

But Germany went down a similar road almost 15 years ago. And in April, they announced a plan to scrap their green efforts. U.S. lawmakers should take note and reject the UN's push for energy policies that have already proven economically disastrous abroad.

Back in 2000, the German government implemented an "energy transformation" plan in an effort to speed up the nation's conversion to green energy. The costs hav  (go to article)

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Furor engulfs Chicago's red-light camera system

Associated Press -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is scrambling to contain a furor over the city's red-light camera system, which may have ticketed thousands of motorists under questionable circumstances.

Prompted by a Chicago Tribune investigation that revealed unexplained spikes in tickets issued, eight aldermen have asked the city's top watchdog to launch a probe into the ticket surge and private attorneys are gathering information for a possible class-action lawsuit.
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Exclusive: GM moves next version of big pickups ahead by nine months - sources

Reuters -- General Motors Co has pushed forward the launch of its next-generation full-size pickups by about nine months to fall 2018, hoping to narrow rival Ford Motor Co's still-sizable lead in meeting future U.S. fuel-economy standards, supplier sources said on Monday.

Redesigned versions of GM's full-size sport-utility vehicles are expected to follow about a year later, the two sources said.
 (go to article)

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