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1 Surprising State Turning to Fracking to Create Jobs

The Motley Fool -- When we think of fracking in America, North Carolina is far from the first state that comes to mind. However, after Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation this year to terminate the state's 2012 moratorium on fracking as well as its decade-old ban on the process, North Carolina is now gearing up to start fracking its first natural gas wells next year. It's a move that could create a whole new sector of employment in the state.  (go to article)

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Oil patch driving is ‘whole different world’

Bismarck Tribune -- “It’s challenging around these parts of the woods. You have to be real cautious because of other people’s driving skills. People pull out in front of you and don’t realize how heavy a load you’ve got. You can’t stop on a dime,” Harris said.

In a region where dirt and gravel roads have sprung up to keep step with the demand of oil and gas development, finding locations like drilling sites and pipeline terminals can be challenging, too.

Harris said his territory ranges from the Canadian border, west to Montana and east to Minot, Bismarck and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. And when there’s dense fog or snow and ice on the road, driving can be treacherous, he said.  (go to article)

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Oklahoma oil hub getting bigger with new pipelines

Fuel Fix -- CUSHING, Okla.— New pipeline projects are expanding the size of an Oklahoma crude oil hub that is already one of the most important oil storage facilities in the world. One new pipeline is in operation at the hub in Cushing, another is almost complete and a new project was announced earlier this month when Tulsa-based NGL Energy Partners revealed plans for the Grand Mesa Pipeline, a joint venture with Rimrock Midstream LLC, the Tulsa World reported Saturday. Grand Mesa, which will be open to oil producer commitments starting next week, will be a 550-mile system from Colorado to Cushing. Once completed, the pipeline could move more than 130,000 barrels per day from production. "The pipeline not only supports the continued growth and production in the area, but does so in a cost-effective an  (go to article)

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Could new technology devastate auto industry?

Detroit News -- Communications technology has shaken the book business to its foundations, not to mention newspapers, and automobile manufacturers might be the next industry ripe for attack.

When the global automotive industry gathers in Paris next month for the biennial car show, you will hear the usual soothing claims about how healthy the industry now is, and how it’s poised for long-term healthy growth. The trouble is there are some sinister issues festering away behind the scenes which might ambush a complacent industry. There’s the question of future power-trains, with the agenda set by governments convinced that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars endanger the planet, and insist fuel use must be curbed.  (go to article)

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Sun and Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind

The New York Times -- HELIGOLAND, Germany — Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea. They are wind turbines, standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, stretching as high as 60-story buildings and costing up to $30 million apiece. On some of these giant machines, a single blade roughly equals the wingspan of the largest airliner in the sky, the Airbus A380. By year’s end, scores of new turbines will be sending low-emission electricity to German cities hundreds of miles to the south. It will be another milestone in Germany’s costly attempt to remake its electricity system, an ambitious project that has already produced striking results: Germans will soon be getting 3  (go to article)

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Controversial natural gas rule changes came after B.C., oil lobby met

Canadian Press -- In Jan, CAPP made a presentation in BC's Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for NG projects

Those changes became law on Apr 14, but they didn't stay that way for long

An outcry from First Nations organizations forced an about-face from Environment Minister Mary Polak, who rescinded the revisions 2 days after they were passed by order-in-council

Internal government documents show 25 to 45 new NG plants will be needed to meet the government's hopes for LNG and that the industry wanted regulatory changes expedited so they could make investment decisions

The regulatory review carried out on the instructions of Premier Christy Clark continues, but the ministry says no further changes will go ahead without public review and input  (go to article)

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Gazprom forces Poland to halt reverse gas supplies to Ukraine

RBTH -- Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has refused to boost deliveries of gas to Polish consumers after Poland’s state oil and gas firm requested an increase in supplies due to cooler weather. As a result, Poland has been obliged to halt reverse supplies of gas to Ukraine.
Gazprom did not satisfy a request by the Polish Oil & Gas Company (PGNiG) for an increase in gas supplies, according to the Polish company's official statement. Poland did not receive approximately 20 percent of the requested amount.  (go to article)

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Mazda 6 Diesel Reportedly Still a Year Away From U.S. Launch

Car Scoops -- The Mazda 6 on sale for the last couple of years is a stellar midsize sedan, but it was supposed to have been bolstered by a repeatedly delayed diesel engine for the U.S. Apparently it isn't dead, just still late.

A source at The Truth About Cars claims Mazda has had to fit the SkyActiv Diesel for the 6 with an after-treatment emissions system in order to comply with federal standards, something Mazda had not originally planned on doing.

This comes after the diesel engine, which was expected to launch in fall 2013, was first pushed back to April 2014, and then "indefinitely" at the beginning of 2014.  (go to article)

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Ford recalls older Escape, Mariner SUVs; coolant pump can fail and cause stalling

Associated Press --
DETROIT - Ford is recalling about 74,000 older-model gas-electric hybrid SUVs in the U.S. and Canada to fix a stalling problem.

The recall covers Ford Escapes from the 2005 through 2008 model years and Mercury Mariners from 2006 through 2008.

The company says the coolant pump for the hybrid system could fail, causing electronics to overheat. That can shut down the engine, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford says in documents filed with government safety regulators that it has no reports of crashes or injuries from the problem.

Ford is expected to start the recall on Oct. 27. Dealers will replace the coolant pump for free.
 (go to article)

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Manual transmissions getting rarer in the US

Fox News -- The percentage (10%) of manuals vehicle's, offered in the US has dropped considerably since the 80's.  (go to article)

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No Rebound In Sight For Sliding Oil Prices

oilprice -- Global oil prices have slid in recent weeks, a trend that shows no signs of changing in the immediate future.

The two main benchmarks for oil prices, Brent and WTI, hit their highest levels so far this year in June amid the initial onslaught in Iraq of the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fears that the militant group would seize Iraqi oil fields pushed up prices.

Brent crude has now dipped below $100 per barrel, for the first time in over a year. WTI is trading around $92 per barrel, a 16-month low.

Prices have dropped for a few reasons.

ISIS’s advance has come to a halt and fears that Iraq’s oil production would be affected have abated.

Libya has brought some of its oil back online, with August production averaging around 538,000 barrels per day (bpd) --  (go to article)

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Fresh sanctions will freeze big foreign oil projects in Russia

Reuters Via Yahoo News -- Fresh U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Moscow will bring an abrupt halt to exploration of Russia's huge Arctic and shale oil reserves and complicate financing of existing Russian projects from the Caspian Sea to Iraq and Ghana.

On Friday, the United States imposed sanctions on Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas and Rosneft, banning Western firms from supporting their activities in exploration or production from deep water, Arctic offshore or shale projects.

The new measures, designed to put further pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia's actions in Ukraine, are a major broadening of the previous sanctions, which only banned the export of high technology oil equipment into Russia.  (go to article)

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North Dakota ranks high in estimates of gas spending

Bismarck Tribune -- The Associated Press reported the average American household spent more than $4,000 in gas in 2011.

LaDoucer wasn’t necessarily surprised by North Dakota’s high ranking, considering the rural nature of the state. North Dakota ranked sixth for its 12,248 highway vehicle miles traveled per capita in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

“A lot of people do a great deal of traveling to visit friends and family across the state,” he said. “If you want to drive to the lake or somewhere, driving 60 miles is something that occurs regularly.”

Idling cars in winter can also use up gas, LaDoucer said, and cold weather affects fuel economy. He added the state typically hovers around the national average in gas prices, and sometimes just above it.  (go to article)

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Why A Tax On Carbon Can Help Climate Change - And The Economy

Forbes -- A carbon tax, essentially a “tax on pollution,” has long been regarded as a potentially effective means of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, but the concern about it has been its negative economic impact. Jorgenson contends, as described below, that needn’t be the case  (go to article)

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Why the key to the economy could be in your gas tank

CNBC -- Gasoline is once more a wild card for the economy—but this time it's a potential positive because prices could fall sharply.
Forecasts for a national average of $3 per gallon for unleaded this year are getting more abundant, as crude oil continues to plummet and gasoline futures drop
 (go to article)

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Anatomy of an Engine: Heart Condition

Fox News -- It’s all about control. The four-stroke cycle working the engine is basically the same as it’s been for the last 100 years. However, the detail is very different. Today it’s all about getting as much energy out of as little fuel as possible.

So what exactly are the innovations that make today’s four-stroke engine so advanced?
 (go to article)

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Have Americans really fallen out of love with driving?

Fortune Magazine -- The number of miles Americans are driving has remained stagnant over the past several years. Is this the end of American car culture?  (go to article)

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So What Exactly Is a 'Road Diet'?

The Atlantic -- A closer look at what's been called "one of the transportation safety field's greatest success stories."  (go to article)

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Most improved cars of 2014

MSN -- With so many new and heavily revised models out there competing for attention, there are some whose arrivals should be celebrated more loudly than others. Ones that simply get it all right, and greatly built on what’s come before. Here are the 15 top choices for most improved products for 2014.  (go to article)

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Global oil prices slump as dollar ‘strengthens’

The Arab Times -- LONDON, Sept 13, (AFP): Commodity prices dropped this week as the dollar strengthened, with Brent oil sinking to its lowest level in more than two years against a backdrop of solid supplies and sluggish demand. Sugar futures meanwhile touched multi-year lows, weighed down by expectations of a large surplus of supplies.

Oil: Brent oil prices dived to $96.72 on Thursday — touching a low point last seen in 2012 — while WTI hit a 16-month trough at $90.43.

Prices plumbed the latest depths after the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises on energy policy to industrialised nations, cut its oil demand outlook citing weaker economic growth in Europe and China.

The news followed broadly similar demand forecast downgrades this week from both the US government’s Energy Information  (go to article)

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Manufacturers making progress with diesel-powered airplane engines

Kansas.com -- When it comes to the next big thing for general aviation airplanes, aviation experts are looking toward diesel engines that run on jet fuel.

Several major aircraft and engine makers have announced the development of diesel engines suited for aircraft, including Wichita’s Cessna Aircraft, in part because of a need for alternative fuel sources.

“I make a prediction that as time goes by, the majority of models of today’s piston aircraft will at least have a diesel option,” said Brian Foley, an aviation consultant with Brian Foley Associates. “Eventually, I suspect the family of aircraft will move to diesel.”  (go to article)

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Legislative leaders say coal rhetoric not helping

Charleston Daily Mall -- CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s top legislative leaders aren’t sure clamoring over coal this election season does much good for Appalachia’s already-sputtering industry.

In the Mountain State, federal campaigns have hammered on the fear of federal regulation further stifling coal.

Hopefuls for an open Senate seat and two competitive House races have recited the same conversation: Republicans lump Democrats in with President Obama, an ever-unpopular figure in West Virginia. Democrats zigzag to show they don’t support his energy ideas.  (go to article)

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The Craziest Public Transit Solution Ever?

ozy.com -- Swarms of motorized tricycles and brightly painted jeepneys — refashioned American military vehicles from World War II — putt-putt through the sprawling streets of Manila, billowing exhaust into a sky so filled with smog that the sun rarely makes an appearance.

The Philippines may be better known for boxing champs and beauty queens, but the country’s emerging as an epicenter of electric vehicle (EV) innovation as government-NGO partnerships support initiatives to replace exhaust-spluttering public transit vehicles with cleaner, quieter electric models. Cars from companies like Tesla tend to grab the limelight, but greening public transit — thereby tackling the country’s twin problems of air pollution and a booming population — could make adopting EVs easier and faster. Compared to persona  (go to article)

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New York City's Protected Bike Lanes Have Actually Sped Up Its Car Traffic

fastcoexist.com -- Don't listen to the angry drivers shouting at you. By reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries and easing car congestion, protected bike lanes are good for everyone--not just riders.

When New York City first started adding new protected bike lanes in 2007, some drivers made the usual argument against them: Taking street space away from cars would slow down traffic. After years of collecting data, a new report from the city shows that the opposite is true. On some streets redesigned with protected bike lanes, travel times are actually faster. And it turns out the new lanes have a range of other benefits as well.

 (go to article)

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LePage, Theriault unveil Maine-branded NASCAR ride

Bangor Daily News -- PORTLAND, Maine — Alongside logos for nationally known brands like Hertz Rent-a-Car and Toyota, emblems for the state of Maine and several of its local companies will be seen zipping around a Kentucky racetrack this month at 185 mph.

NASCAR driver Austin Theriault on Friday morning unveiled a Maine-branded car the Fort Kent native will drive during a nationally televised Nationwide Series race at the Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 20.

The vehicle is decorated with iconic images of lighthouses, blueberries, lobster and moose, as well as logos for a range of Maine companies, including Bangor Savings Bank, Kepware Technologies and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine lobster.

Peter DelGreco, head of the business attraction firm Maine & Co., helped pull together the collective of private companies who te  (go to article)

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Magdalen Islands cleaning up diesel spill near port

CBC News -- Authorities are working to contain a diesel spill along a pipeline near the harbour of Cap-aux-Meules in the Magdalen Islands

Hydro-QC emergency teams and Coast Guard environmental response personnel are at the site trying to clean up the spill, which authorities say could involve up to 13,000 gal of diesel fuel

The leak happened somewhere along a pipeline connecting the port to a Hydro-QC station

“We’ve closed all the valves along the line to stop the flow of diesel between the two places

Most of the fuel spilled on land near the harbour, and it’s believed only a minimal amount entered the water

Excavators were at work along the line to try to find the source of the leak

“It’s a serious situation, but all the equipment and teams are in place to ensure it’s cleaned without delay and  (go to article)

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Struggling to Starve ISIS of Oil Revenue, U.S. Seeks Assistance From Turkey

NYTimes -- The Obama administration is struggling to cut off the millions of dollars in oil revenue that has made the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria one of the wealthiest terror groups in history but so far has been unable to persuade Turkey, the NATO ally where much of the oil is traded on the black market, to crack down on an extensive sales network.

Western intelligence officials say they can track the ISIS oil shipments as they move across Iraq and into Turkey’s southern border regions. Despite extensive discussions inside the Pentagon, American forces have so far not attacked the tanker trucks, though a senior administration official said Friday “that remains an option.”

In public, the administration has been unwilling to criticize Turkey, which insists it has little control over the flow...  (go to article)

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1Dead In Gas Accident On Offshore LA. Platform

AP -- A contractor was killed and two others were injured Saturday during maintenance on a Chevron natural gas pipeline off the Louisiana coast, authorities said.

The contractor, whose name was not immediately released, was among four maintenance workers on the platform when the accident occurred about 11:10 a.m. Saturday, said Gareth Johnstone, a spokesman for Chevron Pipe Line Co. He said the two other workers were taken to a hospital for what are expected to be minor injuries.

A helicopter brought two people from offshore to meet an ambulance, but both declined to take the ambulance to a hospital after being checked by medics, said Randall Ansley, shift supervisor for Acadian Ambulance.

Johnstone said he did not know what caused the death and injuries.

 (go to article)

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Houston pump prices could tumble below $3 per gallon

The Houston Chronicle -- Houston, prepare to fill up.

As fall approaches and gasoline prices continue to tumble, some Houston-area stations probably will start selling gasoline for less than $3 per gallon, said Tom Kloza, GasBuddy’s chief oil analyst.

“Right now it looks like all cylinders are pointing us to more modest energy prices,” he said. “The cheapest prices since 2010, that’s basically where we’re headed.”

Nationally, pump prices are averaging about 5 cents cheaper than last year, despite the turmoil in the Middle East and Ukraine. So far this year, gasoline costs $3.51 per gallon versus $3.57 at the same time last year. That gap will likely widen in the coming weeks as refineries continue to run at record-high levels and the price of crude oil remains relatively low, Kloza said.

The price of internati  (go to article)

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Coal scam: Supreme Court refuses to hear pleas of companies which were illegally allocated coal bloc

Economic Tones -- The Supreme Court on Friday refused to give any further hearing on the pleas of companies which were illegally allocated coal blocks by the government.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha turned down the pleas of power generating companies that they should be re-heard in case the apex court decides to cancel the allotments.

The bench has already reserved its order on the fate of 218 coal blocks allocations which were declared by it as illegal and arbitrary.

The apex court had on September 9 reserved its order after the Centre advocated their cancellation while the allotees blamed the government for irregularities and demanded setting up of a committee to go into each of the allocations  (go to article)

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As Gas Prices Near $3 Per Gallon, Exxon And Chevron Suffer

Forbes -- The desires of consumers and the desires of investors are often at odds with each other: Increased promotional activity at Best Buy means better prices for consumers when they need it most — around the holidays — but it also decreases the company’s margins, news that typically sends investors scrambling to sell their shares. Diners love Olive Garden’s unlimited breadsticks, but according to an opinionated (and activist) investor, the Italian chain’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, needs to cut back on the carb fest if it wants to reach peak profitability.  (go to article)

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How Transportation Is Shaping Three 2014 Mayoral Races

Next City -- hool funding, public safety, marijuana — the 2014 mayoral races bring a host of issues to the debate table. And as many cities struggle to redefine themselves with transit-oriented development, public transportation is one to watch. Here’s a roundup of campaigns influenced by high-profile public works projects. Come November, new leadership in Austin, Washington, D.C. and San Jose will determine the future of several light rail lines and, in the so-called “capitol of Silicon Valley,” a sprawling grid that needs to curb its dependence on cars.  (go to article)

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How Virtual Traffic Lights Could Cut Down on Congestion

The Atlantic -- The basic world of Virtual Traffic Lights operates like this: as you approach an intersection, your car transmits data, such as location and speed, to other nearby cars. The virtual system processes this information for all the cars in the area, with the help of a lead car that changes every cycle, and determines your individual traffic signal. Instead of seeing a red or green light hanging in the intersection, you see it on your windshield and stop or go accordingly.  (go to article)

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Is air transport a health threat? EPA will decide

Oil&Gas Journal -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has the chance to demonstrate judgment when it decides whether air travel threatens humanity. EPA has given the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) its schedule for considering regulation, under the Clean Air Act, of greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. EPA expects a committee of ICAO, which is part of the United Nations, to adopt standards for aircraft emissions of carbon dioxide in February 2016. Before it can initiate a conforming rulemaking in the US, EPA must “determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft cause or contribute to air pollution that may be reasonably anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”  (go to article)

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The best deals on the longest-lasting used cars

Forbes -- For cash-strapped consumers – or those adding another vehicle to the family fleet – buying a used car is typically a decision made out of pure necessity. It’s easy to see why: The average transaction price for a new car hit $31,252 last month according to TrueCar.com, which leaves a large number of U.S. households priced out of the new-vehicle market. A prudent, median-income household is able to afford only 54.8 percent of the average new-car cost, according to the latest Auto Buyer’s Affordability Index compiled by Requisite Press. Not surprisingly, CNW Market Research predicts 41,250,000 used vehicles will change hands this year; that’s up slightly from 2013 but is still down from its most recent high point of 44,138,263 units in pre-recession 2005. The good news here is that used-cars  (go to article)

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China Could Upend Elon Musk's Renewable Energy Dreams

The Motley Fool -- Elon Musk has as much as $10 billion, not to mention his own personal fortune, riding on the growth of Tesla Motors EV sales and SolarCity's solar and energy storage system growth. It's one of the biggest bets ever made on renewable energy and it's made him a household name across the country.

To dominate EVs, solar energy, and energy storage Musk is trying to build out battery capacity before competitors can gain traction, and thus far he's executed well on that strategy. There's really only one place with the resources and wherewithal to derail Musk's hopes to dominate both EVs and energy storage -- China. The problem is that they may be doing just that.
 (go to article)

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Cushing oil hub getting bigger with new pipeline projects

Tulsa World -- The Cushing interchange, already one of the world’s most important crude oil hubs, is going to get even bigger.

One new pipeline is in operation, another almost completed and yet one more major project revealed this month. Tulsa-based NGL Energy Partners announced the Grand Mesa Pipeline, a joint venture with Rimrock Midstream LLC.

The Grand Mesa, which will be open to oil producer commitments starting next week, will be a 550-mile system from Weld County, Colorado, to the Cushing hub. Once completed, the pipeline could move more than 130,000 barrels per day from production in the Denver-Julesberg Basin.

“The construction of the Weld County pipeline project will help further develop the crude and consensate-rich areas in and around the DJ and Wattenberg fields,” according to the NGL pre  (go to article)

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When sinkholes open, they can swallow fortunes

WTVQ -- LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Solid ground isn't always a certainty. Sinkholes can lurk anywhere, beneath suburban homes, city streets or even football stadiums and museums.

It's basic geology: sinkholes strike when soil collapses into large holes, caused by flowing water in underground limestone. The toll can be dramatic when the voids open, swallowing homes, trees or anything else on the collapsing ground — even prized Corvettes.

The Southeastern U.S. is prime territory for the geological phenomena — a potentially costly game of subterranean roulette.

In Tennessee, a sinkhole opened during renovations on the football stadium at Austin Peay State University. In Kentucky, a sinkhole gobbled eight classic cars on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.
 (go to article)

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If Tesla’s Gigafactory can run on 100% renewable energy, why can’t others?

computerworld -- Tesla's Gigafactory, the world's largest lithium-ion battery factory, is expected to generate as much renewable energy as it needs to operate -- and then some.  (go to article)

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Cars that drive themselves starting to chat with each other

Reuters -- An Acura RLX sedan demonstrated an unusual way to tow another car this week: the vehicles were not physically attached. The second car drove itself, following instructions beamed over by the first in a feat of technology that indicates a new stage in automation is happening faster than many expected.  (go to article)

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“GLOBAL WARMING” ADVOCATES PLAN MARCH AMID RECORD COLD TEMPERATURES

Info War -- Later this month, activists are planning a march in New York City for “global warming awareness,” even though the northern U.S. is reeling from record cold temperatures.

Called the “largest climate march in history” by organizers, the “People’s Climate March” will occur on Sept. 21st, a few days before the United Nations will attempt to draft a “global warming” treaty on the same level as the controversial Kyoto Protocol.

“The Secretary-General has asked leaders to announce significant and substantial initiatives to help move the world toward a path that will limit global warming,” states a U.N. press release.  (go to article)

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Cars to Park and Hills to Climb

NY Times -- Interview with Sarah Edwards, district manager for Towne Park, a national company that handles valet parking.  (go to article)

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2014 Maserati Ghibli Diesel

Auto Blog -- It used to be easier to make sense of the auto industry. There were mainstream manufacturers, and there were niche sports car manufacturers. That was before Porsche starting selling more crossovers than it does sports cars, Lamborghini began preparing to go down the same road, and Ferrari introduced an all-wheel-drive hatchback. But long before the arrival of the Cayenne, the unveiling of the Urus and the advent of the FF, the storied marque that is Maserati was already bolstering its sports car offerings with four-door sedans.  (go to article)

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Waiter, What's This Diesel Fuel Doing in My Coffee?

Huffington Post -- OK, that's not literally a latte diesel-machiatto. But figuratively, you bet it is. Nearly everything you use or consume -- the coffee at your elbow, the table it's sitting on, the smart device you're reading this on, the eyeglasses you're wearing, the car you drove to get to the coffee shop -- was carried to you on a truck, and the chances are nearly 100 percent that that truck ran on diesel fuel. Some part of the price you paid for that stuff went to pay for the cost of that fuel, and not a small part, either: transportation accounts for on the order of 10 percent of the commercial cost of most products.  (go to article)

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Strong Sales Prompt Subaru to Raise 2014 Sales Goal

msn autos -- With stronger-than-expected sales so far this year, Subaru is upping its 2014 sales projection. The Japanese automaker is raising its initial sales forecast of 460,000 to 500,000 vehicles for the 2014 calendar year. That’s 17 percent higher than 2013, where the automaker sold 424,683 units.
 (go to article)

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Toyota Urban Utility Concept Shown Ahead of World Maker Faire

msn autos -- Designed to reflect the growing do-it-yourself movement, the Toyota Urban Utility concept or “U 2 ” will officially debut at the World Maker Faire in New York City later this month. The Toyota Urban Utility concept was designed by the automaker’s Calty Design Research center with input from Maker Faire participants and Toyota market research. Toyota says the features of the new U 2 concept “reflect the lifestyle and needs of an entrepreneurial, urban driver.”
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Colorado mistakenly sends valid driver's licenses to illegal immigrants

Reuters -- More than 500 illegal immigrants in Colorado mistakenly received driver's licenses or photo identification cards intended for U.S. citizens because of a vendor's printing error, the company and state officials said on Friday.

Colorado began issuing licenses to non-citizens in August under a law approved this year by state lawmakers and supported by law enforcement.

Advocates argued that letting undocumented residents receive valid licenses would make the state's roads safer, as applicants would need to pass a driving test and buy automobile insurance.
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Irving Saint John refinery woes hit output, repairs to cost $20M

Reuters -- Irving Oil’s large Saint John, NB, refinery is producing at its lowest in several years due to operational problems requiring unplanned maintenance work on 2 major units this month

Irving would repair the RFCCU and maintain the 150Kbpd #3 CDU in Sep

The 300Kbpd refinery is the largest in Canada and a major supplier of gasoline to the NE U.S.

Since Jun, throughput on the RFCCU has been limited to 50Kbpd, causing the company to miss its operating plan by at least 20-25Kpbd, a “significant" shortfall

The plant would undergo turnaround work that would last eight weeks and cost about $20M

The Sep work on the RFCCU would include internal repairs in the convertor section as well as a number of smaller “opportune repairs and inspections.” It said work on the #3 CDU would involve decoking its  (go to article)

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Honda Introduces Self-Driving Car

Product Design & Development -- Honda shared its vision of the hands-free highway commute Tuesday, a car that can safely drive itself on the freeway while the driver's hands are off the wheel.

While the car is just a prototype, Honda says the technology could start appearing on Honda cars in 2020 and beyond.

The prototype — an Acura RLX sedan — has cameras that monitor lane marking and multiple radar sensors on the front and sides. On top is a beacon that uses laser beams to continually scan the car's surroundings, similar to self-driving prototypes already introduced by Google, Ford and Toyota. GPS also helps the car stay on a previously mapped course and follow the speed limit.
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Gasoline Traders Decrease Bets on Price Rise, CFTC Data Shows

Bloomberg -- Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators decreased their net-long position in unleaded gasoline futures in the week ended Sept. 9, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

Each Friday the CFTC publishes aggregate numbers for long and short positions for speculators such as hedge funds and institutional investors, as well as commercial companies that buy or sell futures to protect against price moves. Analysts and investors follow changes in speculators’ positions because such transactions can reflect an expectation of a change in prices.  (go to article)

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NHTSA's Requirement: 'Black Box' Recorders in All U.S. Vehicles

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..dougnewcomb.comWe've all heard of 'black box' recorders.  They're the indestructible boxes used in airplanes that record a wealth of electronic and audio data to help identify what occurs just prior to a crash.

The U.S. government wants every vehicle made in America to include them as standard equipment.

Event Data Recorders (EDRs), also known as "black boxes" or "sensing and diagnostic modules," capture information, such as the speed of a vehicle and the use of a safety belt, in the event of a collision to help understand how the vehicle’s systems performed. In 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in December 2012 proposed a rule requiring automakers to install EDRs in all light passenger vehicles. It quietly went into effect Sept. 1, 2014. Most car manufacturers currently install these devices in new vehicles. ...  (go to article)

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