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Oil and schools don't mix, enviro groups say

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle -- About 350 New York state schools, including at least 63 in Monroe County, lie within a mile of railroad tracks used by trains carrying volatile crude oil, a coalition of environmental and other advocacy groups said Thursday.

The groups urged state and federal official to bolster emergency planning at those educational facilities and to require crude-oil trains to travel more slowly near schools.

"We are deeply concerned about the growing number of crude oil rail cars passing through the Hudson Valley and across New York State every day," said Claire Barnett, executive director of the Albany-based Health Schools Network. "A catastrophic event, should it happen near an occupied school, could devastate a community for a generation or more."
 (go to article)

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Low Gas Prices Will Increase Thanksgiving Traffic

www,baltimore.cbslocal.com -- This Thanksgiving, Maryland traffic is expected to be at its highest volume since 2007.

AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates Maryland holiday travel will increase by 3.2 percent compared to last year. Almost 100,000 Marylanders are expected take road trips this Thanksgiving because gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2009.

“The nation’s overall economic picture is brighter than it was this time last year, helping to fuel consumer confidence and drive the increase in travel for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are motivating consumers to open up their wallets and get away for the holiday.”

The Maryland  (go to article)

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North Dakota conditioning rules draw ire of Bakken operators

Platts -- North Dakota oil and gas operators claim that pending state rules to condition Bakken crude oil before it is shipped by rail could cost them tens of millions of dollars, imperil pipeline and gas gathering infrastructure and create a jurisdictional clash with federal regulators.

In dozens of comments submitted to North Dakota's Industrial Commission Wednesday, companies, including Hess, Marathon Oil and Continental Resources, and oil industry groups pushed against the rules which would require Bakken crude to have an RVP of 13.7 psi or below before it is shipped by rail.

Nathan Savage, a senior vice president of Savage Services Corporation, which owns and operates a petroleum services hub in Trenton, North Dakota, said the requirements are "unworkable, from a logistical, operational and c  (go to article)

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TransCanada Sees Crude-by-rail Investment Even if Keystone Built

Reuters -- TransCanada Corp is in talks to get into the crude-by-rail business and will probably do so even if its long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline gets its U.S. permits next year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

While Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator has not yet signed any definitive agreements, it is in active negotiations with producers and other shippers on opportunities, CEO Russ Girling said on a conference call.

"If I were to put a probability one it, I'd say there's a better than 50-50 chance that we will be in that business in some form or fashion in the future," he said.

Girling added that with Canadian and U.S. oil production rapidly expanding, TransCanada expects rail will be a larger part of the transportation mix going forward, "so it's likely a business that we're in long-t  (go to article)

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Thanksgiving travelers will see cheaper gas, but pricier airfares, hotels

Marketwatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — More U.S. residents will travel for Thanksgiving this year than any other year since 2007, but holiday travel will be pricier for some, travel and leisure group AAA said Thursday.

AAA predicted that 46.3 million people in the U.S. will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday, a 4.2% increase from 2013.

Of those, almost 90% will travel by car and see the lowest Thanksgiving gasoline prices in five years, AAA said.

U.S. retail gasoline averaged $2.85 a gallon on Wednesday. It averaged $3.28 a gallon on Thanksgiving 2013. Gasoline prices have fallen as crude-oil prices have slumped to multiyear lows in recent months, with the perception that supplies have outstripped demand.

Air travel for the holiday — which AAA defines as Wednesday, Nov. 26, t  (go to article)

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Oil halts losing streak, pushes higher ahead of OPEC meeting

Marketwatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Crude-oil futures rose Thursday, snapping a string of losses as investors awaited for the upcoming OPEC meeting — just a week away — for a firmer direction on supplies and thus on prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in December CLZ4, +0.94% rose 56 cents, or 0.7%, to trade at $75.01 a barrel. Futures on Wednesday closed lower for a third straight session.

January Brent crude LCOF5, +1.23% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 73 cents, or 1%, to $78.86 a barrel. Brent has also closed lower for three consecutive sessions.

Chinese factory activity fell to its lowest level in six months in November, with the preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing PMI falling to 50.0, compared with a final reading of 50.4  (go to article)

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Diesel consumers see little drop in price, some see spikes

GasBuddy Blog -- It's been a lousy time for diesel consumers, who have been forced to watch on the sidelines as gasoline prices have fallen an average of 82c/gal since the end of June. In the same time frame, average diesel prices have only dropped 29c/gal. So what in the world is going on?

For diesel consumers, you've probably noticed over the last few years that the gap in price between diesel and gasoline has remained high. Several factors have led to this- diesel demand has been strong around the globe as gasoline demand has continued to weaken over the last few years. Because of the strong demand, U.S. refineries have increased the amount of fuel they've been exporting. In the chart provided, you can see the amount of distillates (diesel is a distillate fuel) exported has risen to near 1.5 million barrels per day. ...  (go to article)

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Prepare for $95 oil in 2015: HSBC

Yahoo Finance -- In the latest contribution to the heated debate over the price of oil, HSBC has trimmed its forecast for Brent crude next year by $5, but added that it was not convinced of persistent weakness throughout 2015.
HSBC cut its Brent crude price assumption for the full year next year to $90, down from $95, but predicted that short-term price pressure will "sow the seeds" for higher prices in the longer term.

Read More US shale and OPEC oil: Game of chicken?

The bank has also lowered its Brent price forecast for the fourth quarter of this year from $92 to $85, and sees the oil price climbing $5 a quarter in 2015 to end the year at around $95.

The forecast comes at odds with a number of other market predictions, including that of the International Energy Agency, which said prices could fall  (go to article)

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Seven Commodities With Collapsing Prices

MSN Money -- Several factors behind the commodities drop


Earlier this year, the International Energy Administration (IEA) and Bank of America both said that the United States has become the world’s largest oil producer, passing Saudi Arabia and Russia. American oil production growth and a rallying dollar have not only increased oil supplies, but have also led to dramatic price drops.

In addition to oil, the United States is also among the world’s largest producers of corn, soybeans, cotton, and wheat. However, the prices of these commodities — which are all traded on the futures market — have dropped noticeably in the last year.

For some commodities, the drop in prices has been tied to increased supplies. Notably, for many crops, increases in production have created a supply glut, which has lea  (go to article)

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Cadillac's New Boss: We're Going To Build A $250,000 Super-Caddy Someday

Forbes -- Cadillac’s new president, Johann deNysschen, envisions a $250,000 ultra-luxury car in the brand’s showroom one day, a prospect that seems hard to fathom for a carmaker still struggling to find its footing among European rivals in the $40,000-$50,000 price range.

But deNysschen, the former president of Audi and Infiniti, says with time, it can happen.

“It’s too early today for a $250,000 Cadillac, but in 15 years it won’t be,” he said in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “We have to earn our worth.”

In his first three months in Cadillac’s top job, deNysschen has already made some big moves: a plan to relocate the brand’s headquarters to New York and a new naming strategy for its model lineup, similar to the letters and numbers used by European luxury brands. At the L.A. show,...  (go to article)

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Encana’s CEO is stepping on the accelerator even as oil prices plunge 30%

Bloomberg News -- Facing a 30% slide in the price of crude in the past 5 months, the gas giant capped a year of asset sales and purchases worth more than $14B to focus more on crude, just as oil fell into a slump

Suttles remains confident in the shift and plans to expand drilling to capitalize on properties that promise higher returns, even after crude prices declined from a high in Jun of $107 to $75

“We’re looking at this as an environment to accelerate, not to slow down.” A 3rd-gen W TX oil man reassured employees that the oil price decline is “annoying, but it’s not threatening

Suttles, who took over Encana in Jun 2013, has cut head count by 25% and sold lower-margin gas properties to snap up drilling acreage that will still be profitable if prices drop to $50.

Encana brought in 50% more cash  (go to article)

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Brent Gains First Time in 4 Days as Investors Weigh OPEC

Bloomberg -- Brent crude gained for the first time in four days as investors weighed the potential outcome of next week’s OPEC meeting.

Leading members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are resisting calls to reduce output while others including Venezuela seek action to support prices at a Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna. An OPEC production cut looks increasingly likely, Morgan Stanley said in a report yesterday. Trading volatility rose to the highest in more than two years.

“The market is eyeing next week’s OPEC meeting for some kind of movement,” said Gene McGillian, a senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “OPEC needs to take action and make the cuts. The market is still under pressure but we are close to the bottom.”

Brent for January settlement gained 83 cents  (go to article)

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Oil at $75 Means Patches of Texas Shale Turn Unprofitable

Bloomberg -- With crude at $75 a barrel, the price Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says will be the average in the first three months of next year, 19 U.S. shale regions are no longer profitable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Those areas, which include parts of the Eaglebine and Eagle Ford in East and South Texas, pumped about 413,000 barrels a day, according to the latest data available from Drillinginfo Inc. and company presentations. That compares with the 1.03 million-barrel gain in daily national output over the past year, government figures show.
The expansion of U.S. oil supply to more than 9 million barrels a day is contributing to a global glut, driving down prices by as much as 32 percent since June. The data compiled by BNEF, which take into account the costs of drill  (go to article)

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Cheap-Oil Era Tilts Geopolitical Power to U.S.

Bloomberg -- A new age of abundant and cheap energy supplies is redrawing the world’s geopolitical landscape, weakening and potentially threatening the legitimacy of some governments while enhancing the power of others.  (go to article)

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Minivans do poorly in new crash tests

Detroit Free Press -- The Honda Odyssey was the only minivan to earn the highest safety rating in new crash tests by the insurance industry.  (go to article)

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U.S. consumer prices unchanged in October

Detroit News -- Washington — U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October as a fourth straight decline in gasoline costs helped to keep inflation at bay.

The steady reading for inflation last month followed a tiny 0.1 percent increase in September and a 0.2 percent drop in August, the Labor Department said Thursday. Energy prices fell 1.9 percent last month while food costs edged up a slim 0.1 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food, rose 0.2 percent in October. For the past 12 months, overall inflation is up 1.7 percent while core inflation is up a similarly modest 1.8 percent.

Both gains are well below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target, giving the central bank leeway to keep interest rates low to boost the economy without worrying about inflation.  (go to article)

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Iran nuclear talks may drive OPEC decision

Financial Post -- Whether or not the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decides to cut production at its Nov. 27 meeting may hinge on Iran’s nuclear negotiations.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France) plus Germany are meeting in Vienna to try to establish a long-term agreement on Iran’s nuclear program before a Nov. 24 deadline.
 (go to article)

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Drivers talk on cell phones less but surf, e-mail more

USA Today -- A survey that has tracked driving behavior for six years finds that talking on hand-held phones while driving is dropping while surfing the Internet, reading email and scanning social media is rising.

Despite nearly a decade-long national fight against distracted driving, the percentage of drivers engaging in smart phone-related activities behind the wheel has steadily increased over the past six years, a new study shows.

State Farm has conducted an annual survey since 2009 to measure drivers' attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving. Over that period, the percentage of drivers who report talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving has decreased, and those who admit to texting behind the wheel has remained stable.  (go to article)

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Showdown looms between US gov't, air bag maker

ABC Channel 27 - Pennsyvania -- A showdown is looming between U.S. safety regulators and a Japanese company that makes air bags linked to multiple deaths and injuries. Car companies and the driving public are caught in the middle.

The air bag inflators can explode with too much force, sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment.

Takata Corp. insists that current recalls covering 8 million U.S. cars in high-humidity areas are sufficient. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants millions more added to the recalls, citing evidence the problem can occur outside of high-humidity regions.

"Takata's initial response, yes, an unwillingness to move forward," David Friedman, the agency's deputy administrator, said Tuesday. "Everyone needs to understand that Takata needs to act."

 (go to article)

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Transocean idles three more rigs, stock falls

Houston Chronicle -- HOUSTON – Rig contractor Transocean has shuttered three more offshore drilling rigs, including two ultra-deepwater floaters off the coast of Nigeria, it said Wednesday.  (go to article)

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TransCanada plans to spend big, but project uncertainty looms

Globe and Mail -- TransCanada Corp. has laid the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar capital plan over the next decade, but the bulk of the spending is earmarked for projects with an uncertain future.

The Calgary-based pipeline and power giant said Wednesday that it would spend as much as $46-billion through to 2020 to connect surging supplies of shale gas and oil sands crude in Western Canada to growth markets. But roughly 70 per cent of the total, or $33-billion, is dedicated to projects bogged down by political wrangling or economic inertia.
 (go to article)

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Gulf to reject OPEC cuts to guard oil market share: analysts

AFP -- Kuwait City (AFP) - Gulf oil producers led by Saudi Arabia will likely reject output cuts at an OPEC meeting next week unless they are guaranteed their market share in a highly competitive market, analysts say.

The stance of Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is seen as crucial for a positive OPEC decision on reducing supplies to boost crude prices, which have shed a third of their value since June.

The four pump a total 16.2 million barrels per day, or 52 percent of the 12-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but they account for two-thirds of the cartel's exports, according to figures from OPEC and other agencies.  (go to article)

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Ford Recalls Fusions for Software Problem

Associated Press (AP) Published in Product Design and Development -- Ford is recalling about 65,000 Fusion midsize cars in North America because the ignition keys can be removed if the transmission is not in park due to a software problem.

The recall covers certain Fusions, including gas-electric hybrids, from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Ford traced the problem to a computer program in the instrument cluster. Keys can be removed 30 minutes after the ignition switch is turned off if the cars are left in gear. That violates U.S. safety regulations and increases the risk of cars rolling away unexpectedly.
 (go to article)

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Agency proposes fee for electric cars

Associated Press (AP) Published by ECN -- Wisconsin would join five other states that impose special fees on owners of electric vehicles, in an attempt to help make up for revenue drivers of those fuel-efficient cars aren't paying in gas taxes, under a road-funding proposal put forward by Gov. Scott Walker's administration.

The $50 annual charge, which would raise about $4 million a year, is part of $751 million in new taxes and fees proposed Friday by Walker's Department of Transportation to pay for road projects. Walker hasn't commented specifically on the proposal, which he can alter before releasing his state budget early next year. The budget then goes to the Legislature for consideration.
 (go to article)

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GM: Parts are now ready to fix SUVs that can catch on fire

GasBuddy Blog -- For the owners of 189,000 General Motors SUVs, the days of parking them outside the garage for fear that they could catch fire will soon come to an end.AP reports that GM said it will start notifying customers this week that they can take their SUVs to dealers, who will replace faulty power window switches.The recall of SUVs, mostly from the 2006 and 2007 model years, was announced June 30, but it took more than four months to get replacement parts ready. It covers the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 97-X, mainly in North America. It was the third recall for the same problem, but the first two didn't work. ...  (go to article)

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Senate vote could end traffic cameras in Ohio

Jourmal News -- COLUMBUS — Ohio moved a step closer to effectively shutting down traffic cameras that automatically spit out tickets to red light runners and speeders in a move that is angering officials for local governments that rely on the millions of dollars in revenue those tickets bring.  (go to article)

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Gas Is Only Fossil-Fuel Loser as Coal Gains Share

Bloomberg -- Natural gas was the only fossil fuel to experience a slowdown in global demand growth last year as coal and renewables gained market share in power generation, the International Center for Natural Gas Information said.

Demand for gas gained 1 percent in 2013 after rising 2.4 percent a year earlier and 2.8 percent in the decade to 2012, the Paris-based center, known as Cedigaz, said today in an e-mailed report. Coal consumption advanced 3 percent last year and crude-oil usage gained 1.4 percent, said the group, which counts companies from OAO Gazprom to BP Plc among its members.

“As seen in Europe, the double whammy of cheap coal and an increasing share of renewable power seriously undermines the business model of gas-fired power plants,” Cedigaz said. “Even in emerging economies, gas...  (go to article)

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Special fund started to provide military families heating assistance

The Augusta Chronicle -- Natural gas provider SCANA Energy is joining forces with United Military Care to help Georgia service members, veterans and their families stay warm through a special fund they’ve started.

The fund, launched on Veterans Day, has raised around $5,650 and so far helped pay heating bills or open new accounts for 10 military families in Georgia who depend on natural gas for warmth.

United Military Care President Kim Scofi said the nonprofit organization also has around 10 other families who have applied for heating assistance through the program.

SCANA Energy started the fund with a $5,000 donation and plans to match every dollar donated above $5,000 – up to $10,000 – through February.

The fund is open to families of active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and...  (go to article)

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Thanksgiving driving, what to expect on the highways and why

Cleveland.com -- Here's what you need to know about Thanksgiving holiday driving. And why it can be a nightmare.

•Only four in 10 Americans say their Thanksgiving plans include traveling.

•But most of them will drive rather than fly.

•And about 30 percent are planning round trips of 500 miles or more, meaning the interstate highways will be busy as usual.

•Another 31 percent are driving between 200 and 500 miles.

•Two-thirds of these families are planning to drive either on Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day itself -- helping to create the annual surge that clogs even the largest interstate highways.

•More than 20 percent of these families will head home Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Another 42 percent will drive home over the weekend.  (go to article)

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US shale and OPEC oil: Game of chicken?

CNBC -- The political rhetoric surrounding the recent drop in oil prices shows no signs of slowing, with Venezuela said that oil producing countries could soon meet to discuss the tumbling commodity

The discussions would be in the lead-up to a crucial OPEC meeting which is taking place in Vienna on Nov 27

Venezuela Foreign Minister is currently on a tour of oil-producing nations including Russia and the Gulf States

Weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. oil production are the 3 main reasons behind the fall, according to the IEA, which warned of a "new chapter" for oil markets, which could even affect the social stability of some countries

On Tue, Reuters reported that Iraq was looking to base its 2015 budget on $80 oil

A price of $50 for Brent couldn't be ruled out if next week's meeti  (go to article)

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Minnesota's specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and costs, national study

Star Tribune -- Minnesota’s specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and save taxpayers money, prompting a call for the program’s expansion.

A national two-year study released Wednesday showed that in nearly all nine of the DWI courts evaluated, the rearrest rates for graduates of the intensive program dropped dramatically compared with offenders who went through the traditional court process. The state’s overall graduation completion numbers were also well above the national average for DWI courts.

Although dozens of DWI and drug courts have been researched, Minnesota’s study is the first to include a cost analysis. Because of the reduced recidivism, local agencies and the state save more than $1.4 million over the two years DWI court participants entered the program.

“We are ple  (go to article)

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A ‘pure fabrication’: TransCanada CEO fuels war of words over Obama’s Keystone comments

Financial Post -- A day after a vote in the U.S. Senate to approve the Keystone XL pipeline failed, Russ Girling said “The notion that this oil is going to get exported is pure fabrication by those that are opposed to our project

Obama, facing the prospect of Congressional legislation approving the project, had last week claimed Keystone XL was of no benefit to Americans. The pipeline was merely “providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices

Girling added “It’s very highly unlikely that any of this crude leaves N Am. Any oil tankers that would be carrying Keystone XL-delivered crude overseas would have to first pass incoming tankers carrying huge amounts of foreign oil  (go to article)

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Toyota launches the Mirai, a hydrogen car you can buy — sort of

Yahoo -- There are futuristic-looking cars, then there are cars that are actually futuristic. The 2016 Toyota Mirai is definitely one of the latter, soon to take its place in history as the first car to bring hydrogen fuel-cell technology to the masses-  (go to article)

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A Road Test of Alternative Fuel Visions

New York Times -- California is spending millions of dollars to build hydrogen fueling stations, aiming to increase the network from nine today to 50 by the end of next year, mostly around Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Japan and Germany, two other early markets for hydrogen cars, are building a similar number of stations.  (go to article)

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Canadian oil producers finding ways to deal with Keystone XL delay

Platts -- Canadian producers are diligently working on options to ship additional volumes of crude to the US Gulf Coast following delays in approving the northern leg of the TransCanada-backed Keystone XL oil pipeline, industry officials said Wednesday.

At present, about 90,000 b/d of Western Canadian crude flow to the USGC, but the construction of Keystone XL's northern portion could increase that to 830,000 b/d.

Oil sands producer MEG Energy has been relying increasingly on a "portfolio" of pipelines, rail and barges for its Access Western and Cold Lake blends to reach the Houston area, company spokesman Brad Bellows said.

"Our biggest market has been the US Midcontinent, but we are now at the initial stages of not only shipping crude to USGC refineries, but also re-exporting from there to inte  (go to article)

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Toyota aims to replicate Prius success with fuel cell Mirai

Reuters -- Toyota will introduce its first mass-market fuel cell car next month, hoping to replicate the success of its Prius hybrid with a vehicle that runs on hydrogen instead of gasoline.
The four-seater sedan, named Mirai, the Japanese word for "future", will first go on sale in four cities in Japan on Dec. 15. Sales in the United States and Europe will follow in the fourth quarter of 2015, the world's biggest automaker said, unveiling the car simultaneously in California and Tokyo.
 (go to article)

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WTI settles below $75, traders wait for signs from OPEC

Reuters with CNBC.com staff -- Contracts for U.S. crude pared earlier losses to settle down 14 cents at $74.50 after Libya's representative to OPEC fueled hopes of an output cut, prompting traders to focus on next week's meeting of the producer group and ignore an unexpected surge in U.S. crude inventories.  (go to article)

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Edmunds says: Consumers capitalize on auto dealers' end-of-year incentives

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..If you're considering buying a new car the remainder of 2014 offers outstanding opportunity.  Edmunds.com says that's because both the end-of-the-model-year and the end of the calendar-year pushes dealers to offer greater specials and manufacturer incentives.

Here's an extensive list of Edmund's car buying tips particularly helpful for November & December... ...  (go to article)

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Oil Plunge Saps State Budgets as Louisiana Borrows

Bloomberg -- Louisiana, which gets as much as 15 percent of its revenue from taxing oil extraction, is selling debt as slumping crude prices threaten to strain budgets of U.S. energy-producing states.

This week’s planned offering of about $200 million of general-obligation bonds follows officials’ decision last week to reduce projected revenue for the year through June 2015 by $171 million, or almost 2 percent. It’s now up to Governor Bobby Jindal to decide to cut spending or tap reserves to compensate after oil prices fell almost 25 percent this year.

The drop cuts both ways for municipalities: It helps consumers at the pump, while squeezing states that depend on revenue tied to production. Moody’s Investors Service last month cited Texas, North Dakota, Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico as states wher  (go to article)

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Bent plates, duct tape and leaning out the trunk: Absurd tactics of stingy drivers who dodge road to

Daily Mail -- Paying toll charges is an unfortunate reality of life on the road that most drivers just learn to deal with.

But, as these pictures show, some motorists are so desperate to cling onto their loose change that almost anything is fair game for dodging the collectors- who often ask as little as 26 cents.

Everyday tactics for avoiding number plate-tracking cameras including bending the plate back or trying to change the numbers by smearing on grease.
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ISIS in trouble: What could this mean for oil?

CNBC -- One of the most important areas captured by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) looks as though it's back in Western-backed hands.

Iraqi security forces have re-entered the key Baiji oil refinery, which has been held by ISIS since June, in what the Iraqi General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi said to state media could be the "main key in liberating each span of Iraq".
 (go to article)

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Republicans to resurrect Keystone pipeline when they take control of Congress next year

Associated Press -- WASHINGTON – Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.

"I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the new year," the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday, shortly after the bill fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed to advance. He was joined by incoming Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who said the fight wasn't over.
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EIA: Crude, gasoline inventories rise, total petroleum inventories spike vs. year ago

GasBuddy Blog -- The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels to a total of 381.1 million barrels. At 381.1 million barrels, inventories are 7.4 million barrels below last year (1.9%) and are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels to 204.6 million barrels. At 204.6 million barrels, inventories are down 4.3 million barrels, or 2.0% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.4mb); Midwest (+0.9mb); Gulf Coast (-0.6mb); Rockies (+0.0mb); and West Coast (+1.4mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or dow  (go to article)

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Could Obama cut a deal on the Keystone XL pipeline? Don’t rule it out

Financial Post -- Obama might be open to using the Keystone as leverage with Rs if they cooperate on other aspects of his long-stalled domestic agenda, such as investing in infrastructure, closing tax loopholes or reducing carbon emissions

After years of fighting over TC’s crude oil pipeline from Canada, a Keystone deal is not entirely out of the question, sources inside the administration and others close to the WH told Reuters on Tue

With the Senate’s narrow defeat of a Keystone bill on Tue, Obama avoided the awkward position of possibly vetoing a bill supported by members of his own D party. But the issue will come up again soon after the new year when Rs, who already control the HR, take charge of the Senate as well

Obama wants to make headway on slowing climate change during his last 2 yrs in office  (go to article)

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Gas prices dip below $1 a litre at some stations

Leader Post -- REGINA — The pump price at two Regina gas stations — Regina Messenger at 1609 Halifax. St. and Regina Cabs at 3405 Saskatchewan Dr. — dipped ever so slightly below $1 per litre on Tuesday, as retail gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly two years.

Motorists were taking advantage of low pump prices in Regina, which have dropped about four cents a litre since last week, according to MJ Ervin & Associates, which surveys gas prices across Canada every Tuesday.

The MJ Ervin weekly pump price survey showed the average price in Regina on Tuesday to be 108.3 cents per litre, down from 112.3 cents per litre last week. The Canadian average price was 116.2 cents per litre, down three cents per litre from last week.  (go to article)

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U.S. Air Force Unveils Fleet of 42 Electric Vehicles, Nissan Leafs Included, For V2G Tests

YAHOO NEWS -- Using large fleets of electric cars to store energy and feed it back into the grid when needed has become a hot topic among researchers.

While the idea is still many years away from being practical on a broad scale, several parties have expressed interest in "vehicle-to-grid" (V2G) technology--including the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force recently unveiled a fleet of 42 plug-in electric cars that will be used in a demonstration program at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

The test fleet includes Nissan Leaf electric cars, Via Motors extended-range electric trucks and vans, EVAOS Ford F-Series pickup truck plug-in hybrid conversions, and extended-range electric commercial trucks and shuttle buses.

Each vehicle has been modified to discharge power back into the gird, and a series of specialized  (go to article)

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EPA chief: Cheap gas won’t derail 54.5 mpg by ’25

Detroit News -- Environmental Protection Administration chief Gina McCarthy said Monday she doesn’t think the sharp fall in gas prices will prevent the United States from doubling fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Some buyers are shifting back to larger, less-efficient SUVs and pickups as gas prices have fallen and are predicted to remain low until at least next year. In September, gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. posted its largest drop in nearly three years, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said. Average fuel economy of vehicles sold in September was 25.3 mpg, down from a record-high 25.8 mpg in August. It remained at 25.3 mpg in October. General Motors Co. said last week it was laying off 510 workers in Michigan at two plants that build small ...  (go to article)

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Showdown over Keystone put on hold as bill stalls in Senate

obe and Mail -- Keystone XL’s backers fell one U.S. Senate vote short Tuesday of the 60 needed to challenge U.S. President Barack Obama over approval of the controversial project, pushing back the showdown until early next year when Republicans control both houses of Congress.

After hours of passionate debate during which the pipeline was denounced as a harbinger of planetary doom and lauded as the solution to North America’s energy woes, the pro-Keystone XL faction ended up just shy of the votes required for the legislation to proceed.
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Brace for Thanksgiving Traffic as Car-to-Plane Gap Swells

Bloomberg News -- With gasoline prices sinking to under $3 per gallon, Americans traveling by car this holiday season will have plenty of company on the road.

Drivers will make up about 89.5 percent of holiday travelers this year, a gain of 0.1 percentage point from 2013, while air passengers will drop by the same amount to 7.5, forecasts prepared by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. (IHS) show. A 0.1 point increase may not seem like a lot, but based on last year’s estimate that 39.6 million people traveled by car for Thanksgiving, that would roughly equate to at least another 40,000 people piling onto America’s highways.  (go to article)

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Oil Near 4-Year Low as OPEC Seen Resisting Cutting Output

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for a third day as U.S. oil inventories gained unexpectedly. Brent rose in London.

Futures fell as much as 1 percent in New York. Ecuador and Venezuela will ask members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce excess output, an Ecuador official said. A car with explosives blew up in Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdish region, the local Rudaw news agency reported, with Al Jazeera television reporting six people killed. U.S. crude inventories expanded by 3.7 million barrels last week, countering forecasts expecting a drop, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. The Department of Energy’s stockpile figures will be published later today.

Oil has collapsed into a bear market as the U.S. pumps at the fastest pace in more than three deca  (go to article)

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Hackers attacked the U.S. energy grid 79 times this year

CNN -- In fiscal year 2014, there were 79 hacking incidents at energy companies that were investigated by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. There were 145 incidents the previous year.

The outermost defenses aren't holding up. Between April 2013 and 2014, hackers managed to break into 37% of energy companies, according to a survey by ThreatTrack Security.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE) identified nearly 50 types of malware that specifically target energy companies in 2013 alone, according to its annual report. Energy firms get hit with more spy malware than other industries, according to a 2014 study by Verizon (VZ, Tech30).  (go to article)

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