Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    1:24 AM

Top 5 Articles By Day




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

49
votes
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.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1180 Comments

46
votes
Fracking to be Permitted in GW National Forest

AP -- Environmentalists and energy boosters alike welcomed a federal compromise announced Tuesday that will allow fracking in the largest national forest in the eastern United States, but make most of its woods off-limits to drilling.

The decision was highly anticipated because about half of the George Washington National Forest sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, a vast underground deposit of natural gas that runs from upstate New York to West Virginia and yields more than $10 billion in gas a year.

The federal management plan reverses an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing that the U.S. Forest Service had proposed in 2011 for the 1.1 million-acre forest, which includes the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers. Those rivers feed the Chesapeake Bay, which is the focus of a...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1487 Comments

41
votes
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".
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
59 Comments

41
votes
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).  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
689 Comments

40
votes
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  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
437 Comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

60
votes
Why are airfare prices going up if gas is cheaper?

Las Vegas NV Review Journal -- U.S. airlines are saving tens of millions of dollars every week because of lower prices for jet fuel, their largest expense. So why don’t they share some of the savings with passengers?

Simply put: Airlines have no compelling reason to offer any breaks. Planes are full. Investors want a payout. And new planes are on order.

In fact, fares are going higher. And those bag fees that airlines instituted in 2008 when fuel prices spiked aren’t going away either.

In the 12 months ended in September, U.S. airlines saved $1.6 billion on jet fuel. That helped them post a 5.7% profit margin in the first three quarters of this year..

In the past six years, airlines have done a great job of adjusting the number of flights to fall just short of demand. As a result, those who want to fly will pay a pr  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
1520 Comments

48
votes
Oil market is trapped in a negative bubble: Kemp

REUTERS -- The best way to think about the dramatic slide in oil prices over the last five months, Brent has fallen by more than 30 percent, is that the market is caught in a negative bubble.

The downward lurch in oil prices over such a short space of time is the mirror image of the price spike in the first half of 2008.

In both instances the price movements had some basis in changing market fundamentals: the shortage of light sweet crudes in 2008 and incipient oversupply thanks to shale in 2014.

But in both cases, a modest change in fundamentals has been magnified and accelerated by a shift in speculative positions.

Falling liquidity, the rush to cover hedging programs, and herding behavior among market participants then exaggerated the price moves.

For a time, the market becomes essentially...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
1455 Comments

48
votes
Texas publicizes list of scofflaws; the 10 worst owe $1.59 million

GasBuddy Blog -- We all know who pays for our highways, roads, tunnels and bridges... we do!  Much of that money comes from state taxes and tolls that go directly to maintenance and infrastructure.  So when motorists don't pay their tolls, who loses?

Texas says they've been patient enough.  They're tired of people failing to pay their share and shifting their burden to the majority of law-abiding motorists so they're publishing the list of the worst offenders.  Believe it or not, a few folks in Texas owe more than $200,000 in unpaid tolls and fines! The 10 worst scofflaws in Texas owe the state $1.59 million. ...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
2267 Comments

45
votes
Is Barack Obama telling the truth about the Keystone XL pipeline?

CBC -- Because U.S. President Barack Obama will have to make a decision about the Keystone XL oil pipeline as early as this week, his comments on the hotly debated project tend to get plenty of scrutiny.

He's been increasingly dismissive of the importance of the project for his country, suggesting he'll make his choice purely on environmental grounds because it means so little to the U.S. economy.
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
126 Comments

45
votes
Toyota to start sales of fuel cell car next month

AP -- TOKYO (AP) — There will only be a few hundred, and they won't be cheap, but Toyota is about to take its first small step into the unproven market for emissions-free, hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The world's largest automaker announced Tuesday that it will begin selling fuel cell cars in Japan on Dec. 15 and in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2015. The sporty-looking, four-door Toyota Mirai will retail for 6.7 million yen ($57,600) before taxes. Toyota Motor Corp hopes to sell 400 in Japan and 300 in the rest of the world in the first year.

"In time, the fuel cell vehicle will become mainstream. We wanted to take the first step," said Mitsuhisa Kato, a Toyota executive vice president, at the vehicle's launch Tuesday. "We want to be at the leading edge."

Fuel cell vehicles run on compressed hydr  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
688 Comments

Monday, November 17, 2014

53
votes
Iran oil minister slams producers for not cutting output

The Peninsula -- Iran’s oil minister accused some countries yesterday of making up excuses to justify their refusal to stabilise prices by cutting output, a possible reference to Saudi Arabia as a Saudi official insisted the issue should be left to market forces.

“Certain countries had raised their production after the exit of several countries from the cycle of oil production,” Iran’s Bijan Zanganeh said, referring to international sanctions that have forced his country to cut its exports sharply.

“Now it is difficult for them to reduce their production for market stability and they fabricate different pretexts for their action,” Zanganeh said, quoted by his ministry’s news agency Shana.

Zanganeh did not name the countries but he may have been referring to Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 17, 2014 By:
1596 Comments

51
votes
WTI Drops After Biggest Gain in Two Months on OPEC Speculation

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate resumed its decline after the biggest gain in almost two months as investors weighed the likelihood that OPEC will cut output when the group meets this month. Brent fell in London.

Futures dropped as much as 0.7 percent in New York as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries step up diplomacy before their Nov. 27 meeting. Iran’s oil minister is preparing to visit the United Arab Emirates this week, according to Shana, the Tehran-based ministry’s news service. Prices may slide further as the market enters a period of weaker demand, the International Energy Agency said Nov. 14.

Oil has declined about 30 percent from a June peak as leading OPEC members resisted calls to cut output and instead reduced some export prices while U.S. production climbe  (read more)

Submitted Nov 17, 2014 By:
1277 Comments

50
votes
How woulld the Keystone pipeline affect U.S. gas price?

CBS News -- By/Bruce Kennedy/MoneyWatch/November 17, 2014, 5:00 AM/
How would the Keystone pipeline affect U.S. gas prices?
10 Comments/ Shares / Tweets /Stumble /Email More + Although Congress is pushing toward a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, one question regarding the controversial energy project remains subject to debate -- whether it would lower or raise U.S. gas prices.

Keystone would transport crude oil from the tar sands regions of the Canadian West, across parts of the U.S. Midwest and down to refineries on the Gulf Coast for potential export overseas. The House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill expediting construction of the pipeline, which has been delayed for years because of political opposition and concerns about its environmental impact. The Senate will consider a simi  (read more)

Submitted Nov 17, 2014 By:
101 Comments

48
votes
Cracks widen at OPEC as oil prices tumble

Yousef Gamal El-Din @youseftv CNBC -- Oil prices firmly below $80 a barrel are rattling nerves within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and calls are mounting for concrete action at the group's crucial next meeting this month.

Over the weekend oil-producing countries Kuwait and Iran raised concerns about oil's worrying lows and what OPEC should be doing to help protect its members' economies
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 17, 2014 By:
43 Comments

48
votes
Michigan gas tax increase could hit pothole in state House

Livingston Daily -- It was hailed as a breakthrough, but last week’s state Senate proposal to raise Michigan’s gasoline tax to fix its roads might not stand.

Even through road repairs remain at the top of Gov. Rick Snyder’s agenda, the measure split Senate Republicans and faces a dicey future in the state House.

“I think it’s going to have a hard time here,” said state Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township.

The Senate passed the measure by a comfortable 23-14 margin. But 12 of the body’s 25 Republicans voted no, including state Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township.

Rather than raising taxes, Hune said, legislators should find the money within the current state budget.

“Michigan’s roads must become a higher priority in the state budget,” he said. “We must be more efficient with the money we do have and then use  (read more)

Submitted Nov 17, 2014 By:
60 Comments

Sunday, November 16, 2014

53
votes
Power plants worry about winter coal supplies

Star Tribune -- Electric utilities that serve Minnesota say they still aren’t getting enough coal.

Two power companies that serve northern and western parts of the state have halted or reduced power generation at five coal-burning units. Almost all utilities are entering the winter with below-normal coal stockpiles that some executives say put the reliability of the electrical grid at risk.

They blame persistent delivery problems at BNSF Railway, the major hauler of western coal burned in the Midwest. The railroad has struggled for a year to deliver traditional commodities like coal, fertilizer and grain while hauling increasing amounts of North Dakota crude oil.

“If you have a low stockpile and you have a blizzard and your coal train gets parked for one or two weeks, you are out of coal,” said Jan Rud  (read more)

Submitted Nov 16, 2014 By:
1566 Comments

47
votes
Why oil is more likely to test $50 than $100 again next year

CNBC -- When oil and gasoline prices are soaring, oil analysts like myself try to assuage the fears of consumers with the old saw: There is no better cure for high prices than high prices.

The succinct analysis of commodity market dynamics likely makes motorists irate, as they pay $100 or more to fill up the family SUV. They fail to appreciate how efficient market forces can be, even at that particular moment of pain.
However, that is precisely why oil prices are falling now—and will likely continue to fall in the coming months to as low as $50 per barrel!

On Thursday, in its weekly inventory report, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that oil production in the United States rose to its highest level in 29 years to just over 9 million barrels per day. To put that in perspective, the U.S. is  (read more)

Submitted Nov 16, 2014 By:
85 Comments

46
votes
Toyota Plans ‘Mirai’ Fuel-Cell Car Traveling 300 Miles Per Tank

Bloomberg -- Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) said it’s chosen the name “Mirai,” which means “future” in Japanese, for a fuel-cell powered sedan that travels 300 miles (483 kilometers) with a hydrogen tank that can be refilled in less than five minutes.

The announcement, on the eve of the Los Angeles auto show, increases the company’s commitment to fuel cells, as opposed to battery-only cars, as long-term alternatives to internal combustion engines, said Jeff Liker, a University of Michigan engineering professor. Toyota also promised to develop and supply fueling stations in northeastern U.S. states.

Liker predicted Toyota’s fuel-cell commitment will be as significant as those that came in 1989, when the company introduced its Lexus luxury brand in the U.S., and in 1997, when it started selling Prius gasoli  (read more)

Submitted Nov 16, 2014 By:
76 Comments

45
votes
4 workers die after chemical leak at Houston-area DuPont plant; investigators head to site

StarTribune -- Four workers were killed and one was injured Saturday during a hazardous chemical leak at a DuPont industrial plant in suburban Houston, company officials said.

The chemical, methyl mercaptan, began leaking from a valve around 4 a.m. in a unit at the plant in La Porte, about 20 miles east of Houston. Plant officials said the release was contained by 6 a.m.

Methyl mercaptan was used at the plant to create crop-protection products such as insecticides and fungicides, according to DuPont. The cause of the leak was not immediately known.

Methyl mercaptan is also commonly used to odorize natural gas — which has no odor — for safety purposes.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 16, 2014 By:
1360 Comments

41
votes
FBI opening office in North Dakota oil patch

Aol.com -- WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- The FBI is opening a permanent office in western North Dakota's oil patch to help the area deal with rising crime that has followed the state's oil boom. A few things to know about the office and why it's being established:

WHY DOES WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA NEED AN FBI OFFICE?

The North Dakota oil patch was once a sleepy and remote corner of America. But the oil boom in recent years - brought on by advances in oil extraction technologies - has brought tens of thousands of new arrivals to the area and given western North Dakota the nation's fastest-growing communities. With the growth has come more crime - and more sophisticated kinds of crime.

Police have found themselves dealing with human and drug trafficking, organized crime and homicides.

 (read more)

Submitted Nov 16, 2014 By:
58 Comments

Saturday, November 15, 2014

60
votes
Don’t veer for deer

Detroit News -- Speaking of deer. (The still-mobile ones.)

A quick review of safety tips for drivers from the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition.

1. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.

2. If you see one deer, slow down. Chances are good there are others nearby.

3. If a crash is inevitable, don’t swerve, brake firmly, hold on to the steering wheel, stay in your lane and bring your car to a controlled stop.

4. Bottom line : “DON’T VEER FOR DEER.”  (read more)

Submitted Nov 15, 2014 By:
1054 Comments

48
votes
Three Minnesota Dems break with party, support Keystone pipeline

Star Tribune -- WASHINGTON – Three of Minnesota’s freshly re-elected Democrats broke with their party Friday to approve a measure that directs construction of the long-delayed Keystone pipeline, which would lug crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Reps. Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz supported the construction, along with Republican Reps. Erik Paulsen, John Kline and Michele Bachmann. The measure heads to the Senate next week; if passed, however, it faces an uncertain future on President Obama’s desk.

Though the pipeline would not run through Minnesota, it has become a flash point in the national debate on balancing job creation, energy independence and protecting the nation’s natural resources. Nolan, who won re-election by one percentage point Nov. 4, was criticized on the campaign trail  (read more)

Submitted Nov 15, 2014 By:
1451 Comments

45
votes
At Kansas City conference, natural gas vehicles seek a bigger transportation role

The Kansas City Star -- Matt Godlewski was walking around Bartle Hall and he liked what he saw.

In one corner was a natural-gas-powered semi truck and in another a Ford pickup with an innovative tank to hold the fuel. And in the middle of the exposition hall was a 10-foot-high color map of the United States plastered with red dots showing places to get a natural gas fill-up.

“We’re poised for growth,” said Godlewski, who is president of the Natural Gas Vehicles for America organization.

That remains to be seen, but for the last week Kansas City has been a showcase, with a twist of methane, for an industry that wants a bigger role in how America gets around.

The Natural Gas Vehicles Conference & Expo is the largest such event in North America, with about 700 people from around the country attending to mull...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 15, 2014 By:
1301 Comments

41
votes
2015 Cadillac ATS sedan earns 5-star safety rating

GasBuddy Blog -- Volvo may be the brand that's synonymous with safety but Edmunds.com is reporting that the 2015 Cadillac ATS sedan has earned the top five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).The rating applies to rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the ATS sedan. The 2015 ATS coupe has not been rated yet. NHTSA said the 2015 ATS sedan earned five stars in the front, side and rollover crash tests. Another safety organization, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has not yet rated the 2015 ATS. ...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 15, 2014 By:
3499 Comments

37
votes
Oil in worst weekly losing streak in 28 years

CNBC -- Oil futures bounced off a four-year low Friday but prices fell for a seventh week in the longest losing streak since 1986.

U.S. crude futures settled up $1.61 at $75.82, after hitting a four-year low earlier in the day. Oil has been selling off on a supply glut, and amid speculation OPEC producers will not cut production when they meet Nov. 27. West Texas Intermediate lost 2.2 percent for the week.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 15, 2014 By:
91 Comments