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Thursday, April 24, 2014

EPA Admits Negative Effects of E15 Fuel, Helps AMA Fight Back

AutoEvolution -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally admitted officially that the ethanol in the E15 fuels have serious negative impacts on the engines running it, apparently with these effects being even more severe in smaller engines. That is, motorcycle and ATV engines.

This provides the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) and pretty much all the opponents of E15 fuel with new weapons in banning the use of this fuel type. The E15 is a type of fuel which contains ethanol in proportions of up to 15% by volume. Ethanol is present in multiple fuel blends currently in use, but in less than 10% mixtures.

Touted as being the next big step in the world of renewable, cleaner fuels, ethanol received a strong opposition from multiple motorists who claimed the higher percentage  (read more)

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Texting and Driving Brings Huge Fines and Jail in Ireland

AutoEvolution -- Even though such news seems to be more important to drivers, it should also make riders in Ireland feel a bit safer. Drivers caught texting will receive an initial fine of no less than €1,000 ($1,380).

And in case this doesn’t seem enough, the fines will double if you get caught texting while driving for a second time. Finally, if a driver is caught texting while driving for a third time during 12 months, he or she could even spend three months in jail. Now, in case you believe that such regulations are too extreme, maybe we should let you know about the studies the Irish have carried out: they have revealed that between 20% and 30% of the total number of accidents are caused by distracted drivers.

No specific data on the specific types of distractions has surfaced, but it should be fa  (read more)

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Anti-fraud stickers showing up on Central Florida gas pumps

Orlando FL Local 6 -- The anti-fraud stickers are red with black lettering and read: “Security seal. 7-11 Cares about your ID. Please Report Immediately if 'VOID OPEN' appears.”

If the tape is cut, torn, removed, or tampered with in any way, it begins to change color and eventually reveals the words “VOID OPEN.”

At 7-Eleven gas station pumps across Central Florida, the lock box that contains the credit card reader is sealed with the sticker to alert customers if it has been opened illegally.

Con artists often break into the boxes to install a skimmer -- an electronic device that stores credit card numbers when credit cards are inserted into the card reader.

A 7-Eleven spokesperson told Local 6 that every store is instructed to keep the stickers on hand and check the integrity of the sticker daily.

“Store p  (read more)

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Drunk drivers in FL may face daily breath tests

GasBuddy Blog -- Florida judges may soon have another way to force drunken drivers to get clean and sober by making them have their breath tested twice a day instead of blowing into machines that keep their cars from starting.

The proposal, approved by a FL House committee last week, would allow judges to place repeat DUI offenders into a new program, known elsewhere as "24/7 Sobriety," instead of having ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles.

State law currently requires interlock devices for drivers with more than one DUI. Judges would have the discretion to order the devices as well as the 24/7 program.

The program outlined in HB 7005, approved unanimously by the House Economic Affairs Committee, would require...  (read more)

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14 years ago today: GasBuddy website takes shape

GasBuddy Blog -- It's been a long time, friends and fans! Exactly 14 years ago today is when Jason Toews, now co-Founder of GasBuddy, started coding the website that would turn into It has been a long journey, and very successful, thanks to the users who report prices and the members who continue participating.It took Jason several weeks before GasBuddy hit the web, which occurred in June, 2000, with the launch of It was first built for tracking prices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which now has it's own website: site has seen many many changes, and prizes have evolved to the current $100 gas card daily prize from the quarterly prizes that had been awarded a decade ago. And while 14 years has brought many changes to our website and apps, our belief remains unchanged, and that is:Give you control over what price you pay at the pump!We will always keep that motto near and dear, and everything we do here will echo that principal- we're here to sa  (read more)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 honored for helping save Clovis man's life after accident -- FRESNO, Calif. - Five men received honors for their heroic acts in saving the life of a Clovis man after a nearly fatal accident last year.

Mary Ann Carousso is incredibly thankful her husband Jack is OK. "Mr. Carousso is the love of my life, I am thrilled that he is still here with me and I am so grateful for the five men who had just cared enough," said Carousso.

On September 9th, Jack, who works as a seventh grade teacher, was driving near Shields and Temperance when he had a heart attack and ran a stop sign. Investigators say he hit another car.

Doug Bolton, who was on his way to work that morning, stopped to make sure everyone was OK but realized Jack was not. "Undid his seat belt, started to pull him out, got on my radio, called for assistance and went into action," said Bolton.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

Russia Taps Arctic Oil, Leaving Rivals in Its Wake

Newsmax-LIGNET -- As Western nations struggle to appease environmentalists, Russia is moving fast to tap huge oil and gas deposits in the Arctic Circle, making its first oil shipment from an offshore drilling platform in the Arctic Ocean on April 18. Moscow is likely now to attempt to fortify its dominant position in the icy region in a bid to protect its interests.

Canada, Norway and the United States struggle with adamant opposition at home to any exploration of the Arctic, which holds almost a third of the world’s undiscovered natural gas deposits and nearly a seventh of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves. The allure of immense Arctic reserves may, however, prove irresistible to an energy-hungry world.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

Apple aims to disable texting while driving

CNET -- Several mobile apps on the market already try to prevent you from texting while driving, but a freshly-published Apple patent filing suggests a more automated solution.

Despite the dangers of texting while driving, many behind the wheel just can't seem to stop. One idea from Apple could put up more of a roadblock.

Published on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, an Apple patent called "Driver handheld computing device lock-out" proposes a couple of different ways to cut off texting and other cell phone features while you're driving.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

Kemp: Obama Stalls Drilling On Federal Lands

Rig Zone -- The White House likes to claim a share of the credit for the drilling revolution that has transformed North America's energy production and security. Except the revolution has largely taken place on private rather than public land, and energy producers feel frustrated about the numerous obstacles and long delays in obtaining permission to drill in areas directly controlled by the administration. "Crude oil production has grown each year President Barack Obama has been in office to its highest level in 17 years," the Council of Economic Advisors wrote back in the summer of 2013. "Over the past four years, domestic oil supply growth has accounted for over one-third of global oil production growth." "Government-funded research supplemented private industry's work to develop the technology tha  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

Refineries coming out of maintenance: EIA

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

Here are some highlights:

Crude oil inventories increased by 3.5 million barrels to a total of 397.7 million barrels. At 397.7 million barrels, inventories are 9.1 million barrels above last year (2.3%) and are well above the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.3 million barrels to 210.0 million barrels. At 210.0 million barrels, inventories are down 7.8 million barrels, or 3.6% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0...  (read more)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This Gas Pump Malfunction May Be Costing You

AOL Autos -- Are you sure you got all the gas you paid for the last time you refueled your vehicle?

A technical glitch, called the "Pump Jump," is costing consumers. It occurs when charges are left on a gas pump and it starts collecting money before the user begins filling up their car. It's not necessarily a scam. With gas prices constantly changing, customers are sometimes accidentally overcharged, Fox59 reported. Those orphaned charges, which can range from a few cents to a few dollars, end up on the bill of the next person to use that pump.

Most filling stations are checked yearly by state officials, but accidents can happen. The problem could be a faulty "check valve," which is responsible for dealing out the correct amount of gasoline. Fox News reported that such valves often wear out, an  (read more)

Submitted Apr 22, 2014 By:

Have gas prices reached their 2014 peak?

WALB -- After two and a half months of steady and steep increases, gas prices may be leveling off.

According to Triple-A, Monday's average in Georgia was slightly below $3.648 a gallon, down from $3.65 on Sunday.

Last year, prices nationally peaked in February. The year before they hit their high in April. In 2011, the high point came in May.

Experts say it's too soon to say whether we've reached this year's peak, but this is a good sign for drivers.

 (read more)

Submitted Apr 22, 2014 By:

Halliburton sees recovery in North America’s fracking market

Dallas News -- Dave Lesar sees better days ahead for Halliburton Co. in North America’s oversupplied fracking market.

The more than two-year glut in pressure-pumping equipment used to shoot water, sand and chemicals underground to release trapped oil and natural gas is easing “much faster” than expected, the chief executive officer said today.

“I’m starting to feel the momentum swing,” Lesar said on a conference call after Houston-based Halliburton posted better-than-expected results for the first quarter. “I am more excited about North America now than I have been since late 2011.”

The recovery is being led by increased drilling in the oil-rich Permian Basin of Texas, as well as natural attrition, according to the world’s biggest provider of fracking services. Halliburton expects to increase earnings  (read more)

Submitted Apr 22, 2014 By:

GA reminds politicians: Don't put signs in right of way

GasBuddy Blog -- The Georgia Department of Transportation is cautioning political candidates and campaigns not to place signs on rights of way. Signs that are found on rights of way will be removed by Georgia DOT maintenance crews. There's an important message here...

Georgia law stipulates that the Department is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to motorists. Any sign along Georgia’s state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by Georgia DOT to be within our right of way.

Typically, the most frequent offenders are signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 22, 2014 By:

Earth Day: Clean Air Act impact on gasoline and prices

GasBuddy Blog -- Today marks the 44th anniversary of the start of a movement to clean and protect the environment of the United States. The Clean Air Act of 1970 was a huge step forward in cleaning up so much that was wrong with environmental policy decades ago.

The result is profound, especially when it comes to air pollution: huge reductions of pollution from burning gasoline and diesel. Had the Clean Air Act not been established, we could be looking at pollution clouds, smog, and health impacts for millions, but instead, as I write this in my Chicago office, the sky is a deep blue and I can see for dozens of miles.

Today, the type of gasoline we buy and how clean it is depends on where you are and how many cars are on the roads in those...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 22, 2014 By:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fracking Foes Cringe as Unions Back Drilling Boom

abcNEWS-AP -- After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.

"The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.

Martire said that as huge quantities of natural gas were extracted from the vast shale reserves over the last five years, union work on large pipeline jobs...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 21, 2014 By:

25 Amazing Facts About Solar

Motley Fool -- In the past few years alone, the solar industry has gone from a clean energy source that required subsidies just to stay afloat to a full-fledged economic force. Solar energy is now passing grid parity in Europe, the southwestern U.S., South America, South Africa, and many other parts of the world. As costs fall, even more locations will find solar power to be economical, opening up a global electricity market worth over $1 trillion annually.

Here are just a few amazing statistics that show just how far solar energy has come and how big an opportunity it is for investors.

What's amazing about the progress in solar, wind, oil, and gas is that it was only a decade ago that the U.S. was worried about energy imports. Today, the situation has been turned on its head and all of these energy so  (read more)

Submitted Apr 21, 2014 By:

Sales results for natural gas-powered F-150 draw mixed reactions

Fuel Fix -- When Ford announced last summer it would sell a version of its F-150 pickup specially made to run on natural gas, many saw it as a watershed moment.

Few light-duty vehicles used by everyday consumers are available in a natural gas configuration. Suddenly, the most popular model in America’s best-selling line of vehicles would come in a version that could run on the relatively cheap, clean fuel.

But early sales numbers show that the public isn’t exactly clamoring for an F-150 powered by compressed natural gas. Ford readies the trucks for CNG conversion on the assembly line, and contractors later perform the conversion by special customer order.

Since sales began in December, just over 200 of the CNG-prepped trucks have been sold.

Ford officials say they aren’t worried.

“The first year  (read more)

Submitted Apr 21, 2014 By:

Running Out of Time

NY Times -- There are years, not decades, left to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and American leadership is urgently needed.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 21, 2014 By:

Northeast leads nation higher

GasBuddy Blog -- Another miserable week at the pump for motorists across the nation as the U.S. national average continues to move higher. The national average added 2.3 cents per gallon since last week, and stands at $3.63/gallon, or 12.1 cents per gallon higher than last year.

Areas of the East Coast have seen some of the worst pain in the last week- New Jersey and Delaware saw prices jump 9 cents per gallon, while Washington, Oregon, and Kentucky saw prices jump 7 cents per gallon.

The Rockies still hold on to some of the cheapest gasoline prices across the country this morning, with Utah at $3.35/gal, Montana at $3.38/gal, Idaho at $3.39/gal, New Mexico at $3.39/gal, and Wyoming at $3.40/gal.

Prices in Hawaii remain the...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 21, 2014 By:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Methane gas from waste is used to generate electricity

Detroit Free Press -- Pete Nichols keeps a close eye on a vast engine of sorts — one that runs on the trash discarded from homes throughout the Lansing area.

One of five operators at the Granger landfill in DeWitt Township, Nichols oversees a vast network of underground pipes that serve as a fuel line for this engine — a line that captures methane gas from waste and sends it to an adjacent generating station.

There, it powers seven large generators that can produce electricity for 10,000 homes in the Lansing area.

“I’m a very, very happy man,” Nichols said recently after reviewing computer readouts showing optimal methane levels at the station that day.

For electric utilities, green energy is more than a buzzword. It’s a state mandate, and it represents much of the recent and future growth in energy...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 20, 2014 By:

It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use

Forbes -- OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? With huge subsidies for ethanol in gasoline, with all States now selling gasoline having some ethanol blend, and a general misconception that these biofuels are green, corn ethanol has taken on a $30 billion/yr life of its own.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released two of its Working Group reports at the end of last month (WGI and WGIII), and their short discussion of biofuels has ignited a fierce debate as to whether they’re of any environmental benefit at all.

The IPCC was quite diplomatic in its discussion, saying “Biofuels have direct, fuel-cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 20, 2014 By:

Russia writes off 90 per cent of North Korean debt, expected to build gas pipeline

ABC Radio Australia -- Russia's parliament has agreed to write off about $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline to South Korea across the reclusive state.

The State Duma lower house in Moscow on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to excuse the bulk of North Korea's debt.

It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of September 17, 2012.

The rest of the debt - $1.09 billion - would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal instalments every six months.

The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank Vnesheconombank.

Russia's deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak told Russian media that the money could be used to fund mutually beneficial projects in North Korea, including...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 20, 2014 By:

EPA acknowledges ethanol damages engines

AMA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures.

Yet, even with this knowledge, the Federal Trade Commission is recommending more labeling at the gas pump as its solution to the problem.

The American Motorcyclist Association believes that is not enough.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a rule proposal to provide requirements for rating and certifying ethanol blends and requirements for labeling blends of more than 10 percent ethanol.

But this rule exempts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s E15-approved label.

This rule is for an additional label to be placed on the fuel pump “in response to the emergence of ethanol b  (read more)

Submitted Apr 20, 2014 By:

Keystone Review Delay Draws Angry Reaction From Backers

Bloomberg -- The Obama administration’s announcement yesterday that it was delaying a ruling on the Keystone XL oil pipeline drew an angry reaction from supporters of the $5.4 billion project, including some who said it was designed to push the issue beyond the November election.

“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement that called the move “nothing short of an indefinite delay.”

Opponents of the pipeline applauded the move, saying TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed link between Canada’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries would worsen global warming.

The delay could push until after the November midterm elections an issue that pits President Barack Obama’s ...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 20, 2014 By: