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Oneok plans North Dakota natural gas project; plant will be firm's 7th in the state

Associated Press -- An Oklahoma energy company says it plans to build another factory in western North Dakota capable of processing 200 million cubic feet of natural gas daily.

Tulsa-based Oneok Inc. and Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the more than $605 million project on Wednesday. The company says the Demicks Lake factory in northeast McKenzie County is expected to be completed in 2016.

The factory would be the seventh the company is operating or building in North Dakota. Oneok says the factory will bring its total investment in North Dakota to about $4 billion.  (go to article)

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Texas retail gasoline prices fall 4 cents this week due to higher American refinery output

Associated Press -- Texas retail gas prices have fallen 4 cents this week due to high output from American refineries, balancing any potential fallout from world crises.

AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump was $3.37 per gallon.

Amarillo drivers are getting the cheapest gas at an average gallon price of $3.27, while El Paso gas is reported at $3.45 per gallon.

While fighting between Ukraine and Russia as well as Israel and Hamas have the potential to affect gas supply, AAA says refineries in the United States are reaching some of their highest production levels since 2005.  (go to article)

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The Simmering Climate Battle Over Natural-Gas Exports

National Journal -- A fight is brewing over whether Energy Department regulators should weigh the impact of liquefied natural gas on climate change before granting companies permission to ship the product abroad.

The dueling pressures on the department from industry officials and green groups are part of a wider dispute over whether natural gas is a friend or enemy in battles against global warming.

Natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal when burned to create electricity. But leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane along the production, processing, and transit chain eat into that advantage—and how much is a matter of fierce dispute.

Right now, part of the battle over gas and climate is playing out in public comments on an Energy Department report about exports of liquefied natural gas.

 (go to article)

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The IMF Wants Your Gas to Be More Expensive

National Journal -- Rising gas prices may be the bane of most drivers, but the International Monetary Fund says those costs aren't nearly high enough.

In a book released today, the IMF states simply, "Many energy prices in many countries are wrong." The international bank backs tax reform that would peg fuel, coal, natural gas, and diesel prices to the cost of global warming, air pollution, and the impacts of motor-vehicle use.

For the U.S., for example, that could mean a $1.60 per gallon corrective tax on gasoline to cover health impacts from car exhaust pollution, traffic accidents, and wear and tear on highways, plus taxes on coal and natural gas to account for the energy sector.

But the benefits, the report says, would be felt across the spectrum. Incentivizing people to use less-dirty fuel...  (go to article)

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Suspect Held After Minn. Officer Killed During Traffic Stop

abc7.com -- A suspect in the fatal shooting of a West St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer Wednesday during a routine traffic stop is being held at a local hospital after a manhunt and shootout.

Authorities identified the deceased officer as Scott Patrick, 47. Patrick had been with the Mendota Heights Police Department since 1995.

The suspect, identified as Brian Fitch Sr., 39, of South St. Paul, was arrested in St. Paul tonight after he opened fire on officers, according to Sgt. Paul Palos of the St. Paul police department. He was seen driving in the area after an alert for his car, a green Pontiac Grand Am, was issued, authorities said.

Officers fired back at the suspect and hit him, Palos said. An unidentified woman was with the suspect at the time, according to ABC affiliate KSTP.  (go to article)

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A Stylish City Bike With Useful Tech Touches

Wired -- In an attempt to get more people biking, a nonprofit called Oregon Manifest holds an annual design competition challenging designers in five cities across the country to come up with a ride that’s so cool it’ll get people to ditch their cars in favor of cycles. Portland’s entry, made of 3-D printed titanium and outfitted with haptic handlebars to provide directions, is a perfect embodiment of the city’s bespoke tech culture. New York’s design was optimized for the Big Apple’s compact apartments. Chicago’s no-nonsense entry was built to withstand the city’s blustery winters.

The bike, called Blackline, was crafted by design firm Minimal, the studio who helped Microsoft shape the look of the Xbox 360 and Kinect sensor. Made in collaboration with fabricator Method Bicycle.  (go to article)

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Exxon Bets on Russia as Rivals Stick to U.S. Wells

Businessweek -- As Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s largest oil companies, bet on increasing production from Russia, smaller rivals are boosting crude supplies by exiting foreign fields to focus on booming U.S. wells.

ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY:US) and Apache Corp. reported rising second-quarter output as they divest international assets. Nationwide, U.S. oil production is at a 25-year high because of advanced drilling techniques that cracked petroleum-rich shale formations.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s shares (XOM:US) fell after the company today reported oil and natural gas output decreased 5.7 percent to the equivalent of 3.84 million barrels a day, the lowest since the third quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  (go to article)

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Crude oil pipeline could cut a swath through the region

myjournalcourier.com -- A Texas-based energy company is proposing to construct a new pipeline to carry crude oil from fields in North Dakota to Patoka in Illinois.

About 1,100 miles of pipeline would travel across Iowa and parts of central Illinois, and some landowners in Morgan and Scott counties have already been approached for initial land surveying.

The “Dakota Access Pipeline” — developed by Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Crude Oil companies — is designed to be a predominantly 30-inch diameter pipeline, providing about 320,000 barrels per day of capacity and connect the northern supply of crude oil to the Patoka and Nederland, Texas, hubs.  (go to article)

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U.S. exports coal to German power plants, as it shuts its own down

Associated Press -- LUENEN, Germany -- One of Germany's newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100-year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world.

Now the coal comes the other way.

The 750-megawatt Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Luenen GmbH & Co. power plant relies completely on coal imports, about half from the U.S. Soon, all of Germany's coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end.

Coal mining's demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply. U.S. exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. In 2013, Germany ranked fifth, behind the United Ki  (go to article)

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Burlington Skyway crash: Driver to be charged with impaired driving

CBC -- The driver of a large truck that crashed into and damaged the Burlington Skyway will be charged with impaired driving, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Toronto-bound lanes of the bridge will be closed for "some time," police say, after the truck hit the superstructure Thursday afternoon.

Police have no estimate of how long the lanes will be closed, but Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring tweeted that the damage may mean the highway is closed for days.  (go to article)

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Build more pipelines: Our view

USA Today -- The recent boom in U.S. oil production has always come with an asterisk: The nation now has more crude than it can move through existing pipelines, which don't yet connect refineries with oil from non-traditional oil-producing areas such as North Dakota. There's no way to move much of the oil except by train.

So rail shipments of oil have soared, from about 9,500 carloads in 2008 to an estimated 650,000 this year. Not surprisingly, accidents have shot up as well.  (go to article)

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GM Confirms Eight-Speed Auto for Pickups, SUVs

AutoGuide.com -- 2014-Chevrolet-Silverado

While it was spread in rumors last week, GM has confirmed that its half-ton pickup trucks and full-size SUVs will both be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There is a catch though. The eight speed will only be paired with the 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, while both the 5.3-liter V8 along with the 4.3-liter V6 solider on with a six-speed automatic.

GM says that the new eight speed is roughly the same size and weight as the outgoing six speed, and allows a wider gear spread which means that more torque is available from the first gear. This also means that the rear-end axle ratio can be numerically lower, allowing RPMs to stay low at highway speeds.

SEE ALSO: GM Truck Tow Ratings Adjusted by Tougher Testing

The Sil  (go to article)

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Exxon profit surges, but production slips

Yahoo Finance -- NEW YORK (AP) -- Exxon Mobil's net income rose 28 percent in the second quarter on a sale of Asian assets and higher oil prices, but oil and gas production slipped a disappointing 6 percent.

Exxon reported net income of $8.78 billion in for the second quarter Thursday, on revenue of $111.65 billion. Last year during the same period, the company earned $6.86 billion on sales of $106.67 billion.

On a per-share basis, Exxon earned $2.05, up from $1.55 last year. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.91 per share, but that estimate does not include the benefit from the Asian asset sale.

Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, does not provide a breakdown of its adjusted results excluding one-time events such as asset sales. Exxon's sale of power  (go to article)

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Gas prices plummet in July. Aren't they supposed to rise in summer?

The Christian Science Monitor -- Washington — Prices at the pump just keep dropping.

The average US gas price is now $3.52 per gallon, according to a Thursday report released by automotive group AAA, making current prices the lowest since March of this year. This July, US consumers saw a bigger drop in gas prices than in any July over the last six years. The price at the pump fell every day but one over the course of the month, according to AAA.

Gas prices generally rise in the summer months, as Americans hit the road and drive up demand for gas. The federal government also mandates that refineries produce a more costly, lower-emission blend of gas in the summer – and those increased costs are passed onto motorists.

Not so this year. A burgeoning supply of domestic crude oil is holding down gas prices at home, even...  (go to article)

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2016 XE Will Be The Most Fuel-Efficient Jaguar Ever Thanks To Aluminum Construction

Motor Authority -- Aluminum Construction
By Viknesh Vijayenthiran Viknesh Vijayenthiran
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Share on TwitterJaguar’s all-new 3-Series and C-Class fighter, the XE, is set for a reveal on September 8 but the British automaker simply can’t help itself from releasing a few details early. In addition to a teaser photo showing the car’s face, we’ve been given a look at its new aluminum internals, Ingenium range of four-cylinder engines and its suspension.

Now, Jaguar has released information on the car’s fuel economy, claiming that the new XE will be the most fuel-efficient model in the marque’s history. This is due in part to the car’s efficient Ingenium engines but primarily because of its aluminum-intensive lightweight...  (go to article)

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Marathon Petroleum says doubtful LOOP will export U.S. crude

Reuters -- Increased interest among some U.S. companies to export minimally processed very light domestic crude has not translated into solid plans to move oil out of the country's only port that can take deliveries from the largest tankers, Marathon Petroleum CEO Gary Heminger said on Thursday.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in New Orleans, of which Marathon is a part owner, is built to take deliveries of up to 1.2 million barrels per day of imported crude, Heminger said.

Heminger said Marathon has considered the idea, but export volumes would not be high enough to justify the cost of making the LOOP's 48-inch pipeline bilateral, or able to move crude in or out. It also would not justify building a parallel export pipeline, the CEO said.

The LOOP offloads crude 20 miles off the coast of  (go to article)

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U.S. oil dives below $100 on Kansas refinery outage, equity drop

Reuters -- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

CVR Refining said its 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas might be shut for as long as four weeks after a fire in a gasoline-related unit on Tuesday. The refinery is a major consumer of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude.

A lengthy shutdown of the Coffeyville refinery could temper demand for WTI crude. Traders say this should help rebuild inventories in the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub that have fallen this summer to six-year lows.

"If refinery runs pull back, we will see rebounds in crude stocks," said Phil Flynn,  (go to article)

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Crash tests show smaller cars don't fare well

WRBC -- (NBC News) - The Mini Cooper Countryman was only one of a dozen small cars to get a "Good" rating in the latest round of "small overlap front crash" tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object at 40 miles an hour.
Seven of the 12 tested received "Acceptable" or "Marginal" ratings, while four others received a rating of "Poor", including the Fiat 500L, Nissan's Juke and their all-electric Leaf, as well as the Mazda 5.

The institute concluded they didn't provide enough protection to the occupants' compartment.

"The survival space wasn't well maintained and that means things were pushing ..................  (go to article)

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Researchers discover cool-burning flames in space that could lead to better engines here on earth

UCSanDiego -- A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool burning flames that could lead to cleaner, more efficient engines for cars. The discovery was made during a series of experiments on the International Space Station.
FTFA "...it could potentially lead to engines that burn fuel at cooler temperatures, emitting fewer pollutants such as soot and nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, also known as NOx, while still being efficient."  (go to article)

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Latina teen invents device to prevent hot car deaths

Foxnews.com -- Go to URL to view video.  (go to article)

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Fracking spill dumps 480 barrels of HCL acid SW of Hennessey

Enid News and Eagle -- HENNESSEY — A fracking-related hydrochloric acid spill southwest of Hennessey is possibly the biggest of its kind in the state, according to an Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman.

Spokesman Matt Skinner said 480 barrels of hydrochloric (HCL) acid spilled Monday in rural Kingfisher County. A tank emptied out the acid, which is used in frack jobs.

“I’ve never heard of a spill this size occurring in relation to fracking materials,” Skinner said. “At the very least, this is very unusual. This might be the biggest one we’ve seen.”

Skinner said each barrel contains 42 gallons. That would total more than 20,000 gallons in the acid spill.  (go to article)

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Tesla Automotive beats the street for the quarter

CNBC -- Wall Street analysts were forecasting Tesla to post earnings, excluding items, of 4 cents per share on $811 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
 (go to article)

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GM missed red flag from rental car firms on fatal crashes

Auto News-Bloomberg -- More than seven years before General Motors Co. began the biggest wave of auto recalls in history, an investigator for Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc. contacted the carmaker about a fatal rollover crash in California.

A driver in a new Chevrolet Cobalt rented from Vanguard’s Alamo unit lost control on a warm, dry and clear day in September 2006. Traffic had been light, according to the police report. The sedan drifted across lanes, got caught in a gravel median and rolled over. The seat belt was buckled. The air bag didn’t deploy. The driver was killed.

A Vanguard claims adjuster wrote to GM and said even though the cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known, “due to the serious nature of this accident we feel that it is imperative that you open a claim...
 (go to article)

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GM, too, removes parts to weigh pickups, boost payload ratings

Automotive News -- General Motors now says it deletes heavy items such as the rear bumper from certain pickups when it weighs them in order to boost the vehicles’ maximum payload ratings.

GM says it adopted the practice for the 2014 model year in response to competitive pressures as it launched redesigned full-sized pickups.

The practice is similar to one adopted by Ford Motor Co. about four years ago to show a maximum payload that is larger than would be possible if the automaker used the standard base curb weight of a pickup.

Chrysler Group’s Ram brand uses only an unmodified base curb weight on the Ram pickup, as does Toyota Motor Corp. to set the payload of its Tundra pickup, spokesmen for those two pickup makers said.  (go to article)

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Tweet derails Cassidy DWI plea deal hearing

Associated Press -- A horse racing tweet prompted prosecutors to halt a court hearing at which a lawyer for seventies heartthrob David Cassidy was supposed to accept a plea deal on the singer's behalf.

Cassidy was charged last summer with driving while intoxicated in the town of Schodack, near Albany. Because he lives in Florida, prosecutors agreed to let his lawyer appear in court for him Wednesday.

But a tweet by the New York Racing Association said Cassidy was at Saratoga Race Course, 40 miles north of Schodack.
 (go to article)

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Senate Dems to House: Amended highway bill can be fixed

The Hill -- Senate Democrats said Wednesday that their amended version of a bill to save federal transportation funding could be fixed in time to beat a Friday deadline for Congress to reach an agreement.

Republicans in the House have argued that the Senate's changes to their nearly $11 billion bill to extend transportation funding until next spring would leave the measure about $2 billion short of the amount of money that is needed to refill the Department of Transporation's Highway Trust Fund until the end of the year.

Two of the primary authors of a Senate amendment that moved up the expiration date for the highway funding from May 2015 to December said Wednesday afternoon that the House could fix the error and still accept their version of the transportation funding extension.
 (go to article)

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House jams Senate on highway funding

The Hill -- The House on Thursday will try to force the Senate to agree to its version of a $10.9 billion bill extending federal funding for highways and infrastructure projects.

Republicans in the House believe Democrats in the Senate will have little choice but to accept their version of the bill if it is sent back on Thursday afternoon, just before Congress is set to begin a five-week recess. The House plans to adjourn shortly after the vote.

At issue is how long transportation funding will be extended in the short term. Democrats want to deal with a longer-term fix during the lame-duck session after the November elections, while Republicans want to extend funding into next year and the next Congress — possibly one with a Republican Senate.
 (go to article)

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HitchBot Update: After a day going back and forth, Canada’s hitchhiking robot makes surprising progr

National Post -- It was a busy day that covered a lot of territory for hitchBOT, the talking robot attempting to hitchhike its way across Canada to test just how kind people are

After Tue was lost — the robot travelled backward in NB (got a camping trip out of it) only to end up where it started — hitchBOT was driven 450mi Wed

After finally leaving Campbellton,NB it crossed into QC at 10AM and was photographed on Twitter wearing a pink backpack and its signature yellow boots at infocentre

The robot was later taken all the way through QC City

It believed the same person still had hitchBOT halfway between Montreal and Cornwall,ON

HitchBOT seems to be enjoying its trip, meeting new people

Drivers report having conversatiions with the robot, ranging from discussions on of love to belief in a higher power  (go to article)

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Huge Overnight Moves in Several Markets Push National Retail Average Higher

GasBuddy Blog -- After a 32-day streak of lower gas prices, the GasBuddy unleaded regular national average has climbed for two straight days, thanks to some double digit increases in a few Rust Belt cities, not a nationwide trend. Toledo, Ohio, for example saw an overnight gain of a whopping 22.2cts/gal, pushing gas prices there to $3.437/gal. Despite weaker U.S. spot markets for gasoline, the Toledo metropolitan area has seen another 2cts/gal of increases Thursday morning, perhaps proving that all gasoline prices, like politics, are local.According to GasBuddy, other metropolitan areas that now reflect double digit increases from Wednesday include:...  (go to article)

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esla seals landmark deal to mass-produce EV batteries in the US

Engadget International -- Tesla has signed a deal with Panasonic that'll see the pair team up to build the Gigafactory. It's from here that vehicle packs and cells will be mass-produced on an unprecedented scale that costs are expected to tumble. According to the announcement, Tesla will build the plant and maintain it, while Panasonic supplies the lithium cells, plant, machinery and manufacturing equipment to make the whole thing happen.  (go to article)

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Shell Profit up on Higher Oil Prices

ABC News -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe's largest oil company, says second quarter earnings rose on higher production and higher selling prices for oil, and fewer one-time charges.

Net profit was $5.31 billion, up from $1.74 billion in the same period a year earlier. Shell booked net one-time charges of $979 million in the quarter, down from $2.21 billion in the second quarter of 2013.

The Anglo-Dutch company produced 3.08 million barrels of oil and equivalents per day, only a fractional increase. But Shell said production of oil, which is more lucrative, was up 3 percent while natural gas production fell 8 percent.

The company said oil production has increased in Iraq and the Gulf of Mexico, offsetting declines at aging fields.
 (go to article)

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US oil shipment navigates around decades-old ban

CNBC --
The Overseas Santorini tanker sails under the Harbor Bridge into the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Eddie Seal | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Overseas Santorini tanker sails under the Harbor Bridge into the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.

United States oil production has boomed in recent years, and now a loophole in a long-standing law has allowed the first export of unrefined American oil in decades.

A tanker left Texas for South Korea with a $40 million shipment of unrefined oil on Wednesday night in the first unrestricted export since the 1970s, The Wall Street Journal reported.  (go to article)

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Obama to Congress: Finish highway bill before recess Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/transpo

The Hill -- "We've got just today and tomorrow until Congress leaves town for a month, and we've still got some serious work to do," he said. "We've still got … to put people to work rebuilding roads and bridges. And the Highway Trust Fund is running out of money; we got to get that done."

The House has said that it prefers to extend transportation funding until next May to avoid efforts to increase the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax that is normally used to pay for transportation projects.

The gas tax has been the traditional source of paying for transportation projects since the inception of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950's. The tax has not been increased since 1993, however, and it has struggled to keep pace with infrastructure expenses as cars have become more fuel efficient.
 (go to article)

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The rise of the connected car puts the Web behind the wheel

The Globe and Mail --
A new wave of technology is set to revolutionize the experience of drivers and passengers on road trips, errands and even the commute to work.

Vehicle manufacturers and technology companies are combining expertise to develop a more connected car–bringing Internet access and smartphone-like features into cars and trucks. Other companies, such as auto insurers and app developers, are also integrating in-car connectivity into their businesses.

This shift is expected to generate major profits in the coming years, with global revenues projected to reach $20-billion (U.S.) by 2018, according to a recent report from Juniper Research, a mobile and telecom analysis group.  (go to article)

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Consumers interested in driverless vehicles but concerned about safety

Detroit Free Press -- U.S. drivers are interested in owning driverless vehicles, but they aren’t necessarily willing to pay extra and they have serious concerns about the safety of autonomous cars, according to a new University of Michigan study.

The U-M Transportation Research Institute survey found that 68% of people believe completely driverless cars would result in fewer crashes, while 49% believe they would reduce traffic congestion.

But 67% also said that they would be moderately or very concerned about driving or riding in a totally driverless vehicle, compared to only 11% who were not concerned and 22% who were only slightly concerned.

The survey suggests that the auto industry faces an uphill battle in convincing consumers to embrace the idea of handing the steering wheel, accelerator and brakes  (go to article)

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Tesla signs battery plant deal with Panasonic

Detroit Free Press -- Tesla Motors solidified its deal with Panasonic to construct and operate a massive factory expected to produce battery cells and packs for the Silicon Valley automaker’s electric vehicles.

Tesla has agreed to build and manage the facility, while Panasonic has agreed fund the cost of manufacturing equipment, the companies said in a statement.

Panasonic will supply the cylindrical lithium-ion cells, while Tesla will manufacture the actual battery modules and packs that power its vehicles. Tesla already assembles its vehicles at a California factory formerly operated jointly by General Motors and Toyota.

The companies did not detail how they are splitting the costs for the so-called “gigafactory,” which is expected to cost up to $5 billion and employ 6,500 workers by 2020.
 (go to article)

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New sanctions for Russia—here's where they'll hurt

cnbc -- As pro-Russian militants intensify fighting in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. and European Union have stepped up an ongoing economic and trade war to pressure Moscow to back down.  (go to article)

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EPA hears pros, cons of new

Prairie Public News -- Hundreds of people gathered across the nation on Tuesday, in four different cities to give the Environmental Protection Agency a piece of their minds.

The subject: proposed new rules to cut carbon pollution from power plants 30 percent by 2030.

The rules, announced back in June, would be the biggest step taken by the US so far to combat the effects of climate change.

Public hearings are going on in Washington DC, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and the only hearing in the West-- in Denver.  (go to article)

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Oil hangs near $106 on increased supply, low demand

Reuters -- Brent crude slipped below $106 a barrel on Thursday as higher OPEC output and disappointing demand in the United States outweighed tensions in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.  (go to article)

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Gas Prices Have Sharpest July Drop in 6 Years

24/7 Wall Street -- The average price of a gallon of gasoline fell by nearly $0.14 in July, from $3.753 at the beginning of the month to $3.617 at the end. Not since 2008 has the difference in price of a gallon of gas fallen that much. And in 2008, the month started at an average price of $4.165 before falling to $4.01 by the end.

In the past seven years, only 2008, 2009 and this year have seen average gasoline prices drop. In the other four years they gained from a little (about two cents a gallon in 2010) to a lot (nearly 19 cents in 2013).

Only two states — Hawaii and Alaska — now have gasoline prices that average more than $4 a gallon. Even California is enjoying a respite, with an average of $3.98 a gallon.  (go to article)

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Exxon Mobil restarts Pegasus pipeline in Texas

AP via Fuel Fix -- Exxon Mobil has restarted a section of its Pegasus pipeline in Texas more than a year after a crude oil spill in central Arkansas forced the company to shut down the entire line, a spokesman said.

The southern portions of the pipeline were restarted on July 9, ExxonMobil spokesman Aaron Styrk told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in an email. The Texas section includes a 205-mile segment between Corsicana and Beaumont and a 6-mile segment between Beaumont and Nederland.

The Pegasus pipeline ruptured in March 2013 in Mayflower’s Northwoods subdivision, sending an estimated 210,000 gallons of heavy crude into the neighborhood, drainage ditches and Lake Conway. Authorities have said the oil did not reach the main portion of the lake.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Admini  (go to article)

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Kurdish Oil Mystery Deepens as Ship Unloads Cargo in South China Sea

IBT -- A tanker carrying Kurdish oil has unloaded part of its cargo in the South China Sea, although the identity of the buyer remains a mystery.

The United Emblem Tanker had left the Turkish port of Ceyhan in June, carrying up to 1 million barrels of crude oil produced in Iraqi Kurdistan and exported by the autonomous region's government without permission from Baghdad.

It is one of three tankers that were loaded and sailed from Ceyhan in June.

A second tanker, the United Kalavrvta, has been anchored off the Texas coast for days amid a protracted legal dispute between Iraq and Kurdistan over the autonomous region's right to sell oil on international markets.

A US judge rejected a request from Baghdad that the US seize the tanker, saying that it was anchored outside of American territorial...  (go to article)

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Car crashes into bee-infested abandoned house; St. Charles driver dies as rescuers hindered by swarm

MLive -- A St. Charles man died Wednesday, July 30, after his vehicle crashed into a vacant, bee-infested home in the village.

The 54-year-old man was driving west on Spruce Road at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when his vehicle continued straight at a curve just west of M-52, sending the vehicle crashing into an abandoned home at 216 W. Spruce, the Saginaw County Sheriff's office reports.

Saginaw County Sheriff Lt. Randy Pfau said the incident is still under investigation, but said preliminary findings suggest the crash was related to a medical emergency.

Pfau said people nearby saw the crash and rushed to help the driver, but were driven back by swarms of bees, released when the car struck the home.

"The house, we're being told, has not been occupied for many years," he said.  (go to article)

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Los Angeles Toddler Dies After Getting Trapped in Hot Car

The Weather Channel -- For the 19th time this year, a young child has died after getting trapped in a hot car, police say.

A 3-year-old boy was found unresponsive in the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. Police said the boy was playing in the yard of his family's home when he climbed into a car and couldn't get out.
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Why Local Gas Prices Are Skyrocketing

WLNS-TV -- 6 News reporter Emerald Morrow went out to find out more about what's behind the spike in gas prices we've seen across mid-Michigan.  (go to article)

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Exxon 2Q profit climbs 28 percent

Yahoo News - AP -- IRVING, Texas (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Thursday reported net income that climbed by 28 percent in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations.

The Irving, Texas-based company said net income increased to $8.78 billion, or $2.05 per share, from $6.86 billion, or $1.55 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of $1.91 per share.

The company said revenue rose 4.9 percent to $111.65 billion from $106.67 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $109.14 billion, according to Zacks.

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BP, Shell, Morgan Stanley seek end of oil price-fixing lawsuit

Reuter -- BP Plc , Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Morgan Stanley and other companies urged a U.S. judge to dismiss nationwide litigation claiming they conspired for 12 years to fix prices of Brent crude oil, a benchmark for the cost of gasoline and heating oil.

In papers filed on Monday night in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the defendants said there was no evidence they colluded to manipulate spot prices or intended to do so, in violation of U.S. commodity and antitrust laws.

They also said that because the alleged manipulation took place outside the United States and was governed by foreign law, U.S. courts had no authority to handle the case to begin with.  (go to article)

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Oil companies forfeit Arctic drilling rights

Fuel Fix -- — Oil companies that locked up more than 1.3 million acres of the Beaufort Sea for drilling in 2007 have since relinquished nearly half that territory.

The industry’s appetite for tapping those Arctic waters may be waning even as the Obama administration plans to auction off more of the area.

Oil companies have ceded rights to drill on roughly 584,000 acres, despite paying tens of thousands _ and sometimes much more — in bonus bids for individual leases in auctions since 2003, according to an analysis of government data by the conservation group Oceana reviewed by FuelFix.

And now, all but seven of the 141 still-active oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea along Alaska’s northeast coast are partly or completely held by a single firm, Shell Oil Co. The tracts, which generally span about  (go to article)

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How safe is your rental car?

USA TODAY -- In recent years more and more car owners have been affected by manufacturer recalls on critical automotive components. But what if a recall doesn't affect the car you own, but instead affects the car you're renting?

The good news is the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013 can remedy this situation by ensuring rental fleets comply with recall notices. The bad news is this law is floundering in Congress: GovTrack's prognosis is not good, citing only a 14% chance of being enacted. And in the meantime, it can be hard for renters to determine what a rental firm's policy is on recalled vehicles.  (go to article)

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Crude oil slips below $100 a barrel after supply data

Market Watch -- Crude-oil futures extended overnight losses in Asian trade Thursday, on bearish U.S. inventory data that sent the U.S. oil benchmark below the $100 a barrel mark.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures CLU4 -0.95% for delivery in September traded at $99.67 a barrel, down $0.60 in the Globex electronic session. September Brent crude UK:LCOU4 -0.60% on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.22 to $106.29 a barrel.

Overnight, Nymex lost 70 cents a barrel and Brent lost $1.21 a barrel.

U.S. oil stockpiles fell by 3.7 million barrels in the week ended July 25, compared with market estimates of a 1.8 million-barrel decline, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.  (go to article)

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Energy Companies Rethinking Russia After New Round of Sanctions

The New York Times -- LONDON — The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine — and the tougher round of sanctions against Russia that followed — is prompting some big multinational energy companies to take a fresh look at the ramifications of the crisis.

For months, American and European energy players have continued to sign deals with Russia, maintaining a posture that business was proceeding as usual. But top industry executives are now starting to acknowledge that the escalating tensions could sharply hurt Western oil and gas giants with major investments in Russia, as well as the service companies that are key technology suppliers.

“We are in the heat of a very emotional stage,” Robert W. Dudley, BP’s chief executive, told reporters on Tuesday. The company warned that further economic sa  (go to article)

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