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Exxon, Chevron results boosted by refining as oil prices slip

Reuters -- (Reuters) - A surge in refining profits boosted quarterly results at Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp , helping to offset declining oil and gas production and falling crude oil prices.

Both companies reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits on Friday, with executives touting the importance of owning massive refineries alongside oil and gas wells. Refining profits tend to rise when oil prices fall, though low prices dent the profitability of wells. Having both in a company stable can allow for a bit of insurance during price swings.  (go to article)

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US average pump price ready to drop below $3 a gallon first time in 4 years; cheaper than milk

Associated Press -- NEW YORK – The average price of gasoline in the U.S. hit $3 a gallon Friday, and should soon drop below the benchmark for the first time since December 2010.

The price at the pump fell 33 cents in October, thanks mainly to plunging oil prices, according to AAA.

Many exuberant drivers have taken to social media to post pictures of gas station signs with prices of $2.99 or lower. Drivers in South Carolina and Tennessee are paying the lowest prices, with an average of $2.75 a gallon.
 (go to article)

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Gas almost under $3 nationwide: What to know

msn.com -- NEW YORK — The sight is so surprising that Americans are sharing photos of it, along with all those cute Halloween costumes, sweeping vistas and special meals: The gas station sign, with a price under $3 a gallon.

"It's stunning what's happening here," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. "I'm a little bit shocked."

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 33 cents in October, landing Friday at $3.00, according to AAA, and will soon dip under $3 for the first time in four years.
 (go to article)

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The end of gas-guzzlers?

CNBC -- The automotive industry is going through a period of significant change, with the transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric and hybrid ones.

In the U.K., for example, uptake of electric cars has risen rapidly: the registration of totally electric cars in September 2014 rose by over 180 percent compared to September 2013, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
 (go to article)

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National average on the verge of $2.999: no trick, big treat

GasBuddy Blog -- Trick or treat! Well, definitely a treat, but some think it's a trick: the national average stands on the verge of dropping under $3 per gallon for the first time since 2010. We believe that in the next 48 hours, prices nationally will drop under $3/gallon.It has certainly been a long time coming- the decline in gas prices has lasted basically since late June, and could continue even further if oil prices can break through and close under say $79/bbl.We're closing out the month of October 33 cents per gallon lower than where we started it, and some states have seen even larger declines than that. For 110 straight days we've seen the national average under its year ago level, which has certainly shaved billions off what Americans have spent at the pump this year....  (go to article)

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Shale Boom Redraws Oil Routes as Alaskans Ship to Korea

Bloomberg -- For signs of how the U.S. shale boom is transforming the global flow of oil, look halfway across the world at South Korea.

The Asian nation, which relies on the Middle East for about 86 percent of its oil imports, is benefiting as new output from Texas to North Dakota displaces the crudes that fed U.S. refineries for decades. South Korea received this month a shipment of Alaskan oil for the first time in at least eight years and may buy more, the importing company said. The country was one of the first to receive a cargo of the ultralight U.S. oil known as condensate after export rules were eased.

The U.S. shale revolution has driven oil output to the highest in more than three decades, reducing America’s need for overseas purchases and sinking global prices into a bear market.  (go to article)

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Drivers scramble for cash on I-270 after crash

Washington Post -- URBANA, Md. — Drivers scrambled to grab money flying around Interstate 270 in Frederick County after an armored truck and a dump truck collided.

The two trucks hit each other just before 8 a.m. Friday on northbound Interstate 270 at Route 80, near Urbana.  (go to article)

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Exxon Profit Rises as Refining Boosted by Lower Crude

Bloomberg.com -- Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) unexpectedly boosted profit as slumping crude-oil prices made it cheaper to manufacture petroleum-based fuels.

Exxon’s refineries made $1 million in profit every two hours during the third quarter -- a 73 percent increase from a year earlier. The refining gain more than made up for less profit from oil and natural gas production and the company’s lowest output from wells in half a decade...  (go to article)

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New York state to set up upstate fuel reserve in November

Reuters -- A strategic fuel reserve at six locations in upstate New York is expected to be operational in November to ensure gasoline and diesel fuel are available to emergency responders in the event of an emergency such as 2012's Hurricane Sandy.

Approximately 2.5 million gallons (9.5 million liters) of gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) will be kept in the reserve in terminals in Rensselaer, Brewerton, Rochester, Marcy, Vestal and Buffalo, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said on Wednesday in a release.

Sandy battered the Northeastern coast at the end of October 2012, destroying homes and buildings, closing refineries and leaving motorists without fuel and exposing vulnerabilities in the fuel dis  (go to article)

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Suncor to Regularly Consider Shipping Western Canada Crude Overseas

Reuters -- Suncor Energy Inc will look regularly at the economics of shipping Western Canadian crude from the country's East Coast to markets overseas, Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams said on Thursday.

In a third-quarter conference call, Williams said shipping Cold Lake-grade crude by rail from Alberta to the East Coast and from there transporting it overseas could be a long-term opportunity for the company, with Europe and the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts as possible markets.

For years oil producers in landlocked Alberta have been seeking ways to get their crude to tidewater and higher-priced international markets.

Last month Suncor sent its first ever tanker of Western Canadian crude from Canada's East Coast to Europe and earlier this month it also se  (go to article)

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Pipeline battle like trench warfare

Calgary Herald -- Somewhere along the way to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's much-derided vision of Canada becoming an energy superpower we've become a BANANA republic.

With TransCanada filing the regulatory application for its crosscountry Energy East oil pipeline there's little doubt the Harper government will eventually approve the $12-billion project, regardless of public sentiment.

It was equally predictable when the Calgary company filed its 30,000-page application with the National Energy Board on Thursday that the Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything opponents of oilsands development would turn out in protest against the pipeline, regardless of its merits.

This is the state of our national energy dialogue.  (go to article)

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Iran a 'time bomb' for oil prices

CNBC --

Markets should look for "a significant additional political risk premium on the price of Brent" if nuclear arms talks between Iran and major world powers break down, Nomura has warned.

If Iran walks away from the negotiation table over the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology in the country, markets could easily be spooked over the region's stability and that could affect the price of Brent, which has tumbled since June, Nomura's senior political analyst Alastair Newton said in a note Thursday.
 (go to article)

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OPEC Boosts Oil Output as Prices Slide to Four-Year Low

Bloomberg -- OPEC countries boosted oil output to a 14-month high in October as crude futures sank into a bear market, a Bloomberg survey showed yesterday.

Production by the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries climbed by 53,000 barrels a day to 30.974 million, led by gains in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Last month’s total was revised 14,000 barrels a day lower to 30.921 million because of changes to the Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Nigerian and Qatari estimates.

OPEC nations lifted output as Brent crude dropped to a four-year low amid ample global supplies and sluggish demand. The group’s biggest producers, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait, have cut their official selling prices, sparking speculation they will compete ...  (go to article)

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Oil falls towards $85 on strong dollar, oversupply

CNBC --

Brent crude oil fell more than a dollar towards $85 a barrel on Friday as a firmer dollar and a well supplied oil market pushed the benchmark towards its steepest monthly decline since 2012.

The U.S. dollar rose to a three-week high on Thursday, after data showed the U.S. economy grew 3.5 percent in the third quarter, topping market estimates for a 3 percent rise.

A strong dollar makes commodities such as oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies, suppressing demand.
 (go to article)

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Voice-activated tech doesn’t always make driving safer

Tucson Sentinel -- Vehicles equipped with voice-activated technology are designed to allow drivers to multitask hands-free and increase their safety behind the wheel, but a recent AAA study suggests that this may not always be the case.

A car’s in-dash voice activation system, or infotainment system, can be frustrating to drivers when it doesn’t work correctly or is too complicated to use. It’s something that driver Will Sowards has gone through time and time again with his car’s Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch system.

“A lot of times it will mishear you and not understand you,” said Sowards, an Arizona State University student. “I would yell and scream at this thing.”

AAA’s study took a closer look at how these and other problems with voice-activation features affect one’s mental workload and cause ...  (go to article)

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Environmental groups sue over reactor

The Spokesman Review -- SPOKANE — Three environmental groups are suing a state agency over the impacts of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant on the water quality of the Columbia River.

Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Northwest Environmental Advocates, and Columbia Riverkeeper will file the lawsuit Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court against the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

The council in 2006 issued the water pollution permit for Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, which is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The station uses 20 million gallons of water from the river every day to cool the nuclear reactor.

The lawsuit contends that the permit violates the Clean Water Act by allowing water pollution at levels that violate state standards  (go to article)

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Halloween requires extra caution: Be watchful of Trick-or-Treaters & stay safe!

GasBuddy Blog -- Milky Ways. Nestle's Crunch.  Hershey's. Almond Joy. Twizzlers. Reese's. Kit-Kats. Charleston Chews.  It's very important that the kids arrive home safely tonight!

Whether you're walking with young kids who'll be Trick-or-Treating, or driving home after work or stepping out, it's critical to remember some important Halloween tips to keep everybody safe... ...  (go to article)

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Oil price declines have small-cap shale investors scrambling

Reuters -- (Reuters) - Plummeting oil prices are pushing some of the small-cap companies which flourished as part of the U.S. shale energy boom close to their breaking point, while also prompting some well-known fund managers to aggressively buy energy stocks.

Concerns about slowing growth in Europe and a stronger dollar have helped push the price of light crude oil down about 25 percent since June to about $82 a barrel, creeping closer to the average marginal cost of crude production of about $73 a barrel for U.S. onshore work, according to a research note from Baird Equity Research. Those declines have sent the SIG Oil Exploration and Production index down 21.2 percent over the last three months.

"The market is selling all of these companies, even if it's clear that $75 a barrel oil is not going  (go to article)

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Faulty GM ignition switch linked to 2nd crash death in Canada

CBC -- On a clear winter day in March 2014, 55-year-old Danylo Kulish was on his way to pick up his girlfriend at Montreal’s Trudeau airport in his GM Saturn Ion. He never made it.

Kulish died in a crash in which Transport Canada investigators are probing a faulty ignition switch as the “probable” cause — just six weeks after General Motors issued a recall of millions of cars because of the potentially deadly defect.

The Kulish family says no one told them about the GM recall until after his death.  (go to article)

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Transport Canada aware of deadly GM defect 8 months before recall

CBC -- Transport Canada was aware of a potential problem with ignition switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt eight months before General Motors Canada issued a recall notice for the deadly defect, the fifth estate has learned.

General Motors has so far accepted 29 wrongful death claims related to the ignition switch failure in the U.S. and Canada. In all, it has received claims for more than 150 deaths.

One Canadian death has been linked to the defect. But an investigation by the fifth estate and Radio-Canada's Enquete reveals that the faulty GM ignition switch is being probed as the "probable explanation" of a second fatal crash that occurred in Quebec just over one month after the recall.  (go to article)

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Crude Falls on Federal Reserve Stimulus Halt, U.S. Supply

BLOOMBERG -- West Texas Intermediate oil fell after the Federal Reserve ended its asset-purchase program and U.S. crude production surged to the highest level since the 1980s. Brent declined in London.

Futures slipped 1.3 percent in New York. The dollar strengthened a second day against the euro after the Fed’s announcement, curbing the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency as a store of value. U.S. crude supplies rose for a fourth week as output increased to 8.97 million barrels a day, Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday.

“Yesterday’s Fed announcement is pushing the dollar higher, which is putting selling pressure on commodities,” Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by phone. “The supply build yesterday may have...  (go to article)

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Suncor to increase spending in oil sands despite crude woes

The Globe and Mail -- Suncor will pump billions into AB’s oil sands next year even as lower crude prices chip away at the company’s profits

Suncor plans to spend $7-8B and next year, up from a projected $6.8B this year, CEO said Thu, as construction on the company’s Fort Hills mine ramps up. The $13.5B JV with Teck and Total SA is slated to add 180Kbpd of new capacity in N AB, with first oil slated for 2017

The spending plans are the strongest signal yet that oil sands companies are prepared to wait out the current market rout, betting that the sharp plunge in benchmark crude prices is a temporary blip

Analysts have said integrated companies with deep pockets such as Suncor – Canada’s largest oil and gas company – are better equipped to withstand lower prices, in part because of the impact of a weaker Canadi  (go to article)

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Canadian Oil Sands profit plunges 65% in quarter

The Globe and Mail -- “Unplanned outages” at its only project continue to dog the company – troubles that forced it to again axe production expectations for 2014

Production reductions have become the norm for this aging mining project. Syncrude chopped production guidance 3 times in 2013 because of hiccups at its major facilities

The company brushed off falling oil prices. “With spending on major capital projects coming to an end, [Canadian Oil Sands] is positioned to fully fund its business in this current environment of lower crude oil prices,” the press release said

Canadian Oil Sands’ cash flow from operations also fell in the quarter, hitting $302M, down from $340M this time last year. Syncrude produced 22.5M barrels of synthetic oil in the quarter, compared to 20.9M un the same quarter last year  (go to article)

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Here's Everything You Need To Know About Fiat-Chrysler Spinning Off Ferrari (FCAU)

Business Insider -- The ground shook slightly this morning when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would spin off its most valuable brand — Ferrari.

This move caps a wild run of weeks for the maker of exotic, bright red sports cars and 4-wheeled objects of desire. Prior to FCA listing on the New York Stock Exchange and fully merging Fiat and Chrysler, longtime Ferrari Charmian Luca di Montezemolo stepped down after over two decades at the helm.

It was widely speculated at the time that he had been if not exactly forced out then definitely pressured to leave by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, who moved swiftly into the head spot. The strategic dispute between Marchionne and Montezemolo went right to the core of the Ferrari brand, which defines power, prestige, performance, and exclusivity — at least as  (go to article)

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Ford recalls 205,000 SUVs for fuel tank leaks

Canadian Press -- DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is recalling about 205,000 SUVs in cold-weather states and parts of Canada to fix gas tanks that can rust, leak and cause a fire.
© Provided by thecanadianpress.com
The recall affects Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The company said Wednesday that it traced the problem to rust under some mounting brackets in areas where salt is used to clear snow from the roads.

Ford said that it knows of one fire due to the problem, but no crashes or injuries.

The SUVs are being recalled in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Also co  (go to article)

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Ukraine, Moscow clinch deal on Russian gas supply

AP -- BRUSSELS — Moscow and Kiev on Thursday clinched a multi-billion dollar deal that will guarantee that Russian gas exports flow into Ukraine and beyond to the European Union throughout the winter despite their intense rivalry over the fighting in eastern Ukraine.  (go to article)

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Gas Prices Are About to Hit a Key Symbolic Mark

Yahoo Finance -- Drivers, get pumped. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the average national gas price could fall below $3 a gallon in the coming weeks, a symbolic level that could help boost consumer sentiment and spending ahead of the holiday season.

The average price as of the beginning of the week was $3.06, already the lowest since December 2010, the EIA survey reports. The AAA survey shows the average at $3.01, down from $3.04 at the start of the week. The auto club said Monday that 55 percent of U.S. gas stations were selling gas for less than $3 a gallon, up from 30 percent two weeks earlier.
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ConocoPhillips Becomes First to Cut Spending on Lower Oil

Bloomberg -- ConocoPhillips became the first major oil company to announce plans to reduce spending due to falling crude prices as drilling in some emerging North American fields becomes less profitable.

The third-largest U.S. energy producer can meet its target to boost production by as much as 5 percent a year even as it reduces annual spending to below $16 billion, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance told investors today.

ConocoPhillips plans to scale back drilling in emerging oil regions such as West Texas and the Rocky Mountains. The company’s ability to produce oil at lower costs in more established areas that have fueled the U.S. shale boom make growth sustainable. Houston-based ConocoPhillips could also reduce exploration spending, he said.

“Events like the recent price downturn  (go to article)

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Capline, Biggest U.S. Crude Conduit, to Study Future Options

Reuters -- The 1.2-million-barrel-a-day Capline crude pipeline, the biggest in the mainland United States, is reviewing its future operations, its owners said on Thursday, as the North American oil boom upends the flow across the continent.

Shipping volumes on the pipeline, which runs south to north from the Gulf Coast to Illinois, have fallen has steeply in recent years as midwestern refiners tap into the growing supply of Canadian and North Dakota crude to replace costly imports via Capline.

Traders and analysts have speculated for several years that the line could be reversed to carry Canadian crude to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, allowing it to increase throughput.

"This analysis is being conducted to address the expanding crude oil supply in North America and the significant changes in crude o  (go to article)

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These countries are getting killed by cheap oil

CNN Money -- Oil is selling for roughly $83 a barrel on the global market. That's bad news for Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others. They need the black stuff to trade at far loftier levels in order to balance their budgets.  (go to article)

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Ford Recalls 205K SUVs for Fuel Tank Leak

Associated Press (AP) Published by Product Design & Development -- Ford is recalling about 205,000 SUVs in cold-weather states and parts of Canada to fix gas tanks that can rust, leak, and cause a fire.

The recall affects Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The company said Wednesday that it traced the problem to rust under some mounting brackets in areas where salt is used to clear snow from the roads.  (go to article)

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It's Coming: $65 Oil

The Atlantic -- Gas prices are falling below $3 a gallon across the United States for two big reasons: (1) the world economy is growing slower than we hoped, and (2) global oil production is improving faster than we expected.

"India and China are slowing down,” said Charles K. Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings. "The IMF just downgraded Europe’s growth to less than 1 percent, and they're already quite energy efficient. Brazil’s a problem, too. All around the world there is no great growth story, and expectations are that things will stay that way or get worse."

There is also unanticipated supply. A few years ago, political turmoil was taking up to 2 million barrels a day off the market. Now production is roaring back in Libya, southern Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and even Iraq,  (go to article)

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Emotions Running High Over Denton Fracking Ban Vote

CBS-DFW -- Bobby Jones and his family have owned 82 acres in Denton for decades. Now, he worries if voters approve a ban on fracking in the city, the mineral rights they lease will dry up.

Jones said, “It’s going to take away income from us that we deserve to get.”

He says his property has been fracked twice, and that he and his family still have two active horizontal wells on their property?. “We’ve owned minerals for 72 years, and we get a chance to develop them and we get to develop them for 11-12 years, then all of a sudden they say, oh no, you can’t do that, there’s something wrong there.”  (go to article)

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Is oil sands development still worth it?

The Globe and Mail -- André Goffart was blunt. The chief executive of Total SA’s Canadian arm spoke hurriedly on a late-afternoon conference call. It was May, summer beckoned, and, with it, the four-day workweeks much of corporate Calgary enjoys.

After years of false starts, Goffart confirmed suspicions that the French energy giant’s foray into mining bitumen from Northern Alberta’s oil sands was a dud. The company’s $11-billion Joslyn mine was being shelved indefinitely, he said. Costs were too high. Workers had to be let go–150 Canadian staff by year-end. Total’s partnership with Canadian oil giant Suncor Energy, Occidental Petroleum and Inpex Canada “is facing the same challenge that most of the industry worldwide is,” Goffart explained.

That challenge, in a word: costs. The price of developing megaproject  (go to article)

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U.S. says working with Iraqi Kurdistan to stop Islamic State oil smuggling

Reuters -- The United States is working closely with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to clamp down on oil smuggling in a bid to cut off a key source of funding for Islamic State, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Islamic State militants have seized oilfields and refineries in north Iraq and have been exporting oil through smuggling networks to help finance their campaign, along with ransom, extortion and other criminal activities.

"We are working with the regional government in Arbil to support their efforts in stopping those shipments and those smuggling operations," Acting Energy Envoy for the United States, Amos Hochstein, told Reuters at an energy conference.

"It is of critical importance to the United States, the international community and to Kurdistan itself to see an increas  (go to article)

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SolarWorld's $10M expansion includes 200 new jobs

Portland Business Journal -- SolarWorld Americas LLC will expand production capacity at its Hillsboro plant and add 200 new workers as it moves to compete with rivals with innovation and quality.

Mukesh Dulani, president of the U.S. arm of German-based SolarWorld AG, announced the $10 million investment in its plant this morning, flanked by long-time supporter, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.

"This is possible because we have an amazing management and executive team," he said.

SolarWorld has not received public funding for the project, though Dulani said it is talking to state and local officials for possible support.

The expansion will add 150 megawatts of
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Proposal to spare drivers from extra parking meter charges would cost New York millions

New York Daily News -- The city of New York has 10 million reasons why it can’t give motorists a break on parking meter charges.

A proposal to spare drivers extra charges if their time on a meter runs out shortly before parking regulations expire for the day is a nice idea, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the City Council on Wednesday.

But she said it would cost the city big bucks.

“While I sympathize with motorists who may be overpaying at our meters, this bill raises serious financial and technical challenges,” Trottenberg said — adding that the city could lose $8 million a year in parking revenue, plus $2 million to reprogram the meters.
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Merkel to End Free Driving on Autobahn by Making Non-Germans Pay

Bloomberg -- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to make foreigners driving on Germany’s autobahns pay as much as 130 euros ($164) a year, ending free use of the highways for passenger cars.

The proposal unveiled today is a concession by Merkel to Bavarian allies in her coalition government who are complaining about road tolls collected by their Swiss and Austrian neighbors. Owners of German-registered cars would be able to deduct the toll from their vehicle tax.
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TransCanada Corp.’s submits massive 30,000-page application for Energy East pipeline

Canadian Press -- The $12B project would ship AB crude through pipe that’s already in the ground for 2/3 of the way, with new pipeline being built through QC and NB

“Energy E will be built and operated in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, while generating significant benefits for all Canadians, TC president and CEO said in a statement early Thu

Energy E would deliver crude to export terminals planned for QC and NB, enabling shipments to Europe, India and other

TC also touts the project as a boon to E Canadian refineries. It aims to supply cheaper inland crude to refineries in QC and NB, supplanting imports from the Middle E and other

The project has drawn the ire of environmental groups concerned about the impact of a potential spill. Many also see it as an enabler of growth of GHG emission  (go to article)

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When Gas Is This Cheap, Who Needs QE?

Fox Business -- While the U.S. gets ready to end QE, it seems the U.S. is getting stimulated in a different way, courtesy of Big Oil.
Consumer confidence soared in October, as gas prices fell, proving once again that the way to win the heart of America is cheap gas prices. In fact, the Conference Board said consumer sentiment hit 94.5, the highest level since October 2007, the same month that then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke started to lower U.S. interest rates as he started to realize that failures in the subprime market were indicative of a much larger unfolding economic crisis.
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It Looks Like $80 Oil Is Here to Stay

Bloomberg Business Week -- The oil selloff appears to be permanent. Record-breaking increases in U.S. production, a resurgent Libya, and Saudi Arabia lowering its prices in a bid to keep its share of Asian customers—all of it has combined to knock oil prices down 25 percent since June, and there might be more room to fall.  (go to article)

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Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets

Toronto Sun -- TORONTO - Wind turbines are sucking money out of Ontarians’ wallets, a new report says.

What Goes Up, a Fraser Institute report by Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams to be released Thursday, makes a number of controversial recommendations to ease the upward pressure on electricity bills.

The Ontario government should announce an immediate moratorium on new wind and solar power facilities, and revisit existing contracts that commit Ontarians to paying well above market rates for renewable electricity, the authors conclude.

“Wind and solar power systems provide less than 4% of Ontario’s power but account for 20% of the cost paid by Ontarians, yet the government wants to triple the number of wind and solar generators,” energy analyst Adams said in a statement. “That’s a good deal for wind and so  (go to article)

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These countries are getting killed by cheap oil prices

CNN Money -- The price is not right for many oil rich nations.  (go to article)

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Faulty GM ignition switch linked to 2nd crash death in Canada

CBC News -- To date, GM has stated that one of the 29 wrongful death claims it has accepted was a Canadian, but has declined to identify the victim.

An investigation by CBC's the fifth estate and Radio-Canada’s Enquete now adds the Kulish crash as a 2nd Canadian fatality under investigation as part of the ignition switch problem

“A sudden failure within the ignition switch appears to be a possible and probable explanation," says a preliminary Transport Canada report into the crash

"According to the data retrieved from the car's ACM, the driver's frontal airbag never deployed because the ACM never commanded its deployment

GM is facing claims of at least 150 more fatalities and hundreds of injuries

“He died for no reason. He died for a 57-cent piece that should have been fixed over 10 years ago an  (go to article)

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Millenials Drive Less

Orlando Sentiinel -- Christina Cook often rides her bike from her home near downtown Orlando to day care, where she drops off her young son. She prefers the bike to the family car, a 2003 Camry with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer.

"We enjoy it [biking]," she said. "I've never felt I was inconvenienced."
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Cook, 26, is like a lot of her contemporaries, the generation of millennials who are not as enamored with the automobile as their elders — who flocked to the internal-combustion engine as a symbol of freedom and a passport to far-flung suburban homes.

A recent study by the nonprofit consumer group U.S. PIRG based in Boston found that millennials — or those born roughly from 1983 to 2000 — are driving less in favor of walking, biking and catching the bus or train, if on  (go to article)

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Shell Profit Increases as Refining Trumps Lower Oil Prices

Bloomberg -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said third-quarter profit rose 31 percent, beating estimates, as earnings from refining and natural gas countered the impact of lower crude prices at Europe’s biggest oil company.
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Even as Shell’s oil production slumped and prices fell since June, a mix of better refining margins, lower spending and higher earnings from selling natural gas around the world bolstered profit. *
The drop in oil prices “underlines the importance of our drive to get a tighter grip on performance management, keep a tight hold on costs and spending, and improve the balance between growth and returns,” Van Beurden said in the statement.

The third-quarter results have borne only a third of the impact of the fall in prices, Henry said.
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Why Oil Prices Went Down So Far So Fast

Bloomberg -- The reasons oil prices started sliding in June were hiding in plain sight: growth in U.S. production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, Mideast violence that threatened to disrupt supplies and never did.

After three-and-a-half months of slow decline, the tipping point for a steeper drop came on Oct. 1, said Ray Carbone, president of broker Paramount Options Inc. That’s when Saudi Arabia cut prices for its biggest customers. The move signaled that the world’s largest exporter would rather defend its market share than prop up prices.

“That, for me, was the giveaway,” Carbone said in an Oct. 28 phone interview from his New York office. “Once it started going, it was relentless.”

The 29 percent drop since June of the international price caught traders and forecasters by surprise.  (go to article)

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Crashes double at Houston intersections after red light cameras pulled

Houston Chronicle -- Auto crashes more than doubled at busy Houston intersections after red light cameras were pulled from those areas, according to figures released by the Houston Police Department.  (go to article)

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As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

NPR -- Yes, fixing all this infrastructure will affect vehicular transportation all over the country--because most of it is laid in road rights of way.  (go to article)

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California tightens emissions regulations on refineries... again

GasBuddy Blog -- California’s  Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay, has launched an aggressive plan to cut emissions from the region’s five refineries.By unanimous vote on Oct. 15, BAAQMD’s board passed a resolution that commits the agency to completing a series of actions over the next several months to further a newly announced goal of reducing local refinery emissions. ...  (go to article)

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The Cheapest States for Gas

Yahoo Travel -- If you want to see how big a difference geography can play in gas prices, have we got the chart for you.  (go to article)

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