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8 Major Reasons Why The Current Low Oil Price Is Not Here To Stay

Seeking Alpha -- The slump in the oil price is primarily a result of extreme short positioning, a headline-driven anxiety and overblown fears about the global economy.
This is a temporary dip and the oil markets will recover significantly by H1 2015.
Now is the time to pick the gold nuggets out of the ashes and wait to see them shine again.
Nevertheless, the sky is not blue for several energy companies and the drop of the oil price will spell serious trouble for the heavily indebted oil producers.

It has been a very tough market out there over the last weeks. And the energy stocks have been hit the hardest over the last five months, given that most of them have returned back to their H2 2013 levels while many have dropped even lower down to their H1 2013 levels.  (go to article)

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Airbag Recall Causing Parts Backlog, Site Issues

WFMY -- Consumers affected by the nationwide recall of 7.8 million Takata airbags are experiencing issues determining whether their cars are affected and whether they can get a replacement part quickly.

The website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) listed an expanded list of 7.8 million recalled cars of various makes and models ranging from years 2001 to 2011. However, when consumers attempt to look up their VIN numbers on the NHTSA-operated SaferCar.gov, they are unable to do so. Since Tuesday, the site has been down due to "intermittent networking issues." Consumers are encouraged to check their owners' manuals or call their local car dealerships to inquire about the recall.
 (go to article)

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North Dakota: $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery could get green light

St Paul Pioneer Press -- A $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day clean fuels oil refinery could be operating near Devils Lake within three years.

The refinery, similar to one being built in Dickinson, would employ about 100 people and could create as many as 400 spin-off jobs in the area, according to Rachel Lindstrom, executive director of Forward Devils Lake, the region's economic development agency.

"It's very exciting for Devils Lake," she said, "a great opportunity."

Devils Lake City Commission approved a letter of support for the project this week.

The refinery is being proposed by Eagles Ledge Energy Ltd., based in Vancouver, B.C., which is working with Triad Engineering Ltd, of Calgary, Alberta.

If approved, the refinery would be built just northwest of Devils Lake, adjacent to the Devils Lake Industrial  (go to article)

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Trinidad Refinery Swaps Crude Sources on Ebola Scare

Bloomberg -- Trinidad & Tobago is substituting crude from Gabon with Colombian and Russian shipments amid protests by refinery workers alarmed by the outbreak of Ebola in other African countries.

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine halted oil purchases from Gabon, the Caribbean country’s only African supplier in the past 20 months, he said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The decision follows the refusal of workers from Petrotrin, which operates Trinidad’s sole refinery, to assist with the berthing of a tanker that arrived in Trinidad waters on Oct. 18 from Gabon. The vessel, called Overseas Yellowstone, eventually docked late yesterday using outsourced tugs and labor, Ramnarine said.

“The situation is dynamic and we will review if need be,” the minister wrote. “It should, however, be noted that th  (go to article)

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11 things you need to know about Ontario’s proposed new road rules

Ottawa Citizen -- A bill in ON seeks to overhaul road safety in the province, from tougher penalties for “dooring cyclists” to massive distracted driving fines

The bill was first introduced in the spring but died with the Jun election call, and Transportation Minister reintroduced it Tue as Bill 31. Now that the Liberals have a majority, it will almost certainly become law

Here are 11 things you need to know about the bill — or face hefty fines for your ignorance

Texting and driving is about to get a lot more expensive

Light up your bike

No more school bus impostors

Cycle safe

Cycle more

Drive sober

“Dooring” will cost you more than just repairs

Even bigger transport trucks on the 401

Towing the line

Allow more people to keep their licenses as identification

Crosswalk crackdown
 (go to article)

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Oil futures turn lower after supply report

MarketWatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. crude-oil supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 17, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected an increase of 2.5 million barrels. Crude futures reversed course on the news, and the November contract CLX4, +0.00% was recently down 64 cents, or 0.8%, at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $82.55 before the report. The EIA also said gasoline inventories decreased 1.3 million barrels on the same week, and supplies of distillates rose 1 million barrels. The analysts polled by Platts had expected gasoline inventories to decline 1.7 million barrels, and distillates supplies to fall 1.5 million barrels.  (go to article)

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EIA: crude oil inventories surge again, gasoline supply drops

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

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories increased by 7.1 million barrels to a total of 377.7 million barrels. At 377.7 million barrels, inventories are 2.1 million barrels below last year (0.6%) and are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels to 204.4 million barrels. At 204.4 million barrels, inventories are down 11.1 million barrels, or 5.2% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.1mb); Midwest (-1.3mb); Gulf Coast (+0.9mb); Rockies (-0.3mb); and West Coast (-0.5mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling invento  (go to article)

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Federal agency says oil exports would lower pump prices

Houston Chronicle -- WASHINGTON — Ending the United States’ longstanding ban against most crude exports could lift oil prices inside the country while decreasing the cost of gasoline, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

The document — the first broad government analysis of proposed oil exports — dovetails with industry-backed studies predicting lower gasoline prices would result if repealing the export ban spurred more domestic crude production and helped lower world prices for the fossil fuel. Domestic gasoline prices tend to track the international Brent crude benchmark, rather than US. oil prices
 (go to article)

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Airbag recall expanded to 6.1M vehicles; humidity a factor

ABC 13 News -- WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- Cars in humid climates are the most at risk. That's what safety regulators are saying and not they have expanded an airbag recall to include to 6.1 million vehicles.

 (go to article)

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Oil up after China demand news, traders see fragile recovery

CNBC -- Oil prices closed slightly higher Tuesday after an early rally aided by data showing stronger-than-expected China demand and some technical price recovery after weeks of almost uninterrupted selling.

Unflattering global economic data, especially out of Europe, and fears that crude markets were still oversupplied limited gains, analysts and traders said.

"Because of their deep slide over the past couple of weeks, oil prices are kind of overdone on the downside and vulnerable to turnarounds now," said Gene Addison of Tradition Energy, an oil services advisory firm in Stamford, Connecticut.

"But whether we have hit bottom or not remains a question. I would think not given the market's recent performance, the continued swoon of the European economies and the idea that we have more than amp  (go to article)

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Oil Producers Cramming Wells in Risky Push to Extend Boom

Bloomberg -- U.S. shale producers are cramming more wells into the juiciest spots of their oilfields in a move that may help keep the drilling boom going as prices plunge.

The technique known as downspacing aims to pull more oil at less cost from each field, allowing companies to boost profit, attract more investment and arrange needed loans to continue drilling. Energy companies see closely-packed wells as their best chance to add billions more barrels of oil to U.S. production that’s already the highest in a quarter century.

“We would be dealing with more than a decade of inventory,” said Manuj Nikhanj, co-head of energy research for ITG Investment Research in Calgary. “If you can go twice as tight, the multiplication effect is massive.”

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WTI Crude Oil Seen Supported Near $75 a Barrel

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude oil will find support around $75 a barrel should it break through $80 on a sustained basis, according to Auerbach Grayson & Co.

“We’re still keeping an eye on $80,” Richard Ross, global technical strategist at the New York-based brokerage firm, said yesterday. Below that level is a lot of support in the $75-to-$76 area, he said.

Prices have tumbled more 20 percent from their June peak, meeting a common definition of a bear market, as Iraqi output continued to flow despite conflict in the north of the country and production increased in Libya and the U.S. At the same time, forecasts for global oil demand growth have been reduced by the International Energy Agency.  (go to article)

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ransCanada’s Keystone Stand-in Faces $1 Billion Gas Feud

Bloomberg -- Nov2014MarMayJulSep50.0055.0060.00* Price chart for TRANSCANADA CORP. Click flags for important stories. TRP:CN54.330.79 1.48%

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) will have to spend $1 billion more than planned on an oil pipeline to Canada’s Atlantic Coast if natural gas customers get their way, a move it says would threaten the viability of the project.

TransCanada has delayed seeking regulatory approval of the C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) Energy East line as it negotiates with Quebec’s Gaz Metro Inc. and Ontario units of Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB), said two people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

The spat centers on TransCanada’s plan to convert a 3,000-kilometer (1,865-mile) stretch of its mainline gas conduit to carry oil  (go to article)

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WTI Oil Climbs as U.S. Motor-Fuel Supplies Seen Lower

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude rose for the fourth time in five trading sessions before a report that may show motor-fuel inventories shrank to a two-year low in the U.S., the biggest oil consumer. Brent advanced in London.

December futures increased as much as 0.5 percent in New York, adding to a 0.7 percent rise yesterday. Gasoline stockpiles probably fell by 1.45 million barrels to 204.2 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data from the Energy Information Administration today. That would be the lowest since November 2012. Inventories of the fuel slid by 500,000 barrels through Oct. 17, the American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday, according to Bain Energy
 (go to article)

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Ford cuts price of Focus Electric again

Detroit News -- For the second time in two years, Ford Motor Co. has cut the price of its Focus Electric car in the hopes of boosting sales.

The starting price for the vehicle has dropped $6,000 to $29,995, including shipping and delivery. The new price went into effect Oct. 13 for all remaining 2014 model-year Focus Electrics, as well as upcoming 2015 model-year cars, the Dearborn automaker said. Ford reduced its price by $4,000 last year.

“We hope by reducing the price we’re giving customers another reason to consider the Focus,” said spokesman Aaron Miller, adding it puts the electric car at a “very competitive price point.”

Focus Electric represents a small fraction of total Focus sales.

Through September, Ford sold a little more than 1,500 Focus Electrics and is on pace to have its best-selling  (go to article)

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China Cuts Saudi Oil Imports Amid Colombia Shipment Boost

Bloomberg -- China reduced oil imports from Saudi Arabia even as the world’s largest crude exporter cuts prices to lure Asian customers amid intensifying competition from Colombia to Oman.

Oil deliveries from Saudi Arabia fell 2.7 percent to 4.74 million metric tons last month from a year earlier, according to data released today by the General Administration of Customs in Beijing. Shipments from Colombia surged 389.6 percent, while Russian deliveries increased by 56.8 percent.

Asian consumers are benefiting from a wider choice of suppliers offering cheaper crude, from Venezuela to Alaska and Nigeria, as the highest U.S. production in almost 30 years cuts American demand. Saudi Arabia reduced prices for oil for Asia to the lowest in almost six years as it aims to maintain market share even as ...  (go to article)

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NHTSA expands air bag alert to 7.8M vehicles

Detroit News -- (see list at end of article)

Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late Tuesday it was expanding its alert of faulty air bags that could explode or expel shrapnel to 7.8 million vehicles from 10 major automakers.

NHTSA said it was adding Ford Motor Co.; Chrysler Group LLC; Mitsubishi Motor Co.; and Subaru, a unit of Fuji Heavy Industries, to the recall.

On Monday, NHTSA took the unusual step of urging owners of 4.7 million vehicles at six major automakers to act immediately as Toyota Motor Corp. announced it was recalling 247,000 vehicles in humid areas and warned that drivers shouldn't use the vehicles until they were serviced by a dealer.

Worldwide, 11 automakers have recalled more than 16 million vehicles for defective air bags made by Japanese suppli  (go to article)

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Here's why credit and debit cards with chips are safer....

cleveland.com -- CLEVELAND, Ohio -- These three letters might be unknown to you now, but that is likely to change soon: EMV.

EMV is shorthand for the technology that will make credit and debit cards safer in the future. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, which collaborated to adopt cards with more secure technology two decades ago.

EMV cards are also known as chip cards, because they contain computer chips that are used to authenticate each transaction.

The technology has been thrust into the news in the last 10 months, ever since Target's disastrous retail breach that exposed 40 million credit and debit card numbers to hackers.  (go to article)

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GM's embattled chief lawyer to retire

Detroit free press -- Michael Millikin, General Motors general counsel, will retire early next year, about a year after the company's costly delayed recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches that have been tied to 27 fatalities.

The 66-year-old lawyer worked for GM for 38 years, the last five as its top attorney.

The company said it would conduct an "external search" for a replacement.

Millikin's leadership came under scrutiny when former U.S. prosecutor Anton Valukas delivered a comprehensive investigation revealing that Millikin did not know about the ignition switch defect until February. Valukas revealed that lawyers were allowed to settle lawsuits for up to $5 million without his approval.
 (go to article)

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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat can hit 204 mph

FoxNews -- Dodge has unleashed its insane Hellcat Hemi V8 on the Charger sedan, and taking the kids to school may never be the same.  (go to article)

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5 Reasons Oil Is Not Rising

msn.com -- The old oil bull market, the one where oil went to $140 per barrel, now feels like ancient history. Oil prices have recently been challenging lows not seen since 2012. Continuously rising oil prices not only translate to higher prices at the pump but also to higher prices of goods because of the increased production and transportation costs. But now the economy is dealing with steadily falling oil prices in recent months, which can contribute to deflation — itself a source of concern.  (go to article)

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Alaska’s Oil Piles Up at Port as Barrels Wait for a Ride

bloomberg.com -- Stockpiles of oil from Alaska’s North Slope have surged to a five-year seasonal high as tanker maintenance slows loadings, forcing the grade to trade at a discount to U.S. crude for the first time since 2010.

Inventories at the Valdez terminal, the northernmost ice-free port in North America and the loading point for Alaskan oil, have averaged 4.38 million barrels this month, the most for October since 2009, data posted on the Alaska Revenue Department’s website show. Tanker repairs have shrunk the pool of vessels available, terminal operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. said.

The trapped stocks threaten to further cut prices for oil from the North Slope, once the most prolific crude-producing region in the nation, as refiners on the U.S. West Coast turn elsewhere for supplies. Californi  (go to article)

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The Price of Hybrid and Electric Cars Is Plummeting. Here’s Why

times.com/money -- USA Today just reported that Ford is cutting the sticker price of the fully battery-powered plug-in Focus Electric by a flat $6,000. That’s on top of a $4,000 price reduction on the same vehicle a year ago. The new sticker price is $29,995 including shipping—but not including federal tax credits of up to $7,500 and state incentives that might effectively knock another $2,500 off the amount buyers pay.
More

Supplier of Faulty Air Bags Sees Stock Plummet

Toyota Announces a U.S. Recall Over Faulty Passenger-Side Airbags

NBC News Freelancer Declared Free of Ebola NBC News

'Marked Man': What Will Prison Be Like for Oscar Pistorius? NBC News

Ebola Action: Feds Funnel Arrivals From West Africa NBC News

Obviously, Ford wouldn’t be instituting such dramatic price cuts if the Focus Electric  (go to article)

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Halliburton, Baker Hughes buy more sand, railcars as demand piles up

Yahoo -- Oct 21 (Reuters) - As fracking accelerates in North American shale fields, oilfield services providers Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc are stockpiling sand to protect themselves against rising costs and are buying more railcars to transport the haul.

Halliburton, the world's largest provider of fracking services, is more than doubling its railcar fleet and capacity for sand terminals - where sand is stored and transferred to truck from rail. It had about 3,500 railcars under management as of June 30.

Baker Hughes, the world's No.3 oilfield services provider, said at the Barclays CEO Energy Power conference last month that it had "significantly" increased the number of its railcars and is buying more sand under contract, which helps buffer it against price rises.Companies are pumping  (go to article)

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Environmental Issues Become a Force in Political Advertising

NY Times -- WASHINGTON — In Michigan, an ad attacking Terri Lynn Land, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, opens with a shot of rising brown floodwaters as a woman says: “We see it every day in Michigan. Climate change. So why is Terri Lynn Land ignoring the science?”

In Colorado, an ad for Cory Gardner, another Republican candidate for Senate, shows him in a checked shirt and hiking boots, standing in front of a field of wind turbines as he discusses his support for green energy.

And in Kentucky, a spot for the Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, depicts him flanked by coal miners as a woman intones, “The person fighting for our coal jobs is Mitch McConnell.”  (go to article)

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British Columbia sets new LNG tax at 3.5%, lower than originally proposed

Financial Post -- 2 weeks before an industry-imposed deadline, BC government unveiled a new, three-tiered tax targeting the province’s nascent LNG industry

But industry players said they are unsure the changes go far enough to allow the sector be competitive with other global jurisdictions

The Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act introduced Tue would tax an LNG project at a rate of 1.5% when production begins, rising to 3.5% after capital costs are recovered. That rate will rise to 5% after Jan 1, 2037 — when the government expects the LNG industry will be well established within the province

In Feb, BC floated the idea of a two-tiered tax system rising to 7%

“BC is a high-cost environment; for these projects to be economically viable, the LNG tax must be considered in conjunction with the overall fisca  (go to article)

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Consumer energy expenditures are roughly 5% of disposable income, below long-term average

EIA -- Total U.S. household energy consumption expenditures have generally declined relative to disposable income since 1960, although during periods of high energy prices, consumers devote increasing shares of their income to energy. Energy expenditures ranged between 4% and 8% of disposable income since 1960. Consumer energy expenditures today are a lower percentage of disposable income than the average from 1960 to present (5.5% average).

Consumer energy expenditures as a percent of disposable income in 2013 remain lower than the average since the 1960s, even though consumer energy prices grew faster than inflation over that period. Because electricity and transportation spending accounts for more than two-thirds of consumer energy expenditures, increasing vehicle fuel efficiencies and changi  (go to article)

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Low Gas Prices: An Explanation.

KLTV Tyler Texas -- TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Gas prices are low right now. In Tyler on Monday, you could get a gallon of fuel for just $2.76. In the past month, prices have dropped by $0.30. There are a lot of things that contribute to what we pay at the pump.

Doctor Harold Doty of UT Tyler says the main thing pushing prices down is the current price of crude oil. Crude oil sold Monday for $82.75 a barrel. That's down from recent highs as much as $110 a barrel. There are several reasons crude oil is so low; the main reason is oversupply.

“The United States is now beginning to produce enough oil that OPEC and the Saudis can't control the price of oil anymore,” Doty explains. Additional global issues include a possible recession in the Euro Zone and relatively calm conditions in the middle eastern countries that p  (go to article)

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Tesla just lost its fight for direct sales in Michigan

washngtonpost.com -- Tesla just lost its fight to sell electric cars in the auto industry's backyard.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder doubled down Tuesday on a state prohibition against letting Tesla sell its vehicles directly to consumers, a policy battle that's playing out in a number of states around the country. Saying he was open to more discussion about the matter, Snyder nevertheless signed HB 5606, a bill that effectively reinforces the power of auto dealers at the expense of challengers like Elon Musk.

Michigan currently requires car manufacturers to sell their vehicles through franchised dealerships, according to the governor's office.

"Based on our research," said Snyder, "[HB 5606] doesn't change current law at all. It merely strengthens existing language, and it had very strong legislative support."
 (go to article)

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Court says not so fast with those red-light camera tickets

Fox News/Watchdog.org -- MIAMI — Big changes could be coming to cities with red-light cameras after a Florida District Court of Appeals judge said it’s illegal for camera operators to issue citations to drivers.

The program works like this: Cameras installed at traffic signals snap photos and are examined by the camera’s owner — not law enforcement — to determine whether a violation occurred. A citation is sent to the alleged violator. The driver has 60 days to appeal the ticket before it’s converted into a fine, just like any other citation issued by law enforcement officers.

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Chrysler exec: Giving vehicle ‘a soul’ next big thing

Detroit News -- Two letters are helping shape the future of the automotive industry, according to Chrysler Group LLC’s head of design Ralph Gilles.

“UI,” also known as user interface or how people interact with their vehicles, is driving the way automakers design new vehicles and the technologies within them, he said.

“The car keeps reinventing itself,” said Gilles, Chrysler senior vice president of product design, during a speech Tuesday morning at the 2014 SAE Convergence in Detroit. “What we try to do at Chrysler is make cars as soulful as humanly possible, and now the interesting thing is giving the car a soul is becoming the next big thing.”

In the automotive industry, giving the vehicle a “soul” was traditionally done through design. While still true with today’s cars and trucks, new technologies  (go to article)

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Michigan politicians attempt to keep Tesla out of state

GasBuddy Blog -- Michigan is the latest state to join several others that are interested in derailing consumers from buying electric cars directly from Tesla, the California-based automaker that has won praise for its vehicles.

HB 5606, a bill on Governor Rick Snyder's desk awaiting a possible signature or veto contains language that would bar Tesla's direct sales method and instead require franchised dealers, possibly adding thousands to the cost of each vehicle sold.

General Motors issued a statement supporting HB 5606, a bill that saw its language adjusted sneakily to target Tesla, and was passed 38-0 in Michigan's Senate on October 2, then passed by Michigan's House 106-1 with the new language.

It has several Michigan based businesses very concerned as suppliers to Tesla, such as Inteva Products, who sent a letter to the governor opposing any legislation that prevents Tesla from direct sales, said Karen Manardo, global m  (go to article)

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Oil prices hold near $86 on China oil demand rise

CNBC -- Brent crude oil held near $86 a barrel on Tuesday on news of robust Chinese oil demand, although gains were capped by oversupply and concerns over the health of the rest of the global economy.

Implied oil demand in the world's largest energy consumer jumped 6.2 percent in September from August to 10.3 million barrels per day, the highest since February.

China's factory output also beat expectations, rising 8 percent in September from a year earlier and boosting hopes of a strengthening recovery.

Data on Tuesday showed China's economy expanded by 7.3 percent in the third quarter, above forecasts but its slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

"Oil is up in reaction to the Chinese demand figures," said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.  (go to article)

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Oil company CEO dies in Moscow jet collision with snowplow driven by drunk driver

FOXNEWS -- The head of French oil giant Total SA was killed at a Moscow airport when his corporate jet collided with a snowplow whose driver was drunk, Russian investigators said Tuesday.

Total confirmed "with deep regret and sadness" that Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the crash at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

The three other people on board, all of them French crew members, also died when the French-made Dassault Falcon 50 hit the snowplow on takeoff at 11:57 p.m. Monday. The plane crashed onto the runway and burst into flames, investigators said.

The driver, who airport officials said was not hurt, was operating the snowplow under the influence of alcohol, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Russia's main investigative agency.

De Margerie, 63, was...  (go to article)

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Move over, humans, the robocars are coming

Washington Post -- The numbers of fatalities caused by robotic cars will be a tiny fraction of the millions that humans have caused, after all. And if political leaders and lawyers in the United States try to stop progress, other countries will still adopt the new technologies; they are unstoppable. We may just end up playing catch-up with the rest of the world.

The big advantage that self-driving cars will have is that they don’t need the safeguards and controls that humans do. They can communicate with each other to negotiate right of way and speed, warn each other of traffic hazards, and see in the dark — so they don’t need blinding high-beams. The real risks for robotic cars are the hazards that unpredictable humans create. That is why we will need to get humans out of the drivers’ seats.  (go to article)

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Terrorist Ideology Blamed in Canada Car Attack

Associated Press -- A man who was shot and killed by police after he struck two members of the Canadian military with his car was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology," officials said Tuesday.

One of two soldiers hit by a car in a city near Montreal died from his injuries.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney called the attack a "terrible act of violence against our country, against our military and against our values" and "clearly linked to terrorist ideology."
 (go to article)

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NC Attorney General Proposes Cameras On All Buses

WFMY -- North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper has proposed equipping all state public school buses with specialized camera technology.

Cooper issued the idea Monday, during National School Bus Safety Week. He proposed funding the proposal through a statute in the state's Constitution, which allows public schools to receive civil penalties paid by school zone violators.
 (go to article)

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Toyota widens air bag recall, warns passengers

USA Today -- Toyota said Monday it's re-notifying owners of about 218,000 previously recalled vehicles with front air bags supplied by Takata, and adding 28,515 vehicles in high-humidity areas to the recall.

The Takata bags can malfunction and blow shrapnel into front passengers' chests and faces.

And, for the first time, the automaker is warning those owners not to carry front-seat passengers until the air bags are fixed. In fact, Toyota considers the Takata passenger bags so dangerous that dealers are being told to shut off the passenger bags if an owner comes in for recall repairs but parts aren't yet available.

In those cases, dealers will attach a warning label to the glove box door. Safety belts continue to work when air bags are shut off.  (go to article)

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How Renewable Energy Could Leave You Mired in Blackouts

Motley Fool -- There are plenty of things to like about renewable power sources like solar and wind. However, these sources, on a large scale, are relatively new to the U.S. electric grid. That has major implications that utilities may not be ready to deal with. And that risks leaving you without power and, thus, in the dark.

Zig zag
You likely know all about the benefits of solar and wind. The biggest ones being no emissions from burning fossil fuels and minimal costs once they are installed since they are powered by nature. (snip)

However, if you get so caught up in the upside of renewable power you might lose sight of the downside. And there are some pretty notable negatives that have big implications for a U.S. power system that hasn't been designed to handle intermittent power.  (go to article)

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Brent Crude Rises as China’s Growth Exceeds Estimates

Bloomberg -- (7am EDT) Brent crude rose for the third time in four sessions as China’s economic growth beat analysts’ estimates, increasing demand for oil. West Texas Intermediate also climbed.

Futures climbed as much as 1.1 percent in London. China’s gross domestic product rose 7.3 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing. While that exceeded the 7.2 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, it was also the slowest expansion since the first quarter of 2009. The country’s oil demand increased by 7.1 percent in September, more than double the growth rate in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil is paring its collapse into a bear market as banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict  (go to article)

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It Looked Like a Stabbing, but Takata Air Bag Was the Killer

The New York Times -- ORLANDO, Fla. — Hien Tran lay dying in intensive care this month after a car accident, as detectives searched for clues about the apparent stab wounds in her neck.

An unlikely breakthrough arrived in the mail a week after she died from her injuries. It was a letter from Honda urging her to get her red Accord fixed, because of faulty air bags that could explode.

“The air bag,” said Tina Tran, the victim’s twin sister. “They said it was the air bag.”

Ms. Tran became at least the third death associated with the mushrooming recalls of vehicles containing defective air bags made by Takata, a Japanese auto supplier. More than 14 million vehicles from 11 automakers that contain the air bags have been recalled worldwide.  (go to article)

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Studies: Parents set bad examples for driving teens

Cars.com via USA Today -- Parents often subscribe to a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. But studies show parents are unknowingly sabotaging their teen drivers by not practicing what they preach.

Since it's National Teen Driver Safety Week, here are four examples:

Texting and Driving. Parents figuratively beat teens over the head with the "never text and drive" message, yet many do it on a regular basis. A 2012 study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions found 91% of teens reported seeing their parents talk on cellphones while driving. Some 59% witnessed their parents sending a text while driving.

Talking on cellphones. Ninety percent of teens say they've talked on cellphones while driving, and 78% admitted to sending text messages while driving. Parents tell teens to ...  (go to article)

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China data supports oil, but bearish sentiment persists

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures found some temporary support in Asian trade Tuesday after China’s economic data came in slightly better than expected.
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China’s third-quarter gross domestic product rose 7.3% compared to a year earlier, topping market expectations of a 7.2% growth, but lower than the 7.5% growth seen in the second quarter. Its industrial output growth accelerated 8.0% in September from a year earlier, compared to 6.9% in August.

“With higher industrial production, we may see increase in crude demand coming from China moving forward. This likely gives some upward push to crude prices but global crude demand should still remain weak and is likely to persist in the coming quarter,” analyst Daniel Ang at Philips Futures said.

Oil markets will shift focus to weekly U.S. inventory data.  (go to article)

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Consumer Reports sheds light on 'secret warranties' that may cover costly repairs

GasBuddy Blog -- Consumer Reports found car owners can save a significant amount of money if their vehicle qualifies for what carmakers typically call service actions or customer service campaigns—effectively secret or hidden warranties that are rarely announced to the public.Two examples: Owners of 2006 to 2009 Honda Civics may qualify for a free engine block, or even a whole new engine, if their car has been leaking coolant from a crack in the block. Chrysler minivan owners may notice that the front wheel bearings on models from 2008 to 2010 are subject to premature wear, so dealers will replace them for free during a vehicle’s first five years or 90,000 miles.Consumer Reports found these “secret warranties” usually originate when automakers discover that some component or system in a given model is failing at a greater rate than expected. They learn about the problems from numerous sources, including complaints to their customer-service departments and reports from dealers. Other tip-offs are an unu  (go to article)

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Youngstown area has cheapest gas in state

WYTV -- YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown has the cheapest gas in the state, according to AAA.

While prices are up a few cents to start the work week, gas is still the cheapest it has been in two years.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.07 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That’s 3 cents more than a week ago, but 15 cents less than last month at this time.

Ohio’s average is lower than the national average, which was $3.10 Monday. That’s a dime less than a week ago and about a quarter less than a month ago.

Among Ohio’s metropolitan areas, the Youngstown area has the lowest average at about $2.89 per gallon.

Analysts say gas prices will likely remain low amid decreased demand and lower crude oil prices.  (go to article)

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Ohio gas prices nudge higher

WKYC.com -- COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gas prices in Ohio are up a few cents to start the work week.

A gallon of regular gas was averaging $3.07 in Monday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc. That's 3 cents more than a week ago, but 15 cents less than last month at this time.

Ohio's average is lower than the national average, which was $3.10 Monday. That's a dime less than a week ago and about a quarter less than a month ago.  (go to article)

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Boat captain tortured by Nigerian pirates sues Chevron, Edison Chouest over attack, website reports

The Times-Picayune -- An oil and gas supply boat captain who was kidnapped and tortured by Nigerian pirates last year is suing Chevron USA and Edison Chouest Offshore for failing to take safety measures that could have prevented the attack Courthouse News Service reports.

The report says Wren Thomas who captained Edison Chouest's C-Retriever vessel, which was tasked with supporting Chevron drilling activity offshore Nigeria, filed suit Oct. 16 against both companies in Harris County Texas.

Edison Chouest is based in Cut Off and provides supply boats to support offshore oil and gas operations worldwide.

Thomas accuses Chevron and Edison Chouest of ignoring multiple death threats he reported receiving over the supply boat's radio and for failing to replace the boat's radio communications system with a safer...  (go to article)

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Crude imports from Persian Gulf to USGC set to rise in November

Platts -- Imports of crude from the Persian Gulf into the US Gulf Coast look set to rise in November, an analysis of Platts cFlow ship-tracking software data showed Monday.

During the first half of November, 14 ships are expected to enter the USGC from the Persian Gulf, up from 11 ships for all of October, and 11 ships for all of September.

US imports from Saudi Arabia have been on the decline in recent months, as US refiners have been backing out imports in favor of growing North American production.

However, Motiva - a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco - has been a steady buyer of Saudi Arabian crude, mostly into its 600,000 b/d Port Arthur refinery, but also into its 230,000 b/d Convent, Louisiana refinery.

It's possible the increase in shipments from the Persian Gulf during the fi  (go to article)

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A year later, cleanup still going for ND oil spill

AP via Yahoo Finance -- One year after a pipeline rupture flooded a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota with more than 20,000 barrels of crude, Tesoro Corp. is still working around the clock cleaning up the oil spill — one of the largest to happen onshore in U.S. history.

Cleanup costs have soared from the company's original estimate of $4 million to a forecast of more than $20 million, and it may be at least another year before work is completed, the company and state officials said. The oil-sopped parcel of land, about the size of seven football fields, is no longer usable for planting at present.

"It's a big cleanup and it's become part of our life," farmer Steve Jensen said Monday. "The ground is still saturated with oil. And they're out there seven days a week, 24 hours a day."

Jensen discovered the  (go to article)

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Why Self-Driving Cars Will Change Retirement

Wall Street Journal -- When it comes to advances in technology, young adults are often the first to embrace change. But it’s the 50-plus crowd that could end up as early adopters of a coming revolution in transportation: self-driving cars.

Most major auto makers already are testing such vehicles. In May, Google , the Mountain View, Calif., search giant, which has pioneered the self-driving idea, unveiled its latest prototype car—with no steering wheel, and no accelerator or brake pedals.

But some major areas, he says, could see “robocars” (his preferred word) in wide use by 2020 or so—and older adults, in particular, may reap the early benefits.

“The realities of life just take mobility away from people as they get older,” Mr. Templeton says. “A solution to that problem is going to be highly welcomed.”  (go to article)

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Time to Fill 'Er Up.

Greensboro, NC, News & Record. -- F or the first time in nearly four years, drivers in the Piedmont are paying less than $3 for a gallon of gas.
Average gas prices in the Tarheel state have dropped by 15 cents per gallon in the past month and 64 cents in the past six months, according to AAA Carolinas.

Analysts attribute the drop in prices to increased domestic oil production coupled with a slackening in demand.
“There is not a glut, but there is a perceived overabundance of oil,” said Gary Harris, executive director of the trade group North Carolina Petroleum and Convenience Marketers.
Tiffany Wright, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas, said she anticipates prices to continue falling through the holidays.
“It’s basically supply and demand,” she said. “We’re making a lot (of oil), but we also drive less in the...  (go to article)

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