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Prosecutor to drop all Seattle marijuana tickets

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle's elected prosecutor said Monday he's dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.

In a briefing to the City Council on Monday, City Attorney Pete Holmes says he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department between Jan. 1 and July 31. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for 22 people who have already paid their $27 ticket.

Through the first six months of the year, a single officer wrote about 80 percent of the tickets, writing on one that he considered the pot law "silly." The officer was temporarily reassigned, and the department's Office of Profession  (go to article)

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Colonial Heights to equip entire police force with body cameras

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- Before the end of the year, turning on a body camera should be as common as switching on a police radio for Colonial Heights’ finest. The department has become the latest Richmond-area police agency to embrace the technology and will be among the first to equip all its officers with the devices, hopefully within 60 days, officials announced this week. “Body cameras will be the norm in the future for all law enforcement agencies,” Colonial Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Faries predicted. After a recently completed 90-day test run, the city is acquiring 42 of the cameras, each with small tactical computers, for about $70,000, which includes data storage and licensing. The program will also have a recurring annual cost of about $20,000.City officials believe the cameras will be well worth the c  (go to article)

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Consumer Reports crowns Ram diesel as best pickup

Detroit Free Press -- Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup outscores Ford and Chevrolet’s full-size trucks when it is equipped with a new diesel engine, Consumer Reports magazine says.
The Ram 1500 with the V-6 EcoDiesel engine not only saved substantially more fuel than similar models with gas engines, but did better in road tests than the others as well. It scored 82 in road tests, a point better than a Ram with gas engine that was tested previously.  (go to article)

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Long waiting periods for petrol cars as government phases out diesel subsidy

Economic Times -- NEW DELHI: If you are planning to buy a petrol-driven car this Diwali, it may be too late to book one now. Some of the top-selling petrol car models have waiting periods running into months, more so for gearless models or one of the high-end versions. Booking now for a Diwali delivery may be almost impossible on such models.

While production constraints and logistical problems may be the reasons for the long waiting periods, new trends also indicate changing consumer preference — now back to petrol cars as the government has phased out diesel subsidy.  (go to article)

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Organizers Of People’s Climate March Were ‘Prostituting The Weather and Climate'

CBS Philidelphia -- Dom Giordano talked to Joe Bastardi, from Weatherbell Analytics, on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to discuss the People’s Climate March in New York City.

Bastardi said that people are not causing climate change and expects scientific data to eventually back that up.

“The debate on what is going on is over. It is over. Now we just have to see what happens when the Atlantic flips into its cold cycle and the cyclical nature of the sun, whether we return to the temperatures we were in the late seventies as measured by objective satellite readings.”

He commented that the protesters at the climate march were more concerned with their political agenda than climate science.

“If you really paid attention to what happened, the mask is off..."  (go to article)

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Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford Says Automakers Must Help Reduce Global Gridlock

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..detroitnews.comWhen leaders in the automotive industry start talking about improving global mobility --and not just selling more cars this year than last year-- that should get your attention.
That's exactly what Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said recently at the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit.As rising incomes in China and India pave most of the industry’s growth, emerging markets’ largest cities can’t build roads fast enough, said Ford, one of the speakers at the five-day conference devoted to intelligent transportation technology.“If we sell millions of vehicles where do we put them and where do we drive them and how do they interact?” he asked. “You cannot shove two vehicles in every garage in Mumbai. Any business only exists to make peoples’ lives better. At a certain point, shoving more vehicles into urban environments doesn’t do that.” ...  (go to article)

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Oil Futures Steady as Competing Forces Weigh on Market

Wall St Journal -- Oil prices chopped around the break-even point Monday, after global supplies tightened a little because of reduced production in Libya, but concerns about oversupply remained in the absence of OPEC cutting output.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery was up 1 cent at $92.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The October contract expires Monday, and most of the volume in the market has moved forward into the November contract, which was flat at $91.65 a barrel. The global Brent contract was down 70 cents at $97.70 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Libya's Zawiya refinery and Sharara production field went down late last week after a missile attack as warring factions compete for control there in the absence of a strong functioning central government. Libya had rece  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices Fall to Lowest Since February

Transport Topics -- Gasoline prices at U.S. pumps, already at a seven-month low, may extend their decline amid falling crude costs that are spurring oil refineries to increase production of the road fuel, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The average price of regular gasoline slid 8.9 cents in the two weeks ended Sept. 19 to $3.374 a gallon, the lowest since Feb. 7, according to the survey, which is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations. Prices are 14.66 cents lower than a year ago and may drop by a few more cents, the Camarillo, California-based researcher said.

“In this period, oil prices did migrate a little further South,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview. “Plus, U.S. refiners slashed their wholesale gasoline prices and were aided  (go to article)

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Do Urban Planners Overthink Traffic Flow? [w/ VIDEO]

Before It's News/www.beforeitsnews.com -- Taken in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, this video of Meskel Square is both terrifying and, oddly, reassuring- especially when you notice that the myriad cars, buses, and bikes of Addis Ababa seem to be getting through the major intersection without the inefficiency and frustration so common with the stop-and-go traffic patterns of the urban intersections Americans are probably most familiar with.

All of which begs the question: do urban planners overthink traffic flow?  (go to article)

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Gov. Brown Signs Clean-Air Vehicle Legislation

Associated Press --

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law several bills designed to boost use of clean-air vehicles in California.

One bill signed Sunday allows 15,000 additional electric and partial zero-emissions vehicles, or 70,000 total vehicles, to get green stickers that allow driving in carpool lanes even when solo.  (go to article)

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Pump Prices in U.S. Fall to Lowest Since February

Bloomberg News -- Gasoline prices at U.S. pumps, already at a seven-month low, may extend their decline amid falling crude costs that are spurring oil refineries to increase production of the road fuel, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The average price of regular gasoline slid 8.9 cents in the two weeks ended Sept. 19 to $3.3741 a gallon, the lowest since Feb. 7, according to the survey, which is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations. Prices are 14.66 cents lower than a year ago and may drop by a few more cents, the Camarillo, California-based researcher said.  (go to article)

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West Island man fined $162 after stopping police for illegal turn

CBC News -- Michael Reilley alleges police regularly disregard Highway Safety Code on community's Streets

He watched the police car in front of him make a left turn onto a street where no left turns are permitted

Reilley said the cruiser did not flash its roof lights or even use its turn signal, so he decided to take action

He followed the police car and flashed his high beams to get the officers to pull over

“Do you realize that you made an illegal left turn without any flashing lights?

One officer told him: "You don’t pull us over, we pull you over

The officers eventually returned with a ticket for $162 for honking his horn

Reilley has since issued a formal complaint to Montreal police, demanding $250 from each officer for damages

He's also filing a complaint with the police ethics board  (go to article)

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The problem with E-85

Energy Tomorrow -- And you think your saving money AND the planet?  (go to article)

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Hedge Funds Make Record Bet on Lower U.S. Diesel Prices

Bloomberg -- Speculators are making their biggest-ever bet on lower U.S. diesel costs after expanding stockpiles drove prices to a two-year low.

Hedge funds increased net-short wagers on ultra-low sulfur diesel for a fourth week, to the most in U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data that begins in 2006. Prices retreated 17 percent since reaching this year’s high on Jan. 31.

U.S. inventories of distillate fuels, which include diesel, are the biggest in almost a year as refineries operated at 93 percent of capacity this quarter, the highest level since 2005. Supply is at a three-year high at the main storage and trading hub in Europe, the second-largest importer of U.S. fuel, threatening to reduce demand for shipments.

“Refineries aren’t scaling back,” Gene McGillian, an analyst and br  (go to article)

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Chrysler and Google launch virtual plant tour

Detroit Free Press -- Chrysler has teamed up with Google Maps to launch an interactive Web site that allows people to take a virtual tour of its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to see how the 2015 Chrysler 200 is made.

The Auburn Hills automaker invested more than $1 billion to renovate its Sterling Heights plant, which was originally selected for closure during the company's bankruptcy in 2009. [...]

The site for the interactive tour can be found at: www.chrysler200factory.com

The tour takes consumers inside the newly renovated 5 million-square-foot Sterling Heights with Google Maps Business View. A navigation tool offers people a guided tour through 12 unique videos dedicated to individual areas of the assembly plant, or they can explore every inch of the 5 million square feet on their own.  (go to article)

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Why oil prices are dropping despite Mideast unrest

The Globe and Mail -- JEFF RUBIN
Special to The Globe and Mail

Canada’s oil patch is basking in an extended sweet spot of sorts. Commodity prices aren’t spiking in a way that’s sure to sink the global economy, nor are they plumbing depths that would force small producers out of business and big players to start tightening their belts and cutting jobs. The global oil market, however, is changing and nowhere are the signs more evident than the reaction to what’s happening in the Middle East.

In the past, military conflicts in the Middle East and the attendant threat of supply disruptions would send oil prices soaring. Today, oil prices are falling even as the region is seemingly unraveling. Civil wars are unfolding in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, atrocities by ISIS have the western world mounting military action...  (go to article)

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Indiana Toll Road Operator Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Bloomberg News -- The operator of the Indiana Toll Road, owned by affiliates of Macquarie Group Ltd. and Ferrovial SA, sought bankruptcy protection after dwindling traffic soured a $3.8 billion bet on a 75-year lease. The company cited liabilities of more than $1 billion in a filing yesterday in Chicago bankruptcy court.  (go to article)

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Chrysler recalls 230,760 SUVs globally for fuel pump issue

Reuters -- Chrysler Group is recalling an estimated 230,760 sport utility vehicles globally to install a new part to prevent a fuel pump issue that could cause the vehicles to stall or not start.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat , said it had discovered in an internal review that some fuel-pump relays in certain 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs were susceptible to deformation.
 (go to article)

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Molten metal batteries aimed at the grid

bbc.com -- Engineers in the US have invented a battery, made of three molten metals, which could help smooth the power supply from renewable energy sources.

Previous battery designs have largely been too expensive to help store energy on the scale of a national power grid.

The new liquid battery has a negative electrode made of lead, which is cheap and melts easily, mixed with a dash of antimony to boost performance.

This lowers its cost, as well as the heat required to liquefy the metals.

Published in the journal Nature, this latest attempt at a scalable solution for storing electricity is set for commercial demonstrations within a year and has been greeted with enthusiasm by engineers in the UK.

 (go to article)

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Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinized

Science Daily -- Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually fared better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research.

The researchers compared shale gas to other fossil-fuel alternatives, such as conventional natural gas and coal, as well as low-carbon options, including nuclear, offshore wind and solar power (solar photovoltaics).
The results of the research suggest that the average emissions of greenhouse gases from shale gas over its entire life cycle are about 460 grams of carbon dioxide-equivalent per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. This, the authors say, is comparable to the emissions from conventional natural gas. For most of the other life-cycle  (go to article)

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Governor Brown seeks more electric cars in California

Reuters -- California Governor Jerry Brown signed several legislations on Sunday to encourage the electric car market in the state, which accounts for 40 percent of all electric vehicles sold in the United States.

The legislations are meant to make electric cars affordable in low-income communities and to achieve a target of having 1.5 million zero emission vehicles in California by 2025. (http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18720)

The new plans encourage the usage of clean-air vehicles by granting free access or access at reduced rates to high-occupancy toll lanes. Commercial and real estate owners will be able to approve installation of electric vehicle charging stations, as long as it meets requirement

California surpassed sales of 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles earlier this month.  (go to article)

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NYC now boasts world's largest traffic control system

GasBuddy Blog -- NYC DOTCongrats New Yorkers, you've just become the first city in the world to actively manage more than 10,000 traffic signal intersections from a single management center in one integrated system! I sure as heck wouldn't want to be in charge of managing such a room with such chaos (okay, since computers are doing a lot of it, maybe it's not too bad.
In 2006, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) engaged TransCore as its system manager to design and install a central traffic control system that included modernization of intersection control equipment, implementation of a central traffic control system and support of the City’s wireless communications network, the largest of its kind supporting traffic control. ...  (go to article)

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Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels

NY Times -- John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels.

The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses.

The announcement, timed to precede Tuesday’s opening of the United Nations climate change summit meeting in New York City, is part of a broader and accelerating initiative.  (go to article)

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Donegal Township families fight driller to get clean water

triblive.com -- From January to June, Ken and Mildred Geary had to use bottled water to cook, clean and shower because a leak from a gas drilling company's pond contaminated their underground well water.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has ruled their well was contaminated by a nearby fracking operation.

Mildred Geary first noticed the tap water smelled rotten and felt slimy. Running hot water in the kitchen would fill the interior of their red brick ranch along Route 711 in Donegal Township with a horrible odor, she said.

The family complained to WPX Energy Appalachia LLC, which operates the nearby gas drilling well pad, and the company eventually agreed to supply them with cases of bottled water.

“It was a pain. We had to keep a big bottle of water handy all the time” said Geary, 76  (go to article)

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Canada oil-train boom may thwart winter crude price slump

Gulf News -- Revamped US refineries are absorbing heavy Canadian crude and new oil-rail terminals built by companies like Gibson Energy Inc and Canexus Corp are loading trains to deliver crude to markets across North America, and potentially abroad, limiting the downturn and keeping prices buoyant compared to the past seasons.

Thanks to the emergence of these “train pipes”, the market is “unlikely to get that deep of a squeeze on the deliverability side,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

Shipping crude by rail can be up to twice as expensive as by pipeline, roughly $14-$21 (Dh51.38-Dh77.07) per barrel to the Gulf Coast. But just a small volume of such shipments could help avoid the short-term supply overhangs that have burdened the market for years.

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Solar City and Tesla Hatch a Plan to Lower the Cost of Solar Power

Technology Review -- Tesla and Solar City say their vast manufacturing operations will make solar the cheapest source of electricity in the United States.

At an event hosted in New York this week by Solar City, CEO Lyndon Rive and chairman Elon Musk announced that within five to 10 years every set of solar panels that Solar City installs will come with a battery pack to help deal with the intermittency of solar power—one of the key factors limiting its use. Musk says his company Tesla Motors will supply at least some of those batteries.

Solar City, one of the largest solar panel installers in the United States, announced earlier this year that it intends to build the country’s largest solar panel factory in New York.  (go to article)

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A nanosized hydrogen generator

Phys.org -- Researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a small scale "hydrogen generator" that uses light and a two-dimensional graphene platform to boost production of the hard-to-make element.

The research also unveiled a previously unknown property of graphene. The two-dimensional chain of carbon atoms not only gives and receives electrons, but can also transfer them into another substance.

Hydrogen is virtually everywhere on the planet, but the element is typically bonded with other elements and must be separated from oxygen in H2O to produce free hydrogen.

(...)

Argonne's early-stage generator, composed of many tiny assemblies, is proof that hydrogen can be produced without burning fossil fuels.
 (go to article)

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Why gas should be about a buck a gallon

johnharding.com -- Price of gas $0.91 in Saudi Arabia, $0.78 in Kuwait, $1.74 in Puerto Rico (part of the USA). So how can that be?

It costs less than a dollar to produce a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia—I know, I worked for Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil company.

The price of crude is not driven up by speculators. It is set by collusion between the USA and OPEC.

Let’s do the math

- it’s simple

- you should be paying a little over

- a dollar a gallon!

The artificial cost of crude oil accounts for 73% of the cost of gas at the pump. Now crude is at $100 a barrel.

73% of $4.00 per gallon comes to $2.92. All the other components for your gallon of gas come to $4.00 minus that $2.92 for crude, which equals 1.08 per gallon.

Let’s not be greedy – let’s give the Saudis and the others a chance to have a decent  (go to article)

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Electric Car Breaks 200 MPH, Sets New World Land Speed Record

Huffington Post -- An electric car built by students at Brigham Young U has set a new land speed record for cars in its class. "Electric Blue" averaged a mind-blowing 204.9 mph over two runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats this month, beating its own previous record from 2011 by nearly 50 mph

“When we set the record three years ago we felt like we left a lot on the table

Electric Blue competes in the "E1" racing class, since it's electrically powered and weighs less than 1,100 lb. The sleek blue-and-white streamliner is made of lightweight carbon fiber and powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. Its spaceship-like design has been modified by dozens of students over the course of 10 yrs

Following the record-setting run, the car has been retired, according to the design team  (go to article)

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Railroad commissioners say study confirms that fracking is safe

Star Tribune -- A study that linked contaminated water to gas drilling activity made big headlines last week but Texas Railroad Commission members, and the agency’s staff, were not impressed.

Scientists at Duke, Stanford and three other universities issued a report saying that faulty drilling practices, not hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells deep below the surface, were the primary cause of water contamination in the Barnett Shale.

In particular, the scientists said that methane gas in water stems from defective casing and cementing of wells during drilling. It also states gas in the water may come from water wells puncturing other underground zones like the Strawn.

The scientists used noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers to identify the contamination.

“When you get away from the sensational...  (go to article)

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Sustaining NY's nuclear fleet

fierceenergy.com -- Existing New York nuclear plants bring many benefits to the state in the form of reliable, carbon-free energy as well as jobs and economic growth. This is according to a panel of bipartisan stakeholders speaking at a recent Nuclear Matters event who support the continued operation of New York's existing nuclear energy plants.

(snip)

"Part of our ability to remain a leader is contingent on having a reliable and affordable supply of electricity and our existing nuclear energy plants, which provide one-third of the state's electricity, are a critical part of this equation," said Jerry Kremer, chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA), who moderated the discussion.  (go to article)

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EVs are the missing link in making solar power competitive with fossil energy

autobloggreen -- Anyone having a sour day could do worse than reading the conclusions of a UBS report that lays out the near-term future of electric vehicle adoption and on-site energy storage. That's because the Swiss bank's findings paint a fairly rosy picture when it comes to sustainable transportation and stationary energy storage and production, The Guardian reports. In short: the future looks bright.

UBS says large-scale European power stations could be redundant within a decade or so thanks to the combination of advancements in lithium-ion battery production, energy storage and solar-energy production. Those changes should make it cheaper to produce energy at home than buying it from utility companies, which could help battery costs fall by more than 50% by 2020 and almost 75% within the next decad  (go to article)

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If Midland crude is cheaper, why aren’t gas prices?

Haynesville.com -- But what does it mean for Odessans at the pump?

Not much, at least so far, analysts say.

To be sure, average gas prices are lower than they were in mid-August, when the Permian Basin pumped crude so far beyond the existing takeaway infrastructure that the price blowout between Midland and the national benchmark in Cushing, Okla., reached more than $21.

Gas prices in Odessa as of Friday were just above an average $3.19 per gallon. That’s about 12.6 cents below last month’s average. But it is also above the state average price per gallon of $3.16.
 (go to article)

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U.S. Oil imports at historic low

Peak oil -- U.S. imports of crude oil in August were the lowest they’ve been in almost 20 years, the American Petroleum Institute said.

API said in its monthly report on trends in the U.S. energy sector crude oil imports of 7.6 million barrels per day in August, the last full month for which data are available, was 6.2 percent less than last year and the lowest level for August since 1996.

Total imports of petroleum productions were down 10.2 percent year-on-year.

August crude oil production of 8.6 million bpd, meanwhile, was the highest for the month in nearly three decades. Production was boosted largely by output from North Dakota and Texas.

In terms of demand, API said its petroleum delivery metric showed a 1 percent increase year-on-year to 19.3 million bpd, the highest in three years.

“Petr  (go to article)

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A hidden gas tax?

MercuryNews -- You've probably seen the ads. Come Jan. 1, they warn, a new "hidden gasoline tax" will go into effect, one expected to increase the cost to fill up your car between 16 and 76 cents a gallon.

"There's still time to stop it, but we must act now," says the ad, sponsored by a group called the California Drivers Alliance. "Contact state officials today and urge them to put the brakes on the hidden gas tax!"

At issue is California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a cornerstone of the state's groundbreaking 8-year-old effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program requires oil companies to gradually reduce the amount of carbon in their fuels. On Jan. 1, the program will finally target diesel, gasoline and other transportation fuels, which the California Air Resources Board estimates are resp  (go to article)

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Galveston eyed for $6 billion LNG export terminal

Fuel Fix -- A Woodlands-based liquefied natural gas company is considering building a $6 billion export plant on a small island north of Galveston once slated for a LNG import terminal that never materialized.

Galveston Wharves trustees Monday will consider leasing 185 acres on the northeast corner of Pelican Island to NextDecade, a privately owned company focused on developing two Texas LNG export facilities. The company has already secured land for a proposed Brownsville project and pending approval by the wharves board Monday, the firm intends to submit the necessary paperwork to start the lengthy permitting process required for such projects.

CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner said the company is in the “final stages” of securing financing for the Pelican Island project.

NextDecade’s proposals join a wave  (go to article)

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Plunging Oil Prices Are Great For US, Bad For ISIS And Russia

Business Insider -- Russia and Iran are heavily reliant on oil sales and face budget shortages at current price levels, analysts say, weakening their position when negotiating over Ukrainian sovereignty or the Iranian nuclear deal.

And higher oil production from the United States as well as Canada is providing a buffer against the threat of retaliatory supply curbs from Russia or further disruptions to supplies from the Middle East.

“The increase in production is definitely benefiting the United States,” said Professor Paul Stevens at the Chatham House think tank in London.

“The Russians are very exposed to lower oil prices. We don’t know to what extent it will influence their behaviour in Ukraine, but they’re certainly going to feel pressure on their budget.”
 (go to article)

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Gas prices fall, extending summer decline

USA Today -- CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — A national survey says the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped another 9 cents over the last two weeks, to $3.37, bringing the decline to 34 cents over the last 13 weeks.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that falling crude oil prices drove the declines, but the drop was also heavily impacted by a crash in prices of ethanol and the fact that winter-grade gasoline costs less to produce. If crude prices don't rise, the average prices at the pump may drop a few more cents.  (go to article)

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Global Warming Is Benefiting Trees, Forests

Forbes -- Trees are growing at an accelerated rate due to global warming, scientists conclude in a new peer-reviewed study. The study documents faster tree growth in recent decades and concludes longer growing seasons and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are stimulating the benefits.

A team of European forestry scientists analyzed growth rates of Norway spruce and European beech trees – the dominant tree species in Central Europe – since 1870. The scientists discovered both species are growing substantially faster since 1960 than in the decades before 1960. Norway spruce trees are growing a healthy 32 percent faster since 1960, while European beech trees are growing an astounding 77 percent faster since 1970. Boosted by this accelerated growth, the volume of Norway spruce stands is increasi  (go to article)

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Dramatic step to battle texting while driving

KOMANDO.COM -- PG 2 Disabled phones

The District Attorney in Nassau Country is currently trying to change the punishment for drivers caught texting on roadways. The new penalty would require those drivers to temporarily disable their phones while they're driving.
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District Attorney Kathleen Rice compares texting dangers to drunk driving. While they're not the same, both take the driver's focus off of the road and have resulted in a lot of pain and suffering. It's no small problem, either. About 20% of drivers text or surf the Web while driving according to the National Highway Safety Administration."Like ignition interlock devices, transdermal alcohol monitoring ankle bracelets, and personal breath testing instruments, DA Rice believes that available technologies must be employed in crim  (go to article)

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Sarasota event celebrates electric cars

The Washington Times -- SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Dozens of electric car owners and enthusiasts marked National Drive Electric Week with a celebration in Sarasota. The Bradenton Herald reports that about 50 electric-car owners gathered Saturday at the Mote Marina Laboratory and Aquarium. The cars ranged from Tesla’s to Cadillacs and Chevrolet Volts. Chris Isaak organized the event. Isaak is an environmental engineer and author of the book, “The Electric Car Revolution.” Isaak said he did the first oil change in his electric car at 50,000 miles and that electric are require less maintenance the traditional, gas-powered vehicles. The event was sponsored in part by Florida Power & Light.  (go to article)

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Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

The Washington Times -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California judge’s initial ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was the second legal setback within a month for privacy advocates. The tentative decision issued Thursday upheld the right of authorities to block the public from viewing information collected on their vehicles from vast networks that rely on cameras mounted on stoplights and police cars. The rapidly expanding systems and their growing databases have been the subject of a larger debate pitting privacy rights against public safety concerns in a new frontier over high-tech surveillance. A Los Angeles judge ruled in August that city police and sheriff’s  (go to article)

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Can engines survive stop-start? The danger of accelerated engine where with stop/start tech!

autocar -- “A normal car without automatic stop-start can be expected to go through up to 50,000 stop-start events during its lifetime,” says Gerhard Arnold, who is responsible for bearing design at Federal Mogul.

“But with automatic stop-start being activated every time the car comes to a standstill, the figure rises dramatically, perhaps to as many as 500,000 stop start cycles over the engine’s life.”  (go to article)

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At Climate March in New York, a Clarion Call for Action

NY Times -- "I’m here because I really feel that every major social movement in this country has come when people get together,” said Carol Sutton of Norwalk, Conn., the president of a teachers’ union. “It begins in the streets.”

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Climates marches were held across the globe on Sunday, from Paris to Papua New Guinea, and with world leaders gathering at the United Nations on Tuesday for a climate summit meeting, marchers said the timing was right for the populist message in support of  (go to article)

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Scientists Report Global Rise in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

NY Times -- Global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels, scientists reported Sunday, in the latest indication that the world remains far off track in its efforts to control global warming.

The emissions growth last year was a bit slower than the average growth rate of 2.5 percent over the past decade, and much of the dip was caused by an economic slowdown in China, which is the world’s single largest source of emissions. It may take an additional year or two to know if China has turned a corner toward slower emissions growth, or if the runaway pace of recent years will resume.  (go to article)

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Reconstructed I-96 to open for Monday rush hour

Detroit Free Press -- The 7-mile stretch of I-96 closed nearly six months for reconstruction is expected to reopen for Monday morning's rush hour commute, ending months of headaches for drivers and area businesses affected by the closure.

The announcement was made by Gov. Rick Snyder, who came to town for a pedestrian preview commemorating the near completion of the reconstructed stretch. MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said workers will put finishing touches on the road — including checking lights, bridges and road surfaces — before it opens.

"It's very exciting," Cross said Sunday. "It's been a long, busy summer of hard work — and patience of residents. We appreciate that very much."

MDOT took a different approach with the project from the start, seeking input from residents, drivers and area business owners  (go to article)

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Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon offer 27 mpg highway

Detroit News -- General Motors Co. said Sunday that its new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups powered by its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines have segment topping highway fuel economy.

The Detroit automaker said Environmental Protection Agency ratings for its two-wheel drive trucks powered by the four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission will get 20 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway and get a combined rating of 22 mpg.

Four-wheel drive trucks with the four-cylinder engine in the midsize trucks will get 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway and a combined 21 mpg, GM said.

Two-wheel drive Colorados and Canyons powered with a six-speed manual transmission will get 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, the automaker said.

The midsize segment, which has shrunk signif  (go to article)

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Russian Sanctions Force Exxon to Pull Out of Arctic Project

24/7 Wall St. -- Last Friday, Exxon Mobil Corp. issued a terse statement that the company has received a license from the U.S. government that allows the company to continue working in Russia while it shuts down its first project under a deal signed more than three years ago. Russia’s energy industry had avoided sanctions placed on the country by the U.S. and Europe as a result of the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

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The coming era of unlimited — and free — clean energy

The Washington Post -- In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones. McKinsey & Company noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant. It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units, and advised AT&T to pull out. McKinsey was wrong, of course. There were more than 100 million cellular phones in use 2000; there are billions now. Costs have fallen so far that even the poor — all over world — can afford a cellular phone.

The experts are saying the same about solar energy now. They note that after decades of development, solar power hardly supplies 1 percent of the world’s energy needs.  (go to article)

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China drives world carbon emissions to record high

Reuters -- World CO2 emissions will hit a record high this year, driven by China’s growth and keeping the world far off track from the deep cuts needed to limit climate change, a study said on Sun

More than half of proven fossil fuel reserves may have to stay in the ground if governments are serious about a promise made in 2010 to limit a rise in average temperatures to 2 C above pre-industrial times, the Global Carbon Project report said

Emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production will climb by 2.5% to a new record 37.0B T in 2014

Emissions by China alone have soared to eclipse those of the U.S. and the EU combined

The report puts 2014 world carbon emissions 65% above 90' level. The 2C goal was slipping out of reach. Temperatures have already risen by 0.85 C since the Industrial Re  (go to article)

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The ultimate response to road raging lunatics

http://driving.ca/auto-news/news/motor-mouth-the-ultimate-response-to-road-raging-lunatics -- The brainiacs at MIT conclude that the health vitals, skin conductance and face movements of a commuter in morning traffic are similar to a person hurtling towards the earth at 130+ mph. Commuting is indeed an exercise in frustration

At least 8 of 10 Canadians have admitted to exhibiting road rage according to a poll — who hasn’t suffered the wrath of middle finger

The correct response is to simply ignore the situation, hopefully defusing the confrontation, but it always leaves both you skulking away still fuming

The ultimate response to any incident of road rage which still leaves you feeling morally superior is to simply… Apologize

The more sincere said apology, the greater your triumph

I roll down my window and then say…
“I’m sorry,” with all the sincerity I can muster
 (go to article)

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