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Citing Health Risks, Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State

New York Times -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas.  (go to article)

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Family Suffers as Russia's ruble falls...

Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer -- "... This family spoke when the Ruble had just lost around 40 percent of its value against the dollar, but before the plunge of Dec. 15-16. ..."  (go to article)

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The World's Biggest Car Company Wants to Get Rid of Gasoline

Business Week -- The first thing you notice about the Mirai, Toyota’s new $62,000, four-door family sedan, is that it’s no Camry, an international symbol of bland conformity. First there are the in-your-face, angular grilles on the car’s front end. These deliver air to (and cool) a polymer fuel-cell stack under the hood. Then there’s the wavy, layered sides, meant to evoke a droplet of water. It looks like it was driven off the set of the Blade Runner sequel.

Just as the Prius has established itself as the first true mass-market hybrid, Toyota hopes the Mirai will one day become the first mass-market hydrogen car. On sale in Japan on Dec. 15, it will be available in the U.S. and Europe in late 2015 and has a driving range of 300 miles, much farther than most plug-in electrics can go. It also runs on the m  (go to article)

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Senators launch effort to block Pilgrim oil pipeline through 7 N.J. counties

NJ.com -- State Senate Republican leader Thomas Kean Jr. and state Sen. Richard Codey today announced they have introduced a resolution opposing the planned Pilgrim Pipeline, which would carry volatile oil through seven New Jersey counties over 178 miles from Linden to Albany, N.Y.

The move was expected, as NJ Advance Media previously reported earlier this week. The Senate resolution follows a similar measure introduced in the Assembly last week. Gov. Chris Christie has declined to comment on what he thinks about the pipeline.

“The Pilgrim Pipeline poses significant threats to public safety and the environment,” said Codey (D-Essex) “It would carry highly-volatile fuel through densely-populated and environmentally-sensitive areas, including areas that supply drinking water to the state’s residen  (go to article)

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FUEL PRICES COMING DOWN... FOR OUR CARS

FLYING MAGAZINE -- "Fuel prices are plummeting at the auto gas pump. Is there hope for aviation fuel too? ..."
By Robert Goyer / Published: Dec 16, 2014

Read more at http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/going-direct/fuel-prices-coming-down-our-cars#zGcX2z68mLDjCUzU.99  (go to article)

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New York Gov. Cuomo moves to ban fracking

Fox News --
New York officials on Wednesday moved forward with an effort to ban fracking across the state, citing excessive environmental and health concerns.

The move came during a Cabinet-level meeting in Albany, the state capital, in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo's environmental commissioner, Joe Martens, recommended a ban.

Cuomo, a Democrat, said he will defer to Martens and acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in making a final decision.

A ban would end the state's current six-month moratorium on fracking.

The process of fracking involves shooting a mix of pressurized water, sand and chemicals to split rock formations to release natural gas and so-called tight oil.

 (go to article)

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Cuomo Administration Moves to Ban Fracking

Wall Street Journal -- ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration said Wednesday it would prohibit hydraulic fracturing statewide, citing health concerns and calling the economic benefits to drilling there limited.

The long-awaited decision seals off about 12 million acres of the Marcellus Shale, an underground rock formation that spans six states and that has helped fuel a national energy production boom with its natural gas reserves. New York would be the first state with significant potential to become a major natural-gas producer to ban fracking.  (go to article)

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Consumer prices post biggest drop in 6 years on lower gasoline costs

LA Times -- Plunging gasoline costs led to the largest drop in consumer prices in six years last month and added another complication for Federal Reserve policymakers as they try to determine when to start raising interest rates.

The Consumer Price Index declined 0.3%, , the Labor Department said Wednesday, much steeper than the 0.1% decrease economists had expected. The index was flat in October.

November was just the second time this year that the closely watched index fell and was the steepest decline since December 2008, the Labor Department said.  (go to article)

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Militant fighting, price plunge threaten Iraq’s oil production goal

Bloomberg -- Iraq said a collapse in oil prices and the cost of fighting Islamic State militants may force the country to review its plans to boost crude production this decade.

“It may be necessary to revisit our ambitious plans for the next five years,” Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Shaways said at a conference in London today, without specifying what measures the country might take.
 (go to article)

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Oil climbs from 5-year low; oil drop seen as excessive

Bloomberg -- Crude oil rebounded on speculation that a slide in prices to a five-year low was excessive.

Brent, the benchmark for half the world’s oil, gained as much as 1.2 percent after closing at the lowest level since May 2009 yesterday. West Texas Intermediate crude also gained. Prices slipped earlier after Russia reiterated it will keep production steady and the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a supply increase at Cushing, Oklahoma
 (go to article)

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Pipeline And Nuclear Shortages Send New England's Utility Bills Soaring

Forbes -- Consumers in New England got a shock in their utility bills this month. A 40% increase over the previous month. National Grid , the largest utility in Massachusetts, decided that electricity prices for this winter would rise to 24¢/kWh, a record high.

But peak electricity prices could exceed 100¢/kWh like they did last year during the polar vortex (Forbes).

Not sure why New Englanders are so surprised. It was their choice to throw all-in for natural gas and renewables in a land of harsh winters. But they’ve refused to build new gas pipelines. And they’re shutting a nuclear plant that has 20 years of cheap reliable cold-resistant energy left on it.

New England already has the highest electricity prices in North America – about 18¢/kWh averaged over the whole year...  (go to article)

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Out-of-control gas well keeping 25 families out of homes

Fuel Fix -- COLUMBUS, Ohio — An out-of-control natural gas fracking well has kept 25 families from their homes for the past three days in eastern Ohio.

The Monroe County well had been temporarily plugged while work was being done elsewhere onsite. But when workers tried to resume production operations Saturday afternoon, the well began to flow uncontrollably.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Wednesday the families were evacuated from houses within a 1.5-mile radius of the well, located near the Ohio River about 160 miles east of Columbus.

Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources, says the well is not on fire but the gas could be explosive.

The well is operated by Triad Hunter, a subsidiary of Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. that also has offices in Marietta  (go to article)

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Congress renews tax breaks for wind, biofuel

Fuel Fix -- WASHINGTON — Tax credits that support wind farms, biodiesel and other renewable fuels are getting an extension, courtesy of Congress. But the renewal comes with a catch: It’s only good for two more weeks.

The Senate voted 76-16 to extend the biodiesel and renewable energy production tax credits — as well as dozens of other tax breaks — in one of its final acts before adjourning Tuesday evening.

The measure extends the tax breaks for a year — but retroactive to their earlier expiration in January, so the clock runs out again on Dec. 31, 2014.

The move means taxpayers can claim the cuts and credits on their 2014 tax returns, but there is no guarantee they will be back in 2015.

The approach disappointed lawmakers who sought a permanent extension of the tax breaks as well as fiscal conserv  (go to article)

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The Relentless Production of Shale Oil Is Breaking OPEC’s Neck

BloombergBusinessweek -- The world’s biggest oil companies faced ruin in the summer of 1931. Crude prices had plummeted. Wildcatters were selling oil from the bonanza East Texas field for a nickel a barrel, cheaper than a bowl of chili. On Aug. 17, Governor Ross Sterling declared a state of insurrection in four counties and sent 1,100 National Guard troops to shut down the fields and bring order to the market. A month later the Railroad Commission of Texas handed out strict production quotas.

That heavy-handed intervention in the free market was remarkable enough. Even more remarkable was who pulled it off. The person in charge of shutting down the wildcatters, National Guard Brigadier General Jacob Wolters, was the general counsel of Texas Co., an ancestor of Chevron (CVX).  (go to article)

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US Atlantic Coast heating oil imports leap as shippers supplement flagging pipeline supply

Platts -- US Atlantic Coast imports spiked in the reporting week ended December 12, according to data released Wednesday by the EIA, as increasing winter demand in the Northeast was met with dwindling pipeline supply, opening the arbitrage from Europe.

Atlantic Coast imports of heating oil with up to 2,000 ppm sulfur jumped 81,000 b/d to average 91,000 b/d for the week, according to the EIA data. This marks the highest since the week ended April 11, when it was 167,000 b/d.

The increased flow of imports hasn't led to higher stocks in the Northeast, though, as Central Atlantic and New England stocks have fallen by 58,000 barrels and 127,000 barrels, respectively.

"For a while, the pipeline has been stuffed with gasoline, and not much distillate has been shipped up," an analyst said.

This drag on  (go to article)

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Husky Delays Expansion Off Canada Coast on Price Drop

Bloomberg -- Husky Energy is the latest major developer of Canada’s oil and natural gas resources to put investment on hold as crude prices plummet.

The producer controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing is delaying a decision on the C$2.8 billion White Rose expansion off Canada’s Atlantic Coast by a year as it confronts the rout. Its priority will be projects that deliver quick returns, Chief Operating Officer Rob Peabody told investors on a conference call.

“We’ve deferred the final investment decision on West White Rose, although we absolutely remain committed to the development of that resource over the longer haul,” Peabody said, adding the company hasn’t disclosed a cost estimate. “The project remains an important part of our long-term Atlantic region portfolio.”

Husky follows Malaysia’s  (go to article)

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Radical concept tires morph to handle any terrain

fox -- Hankook Tire just showed off the results of its Design Innovation Project, a bi-annual daydream challenge to come up with the wildest, most futuristic tire concepts imaginable. This year's winners are amazingly sci-fi: Morphing, transforming tires that change with the terrain to drive on pavement, dirt, snow, and even water.  (go to article)

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Court clears way for Ariz. dreamers to get licenses

The Arizona Republic -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for young Arizona immigrants or "dreamers" to get driver's licenses. The Supreme Court denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request for a stay of an appeals' court ruling.  (go to article)

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Ford upgrades its 'Sync' infotainment system

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..cnet.comFord Motor Company will no longer have to mail USB drives to customers to update their in-vehicle operating system. The automaker, which has officially ended its relationship with Microsoft for its third-generation system, has learned an expensive lesson in how not to build a “carputer,” also known as an infotainment system.Ford said last week that its Sync 3 system will be offered in 2016 model-year Ford and Lincoln vehicles, and the company says its customers will find a faster and more intuitive system than its predecessors. Like all automakers, Ford is working to keep up with innovations that are rapidly changing the way drivers interact with their vehicles. Infotainment systems from just a few years ago seem antiquated and clunky because recent versions of these systems are vastly improved. ...  (go to article)

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Montana Legislators Mull 85 mph Speed Limit

Fox News -- Big Sky Country could soon be the land of high speeds.

Four Montana lawmakers have proposed raising the state’s maximum speed limit from 75 mph to 80 or 85 mph and are working on bills to introduce during next year’s legislative session, the Missoulian reports.

State Senator Scott Sales of Bozeman, who favors an 85 mph limit, told the newspaper he’s been working across the state in the Bakken oil fields near the North Dakota border and that the higher limit would shave an hour off his 400-plus mile trip.

State Representative Mike Miller adds that neighboring states with similarly wide open stretches of road have increased their limits to 80 mph with apparent success.

“Utah, Wyoming and Idaho have all done it. Nevada is looking at it, too.  (go to article)

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Russian ruble's fall: A classic 'currency collapse'

Forbes -- Then the price of oil—the commodity upon which the Russian economy is built—began to fall sharply, draining the nation’s economy of foreign money and crimping its growth. This dynamic drove the ruble sharply lower, culminating in an 11% drop on Monday, which forced Russia’s central bank to raise interest rates by a whopping 650 basis points, all but assuring a deep and painful recession in 2015.  (go to article)

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Oil holds below $60 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping

Reuters -- Brent crude oil traded below $60 a barrel on Wednesday, near 5-1/2-year lows, as major oil producers signaled that they would maintain output despite a supply glut and faltering demand in Russia and Europe.  (go to article)

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Drivers to save $550 on gas in 2015

http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/17/news/economy/gas-price-savings/index.html?iid=HP_LN -- U.S. drivers already loving low gas prices will save an additional $550 on gas next year, according the latest forecast from the federal government.

The average driver will spend $1,962 on gas next year, according to the Energy Information Institute, down about 20% from this year. That savings comes to about $45 a month.  (go to article)

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I-Team: Gas-selling gimmick could cost you $1 more per gallon

KHOU 11 News -- ...They're talking about the gas pricing at several Houston-area service stations, and how you if you don't look closely, you could end up paying much more.

...thought they were filling up at $2.37/gal at a Chevron station in Pasadena. But they really were paying $3.49. That's $1.12/gal higher.

The big difference is in the small print. A closer look at the signage reveals the lower price only is good when consumers pay with a Chevron gift card. But pay with cash, credit card or debit card, and you're in for a shocker.

The I-Team found more than a dozen Chevron, Texaco, and Citgo stations around Houston where you'll pay much more if you don't use their station gift card. 30 to 50 cents/gal more at some locations, 80 to 90 cents more at others. Topping them all...$1.24/gal difference..
 (go to article)

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EIA: Gasoline inventories surge again, distillates decline

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 decreased by 0.8 million barrels to a total of 379.9 million barrels. At 379.9 million barrels, inventories are 7.6 million barrels above last year (2.1%) and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories increased by 5.3 million barrels to 222.0 million barrels. At 222.0 million barrels, inventories are up 1.5 million barrels, or 0.7% higher than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+1.3mb); Midwest (+2.1mb); Gulf Coast (+0.6mb); Rockies (+0.1mb); and West Coast (+1.0mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices  (go to article)

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U.S. consumer prices fall on gasoline, eyes on Fed

Reuters -- U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in nearly six years in November as gasoline prices tumbled, but this probably will not change views the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates in mid-2015.

The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index fell 0.3 percent last month, the largest decline since December 2008, after being flat in October.

In the 12 months through November, the CPI increased 1.3 percent, the smallest gain since February, after advancing 1.7 percent in October.

"The further fall in U.S. inflation won't worry the Fed too much," said Paul Dales, a senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in London.

Wall Street had forecast the CPI slipping only 0.1 percent from October and rising 1.4 percent from a year ago.
 (go to article)

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Falling oil prices could hurt US producers, fracking industry

Fox news -- With the price of oil now below $56 a barrel, drivers are smiling at the gas pump. However, American oil producers and the states whose economies rely on them are bracing for tougher times ahead.

"If oil drops five dollars a barrel, that's about a $17 million loss to our general fund and $17 million to schools in Wyoming -- a total of about $35 million," Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead told Fox News. He said, depending on various factors, the oil industry makes up about 30 percent of the state's revenue.
The irony in the falling prices is that the success of U.S. producers using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies is partly responsible, along with slowing demand by struggling Asian and European markets. Now that success could come back to bite the so-called fracking  (go to article)

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Brent near $59 as OPEC, Russia keep pumping

Reuters -- Brent crude oil traded near $59 a barrel on Wednesday, near 5-1/2 year lows, as major oil producers signalled that they would maintain output despite a supply glut and faltering demand in Russia and Europe.  (go to article)

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Oil could fall to $30 a barrel: Emirates boss

CNBC -- The airline industry is set to reap the benefits of lower oil prices, which could fall to as low as $30 a barrel, according to the chief executive of Emirates Airline.

"I've always thought personally it go well down to 30 again, but we'll see," Tim Clark, president and CEO of Emirates Airline, told CNBC in an exclusive interview.
 (go to article)

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Oil prices skid ahead of Fed outcome, EIA supply data

Marketwatch -- MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. oil prices resumed their slide on Wednesday, and Brent crude stayed below the key $60 mark, as markets braced for the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.

The market expects the Fed to change some of the language in its policy statement, when it concludes its two-day meeting, to signal that a rate hike is likely in mid-2015. Commodity markets, which have benefited from the easing of U.S. monetary policy in the last few years, could come under pressure if the Fed tightens its stance. Analysts also expect an upward revision to U.S. GDP growth forecasts in response to the slump in oil prices. Three most important things to watch during Fed meeting

Oil prices have almost halved since June’s peak this year, as supply has outweighed tepi  (go to article)

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9 U.S. oil stocks that could be gushers

Marketwatch -- Oil for January delivery CLF5, -1.61% on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped below $55 a barrel in trading early Wednesday. With OPEC refusing to cut its output, it will take plenty of time for production cuts and curtailment of expansion plans by U.S. producers to have an effect. Nobody knows when oil will hit bottom, but maybe you don’t have to time things perfectly to make money after the bloodletting ends.

Saudi Arabia has the most important voice among OPEC nations, since the kingdom not only has the largest supply but can most easily adjust its production levels. The Saudis’ message has been quite clear, saying that the threat to its market share from U.S. shale oil producers is unacceptable. The damage has already been done. The S&P 500 Oil and Gas Drilling subsector is dow  (go to article)

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Falling oil, sanctions, push ruble to the brink

MSM Money market watch -- A surprise overnight policy-rate hike by the Central Bank of Russia did little to stanch the ruble’s steep losses against the dollar in Tuesday trading.

Russia’s hike of its key lending rate to 17%. had the exact opposite effect, for the better part of the day

The U.S. dollar recorded its ninth-straight session of gains against the ruble, settling at 73 rubles after retreating from a record reached earlier in the session, as Russia grapples with its currency woes amid the rapid decline of one of its biggest exports: oil.

U.S. crude-oil benchmark fell as low as $53.60 a barrel and the U.S. government declared that it wouldn’t lift sanctions even if Russia experiences a total economic collapse.
 (go to article)

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We won't drive lots more just because gas prices are sliding

MSM Money market watch -- The slide in gasoline prices won’t put more Americans behind the wheel.

Indeed, American driving habits are even less sensitive to gas price than they were in the mid-1990s, when gas was a bit over $1 a gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.
 (go to article)

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Consumer Prices in U.S. Decline by Most in Six Years on Fuel

Bloomberg -- The cost of living in the U.S. fell in November by the most in almost six years, depressed by falling energy prices that signal inflation will stay below the Federal Reserve’s goal well into 2015.

The consumer-price index dropped 0.3 percent, the most since December 2008, after being little changed the prior month, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 84 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent fall. Costs rose 1.3 percent over the past year, the least since February. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure rose at a slower pace than in October.
 (go to article)

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U.S. Talking Oil Exports Just When World Needs It Least

Bloomberg -- The U.S. Congress is talking about allowing unfettered oil exports for the first time in almost four decades. Its timing couldn’t be worse.

There’s space in the global market for 1 million to 1.5 million barrels a day of U.S. crude if the ban vanishes, Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski told a congressional subcommittee at a Dec. 11 hearing. That would be less than 2 percent of worldwide demand. With prices sliding amid a glut, the figure is bound to be even smaller, according to consultants including Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

As members of Congress promise more hearings on repealing the restrictions on oil exports, the world is awash in the stuff. Global prices have fallen by almost half since June to the lowest in five years amid slower demand growth and rising supply. Wh  (go to article)

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Obama withdraws Alaska’s Bristol Bay from drilling

AP -- President Barack Obama is withdrawing Alaska’s Bristol Bay from consideration for oil and gas drilling.

The decision announced Tuesday under the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act means no leases will be sold for petroleum drilling in the area. The bay provides 40 percent of America’s wild seafood and supports up to $2 billion in commercial fishing every year.

Obama says in a video announcement that the natural resource is too precious to be put out to the highest bidder.

Bristol Bay is north of the Alaska Peninsula, which juts out west from mainland Alaska at the start of the Aleutian Islands chain.

Alaska’s Republican U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, says the petroleum industry hasn’t shown interest in the region and she’s not objecting to the president’s decision at this time.  (go to article)

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Missouri Gas Prices Lowest In The Nation

KRCU radio & NPR -- Missouri’s gas prices are the lowest in the nation at $2.21 per gallon, according to the website gasbuddy.com.  (go to article)

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Do Americans still think gas prices are too high?

CBS News -- Despite a recent drop in the price of gas, 45 percent of Americans still think the price is too high - but that is far below the 92 percent who thought so in 2012. Forty-nine percent now think the price is about right, according to a new CBS News poll.

Sixty-three percent of Americans say lower gas prices have not had any effect on their financial situation, but for a third, the price drop has been beneficial. Majorities say they will use any savings from lower gas prices to pay bills or save; fewer will pay off credit cards, do home repairs, spend more on holiday gifts, or travel more.

Fifty-three percent of Americans don't think a president has much to do with the price of gas, and 58 percent think the Obama administration's policies contributed not much or not at all to the recent pri  (go to article)

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The Falling Price of Gasoline Compared With 7 Common Items

ABC News -- Gasoline has fallen below $2 a gallon at some stations in the country, as the price of oil plummets globally. Now, a Starbucks Frappuccino drink is more expensive than a gallon of gas.

"This is getting downright wild," GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan told ABC News. "We keep sliding, and there’s no end in sight."

The average cost for a gallon of regular is $2.55, down about 69 cents from a year ago and 13 cents from a week ago, according to the Energy Department's weekly price report released on Monday. Gas peaked at over $4 a gallon just a few years ago in 2008.

Here are seven items that may be pricier than the average cost of a gallon of regular gas:
1. Starbucks Tall Coffee Frappuccino: at least $3
2. Burger King Whopper: about $3.49
3. Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich: a  (go to article)

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Gov. Inslee wants new tax to fund $12 billion transportation plan

Komo News.com/AP -- MEDINA, Wash. (AP) - Overlooking the state Route 520 floating bridge project, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday unveiled a proposal he said would address the state's most pressing transportation needs - fixing bridges and roads and boosting the ferry system while cleaning the air and water.

Inslee hopes to fund the $12 billion plan with bonds, fees and a carbon charge on the state's industrial polluters. The market-based carbon pollution charge will generate $7 billion over 12 years, he said. The fee will generate the equivalent of a 12 cent gas tax without hurting consumers, he said.

"Transportation pollution paying for transportation solutions," Inslee said. "It's not our children's lungs that should be burned. It should be polluters'.

"It's a pretty elegant solution for the state  (go to article)

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Why Talisman Energy Inc is the first — but not last — victim of the oil price slump

Financial Post -- Senior oil and gas producer Talisman Energy became the first Canadian oil patch company to surrender to the global oil price crash Tue, when it announced its sale to Spain’s Repsol for $8.3B in cash after a long campaign to re-focus its global business

There will be more

With share prices at garage-sale levels, the whole Canadian energy sector is vulnerable to being picked on by anyone with a war chest

Talisman is facing “a very stressed oil price environment,” limited ability to reduce costs, difficulties selling assets, having to raise equity to shore up a debt-heavy balance sheet

Hardly the end one would have expected for a company that was once one of Canada’s most aggressive and that took more than 20 yrs to build

The takeover, which also includes the assumption of $5B in debt,  (go to article)

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Couillard rules out fracking

Montreal Gazette -- Premier Couillard closed the door on shale gas development in QC after an environmental review said its risks outweighed the economic benefits. "Anyway, the social acceptability isn’t there,” he said in an exclusive interview with Radio-Canada on Tue

Last year, the PQ government imposed a 5-yr ban on fracking in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, the region between Montreal and QC City, home to 2M people

After 6 years of debate on the merits and risks of fracking, QC’s advisory office of environmental hearings published a report that found shale gas development in the Montreal-to-QC City region wouldn’t be worthwhile

Among the risks, shale gas activities could pollute the air, increase GHG by 23% and damage the landscape. The report also emphasized the lack of consensus on fracking

BAPE poked  (go to article)

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Ticking time bombs: Where oil's fall is dangerous

CNBC --

Lower oil prices are good for some countries, and bad for others.

But there are a handful of oil-dependent economies where things could get especially ugly.

Crude prices were lower Tuesday after OPEC repeated its refusal on Monday to cut oil output despite fears of a looming glut and a UAE official rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting to fix prices. The recent stance marks an about-face from the cartel's decades-old policy of tightening supplies in order to support prices.

Since peaking at just over $100 a barrel this summer, prices have fallen by more than 40 percent, including a slide last week that wiped out about $8, or more than 10 percent.

Oil consumers, from motorists at the gas pumps to energy-hungry economies such as those of China and the United States, are enjoying the  (go to article)

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Oil Trades Near 5-Year Low as Russia Matches OPEC Output Policy

Bloomberg News -- Oil in New York traded near a five-year low as Russia reiterated that it will keep crude production steady next year, echoing OPEC’s strategy to refrain from curbing supply to tackle a global surplus.

Futures fell as much as 2.4 percent after sliding below $54 a barrel yesterday for the first time since May 2009. Output from Russia, the world’s largest crude producer, will be similar to this year’s 10.6 million barrels a day, according to Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Iran is said to be offering shipments to Asia at the deepest discount in at least 14 years, taking a cue from Saudi Arabia in cutting price differentials.

Oil has slumped 44 percent this year as a surge in shale drilling lifted U.S. output to the fastest pace in three decades amid slowing world demand growth. Leading mem  (go to article)

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Buckeye Says 7 U.S. Pipelines Overbooked for January 2015

Reuters -- Buckeye Partners said on Tuesday nominations for seven of its refined product pipeline segments in the United States were overbooked for January 2015.

The midstream company said it was asking shippers to revise nominations on pipeline segments L010, L316, L403 L415/521, L203, L211/301 and L165.

Buckeye's L010 line segment is sourced from Chicago and its destinations can include all Buckeye MPS (M) delivery locations.

The L316 line segment delivers to destinations such as Bradley Road and Lorain in Ohio, while batches for the L403 line segment have delivery destinations in Avon and Clermont in Indiana.

The L415/521 line delivery segment starts from all Midwest origin points, while the L203 line segment, originating from Toledo, Detroit and Woodhaven, has delivery destinations in Flint,  (go to article)

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In Canada's Oil Sands, A Boomtown Starts Feeling the Chill

Reuters -- The boomtown in the heart of Canada's oil sands region is getting nervous.

Fort McMurray, surrounded by the boreal forest of northern Canada, has long drawn thousands with jobs that paid six-figure salaries to a region that produces more crude than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.

But a slide in oil prices since June has fueled a sense of unease in the community of nearly 73,000 which for over a decade has rarely known anything but the good times.

So far, it has been spared mass layoffs at the huge mining and thermal oil facilities that surround the city and produce 2 million barrels per day, roughly two thirds of Canada's exports.

Yet for a city whose junior hockey team is called the Oil Barons and where nearly half of the jobs are in oil, gas or construction, a nearly 50 perc  (go to article)

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'Pinhole' leak in U.P. gas pipeline raises fears

Detroit Free Press -- A pinhole leak in a controversial petroleum pipeline running through the Upper Peninsula released an undetermined amount of natural gas liquid that dispersed into the atmosphere north of Manistique, near the Indian River, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday.

A spokesman for Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge, which operates the Line 5 pipeline, however, said it was not a leak, but a "pinhole-sized defect, observed in the weld of the pipe," during a planned investigation of the pipeline Dec. 8.

Leak or defect, the incident heightened concerns among some people about a 61-year-old stretch of the pipeline that runs underwater through the Straits of Mackinac, and what a spill there could do to the Great Lakes.

Enbridge transports light crude oil, light synthetic...  (go to article)

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Enbridge protester guilty in pipeline sit-in

BATTLE CREEK ENQUIRER -- A protester who sat in an Enbridge Inc. pipeline for a day in June 2013 could go to jail after his conviction Tuesday.

"If I was getting put away for 50 years it would be worth it to me," Christopher Wahmhoff, 36, of Kalamazoo said after a Calhoun County judge found him guilty of trespassing and resisting police.

Wahmhoff was charged after the Calhoun County Sheriff Department said he entered a pipeline being built by Enbridge near Division Drive and 16-Mile Road in Fredonia Township on June 24, 2013.

He said he was protesting construction of the new pipeline by the company responsible for a million-gallon spill of oil into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River near Marshall in 2010.

Wahmhoff spent about 10 hours inside the open pipe, telling deputies he wanted to stop construction...  (go to article)

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Unifor backs UAW push for annual wage hikes

Windsor Star -- Unifor officials are applauding the decision of their U.S. counterparts to push for wage hikes in the next round of Detroit Three contract talks.

“It’s all positive news,” Jerry Dias, Unifor president, said Tuesday. “During the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, our members made sacrifices to keep the companies afloat. The reality is the companies now are doing incredibly well and it’s time workers start to regain some of the things we gave up.”

Dias noted his members haven’t received an annual wage increase since before the 2008-2009 recession. “It’s time for us to move forward as well.”

On Monday, UAW president Dennis Williams announced he would be pushing for wage hikes for long-time members during contract talks, which will likely begin next summer with Ford, GM and Ch  (go to article)

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Elon Musk is losing out big time on cheap gas prices

CNBC -- A drop in gas prices usually goes hand in hand with a decline in demand for alternative energy and electric cars.

Elon Musk may have lost about $1 billion due to this simple economic reasoning—he's the biggest shareholder in solar panel installation company SolarCity as well as in electric car company Tesla Motors, where he is CEO. Musk owns more than 28 million Tesla shares and about 21 million SolarCity shares, according to MarketWatch.

In late November when OPEC decided not to cut oil production to bolster crude prices, the value of Musk's holdings of Tesla and SolarCity were around $8.2 billion—now the value is at about $7 billion, reports MarketWatch.  (go to article)

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Mom Says $100 Truck Tweak Could Have Saved Her Daughters

Bloomberg.com -- The design fix by trailer maker Manac (MA) Inc., one of several under consideration, is simple: Wider spacing of support bars that hang from the end of truck trailers to prevent cars from sliding underneath. Marianne Karth says it might have saved the lives of her two teenage daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, who died in a 2013 crash. Karth was driving a blue Crown Victoria that was hit by one tractor trailer and slid under another truck, despite its steel bar.

Since recovering from her own injuries, Karth has devoted her life to prodding regulators for tougher standards on the bars, called underride guards, and for requiring them on more trucks. And she has managed to succeed where other safety advocates and insurance industry researchers have failed over the last two decades, convincing reg  (go to article)

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