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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.

 (go to article)

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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.
-advertisement-

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.”

Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE

De Blasio Orders a Greener City, Setting Goals for Energy Efficiency of BuildingsSEPT. 20, 2014
President Christopher J. Loeak of the Marshall Islands outside his home after tidal flooding.Push for New Pact on Climate Change Is Plagued by Old Divide of WealthSEPT. 20, 2014
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.

 (go to article)

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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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Shale gas extraction issues go beyond fracking

Power Source -- Ask oil and gas industry advocates, environmentalists and regulators about the biggest issues facing shale gas development, and none are likely to cite the possibility of fracking fluids traveling up thousands of feet of rock into groundwater aquifers as their top concern.

There’s surface spills, transportation accidents, leaks in holding tanks and impoundments — all of these have much more potential to pollute groundwater.

Yet blaming — or exonerating — fracking for this method of groundwater pollution seems to lead reports of new shale studies, even if those studies say little about actual fracking.  (go to article)

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Motorcyclist tosses trash back on litterers’ laps

The Houston Chronicle -- A motorcyclist is taking her community’s litter problem into her own hands by dumping the trash back on the litterer’s lap. In a YouTube video called “Elusive girl on a motorcycle against debris,” the girl spots drivers as they drop litter out their windows. She then picks up the trash, pulls up beside the vehicle, and tosses it in the driver’s lap. In one instance, she tapes the plastic bottle to the car’s side mirror.

The video doesn’t catch more than a few moments of the surprised drivers’ reactions.

Posted on Monday, the video now has 7.3 million views. The video does not say where it was shot, but the original title is in Russian.  (go to article)

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Thousands fill NYC streets for climate march

The Houston Chronicle -- NEW YORK (AP) — Demonstrators are making their way through Manhattan's streets as part of a series of global marches over climate change. Thousands filled the streets Sunday near Columbus Circle and Broadway, including actors Mark Ruffalo and Evangeline Lilly. Other cities held similar marches. In London, organizers said 40,000 took part including actress Emma Thompson and musician Peter Gabriel. A march in Melbourne, Australia drew 10,000 people. The Manhattan march comes two days before the United Nations Climate Summit. More than 120 world leaders will convene Tuesday for the meeting aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015. The march also coincides with New York's annual climate week, which will include a string of events this week, some fe  (go to article)

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Ford offers 'surveillance mode' to cops

USA TODAY -- Ford has found a way to tweak a couple of high-tech features to create a capability that helps protect police officers.

It's "surveillance mode" that's used on the police version of the Ford Taurus, known as the Police Interceptor. It employs the car's rear-view camera and proximity radar to warn police officers if they are being approached from the rear.
 (go to article)

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Oklahoma City oil producer unveils new formation

AP -- OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma City-based energy company has unveiled a new formation in south-central Oklahoma that the company's CEO said will elevate the state as an oil producer.

Continental Resources Inc. said western Oklahoma's Springer Shale deposit is in the heart of the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, Continental's last big discovery, The Oklahoman reported (http://bit.ly/1qk32sd).

CEO Harold Hamm said the Springer and other new Oklahoma oil deposits have the state on track to surpass California and Alaska and become the nation's third-largest oil producer, behind Texas and North Dakota.

"That's something I don't think people even thought about a few years ago," Hamm said.
Continental completed its first Springer well early last year. It produced more than 2,000 barrels  (go to article)

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Solar-cell efficiency improved with new polymer devices

Science Daily -- New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers. Researchers identified a new polymer -- a type of large molecule that forms plastics and other familiar materials -- which improved the efficiency of solar cells. The group also determined the method by which the polymer improved the cells' efficiency. The polymer allowed electrical charges to move more easily throughout the cell, boosting the production of electricity -- a mechanism never before demonstrated in such devices.
 (go to article)

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G.M. Recalls Impalas and Cadillacs

NY Times -- G.M. recalls Impalas and Cadillacs over parking brake defect that can cause brake pads to be partly engaged and lead to overheating and fire.  (go to article)

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Lamborghini’s 5 Best Concept Cars

Yahoo! Autos -- Lamborghini recently teased the silhouette of a new vehicle making its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. With this new concept comes the befuddling headline, “Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it.”

Concept or production car, we don’t know— and the message has done nothing but raise more questions than answers. So as we wait for Lamborghini’s next big moment in Paris, lets take a look at the company’s five greatest one-off concepts.

350GTV
400GT Monza
Zagato Raptor
Pregunta
Egoista  (go to article)

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Cadillac lauching new flagship from Detroit in 2015

Yahoo! Autos -- Between the gunfight among German luxury brands for every last buyer, General Motors recall fiasco and Cadillac's demand for higher prices and smaller discounts on its new models, sales have fallen even as the rest of the industry has grown. And the star of its one breakthrough ad has sold fewer than 1,000 copies to date.

But Cadillac has kept at it. First, it hired Johan de Nysschen away from Infiniti; the former Audi U.S. chief had been spearheading a plan to make Nissan's luxury brand a global player. Today, it revealed a long-rumored next step, confirming it would build a new, unnamed Cadillac at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that would serve as the top of the Cadillac line — and put it squarely against the kingpin sedans from Mercedes, BMW and Audi.  (go to article)

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Brent stanches slide, WTI slides as oversupply fears hang over market

Reuters -- U.S. crude oil fell on Friday, on track for its fourth daily decline on continued concerns about ample supply at a time of weak global economic data and fragile demand.

Analysts and traders also cited some liquidation of long positions ahead of Monday's expiration of the front-month light-crude contract.
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These sobering stats show how deadly distracted driving can be

Driving -- We all know that texting and driving is dangerous, yet some continue to risk their lives and those of others with this and other distractions behind the wheel.

Statistics show distracted driving is the second-leading cause of car crash fatalities in this province, behind impaired driving. On average, 88 people are killed each year in B.C. due to driver distractions, about 30 of them right here in the Lower Mainland.
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Oil companies eye crude price drop but keep drilling

Reuters -- A 13 percent slide in crude oil prices since June has eroded some of the allure of drilling U.S. shale resources and raised investor concerns, but companies are pushing ahead as prices are still above the breakeven levels that might prompt a slowdown.

U.S. light sweet crude traded in New York has dropped to around $93 per barrel from $107 in late June as supplies pumped from oily rocks in Texas and North Dakota grow and a strong U.S. dollar makes imports more attractive.

On Thursday, shares of Bakken operator Continental Resources Inc stumbled as much as 8 percent after the company raised its capital budget for this year by $500 million to $4.55 billion and said some well completion techniques would be costlier. The company also replaced a key executive.

But oil's price drop has ...  (go to article)

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Falling used-car prices roil the auto market

USA Today -- Used-car prices are sliding, a boon to penny-pinchers, but troubling for new-car sales.

The auto industry sales recovery in recent years means millions of used cars, many coming off lease, are starting to flood the market. The result is a decline in used-car prices that zoomed sky-high after the recession. And the decline is leading to talk that new-car auto sales growth may be peaking.

"We're going to see a tremendous increase in used-car supply over the next couple of years," says Larry Dominique, an executive vice president of auto-pricing site TrueCar.

That used-car cascade could dampen new-car sales in three ways:

•Less valuable trade-ins. Car shoppers may find their trade-ins are worth less than they expected when they go to buy new vehicles. That means they'll have to ...  (go to article)

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De Blasio Orders a Greener City, Setting Goals for Energy Efficiency of Buildings

NY Times -- In a sweeping effort to reduce its environmental impact, New York City is planning to overhaul the energy-efficiency standards of all its public buildings and to pressure private landlords to make similar improvements.

The initiative is part of a pledge, to be announced before the start of the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. The United Nations has pointed to that rate of decrease as a desired target for developed countries to mitigate the effects of climate change.

New York would become the largest city in the world to make the commitment, according to the city’s leaders.  (go to article)

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More E15 and E85 outlets coming to the South

GasBuddy Blog -- Motorists in the South will be getting more options for ethanol fuels over the next few months, as ethanol distributor Protec Fuels increases availability of E85 and seeks to bring newcomer E15 to select areas.Boca Raton, FL based Protec Fuel already supplies E100 and E85 fuels to retailers, fleets, and distributors through its channels in the Southeast and South. It's bringing the new options to pumps via partnerships with retailers in these markets, building 28 ethanol fuel blending locations that will have E15 and E85....  (go to article)

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Inventor Rethinks How Car Cup Holders Should Work — This Is the Result

TheBlaze -- For as long as cup holders have been in cars, their design has largely gone unchanged. For the most part, cup holders are a low base with higher sides, typically in a center console, that keeps the vessel containing a drink in one place.

But it’s the liquid inside that’s often the problem. As the vehicle stops, goes uphill or over a speed bump, the liquid will follow, which even with the most innovative of lids can result in a mess.

This common issue is probably why the video of new cup holder invention started going viral on Reddit. The video shows cups without lids sitting in a holder between two seats as driver puts them to the test. The holder called the Maksimatic follows each move of the car, making sure the liquid remains in the cup despite its lidless state.(VIDEO)  (go to article)

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Alaska signs deal for natural gas plant

NewsMiner -- FAIRBANKS — The state agency overseeing the Interior Energy Project announced continued progress on Friday on a project to truck North Slope natural gas to the Fairbanks area for home heating and electricity generation.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and project development firm MWH inked an agreement outlining the construction, ownership and operation of the North Slope liquified natural gas plant that’s central to the whole project.
According to a press release announcing the agreement, the state agency will own the plant while an MWH subsidiary, Northern Lights Energy, will build, operate and maintain it. Northern Lights will also sell the LNG produced by the plant to Fairbanks-area buyers. The agreement also allows the development of a financing structure for th  (go to article)

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Oil firm to hike gas price, slash diesel and kerosene prices Monday

GMA -- At least one oil firm is raising prices of gasoline but lowering prices of diesel and kerosene effective 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Flying V is rolling back kerosene and diesel prices by 20 centavos per liter starting Monday, radio dzBB reported early Sunday.

But the report also said Flying V will increase prices of gasoline by 20 centavos per liter as well.

Other oil companies have yet to announce price changes for their products for this week.  (go to article)

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