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Chrysler Recalls Up to 800,000 Jeeps Over Ignition-Switch Problems

Time -- Around 800,000 older Chrysler Jeeps could be affected by a recall due to a problem with the ignition switch, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The company said it is aware of one reported accident associated with the defect, but no injuries.

The recall will affect a still-undetermined number of model year 2006-2007 Jeep Commanders and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokees. In vehicles affected by the problem, contact with a driver’s knee or other outside force can move the ignition switch from on to off, causing the engine to stall and cutting power brakes and power steering.

The company said that around 792,000 vehicles could have faulty switches, including 659,900 in the U.S. and others in Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere.  (go to article)

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Watch what markets don't do as world politics turns nasty

Reuters -- (Reuters) - Like so much in the investment world of late, it's what financial markets are not doing right now that is most intriguing.

Over the course of the past month, conflicts, superpower standoffs and economic sanctions have flared in Iraq and Syria, Israel and Gaza, Ukraine and Russia. All are at least potential threats to world energy supplies, if not globalized business links and supply chains.

What's more, a September referendum looms on the potential breakup of the world's sixth largest economy as Scots vote on secession from the rest of the United Kingdom.
Yet the world's main financial markets have barely blinked.
Crude oil prices gyrated briefly on the upsurge in the Iraq/Syria violence but net moves have been slight to non-existent. At around $108 per barrel, Brent crude...  (go to article)

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Lawsuit expected after vote to ban tar sands oil

Hearst Newspapers, LLC -- SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The president of the Maine Energy Marketers Association says zoning changes intended to keep tar sands oil out of South Portland will likely be challenged in court.

The City Council voted 6-1 Monday night on a series of changes that effectively prevent any attempt to bring the oil from western Canada through a pipeline into the city.

Tom Hardison from the Portland Pipe Line said councilors bowed to "extremists" and described the zoning changes as a "job-killing ordinance." Jamie Py, president of the energy group, said Tuesday that a lawsuit is the most likely way to challenge the action.
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Enbridge mulls Midwest rail terminal to ease pipeline congestion

REUTERS -- Canada's largest pipeline company Enbridge Inc may build a 140,000 barrel per day unit train unloading terminal in Pontiac, Illinois, to relieve congestion on its crude oil export network.

The terminal would be able to handle two unit trains a day and could be in service by the first quarter of 2016, according to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Pontiac is the origin of Enbridge's new 600,000 bpd Flanagan South pipeline to Cushing, Oklahoma, and the rail terminal would allow shippers to bypass congestion on pipelines in the Canadian portion of Enbridge's export network.

Enbridge Energy Partners LP, the company's U.S. arm, is also petitioning to build a new receipt point on the network, known as the Lakehead system, at Flanagan Illinois, which would allow crude...  (go to article)

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Who said electric cars have no personality? Zelectric VW Beetle aims to break that stigma

NY Daily News -- What happens when you combine the most iconic vehicle design of all time with modern electric engine technology? You get the Zelectric Beetle: proof that electric cars can have as much style and grace as anything else on the road.

Californian inventor David Benardo has created a truly special car, capable of 110 miles and infinite smiles on one charge. Combining classic style and electric efficiency, Benardo’s electric Beetle conversion project aims to change the way we view electric cars

In theory, it’s quite a simple idea: take an iconic and beloved classic car, remove the outdated engine, and fit it with a modern electric motor that’s reliable and zero-emission.  (go to article)

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South Portland, Maine, votes against crude oil export

CBC-City council opposes exporting Alberta oil from its shipyard -- The city of South Portland, Maine, has voted to block oil companies from using the city’s port to export crude bitumen from Alberta.

South Portland moves to block Alberta bitumen from reaching its port

After a long debate on Monday evening, South Portland councillors voted to amend a zoning bylaw to prohibit the bulk loading of crude oil onto marine tank vessels within the city and its port.

Enbridge's Line 9 reversal project, which would send Alberta crude eastward to be refined at the Suncor refinery in Montreal, does not officially include plans for the South Portland region.

But some members of the South Portland administration are concerned that Alberta crude could eventually make its way south, to be loaded onto tankers and exported from the city's port.
 (go to article)

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2 Investigators: Safety Officials Want Electronic Logs For Truck Drivers

CBS -- A truck driver charged in a crash that killed four people Monday on I-55 has been accused by prosecutors of falsifying his log books.

CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a new rule that would require all trucks to have electronic logging devices, one way the agency hopes to prevent the kind of horrific accident that happened again Monday.

Federal rules limit truckers from driving more than 11 of the 14 consecutive hours they work. They have to take a ten hour break before driving again.  (go to article)

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Geopolitical tensions seen keeping oil prices high

AP -- Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.88 a gallon.
The price of oil fell slightly Tuesday but experts see geopolitical tensions preventing any significant short-term declines.

U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery fell 17 cents to $104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more heavily traded September contract slipped 47 cents to $102.39.

Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, dropped 35 cents to $107.33 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Fighting between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza has added to the risk of instability in the oil-rich Middle East just as tensions have intensified between the West and Russia, a major oil and gas producer, over the Ukraine crisis.

European leaders are considering tougher sa  (go to article)

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This Mainer is selling his life-sized Flintstones car. Guess the price…

Bangor Daily News -- You’ve seen classic car replicas, but perhaps nothing quite like this classic. Tip of the cap here to my BDN colleague Jackie Farwell, who was probably hunting online for a 1967 Corvette when she found this gem.

Someone from Gorham is putting his life-sized Flintstones car up on Craigslist for sale:
 (go to article)

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Many teenage drivers hitting the road alone

Boston Globe -- Sam Koufman waited 16½ years to be 16½. Then he waited two months for an appointment for his road test. Then, on the morning of the test, he waited what felt like forever for his mother to get back from jogging. Then he waited an hour in traffic as they made their way to the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Lawrence. Then he waited in the Registry line, which is not a good line to be in if you feel like you cannot wait any longer.

Then, suddenly, all the waiting was over. He made it to the front of the line, went out for his road test with the state examiner, and after a few minutes of driving and one decent parallel parking job, the victory was his. Sam Koufman had his driver’s license, “which is like the biggest freedom in the entire world.”

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Why It Took So Long for the World’s Fiercest Supercars to Go Hybrid

Wired -- Bugatti’s next car will be a hybrid. It’s not surprising that the proud manufacturer of the Veyron Super Sport, the king of all excessive automobiles, is taking a route that makes most people think of the dinky eco-mobiles and their self-satisfied owners. It’s surprising that it has taken it this long to do so.

The luxury auto brand is following a trend that has been established over just the past few years: Today’s supercars are powered by batteries as well as internal combustion engines. The leading examples are the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1, and the Ferrari LaFerrari. At near or over $1 million a pop, each uses a hybrid powertrain.

It’s obvious why. Improving fuel economy may not matter to people who pay annual gas bills with the change under their sofa cushions.  (go to article)

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348-MPH Devel Sixteen Spotted In The Wild

yahoo autos -- While there’s plenty of reason to doubt the factuality of the Devel Sixteen’s claims of 5,000 horsepower, we now know, at the least, that it’s not total vaporware. It has been spotted out and about on a beach near Dubai.

The oddly shaped, somewhat ungainly, and clearly hand-built Devel Sixteen not only runs and drives, it sounds pretty healthy, too.

To our ears, it’s no 5,000-horsepower megawatt power plant, however. If anything, it sounds like an aggressively built normally aspirated Chevy LS-series V-8. That could mean as much as 700 horsepower on a big cam build, maybe a bit more. But that’s a far cry from 5,000 hp, even if you factor in enough nitrous oxide to power the entire Fast & Furious movie series.

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Lower sticker price keeps gasoline vehicles competitive with alternatives

Fuel Fix -- Improvements in fuel efficiency have helped make standard gasoline vehicles more competitive against hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles, giving consumers more bang for their buck, a new report finds.

Gasoline-powered cars and trucks are cheaper than those using alternative energy. But even though they are traveling farther on a single tank of gasoline, in part because of new federal mandates to reduce emissions, the prices of those rides aren’t expected to increase dramatically, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected in a brief released Tuesday.

Midsize passenger cars, for example, will see their fuel economies improve from 35 to 53 miles per gallon by 2025, but the average price should rise only slightly from $25,000 to $27,000 during the same  (go to article)

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Output on Federal Lands Has Declined Everywhere

Real Clear Energy -- The production of fossil fuels from federal lands has declined everywhere under the Obama Administration.

Wyoming production is almost entirely coal and has been declining since 2009 as the Obama Administration attempts to reduce coal’s role in electrical generation because of global warming. Oil and gas output from the Gulf of Mexico were experiencing a slight uptick until the BP blowout occurred in 2010. Since then there has been a steep decline.

The other states with significant federal output are New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana and North Dakota. Output in all these states has risen but it has been entirely on state and private lands. Texas has doubled its output over the last five years and has now exceeded Iraq as a producer. North Dakota just surpassed 1 million barrels of oil  (go to article)

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Reason Foundation backs Obama on tolls for highway projects

The Hill -- The Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, is finding rare agreement with President Obama over his support for expanding tolls to help pay for new transportation projects.

“While there are a lot of things to disagree with in the president's transportation plans, the most sensible long-term solution for the Interstate Highway System is actually coming from the Obama administration, which is calling for allowing states to use toll revenue to finance the reconstruction of aging Interstate highways,” the foundation wrote in a blog post.

Obama included language in the $302 billion transportation plan he sent to Congress this spring, the Grow America Act, that would allow states to request permission to add tolls to existing highway lanes.
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Foxx: Temporary highway funding insufficient

The Hill -- Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday that a temporary extension of road and transit funding that Congress is considering will not provide enough money to fully address the nation's infrastructure problems.

Lawmakers are working on a measure that would appropriate nearly $11 billion to extend transportation funding that is running out now until May 2015.

But the measure is hardly cause for celebration, Foxx said Monday during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

"Even if we get a patch, even if we get 20 more patches, roads in Rhode Island are going to get worse," Foxx said while singling out a state he visited during a recent bus tour to see incomplete transportation projects.

"And Rhode Island is not alone."
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World's Fastest Hot Tub Contender Is Hottest Thing On Four Wheels

Aol Auto -- Duncan Forster and Phil Weicker have known since college that there is nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing soak while driving.
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Pot Tourists Dumping Stashes At Denver Airport Rental Car Agencies

Aol Auto -- Car rental agencies operating at Denver International Airport are reporting tourists with extra pot are frequently handing it off to their employees or stashing their stash in the cars before they return them.
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The Danger of ‘Balanced’ Climate Science in the Media

Eco Watch -- The media, in attempting to offer “balanced stories” does a disservice to the public and policymakers by giving small handfuls of climate change contrarians significant attention despite the fact that nearly all climate scientists agree that climate change is underway and that it is human-caused.  (go to article)

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The Strange Relationship Between Global Warming Denial and…Speaking English

Mother Jones -- Here in the United States, we fret a lot about global warming denial. Not only is it a dangerous delusion, it's an incredibly prevalent one. Depending on your survey instrument of choice, we regularly learn that substantial minorities of Americans deny, or are skeptical of, the science of climate change.  (go to article)

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Arctic Ice Melt Seen Freeing Way for South Korean Oil Hub

Bloomberg -- Melting Arctic ice is widening a path for ships to deliver European oil to Asia, stoking South Korea’s ambition to become a regional storage and trading hub.

The country, whose proximity to China, Russia and Japan makes it an ideal conduit for oil arriving via the Arctic, plans to add tanks for storing almost 60 million barrels of crude and refined products by 2020, about the same as Singapore’s current capacity. The nation also seeks to leverage its energy infrastructure, which includes five refineries, to become Northeast Asia’s oil hub, said Kim Jun Dong, the deputy minister of energy and resources policy.

Global temperatures are rising, breaking up polar ice and opening the Northern Sea Route to tanker traffic for a longer period each year than from July to October. It’s forecast to  (go to article)

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USGC, Midwest CBOB dip on oversupply, high refinery runs, weak demand

Platts -- US Gulf Coast CBOB dipped Tuesday to its lowest assessed spot price since summer-RVP assessments began April 1 in the cash market, with Midwest CBOB and suboctane reaching lows not seen for several months.

Platts assessed Gulf Coast CBOB at 9 RVP (A2) at $2.6117/gal. That's not only the lowest of 2014, but also the lowest since the assessment of $2.5786/gal on July 2, 2013.

A US products trader said the Gulf Coast market has ample blendstock.

"With these refinery runs as high as they are, it's getting hard for people to find a home for some of this gasoline," he said. "Add to that, the export market has not looked as healthy in the last month as it usually does. "Plus I am hearing from folks around the Southeast that demand is disappointing at a sales level. It's been slammed since the  (go to article)

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Study reveals public misperceptions about local transportation issues

MN Transportation Research -- Aging roads and bridges, increased traffic and persistently constrained revenues put local road systems in peril, but the public is largely unaware of the pressures facing their communities.
Researchers found that even elected officials are unaware of the gap in funding needed to keep the road system going — in part because county engineers have been creative in a period of dwindling resources, and the cost of deferred maintenance has not been immediately visible.
There are multiple challenges to road system sustainability, including rising construction costs, declining tax revenues, heavier agricultural and industrial equipment and rising public expectations.
The project revealed widespread confusion about local road system issues. For example, many participants erroneously believed that  (go to article)

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CBCNN viewers split on treating drowsy drivers as drunk

CBC News -- A Quebec coroner's report recommends that driving while drowsy be subject to the same heavy fines and penalties usually reserved for people who drive under the influence of alcohol. But the CBC Community was divided on whether this is a good idea

5 farm workers died in 2011 on their way home from work when their van crashed into a school bus

Do made 2 recommendations based on a 3-yr investigation into a Feb 2011 collision that killed 5 men in Lanaudière

¦Heighten the awareness campaign by QC's automobile insurance board about the dangers of driving while fatigued
¦Post signs along QC's highways reminding drivers to stop for rest breaks and warning them about the deadly risk of driving while drowsy

116 people die while driving each yr owing to fatigue and nearly 10,000 more are injured  (go to article)

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New F-150's fuel economy will improve, but can it best Ram 1500?

Automotive News -- DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.’s new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup coming this fall might not be able to beat Chrysler Group’s Ram 1500 and claim best-in-class fuel economy.

Ford officials said today the new F-150 -- which would need to deliver better than 28 mpg on the highway to top the Ram with its EcoDiesel engine -- will deliver better fuel economy and greater towing and hauling capability than the current steel-bodied truck. But they dodged questions about the redesigned F-150’s estimated fuel economy ratings.

“Very rarely do you own all of the [best-in-class] claims all of the time,” said Doug Scott, Ford’s truck group marketing manager.

“Stay tuned,” was all he said when asked whether the F-150 will top the Ram.  (go to article)

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Fire at North Dakota oil company is still burning after 12 HOURS... and officials are waiting for th

Daily Mail -- A massive fire was still burning on Tuesday afternoon 12 hours after it began at an oil supply company in an industrial part of oil patch town Williston, North Dakota.

Department of Health Air Quality Division director Terry O'Clair said local fire departments are letting the blaze at Red River Supply burn itself out and a National Guard hazmat unit is heading to the scene.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, which started about midnight on Monday, and state officials said Tuesday there were no injuries

Red River Supply officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and law enforcement will not let anyone past the half-mile evacuation border.

The FAA issued a temporary flight restriction at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for Sloulin Field International Airport until of  (go to article)

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Woman Hits Motorcyclist, Claims God Was Driving Her Car

Aol Autos -- An Indiana woman who ran over a motorcyclist and hit a truck told police she wasn't at the wheel at the time of the crash. God was.
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Let American Ingenuity Lead the Way on Climate Change -- Again!

Huff Post Green -- On Monday June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a regulation that would cut carbon pollution from power plants up to 30 percent by 2030. Within hours, House Speaker John Boehner delivered his response: "The president's plan is nuts. There's really no more succinct way to describe it." But that's politics talking, not science or known results.  (go to article)

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10 Slowest-Selling Cars of April

Autos Cheatsheet -- According to Kicking Tires, the blog of Cars.com, the average time it took to sell a new car in April was 56 days. That’s more than in the same month last year, when it took 51 days to move a new car; it also took 51 days for the month of March. Despite the longer sales time, though, the cars that are bringing that average up — the slowest sellers across the industry — haven’t changed a whole lot from month to month, or year to year.

We covered the month’s fastest sellers here. That list was dominated by new and redesigned models like the Subaru WRX and Subaru Forester, as well as highly anticipated models like the Corvette Stingray and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.


“For the fastest sellers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited  (go to article)

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10 Cars, Trucks, and SUVs That Sold the Fastest in April

Autos Cheatsheet -- With the arrival of spring and warmer weather (for some parts of the country, anyway) new car sales have started to ramp up. Last month saw trucks and SUVs flying off the lots at dealerships across the country, but the numbers bring up some surprises. For instance, no popular sedans, hatchbacks, or wagons cracked the top ten. Instead, 16 of the top 20 fastest movers were trucks or SUVs. Sports cars were the other category holding strong in April.


Luxury SUVs make a particularly strong presence on the list, indicating America’s taste for large, powerful, and elegant vehicles has not faded. Also, with tax season wrapping up, it’s possible that shoppers have a few extra bucks to treat themselves with. Whatever the case may be, the focus of consumers appears not to be a focus on efficiency,  (go to article)

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Consumer Reports: Skip BMW and Benz, buy a Buick

Detroit Free Press -- The 2014 Buick Regal is the second best premium sedan, Consumer Reports said today.

In testing conducted by the influential magazine, the recently refreshed Regal ranked one point behind the class-leading BMW 328i and tied the Mercedes-Benz C250 for second place in the magazine’s overall ratings of premium sport sedans — even though it costs thousands less.

“The Regal is a thoroughly developed and satisfying mid-sized sports sedan that’s more reminiscent of a German sports car than the softly sprung luxo-barges that Buick was once known for,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, said in the report.

Consumer Reports said its engineers found the Regal’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes the car quicker and more fuel-efficient than the previous  (go to article)

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Race for North Dakota's agriculture commissioner is all about oil

Reuters -- North Dakota's biggest oil producers have picked a side and put money into an obscure election for the state's agriculture commissioner, hoping to ward off a rising Democratic challenger who could limit development of new wells and pipelines.

With a legislature that meets only every two years, North Dakota has given an unusual amount of power to the agriculture commissioner and two other members of the state's Industrial Commission, charging the triumvirate with oversight of permitting and other issues critical to the oil industry, which hopes to drill 35,000 new wells within 15 years.

North Dakota produces 1 million barrels of oil each day - more than any state except Texas and even some OPEC members - affording Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, a Republican, outsized influence ov  (go to article)

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In N.J. and nationwide, gas prices continue to drop as refineries boost production

NJ.com -- Retail gasoline in the U.S. slid to the lowest level in almost four months as refineries boosted production to cash in on cheaper domestic oil, offering relief to consumers who saw their costs rise last month.Pump prices averaged $3.593 a gallon Monday, down 4.2 cents from the previous week and the lowest since March 31, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s website show. Gasoline was 2.4 percent below 2013 levels.In New Jersey, gas prices continue to drop.
Today, motorists in the Garden State looking to fill up will pay an average of $3.46 for a gallon of unleaded, according to the website GasBuddy.com. That price was down from $3.54 a month ago, according to the website.  (go to article)

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Electric car record: Tesla drives from California to New York in 67 hours

Detroit Free Press -- A team of drivers from car-shopping site Edmunds.com says it set a record for cross-country travel in an electric car, driving a 2013 Tesla S from Redondo Beach, Calif. , to New York, N.Y. in 67 hours and 21 minutes.

Edmunds says that broke the previous record of 76 hours and 5 minutes set by a team from Tesla.

Edmunds.com's director of vehicle testing Dan Edmunds and photo editor Kurt Niebuhr stopped at 23 Tesla Supercharger stations during the trip.

The Edmunds team had no backup or support team, counting on the Tesla being reliable and the high-power recharging stations being frequent enough.

Edmunds and Niebuhr documented their run on the Edmunds site. They say Tesla was uncertain they'd make it because they were using a charging corridor that Tesla considered undeveloped.  (go to article)

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Whereas Maine and New Brunswick have signed an agreement to promote their mutual interests

Bangor Daily News -- Perhaps the most interesting area of collaboration is energy, which remains perhaps the top regional concern across New England. It’s a focus of the governors and energy officials in all six states and that agreement has prompted a statement from the state’s two major power transmission utilities — Emera and CMP — that they would cooperate on infrastructure projects to transmit wind power from the northern parts of the state to southern New England.

That area is also the focus for Emera’s proposed 230-mile Northeast Energy Link project, which would run a 1,100 megawatt direct current transmission line from New Brunswick, through northern and eastern Maine to denser populations in southern New England.
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EPA Warning: Recharging Air Conditioners with Wrong Refrigerant Poses Injury and Fire Risks

EPA -- WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor vehicle and home air conditioning systems.



A number of refrigerants with “22a” or “R-22a” in the name contain highly flammable hydrocarbons, such as propane. These refrigerants are being marketed to consumers seeking to recharge existing home and motor vehicle air conditioning systems that were not designed to use propane or other flammable refrigerants. These refrigerants have never been submitted to EPA for review of their health and environmental impacts and are not approved for use in existing air conditioning systems.  (go to article)

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Chicago issued motorists thousands of red light fines they didn't deserve

GasBuddy Blog -- The Chicago Tribune has announced a shocking finding: the City of Chicago has hit thousands of motorists with $100 red light fines that city officials themselves can't even explain. Results of the Tribune's investigation are indeed damning. According to the 10-month Tribune investigation, there appear to be more than 13,000 questionable tickets at 12 different intersections across the city. These 12 intersections experienced significant spikes in tickets, but even dozens more intersections also saw similar patterns.“Something is terribly amiss here,” said Joseph Schofer, an associate dean at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who reviewed the Tribune's research....  (go to article)

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Hackers Could Take Control of Your Car. This Device Can Stop Them

Wired -- Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have proven more clearly than anyone in the world how vulnerable cars are to digital attack. Now they’re proposing the first step towards a solution.

Last year the two Darpa-funded security researchers spent months cracking into a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius, terrifying each other with tricks like slamming on the brakes or hijacking the vehicles’ steering with only digital commands sent from a laptop plugged into a standard data port under the dash. At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month, they’ll unveil a prototype device designed to foil the same unnerving tricks they’ve demonstrated: An intrusion-detection system for automobiles. “These attacks seemed serious enough that we should actually consider how to defend against t  (go to article)

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Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge

Associated Press -- Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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What ‘urban physics’ could tell us about how cities work

The Boston Globe -- Ulm calls his new work “urban physics,” and it places him among a number of scientists now using the tools of physics to analyze the practically infinite amount of data that cities produce in the 21st century, from population density to the number of patents produced to energy bill charges. Physicist Marta González, Ulm’s colleague at MIT, recently used cellphone data to analyze traffic patterns in Boston with unprecedented complexity, for example. In 2012, a theoretical physicist was named founding director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, whose research is devoted to “urban informatics”; one of its first projects is helping to create the country’s first “quantified community” on the West Side of Manhattan.  (go to article)

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Contraflow Bike Lanes Finally Get Nod From U.S. Engineering Establishment

http://usa.streetsblog.org/ -- Buffered bike lanes have been used in some American cities for decades now, and an increasing number of cities are implementing contraflow bike lanes. But only just now are these street designs getting official recognition from powerful standard-setters inside the U.S. engineering establishment.  (go to article)

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Venezuelan Airport Now Charges Passengers For The Air They Breathe

Fox News Latino -- Travelers who use the Maiquetía International Airport in Caracas and are paying attention may be quite surprised to see that, in Nicolas’ Maduro Venezuela, breathing comes with a cost.

Starting July 1, every passenger departing Maiquetía has to pay 127 bolivares (somewhere between $2 and $20, depending on the exchange rate used) during check-in, in order to pay for the air conditioner that now flows out of the airport’s ducts.

In a press release, the Maiquetia Airport said the project was put in place to ensure the quality of oxygen and keep the premises free of pathogens.

Some 30,000 passengers use the facility every day, according to El Nacional newspaper.

The new tax has generated all kinds of reactions in the Latin American country mostly outrage, as the new fee must be added to...  (go to article)

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Former DOT chiefs push for more road funding Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/

The Hill -- A bipartisan group of 12 current and former U.S. transportation secretaries is urging Congress to approve a long-term infrastructure funding bill to improve the nation's road and public transit systems.
The secretaries, who served under presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, said a temporary transportation funding bill that is being considered by Congress is insufficient.
"This week, it appears that Congress will act to stave off the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The bill, if passed, should extend surface transportation funding until next May," "We are hopeful that Congress appears willing to avert the immediate crisis,
But we want to be clear: This bill
not “fix” America’s transportation s  (go to article)

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Why scientists have started connecting earthquakes to fracking

Market Realist -- A few studies and other empirical evidence have tied seismic activity to fracking over the past few years.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a technique applied to wells in order to extract shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil. The procedure injects water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a well, cracking the rock to release natural gas and oil.

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Replacing coal, oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming, expert argues

Science Daily -- Bth shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.
Dr. Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, came to this conclusion after assessing the best available data and analyzing greenhouse gas footprints for both methane (including shale gas and conventional gas) and carbon dioxide over a timescale of 20-years following emissions.
The findings are published in Energy Science & Engineering.
"While emissions of carbon dioxide are less from natural gas than from coal and oil, methane emissions are far greater. Methane is such a potent greenhouse gas that these emissions make natural gas a dangerous fuel from the standpoint of global warming over the  (go to article)

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Keeping Oil Production From Falling

Resilience -- Production flows from a given oil field naturally decline over time, but we keep trying harder and technology keeps improving. Which force is winning the race?
An oil reservoir is a pool of hydrocarbons embedded and trapped under pressure in porous rock. As oil is taken out, the pressure decreases and the annual rate of flow necessarily declines. A recent study of every well drilled in Texas over 1990-2007 by Anderson, Kellogg, and Salant (2014) documents very clearly that production flows from existing wells fall at a very predictable rate that is quite unresponsive to any incentives based on fluctuations in oil prices.
When a given region is found to be promising, more wells are drilled, and production initially increases. But eventually the force of declining pressure takes over, and we  (go to article)

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Prices rise in June as consumers feel pain at the pump

Reuters -- U.S. consumer prices rose in June as the cost of gasoline surged, but the overall trend continued to point to a gradual build up of inflationary pressures.  (go to article)

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How Congress Is ‘Killing Our Transportation System’

The Fiscal Times -- The Department of Transportation’s top chief is accusing lawmakers of “killing our transportation system slowly” as Congress scrambles to approve a short-term solution to keep the nation’s highways from going broke.

The Highway Trust Fund is on the brink of insolvency. If lawmakers can’t cut a deal before August 1, nearly 112,000 roadway projects and 5,600 transit projects will be delayed and about 700,000 construction jobs will be lost next year, the Obama administration has warned.

The Senate is expected to vote on highway funding proposals this week, including an $11 billion measure the House approved last week that would keep the fund solvent through May 2015. That measure was authored by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). They will also consider a similar bill introdu  (go to article)

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Want to buy a bridge? Pennsylvania still has 11 for sale

Reuters -- Buying a bridge is not on most to-do lists, but anyone seeking a historic span need look no further than the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which has 11 of them for sale.

PennDOT is trying to save bridges on the National Register of Historic Places that are not up to the demands of modern traffic. Prices range from $1 to $500, and moving costs can often be paid by the Federal Highway Administration.
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Average Diesel Cost Falls for Third Straight Week

Truckinginfo -- UPDATED -- The average cost of on-highway diesel in the U.S. has fallen for the third consecutive week, hitting its lowest level since late November, according to new U.S. Energy Department numbers.

It declined 2.5 cents from last week, hitting $3.869, and is 3.4 cents lower than the same time last year. Over the past three weeks the price is down 5.1 cents.

Prices fell in all parts of the country with the biggest decline coming from the Central Atlantic section, 3.7 cents, for an average of $4.014, with the smallest in the Rocky Mountain region, down 0.7 cent, for an average of $3.889.

Compared to a year ago, prices are slightly higher in the New England, Central Atlantic and Rocky Mountain sections of the country, but are lower in all other parts.

Diesel ranges from a high of  (go to article)

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Brent above $107; focus on Ukraine, US stockpiles

Reuters -- Brent crude held steady above $107 a barrel on Tuesday, supported by escalating geopolitical tension over Ukraine and expectations of large draws in U.S. oil stockpiles  (go to article)

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