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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

18
votes
Charges laid after birds killed in flare at LNG facility in New Brunswick

Canadian Manufacturing -- 7,500 migrating birds were killed in Sep 2013 when they flew into a flare burning at the Canaport LNG plant

The facility in Saint John, NB, faces 2 charges under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act that prevent anyone from depositing a substance harmful to migratory birds

Canaport also faces a charge under the federal Species at Risk Act

Canaport learned of the charges last week and a court appearance is set for Jan. 21 in provincial court

“We’ve co-operated with the authorities throughout the investigation process and complied with all the requests for information, spokesperson said

The company was burning off excess gas at the facility

Changes to equipment to reduce the amount of flaring have since been completed and there have been no further incidents
 (read more)

Submitted 1 hour ago By:
72 Comments

17
votes
Man-Powered Watercraft from Kickstarter Going for World Speed Record [Video]

AutoEvolution -- We heard London wants to build a £600-million ($956 million) floating pathway for bicycles on the river Thames to fight against rush-hour traffic. Well, that’s a bit costly, reason why we raise you this Kickstarter project that might become reality some time soon after it breaks a record (to prove it's worthy) - the one and only one-manned human powered watercraft set to go faster than 34 km/h (21.1 mph), basically a water bicycle.

A team of students from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to aid them with a new hydrofoil system that’s set to break the current record held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) regarding one-manned human powered watercraft by traveling at a speed of 37 km/h (22.9 mph).

Hydrofoil what?

 (read more)

Submitted 1 hour ago By:
87 Comments

16
votes
Ford's Driving Skills for Life lets drivers experience the dangers of distracted driving in a contro

Driving.ca -- I find texting and driving a lot harder than driving drunk. Those studies are right

A program perfected in the U.S. and now being brought to Canada, allows newly licensed teen drivers the chance to break a whole bunch of laws under the watchful eye of trained professionals. On a recent day at Brampton’s Power Centre, Ford transformed the parking lot into 4 test areas: space and speed management, hazard recognition and vehicle handling, distracted driving and impaired driving

With instructors in the passenger seat, young drivers were soon doing burnouts in a 2014 Mustang, smacking over cones as they texted behind the wheel, and crazily looping their way around a course while wearing goggles that simulate being drunk

There was a preponderance of males in attendance

The appeal of the prog  (read more)

Submitted 1 hour ago By:
47 Comments

14
votes
Capitalizing on clean energy climate potential in NC

fierceenergy.com -- North Carolina ranks 4th in the nation for installed solar capacity, ahead of even Nevada and Hawaii, according to a Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report. National and regional experts in clean energy recently discussed how to continue North Carolina's momentum in wind and solar development.

Renewable energy resources like solar and wind are reshaping the state's energy landscape. In 2013 alone, $787 million was invested in in solar projects in the state, according to SEIA. That being said, enormous untapped wind potential exists off North Carolina's coast.

(snip)

"The solar and wind industries have already brought thousands of jobs to our state. There's enormous potential to grow the state's economy without polluting our beautiful mountains, Piedmont or coast."  (read more)

Submitted 1 hour ago By:
53 Comments

12
votes
New tracers help identify fracking fluids, improving shale gas wastewater treatment

WaterWorld -- Scientists at Duke University have recently developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing (fracking) flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment. The tracers, which were created by a team of U.S. and French researchers, have been field-tested at a spill site in West Virginia and downstream from an oil and gas brine wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania.

"This gives us new forensic tools to detect if 'frac fluids' are escaping into our water supply and what risks, if any, they might pose," said Duke University geochemist Avner Vengosh, who co-led the research. "By characterizing the isotopic and geochemical fingerprints of enriched boron and lithium in flowback water from hydraulic fracturing, we can now track the presence of...  (read more)

Submitted 37 minutes ago By:
3 Comments

Monday, October 20, 2014

50
votes
U.S. Oil Imports Reach Lowest September Level in 18 Years

Bloomberg -- U.S. imports of crude oil fell last month to the lowest level for September in 18 years as domestic production increased, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Shipments of crude averaged 7.39 million barrels a day, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a monthly report. Production rose to 8.8 million barrels a day, the highest level for the month in 29 years.

“The gap between U.S. petroleum production and demand continued to trend higher last month,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in the report.

Total petroleum imports, including crude oil and fuels, slumped 16 percent from a year earlier to 8.4 million barrels a day, the lowest level since February 1995.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1418 Comments

44
votes
A brave view in an uncertain world: Why Canada’s energy boom remains on course despite sliding price

Financial Post -- With oil prices skidding near 4-yr lows and Canadian energy shares feeling the pain, it’s hard to stay optimistic. But a new report by HSBC Global Research argues Canada’s oil and gas boom remains on course

The unprecedented boom in capital spending in Canada’s natural resources sector is here to stay, with major projects currently under way or planned in the next decade worth $675B

Global oil price and market gyrations lately added to many Canadian worries — whether proposed pipelines are moving ahead; whether First Nations could stand in the way; whether fiscal terms, environmental legislation, political agendas could weaken the economic case

"We expect U.S. imports of oil from Canada to continue to rise

The oil price downturn could curtail spending in the short term as producers ada  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
807 Comments

43
votes
You won’t get a bang out of Chevron’s use of Apple Pay

SFGATE -- To the list of big retailers accepting Apple’s new mobile payment system, add America’s second-largest oil company — Chevron Corp.

Chevron and Texaco stations will soon accept Apple Pay, the new service that lets consumers pay with their mobile phones rather than credit or debit cards. Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001, plans to roll out the service to 3,000 stations before the holiday season with another 5,000 to follow.

“Initially Apple Pay payments will be made in the store, but we are working along with Apple Pay on developing the technology out at the fuel dispensers as well” said Chevron spokesman Braden Reddall.

But wait. Haven’t we often heard that we shouldn’t use cell phones while pumping gas? Something about a fire hazard?

The idea that mobile phones sometimes ignite...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
944 Comments

35
votes
National average falls closer to $3/gal mark

GasBuddy Blog -- Another week, another drop at pumps across the country. The national average fell another 9.3 cents a gallon in the last week, and stands at its lowest since February of 2011.The national average again saw a hefty decline over the last week, and we now stand a mere dime away from seeing prices nationally average under $3/gallon.Looking back, the national average stands now at its lowest point since January 18, 2011, and by the end of this week, it could stand at its lowest since late 2010. Every day, Americans are spending over $100 million less on their gasoline purchases than they did a year ago, some of which will be injected back into the economy in other forms, and with the economic concerns taking shape lately, it could help jolt things back in the right direction. I still do believe that the national average will break the $3/gallon mark by around Election Day- the timing is ironic, considering the drop has nothing to do with Election Day and everything to do with current o  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1064 Comments

35
votes
Tesla Model S -- is it a car or an iPad?

Pioneer press -- Is the Tesla a car or an iPad?

That's the question engineers at the IHS automotive research firm posed as they dissected one of the electric car company's pricey Model S sedans.

They found that the design, components and manufacturing process that went into the car's infotainment and instrumentation systems have more in common with a tablet or smartphone than they do with a conventional automobile.

"It's like looking at the components from the latest mobile device from an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy product," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director for materials and cost benchmarking at IHS.

He said the electronic architecture of the sporty electric car is dramatically different from the approach of other automakers and their parts suppliers.  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
691 Comments

Sunday, October 19, 2014

57
votes
Slumping price of oil has Iran worried about paying its bills

Los Angeles Times -- Iranian officials are expressing new worry over the global oil price slump which is threatening the country’s budget and could undermine its strategy in international nuclear negotiations.

As recently as Tuesday Iran’s oil ministry was speaking confidently despite the 20% global price decline, insisting that it wouldn’t affect the budget. Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi said the decrease would be “short lived” an oil ministry information service said.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani clearly concerned, has directed the oil ministry to seek a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel next month to discuss propping up the price, Iranian news agencies are reporting.

Crude oil has fallen from over $100 a barrel in spring to under $85 a barrel. About 75%...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 19, 2014 By:
1450 Comments

49
votes
Canadian Coast Guard tows Russian ship that was drifting in rough seas off of B.C. coast

THE TORONTO SUN -- The captain of a Russian container ship adrift off the coast of B.C. was in hospital while efforts continued Saturday to tow the vessel away.

The Simushir, carrying hydro carbon and mining materials, approximately 400 metric tonnes of bunker fuel and 50 metric tonnes of diesel, was travelling between Washington and Russia when it lost power around 11 p.m. Thursday, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said.

It was floating about 16 km off Haida Gwaii, prompting Haida Nation President Peter Lantin to express his concern that it would hit ground and cause an oil spill.

Canadian Coast Guard vessel Gordon Reid reached the ship, but two tow lines came detached before crews successfully attached a third tow line around 6:30 p.m. Friday and began towing it in a westerly direction.

 (read more)

Submitted Oct 19, 2014 By:
1314 Comments

46
votes
Car runs for a 100 years without refueling

http://earthweareone.com/ -- If your car was powered by thorium, you would never need to refuel it. The vehicle would burn out long before the chemical did. The thorium would last so long, in fact, it would probably outlive you. That’s why a company called Laser Power Systems has created a concept for a thorium-powered car engine. The element is radioactive, and the team uses bits of it to build a laserbeam that heats water, produces steam, and powers an energy-producing turbine.Thorium is one of the most dense materials on the planet. A small sample of it packs 20 million times more energy than a similarly-sized sample of coal, making it an ideal energy source.  (read more)

Submitted Oct 19, 2014 By:
240 Comments

44
votes
If Cheap Oil Prices Are Good for the Economy, Why Is the Stock Market Down?

The Motley Fool -- Almost every American knows that cheap oil should lead to cheaper gas, and that it should also lead to cheaper goods at stores. And with many people still feeling the pinch of the recession as wage stagnation remains a problem, seeing your dollars go a little farther is a good thing.

However, since the price of oil started falling in mid-June, the stock market has also trended down.
 (read more)

Submitted Oct 19, 2014 By:
81 Comments

44
votes
One block in Minneapolis, 8,100 parking tickets

Star tribune -- Jim Crue figures that every day, he shoos away unwitting motorists trying to park on this permit-only street in Uptown Minneapolis. Parking enforcement will certainly get them, he warns.

“They’re ruthless,” said Crue, who moved into his apartment at 3100 Girard Av. S. a few months ago. “It’s a huge source of frustration for everybody.”

As Crue spoke last week, traffic control agents zipped past in a white vehicle. “See?” Crue pointed. “They just circle around all day long.”

What started as a concession to a neighborhood’s demands to take back its street has turned into a ticket windfall for the city, at $42 a pop.

A Star Tribune examination of nearly 400,000 parking tickets issued in Minneapolis puts a bull’s-eye on this short stretch in Uptown for generating 8,100 citations, nearly al  (read more)

Submitted Oct 19, 2014 By:
849 Comments

Saturday, October 18, 2014

54
votes
Battery that Charges in Two Minutes Set to Revolutionize Electric Vehicles

AutoEvolution -- Yeah, electric vehicles would have been a lot more common now if it wasn’t for the limitations current lithium-ion batteries come with. Pretty expensive and rather inefficient by comparing them to classic internal combustion cars. Scientists over the world are constantly trying to find a solution and the latest impressive result comes now from Singapore.

A team of scientists from the Nanyang Technology University (NTU) managed to put together a battery that will definitely change electric vehicles of today, as their prototype can be recharged up to 70 percent in just two minutes.

'Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars,' said Associate Professor Chen  (read more)

Submitted Oct 18, 2014 By:
1425 Comments

42
votes
City's Speed Traps Backfire

Yahoo! Screen -- Drivers in Chicago have gotten wise to speed cameras, budget figures show, and now the city needs to come up with $50 million in revenue. Chicagoans are costing the city tens of millions of dollars -– through good behavior. Mayor Rahm Emanuel underestimated the intelligence of Chicago drivers, and the city paid for it big time. On a smooth, wide, well-traveled stretch of Irving Park Road, running between two cemeteries — no homes, no stores, no parking — the city of Chicago is trying to balance its budget. Each flash means a photo; each photo, a violation. Each violation: a hundred bucks, from red-light and speed cameras. CBS 2 has learned the speed cameras caught far fewer speeders than expected. How much lower? Fifty million dollars lower.  (read more)

Submitted Oct 18, 2014 By:
81 Comments

41
votes
Fracking Growth Moves Too Rapidly for Environmental Caution

Business Week -- Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a popular method for extracting natural gas, has been increasingly controversial. And the speed of its expansion is now outpacing our understanding of environmental concerns.

First, there was the June 28 explosion and fire at a fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio, which caused thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals to spill into a tributary of the Ohio River, killing over 70,000 fish . Then there was the study released in July that implicated fracking in an increase in seismic activity in Oklahoma. Namely, researchers found that four fracking wells in the Oklahoma City area were accountable for more than 100 earthquakes that reached a magnitude 3 or greater between 2008 and 2013 .
 (read more)

Submitted Oct 18, 2014 By:
102 Comments

41
votes
Despite Slumping Prices, No End in Sight for U.S. Oil Production Boom

NY Times -- Falling oil and gasoline prices have sent oil company stocks tumbling, but oil experts say the boom in American energy production shows no signs of slowing down, keeping the market flush with crude and gasoline prices low.

Even after a drop of as much as 25 percent in oil prices since early summer, several government and private reports say that it would take a drop of $10 to $20 a barrel more — to as low as $60 a barrel — to slow production even modestly.

On the downside, taxes and royalties on oil will decline, potentially cutting into the finances of oil-producing states like Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma and North Dakota. And it will continue to put pressure on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output to support prices, as well as cause economic pain to big produ  (read more)

Submitted Oct 18, 2014 By:
1366 Comments

40
votes
Audi tests driverless vehicle at 190 mph

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..bloomberg.comFrom Frankfurt Bloomberg News reports that two Audi (NSU) RS7 performance sedans recently raced around a track in northern Germany. The car without a driver won this matchup by five seconds.In its effort to bring autonomous-driving technology to the streets, the Volkswagen AG unit is testing unmanned vehicles at speeds as fast as 305 kilometers (190 miles) per hour. In these experiments, the car decides for itself the best way to take the corners in its race against human drivers. ...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 18, 2014 By:
3541 Comments

Friday, October 17, 2014

45
votes
Shale Boom Helping American Consumers Like Never Before

Bloomberg -- Oil traders might see the 27% slide in global prices as a bear market. For U.S. consumers, it’s more like an early holiday gift.

The drop in crude has pulled retail gasoline down more than 50 cents a gallon from the year’s high in April. That means annual savings of $500 for the average U.S. household, which consumes about 1,000 gallons of fuel a year, according to data from the FHA and EIA.

“That’s like somebody putting dollars right in your pocket,” David Hackett, president of Stillwater Associates, an energy consulting firm in Irvine, California, said by phone Oct. 14. “That sounds like Christmas presents, going out to dinner, being able to do something.”

The slide in gasoline represents the biggest benefit that U.S. consumers have seen to date from a record boom in domestic oil prod  (read more)

Submitted Oct 17, 2014 By:
1006 Comments

44
votes
Venezuela Goes From Bad to Worse as Oil Prices Plummets

Bloomberg -- Since becoming Venezuela’s president 18 months ago, Nicolas Maduro has contended with chronic shortages of everything from toothpaste to medicine, the world’s fastest inflation and sinking foreign reserves.

His predicament is about to get worse. Prices for Venezuela’s oil, which accounts for 95 percent of the nation’s exports, are tumbling to a four-year low and threatening to choke off the export dollars the country needs to pay its debts.

“It’s a direct hit on tax revenues,” Lars Christensen, chief emerging-markets economist at Danske Bank A/S, said by telephone from Copenhagen. “There is nothing good to say about the state of Venezuela’s economy, and this isn’t helping.”

The slump in oil prices comes as Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff warned this week  (read more)

Submitted Oct 17, 2014 By:
758 Comments

42
votes
Lockheed Says Makes Breakthrough on Fusion Energy Project

Downstreamtoday.com -- Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.

Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire said.
 (read more)

Submitted Oct 17, 2014 By:
1067 Comments

41
votes
Americans rank MPG most important factor in buying new car

GasBuddy Blog -- Americans have been getting smarter when buying new cars, according to a new report. As gas prices have not fallen under $3/gal nationally in 3 years, Americans have looked at more fuel efficient cars when buying.More than three-quarters (79%) of Americans say that fuel efficiency is more important than safety, body type or price, when purchasing a car.  That's according to a new study, Driving Toward Change, which sheds light on the shifting preferences of American car buyers.  The study was performed by the American Chemistry Council and surveyed drivers around the country.  Nearly three-quarters (72%) of participants say that fuel efficiency is more important to them now than it was just five years ago.While most Americans say they would prioritize fuel efficiency over other automobile features, the study also reveals confusion over how to make a car more fuel-efficient. When asked about the relationship between vehicle weight and fuel ec  (read more)

Submitted Oct 17, 2014 By:
3750 Comments

39
votes
Russia says it has the right to hit U.S. with sanctions

UPI-Russian economy feeling squeeze from Western pressure. -- Russia's deputy foreign minister told state media Thursday the Kremlin has "every right" to counter U.S. sanctions on the energy sector with its own response.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin likely won't issue reactive sanctions against the United States, but felt the measures targeting the Russian energy sector were reflexive.

"Strictly speaking, we now have every right amid this mass of anti-Russian US sanctions to impose sanctions against the United States non-stop and in all the areas" he told state news agency RIA Novosti.

The Russian economy is struggling to cope with sanctions imposed on its energy sector in response the Kremlin's posture on the conflict in Ukraine.

Exports of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas accounted for nearly 70 of all...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 17, 2014 By:
277 Comments