Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    3:34 PM

Top 5 Articles By Day




Saturday, April 19, 2014

41
votes
Texas Supreme Court will not review ruling favoring TransCanada

KETR/NPR -- Lamar County landowner Julia Trigg Crawford’s petition for review of a lower court’s ruling in favor of TransCanada Corp. has been denied by the Texas Supreme Court. Crawford had been contesting the Canadian company’s right to build the Keystone XL pipeline through her family’s farm in northwestern Lamar County.  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
1015 Comments

36
votes
Toyota Experiment Shows How Hybrids Will Relief Traffic Stress [Video]

AutoEvolution -- Driving through today busy city traffic can be a real pain in the back... Too many cars on the streets, inattentive drivers, many stoplights, intersections where you need to give way to an endless row of other vehicles, pedestrians using the crosswalks just after you picked up some speed and a lot more.

And all of these are combined with two other stress factors - needing to arrive at your destination in time and even worrying than that, fuel consumption. With fuel prices having doubled since, lets say ten years ago, in many of the world’s regions, sitting in the traffic with you engine running will put a heavy load on your mind.

That’s why in many drivers’ subconscious everyone surrounding them in traffic are just morons for wasting both their time and gas.  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
1034 Comments

36
votes
Toyota Corolla Now Exporting to South and Central America

AutoEvolution -- Mississippi-made products such as luxury furniture, petroleum items, cotton and paper are finding their way to out the US each year. And now the 2014 Toyota Corolla will add up, with the automaker officially declaring it up for export recently.

At a ceremony yesterday, Toyota Mississippi put out the first 2014 Corolla intended for export towards clients in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

“Since 2011, Mississippians have been successfully producing Toyota’s best-selling model globally, the Corolla, for the U.S. market. Today, Toyota once again puts Mississippi on the world’s stage with the rollout of the first export vehicle manufactured at the Blue Springs facility,” Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This new export opportunity further strengthens Mississippi’s growing  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
1003 Comments

34
votes
Kia's 2015 Soul EV prepares to enter U.S. market

GasBuddy Blog -- Kia Motors said it will start building a battery-powered version of its Soul compact in Korea next month. The car will be Hyundai-Kia's first battery-powered EV export, with destinations including the United States and Europe.

For this year, the global sales target is 5,000 Soul EVs. In Korea, the Soul EV will cost about half of its 42 million won ($39,400) price tag after government subsidies, similar to the higher-end model of the gasoline version, Reuters reports.

The car can run up to 148 km (92 miles) per 24- to 33-minute fast charge or 4 hours on slow charge.

Hyundai, like Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., has long concentrated on fuel cell vehicles powered by electricity generated using hydrogen, touting...  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
872 Comments

32
votes
Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

MIT Technology Review -- When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station — that caused most of the harm.

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.  (read more)

Submitted Today By:
30 Comments

Friday, April 18, 2014

51
votes
America's tire mountains: 90 percent are gone, thanks to recycling programs

mnn.com -- Once we had 2 billion tires scattered around the U.S. landscape, but now 90 percent of the piles are gone. Ground rubber from tires is becoming roadways, playground equipment and auto floor mats.

Tires. We don’t think about them all that much unless a) we have a flat; b) we have to buy new ones; or c) the summer tires just aren’t cutting it in the winter, or vice versa. But tires are a big deal in the environment, because we produce — and discard — so many of them. In 2009, the most recent year available, we generated 296 million scrap tires, with passenger cars accounting for 189 million of them.

The good news is that we’re “repurposing” 80 percent of our scrap tires today. Remember the famous tire mountains? Well, they’re mostly gone now. According to Michael Blumenthal, vice presiden
 (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1261 Comments

51
votes
Here’s How Toyota Made Its Engines More Efficient [Video]

AutoEvolution -- As you may have heard, Toyota just revealed two new thermal efficient gasoline engines. They don’t exceed a capacity bigger than 1.3-liters but the automaker said they are 10 percent more fuel efficient and almost as fuel efficient as hybrid powertrains. But how did the engineers made this possible?

First of all, Toyota wanted its engineers to work and communicate in harmony, so the company raised a whole new building called The Unit Center. Here, engineers were assigned with one single task - improve their engines’ thermal efficiency.

If you’re new to mechanics, thermal efficiency means how efficient an engine can use the gasoline its being fed with to power the car. Each drop of gasoline has contains a certain amount of energy it can set free by burning in an engine cylinder.

 (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1429 Comments

45
votes
Study Chides U.S. Over Loan Default by Solar Business

N.Y. Times -- Long before the Energy Department lost $68 million on Abound Solar, a manufacturer that went bankrupt two years ago, it should have known that the company’s chance of repaying the loan it had guaranteed was deteriorating, according to a report by the department’s inspector general.

The damning report was issued as the Obama administration prepared to offer as much as $8 billion in additional loan guarantees.

The loan guarantee program has been a magnet for criticism since the failure of Solyndra in 2011; that company took $528 million in loans guaranteed by the Energy Department.

The new report, released on Thursday, focused on loan guarantees extended to Abound Solar, which was initially offered $400 million. When the company missed several production milestones, the department cut off  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
50 Comments

45
votes
Historic irony? Iran to splash $20 billion on joint oil fields with Iraq

Al Bawaba -- Iran will invest over $20 billion in development of the oil fields it shares with Iraq, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Iran’s Oil Ministry is planning to increase oil extraction from joint oilfields with Iraq by one million barrels per day (bpd) in the current Iranian calendar year, which started on March 21, 2014.

Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors, including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, as well as Oman and Turkmenistan.

Iran shares Yadavaran, Azadegan, and Azar oilfields with Iraq.

Based on studies, there are 23 joint hydrocarbon fields between Iran and Iraq which are divided into exploration, development and production categories.

On April 6, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran’s crude oil output is forecast to increase by about...
 (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
906 Comments

42
votes
Illinois eyeing gas tax increase

GasBuddy Blog -- Motorists in Illinois should beware: a transportation advocacy group wants to raise your gasoline taxes, and if it happens, you can bet retailers would be forced to pass it on to you in the form of higher gasoline prices.

According to the Northwest Herald, the group wants to hike motor fuel taxes by 4 cents a gallon to fund a new road-building program that would replace a $31 billion, five year program that terminates this year.

Gas station and convenience store owners are expectedly livid. “This tax, as a retailer, would be pushed to the consumer. We as retailers live in penny profits and cannot afford to absorb this tax,” said Amy Chronister Ridley, vice president of Chronister Oil and Qik n EZ Convenience Stores, which...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1776 Comments

Thursday, April 17, 2014

43
votes
Those Stubborn Facts: 99.9% Proof That IPCC "Expert" Climate Models Are Hugely Wrong

C3 Headlines -- Climate reality and actual evidence-based science has completely eviscerated the global warming claims of the IPCC's "scientists" and those in the "consensus" choir.

Recent climate change predictions produced by the latest bleeding-edge computer models have proven to be spectacularly wrong.

Longer-term proof that the IPCC (and its climate-doomsday religion acolytes) is provided by the original "expert" predictions that were first published back in 1990. That proof is clearly obvious from the accompanying chart.

Simply stated: the IPCC predicted that if human emissions of CO2 kept growing in a business-as-usual (BAU) manner, the world would experience a high likelihood of global warming acceleration - to a per century rate of 2.8°C.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 17, 2014 By:
170 Comments

43
votes
Begich Earmarked Millions for Bankrupt Green Energy Company

WFB -- As Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) seeks to shore up his energy policy credentials, a now-bankrupt green energy company to which he steered federal subsidies could cloud his message.

Begich received campaign contributions from a lobbyist for an Alaska geothermal plant after helping the company obtain federal financing. The company is now bankrupt, but Begich continues touting his support for alternative energy.

The senator, who is facing reelection in November, will address the Alaska Wood Energy Conference on Wednesday. The conference brings together leaders in the state’s biomass industry.

He has also promoted fossil fuel development, including effort to open areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, and to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

However, Begich’s crit  (read more)

Submitted Apr 17, 2014 By:
1405 Comments

42
votes
Solar’s dramatic cost fall may herald energy price deflation

reneweconomy.com -- We’ve seen and published many dramatic graphs about the fall in solar, such as this one tracing the fall over the past 30 years and this from Citigroup, but the following graph from investment bank Sanford Bernstein is quite stunning – not just for its simplicity but because it draws attention to the potential impact of solar to the $5 trillion global energy market.

As you can see, the cost of solar PV has come from – quite literally – off the charts less than a decade ago to a point where Bernstein says solar PV is now cheaper than oil and Asian LNG (liquefied natural gas). It does its calculations on an MMBTU basis. MMBTU is the standard unit of measure for liquid fuels, often referred to as one million British thermal units.

“For these (developing Asian economies) solar is just cheap
 (read more)

Submitted Apr 17, 2014 By:
89 Comments

42
votes
Renewable Energy Cools Earnings View

WSJ --

Renewable Energy Group Inc. shares dropped after the company tempered its expectations for the first quarter, saying unseasonably cold winter weather reduced demand for diesel.

The company said results were hurt by a decline in biodiesel prices and higher-than-expected feedstock costs. Originally, Renewable Energy had projected constant prices for energy and feedstock.

The muted outlook sent the company's shares down 13% to $11 in after-hours trading.

Renewable Energy produces and sells biodiesel in the U.S., while also buying and reselling biodiesel produced by third parties. The company also offers facility management and operational services to the industry.

On Wednesday, Renewable Energy said it now sees first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amo  (read more)

Submitted Apr 17, 2014 By:
1331 Comments

40
votes
The Navy's Seawater-To-Fuel System: Can I Use It In My Car?

Jalopnik -- Last week, the US Navy flew a model airplane with a small 2-stroke engine. That's not normally news, except for one big detail: the fuel the plane burned was made from seawater via a process the Navy has been working on for years. Let's look a little into what this sorcery is, and if it'll ever power our cars.

Essentially, on a very basic level, what the Navy is doing is extracting CO2 and Hydrogen from the seawater, and then recombining it into hydrocarbon chains, and then liquefying that (via a metal catalyst) into synthetic fuel. The type of synthetic fuel that can be made can vary, but jet fuel (similar to diesel) and petroleum-type fuels, like what was run in that little model plane, and, yes, that same sort of fuel could potentially be run in your normal old gasoline car ...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 17, 2014 By:
28 Comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

45
votes
GAS PRICES: 12 straight days of increases irk customers

Press Enterprise -- On the 12th day of gas-price increases, Alberto Castro-Mendoza pulled into the Shell station at the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Blaine Street in Riverside, California.

It didn’t feel like Christmas.

Castro-Mendoza, 22, usually shops around, but on Tuesday, April 15, he was in a rush. So he stopped at a station, that with no competitors nearby, turned out to have the highest prices in Riverside County — $4.59 for regular, $4.67 for midgrade and $4.75 for premium — according to the website GasBuddy.com.

The prices, said Castro-Mendoza, an unemployed Army veteran, “are ridiculous. They’re manipulative. They’re evil.”

“The direct impact on consumers is immediate. They don’t have money to spend somewhere else,” said Esmael Adibi, chief economist at Chapman University in Orange.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 16, 2014 By:
1171 Comments

41
votes
Commute-Case, the Portable Electric Scooter

AutoEvolution -- Folding scooters and similar transportation which can be stored in a briefcase are nothing new, as this idea has been around since the 80’s or so. Still, this doesn’t mean that improvements would not make it exceptionally appealing once more, and the Commute-Case is just the kind of new interpretation we needed.

It goes without saying that using a small, electric scooter which needs no parking place and which can also be carried around just like normal briefcase is truly convenient. Cheap to run and easy to store near your desk, the Commute-Case can also become a nifty way to travel your last miles to work or school. Park your car, take the Commute-Case out and ride away. Or just get out from the train and ride into the city, the possibilities are endless.

With a costs as low as 1 cent  (read more)

Submitted Apr 16, 2014 By:
1380 Comments

40
votes
Volvo Designs Ultra-Light Inflatable Child Seat Concept [Video]

AutoEvolution -- Child seats may be an indispensable accessory, but when you have to carry one around, you’ll notice that it also requires body-building skills. Well, if anybody would be on track to change all that, it has to be Volvo. The Sweedes have just come up with an inflatable child seat concept, which obviously promises parent-pleasing practicality.

The seat inflates in under 40 seconds and deflates with the help of an integrated pump. It tips the scales at under 11 lbs (5 kg), half the weight of a conventional seat. What’s more, this is gifted with Internet access via Bluetooth, allowing the user to perform a multitude of features, such as inflating it remotely. Volvo explains the seat can be folded into a weekend bag together with other child-related items.

This was all possible through the u  (read more)

Submitted Apr 16, 2014 By:
1300 Comments

37
votes
Girl texting while driving hits cyclist, says “I just don’t care”

By Tina Robinson | Daily Buzz – -- while driving is so totally wrong.

But according to 21-year-old Kimberly Davis, it’s totally not her fault.
 (read more)

Submitted Apr 16, 2014 By:
83 Comments

36
votes
CP contests Lac-Mégantic cleanup order: Argues environment ministry did not supply documents within

The Gazette -- CP says it shouldn’t be forced to clean up the Lac-Mégantic oil spill because QC botched the process of issuing an emergency environmental order against the company, did not supply it with all the documents it had related to the oil spill within 30 days, as required by law

Last summer, QC used the province’s environmental-quality law to order MM&A, World Fuel Services and Western Petroleum to clean up spilled oil and any other contaminants. They also had to prevent the spread of contaminants into the environment, evaluate the extent of the environmental contamination, devise a cleanup and decontamination plan, and then execute that plan

About 2 wks later, the government added CP to the cleanup order

Nearly 6M L of crude oil spilled and 47 people were killed Jul 6 when a runaway oil trai  (read more)

Submitted Apr 16, 2014 By:
347 Comments

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

45
votes
Senate Democrats to Obama: Make a call on Keystone

CNBC --

A group of Democratic senators in swing districts is urging President Barack Obama to make a decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline soon, according to analysis in Oilprice.com.

With midterm elections looming, the 11 senators—most of whom have a history of supporting the oil industry—wrote a letter asking the administration for a "definitive timeline" on construction of the TransCanada project by the end of May, Oilprice said.

The Obama administration has resisted calls for a quick approval on Keystone, which is strongly supported by energy industry interests but opposed just as strongly by environmental groups.

Click here for the full Oilprice story, including the list of senators who signed the letter.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 15, 2014 By:
799 Comments

44
votes
California cringing at gas pumps statewide

GasBuddy Blog -- California motorists are getting hit hard- not only does the state boast the highest average price in the lower 48, but it also has seen the largest jump in prices in the last week, jumping 13c/gal to $4.18/gal, the highest price in over a year.

The latest jump comes as refinery kinks have pinched supply, resulting in supplies that are running 7% lower than they did a year ago, and a huge 10% drop versus last week. Across the state, the pain is worst in Los Angeles and areas of Southern California. LA has seen prices spike 16c/gal while prices have jumped 12c/gal in the Bay area.

While I don't expect these large increases to continue in the week ahead, more increases are likely, but there is relief coming. I expect prices...  (read more)

Submitted Apr 15, 2014 By:
1596 Comments

42
votes
Coal Returns to German Utilities Replacing Lost Nuclear

Bloomberg -- What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants?

It turns to lignite, a cheap, soft, muddy-brown colored form of sedimentary rock that spews more greenhouse gases than any other fossil fuel.

The story of German power giant RWE AG (RWE) exemplifies the crisis facing the nation’s utility industry -- and those of many countries across Europe -- as nuclear power plants get shuttered in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, renewables steal away revenue, and consumers and companies complain about rising power costs that are three times higher than in the U.S.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to shutter all 17 of Germany’s nuclear power stations by 2022 struck a blow to RWE’s profit stream, particularly for a company that  (read more)

Submitted Apr 15, 2014 By:
349 Comments

41
votes
Glow-in-the-dark roads make debut in Netherlands

WIRED.CO.UK -- Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands.

Studio Roosegaarde promised us the design back in 2012, and after cutting through rather a lot of government red tape we can finally see the finished product.

One Netherlands news report said, "It looks like you are driving through a fairytale," which pretty much sums up this extraordinary project. The design studio like to bring technology and design to the real world, with practical and beautiful results.

Back in October 2012, Daan Roosegaarde, the studio's founder and lead designer, told us: "One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave.  (read more)

Submitted Apr 15, 2014 By:
52 Comments

40
votes
US ethanol prices 'just melting' as supplies firm, demand fades

Platts -- Most US ethanol prices slid Tuesday to their lowest levels in more than four weeks as stalling buying interest combined with firming supplies, sources said. The Chicago Argo ethanol assessment fell 11.5 cents to $2.6145/gallon, the lowest level since March 17. The front-month New York Harbor ethanol assessment for any-April delivery slid 10 cents to $2.53/gal, the lowest level since February 12.

The Chicago Argo assessment has plunged $1.1455, or 30.5%, since hitting $3.76/gal March 31, which was the highest level since 2006.

"This is bloodbath, round 8," one ethanol trader said, adding that prices were "just melting."

Prices across all regions have tumbled since hitting eight-year highs on April 1 as bearish production data and rebounding stockpiles have put significant downward pressu  (read more)

Submitted Apr 15, 2014 By:
83 Comments