Category: Big Oil

By on September 13, 2016

pumping gas

Automakers can expect a favorable environment for lucrative truck and SUV sales well into next year, as the right conditions come together for a continued oil glut. That heralds lower prices at the pump, less painful driving, and less scrutiny of EPA mileage figures on Monroney stickers.

Oil supply and inventories are rising, even as demand falls off sharply, while overseas interests are conspiring to keep prices down — and in their favor. Read More >

By on August 25, 2016

1-Ethanol-Gas-006

A new study from the University of Michigan adds (bio)fuel to the growing backlash against supposedly clean and green fossil fuel substitutes.

The study claims that the environmental benefits of ethanol and biodiesel — championed by both the federal government and the lucrative biofuel industry — are based on completely false assumptions, the Detroit Free Press reports. Read More >

By on July 7, 2016

AAA Fuel Test

AAA hired an independent lab to complete 4,000 miles of simulated driving to compare Top Tier gasoline with the cheaper blends. Their findings show that the additive packages in Top Tier gas resulted in fewer carbon deposits than those found in the non-Top Tier gasoline test.

The study also found that there were some secondary benefits to the better additive packages, including slightly better fuel economy and better drivability. The benefits are apparent, but do consumers really care? Read More >

By on June 4, 2016

May 2016 average fuel economy

Drivers aren’t getting the same deal at the pumps as they were last winter, and the gas mileage of new vehicles shows it.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say the average sales-weighted fuel economy of new vehicles hit 25.4 miles per gallon in May, the highest figure so far this year. It’s still less than the all-time high set in August 2014, but it shows not every car buyer is going for the thirstiest vehicle they can afford. Read More >

By on May 13, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

You know the world is a bit upside-down when master wordsmith Jack Baruth spins a web so tight in favor of the EPA and CARB that even the Best and Brightest can’t see through it.

Jack makes a valid point today: light-duty trucks, especially those of the diesel variety, are often driven by people who don’t need the capability that those trucks provide. It’s those diesel pickups that spew tons of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere, both of which are harmful to human health. Goodbye, he says to the light-duty diesel truck, before we turn into Europe. Turbo-fed gasoline engines offer just as much torque as their diesel-powered brethren, he exclaims. There’s no need to buy an $80,000 phallus extender. What do you think of this twin-turbo V6 Raptor?

However, Mr. Baruth stopped just short of saying recreational use of light-duty diesel trucks should be outright banned, instead offering up a solution that’s analogous to gun control.

Read More >

By on May 9, 2016

Gas pump evolution Source: Tesla Motors

What a difference a few years make.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember when scientists warned us about an impending ice age. Today, climate change concerns have to do with global warming.

Just a few years ago, “peak oil” — the theory of terminal decline once we’ve reached the maximum extraction rate from known petroleum reserves — was popular. A couple of recent perspectives, however, indicate that we may not hit peak oil production and consumption for the foreseeable future — and that the price of oil may actually go down long-term. Read More >

By on April 18, 2016

Chevy_Volt_EPA_Fuel_Economy_Official_Label

As regulatory bigwigs gear up for a midterm review of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements, will the 54.5 mpg target for light-duty vehicles get a haircut, or be deemed too  unambitious?

Under a 2012 agreement between the federal government and automakers, cars and light trucks will have until 2025 to meet the 54.5 mpg target, which works out to about 40 mpg on the window sticker (for cars) after you ditch the fancy math. That target isn’t set in stone, and the midterm review will take into account the state of the market — and existing technology — when it reviews its goals for the 2022-2025 period. Read More >

By on March 25, 2016

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi confirms it is going to shoehorn another SUV into its lineup to tempt those utility-hungry Americans.

That, Volvo wants everyone to buy S90s from their beds, Fiat Chrysler isn’t having a dealer’s trash talk, UAW bolsters its ranks, and your gas is going up … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 4, 2016

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

Gasoline is gloriously cheap and the automotive industry is taking a break from the tiresome “more mpg” game.

That, Christmas comes early for Volkswagen employees, Carlos Ghosn has a plan to save big bucks, Google is luring more humans and Bentley can’t build enough SUVs for the “you call this caviar?!” crowd … after the break!

Read More >

By on February 1, 2016

2015 Nissan Leaf

Electric vehicles aren’t rollin’ coal anymore — or, at least, not nearly as much as they used to.

Reuters reports coal-fired electricity generation is now at a 35-year low in the U.S., and November 2015 was the fifth month in a row more natural gas than coal was used to produce electricity.

That’s not all. From Reuters:

With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history.

Oh, and guess what’s dirtier than natural gas when burned? You bet: gasoline.

Read More >

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