March 29, 2013 |
When Ferrari's biggest and baddest supercar is a hybrid, you know the world has changed. Once considered the province of techies and the eco-friendly, hybrids are catching on in almost every vehicle segment. Hybrid sales were up 32% in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to research firm Autodata Corp. That's driven by a combination of trends, including upward-creeping gas prices, a growing track record for reliability and the wider selection of hybrid offerings - everything from the entry-level Toyota Prius C to the spacious Ford Fusion sedan to the LaFerrari, a 949-horsepower, million-dollar monster.
March 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is expected to propose new rules Friday that would slash the amount of sulfur in gasoline, one of the most significant steps the administration can take this term toward cutting air pollution, said people with knowledge of the announcement. The new rules would bring the rest of the country's sulfur standards in line with California's gasoline program. The oil industry and members of Congress from oil states have criticized the standards as onerous with few health benefits in return.
March 29, 2013 |
Depends on whom you ask. The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed what it called "sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses" while "enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive. " For example, the EPA would reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60%, down to 10 parts per million (ppm), in 2017. The EPA proposal would bring the rest of the nation in line with standards already in effect in California, the agency said.
March 24, 2013 |
Two years before his death, Hugo Chavez tried to repeal the law of supply and demand, which says that free markets set the price: the higher the demand, the higher the price. Every producer who was willing to sell at that equilibrium price would be able to do so and every consumer willing and able to pay that price could acquire the product. Chavez despised the law because he believed it robbed the poor and unjustly profited producers. In its place, he persuaded the Venezuelan legislature to enact the 2011 Law on Fair Costs and Prices, a price-setting mechanism to ensure greater social justice.
March 21, 2013 |
California drivers have long suffered from the state's geographical isolation from the nation's major oil pipelines that pump crude to domestic refineries. That forced California to rely on much more expensive imported oil. In 2012, California imported more than half of its oil from overseas (50.7%) for the first time ever. But that has begun to change. In the short term, analysts say California prices should fall to the $3.75 to $4 range for a gallon of regular gasoline in the coming weeks.
March 6, 2013 |
It's one of the most interesting facts in a new study that covers 40 years of U.S. driving, from 1970 to 2010. Even after a 737% increase in the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline over that period, from 36 cents to more than $3, Americans are driving alone more often than before. Michael Sivak's study -- titled Effects of Vehicle Fuel Economy, Distance Traveled, and Vehicle Load on the Amount of Fuel Used for Personal Transportation in the U.S: 1970-2010 -- can be found here . Sivak is the director of sustainable worldwide transportation for the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. He found that in 1970 the average vehicle load -- the number of people riding in a car, truck or SUV -- was 1.9 people.
February 21, 2013 |
Southern California has seen its biggest ever one-month rise in gasoline prices, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's weekend gas watch. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the varying regions of Southern California has now climbed 57 to 59 cents since last month. "We looked at all of the one-month spikes that could have been bigger since the year 2000 and this was bigger than any of those," said Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club.
February 11, 2013 |
Went to a magic show Sunday, called, appropriately enough, “ Smoke and Mirrors .” Watched the magician pull a rabbit out of his hat and everything. (OK, it was a bird, but who's counting?) You know it's all an illusion -- trickery, sleight of hand, misdirection -- but you laugh and are amazed anyway. Great fun. Came to work Monday and read about a different magic show. It's called gas prices, though it could just as easily be called smoke and mirrors. Seems that gasoline prices are at record highs for this time of year, both nationally and in California.
February 11, 2013 |
Hedge funds, commodity pools and other high-roller investors have thrown close to $12.5 billion into a collective bet that gasoline prices will rise, and some analysts say it's one reason why gasoline prices are at a record for this date in California and nationally. The details were contained in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission report released Friday, showing that betting on higher gasoline prices was closing in on the highest level ever of $13 billion, set last March. Quiz: Why are California gas prices so high?
February 5, 2013 |
Average California gasoline prices jumped 23 cents in the last week, passing $4 a gallon in Los Angeles, fuel surveys show. This surge follows a year in which the nation's motorists spent a greater percentage of their annual income on gasoline than at any time in the last three decades, the Energy Department said. Gasoline expenditures were higher despite a sharp improvement in automobile fuel economy, according to a separate report. The average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in California jumped to $3.914 on Monday, up 23.4 cents from a week earlier, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.