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BUSINESS
February 4, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Refiners and union employees reached a tentative contract agreement, averting a strike that would have idled as many as 30,000 workers who produce almost two-thirds of the gasoline, diesel and other fuels made in the U.S. The settlement means there will be no interruption in refinery operations, which would have affected product supply in advance of the gasoline driving season and probably led to higher prices. The union and Royal Dutch Shell, which represented employers, agreed to terms after 12 days of meetings in Austin, Texas, United Steelworkers International Vice President Leo W. Gerard said.
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AUTOS
March 14, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
It is a mix of emotions only an Italian car can evoke. Maserati's all-new Ghibli and redesigned Quattroporte sedans thrill with all the lusty performance and high style expected from a brand with a loose connection to Ferrari. But - mama mia! - pity anyone hoping to roll down the window or turn on the lights in either of these Maseratis. This poor soul encounters third-rate plastic pieces that Maserati grabbed out of Chrysler's corporate parts bin. After a week of testing both the 2014 Ghibli and the 2014 Quattroporte, we were left more than a little frustrated by how a shoddy interior can foul an otherwise delizioso dish.
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NEWS
April 9, 1989 | DONALD WOUTAT, Times Staff Writer
After a week that saw wholesale gasoline prices in Los Angeles shoot up by a dime to 72 cents a gallon for no clear reason, March 24 began with Bill Wright getting offers of discounts from the independent oil refiners that sell him gasoline. "The market was staged to go down that day," recalled Wright, owner of Wright Oil Co. of Santee, whose 40 tanker trucks peddling 30 million gallons a month make it Southern California's biggest distributor of gasoline to independent service stations.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By David Pagel
The lines in Bart Exposito's new paintings at Thomas Solomon Gallery do things the lines in his old paintings didn't: slip away from the shapes they demarcate to float in spaces that are more atmospheric than anything the artist has painted since he began exhibiting 15 years ago. This transformation may have something to do with Exposito's recent move from Los Angeles to Santa Fe and his commute to Albuquerque, where he teaches. Like the landscape he drives through, most of his new works are horizontal.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2011 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
U.S. exports of refined fuels, particularly diesel, have surged to fresh all-time highs, helping to keep the prices of gasoline and diesel in this country at record levels for this time of year. In August, the latest month for which Energy Department data are available, U.S. refiners exported a record average of 895,000 barrels a day of refined fuels, compared with 730,000 barrels a day during the first half of the year. Most went to Central and South America. During 2010, exports averaged a record 656,000 barrels a day, the seventh straight year in which refiners set a new high for fuel exports.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
If you're wondering what happened to cheap U.S. fuel, look to Mexico, Canada and even OPEC member Venezuela. U.S. refiners are selling diesel and gasoline to those and other countries at historically high levels, making the nation a net exporter of fuel for the first time since 1949, according to the Energy Department. Such enthusiastic exporting is one of the reasons that gasoline and diesel prices have been so high, energy experts say. Consumer advocates see it as harming motorists because gallons exported aren't available to U.S. gas pumps.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2011 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Gasoline prices are skyrocketing — and so are oil company profits. Exxon Mobil Corp. earned nearly $11 billion in the first three months of the year, a rollicking 69% increase over its performance for the same period last year. That's on sales of $114 billion. It's the same story for the other big oil companies. Royal Dutch Shell turned a profit of $6.3 billion in the first quarter, and BP — despite lingering costs from the Gulf Coast oil spill — made $7.1 billion. What they aren't making is fuel, at least not in normal quantities.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
Crude oil prices pulled back from highs not seen since 2008 as leaders from Saudi Arabia to the White House offered fresh assurances that the world wouldn't run short of oil despite violence in the Mideast and North Africa. Oil futures hit $103 a barrel in New York trading Thursday but ended the day at $97.28, down 82 cents. In Europe, oil also fell in electronic trading after nearing $120 a barrel. Petroleum prices had surged on fears that political unrest in Libya, Egypt and other countries could reduce global supplies ?
BUSINESS
June 25, 2006
The article on the plight of independent gas stations omits a major reason for their decline: the disappearance of independent refiners ("Running on Empty," June 4). Independent refiners have disappeared because of an unholy alliance between the major oil companies and environmentalists. Both have lobbied for stricter pollution standards on gasoline and refinery operations. Independent refiners concluded that mandated upgrades were not economically viable and went out of business.
OPINION
June 3, 2001
The Bush administration and oil refiners allege that there is a gasoline shortage in California and that the shortage is causing the dramatic spike in prices at the pump. As a motorist in the Los Angeles area, I see no evidence of a shortage. All gas stations have a plentiful supply, and there is no evidence of reduced demand. A shortage may be anticipated but it has not yet arrived. And even if there were a shortage, the cost of producing the available gasoline has not increased sufficiently to justify the skyrocketing prices.
AUTOS
March 8, 2014 | David Undercoffler
General Motors Co.'s lumbering full-size SUVs are dinosaurs from a bygone era, but don't expect them to go extinct just yet. Despite flagging sales, each delivery brings in piles of cash for GM. "These vehicles are minting money for them," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc. "It's one of the biggest profit margins in the industry. " GM makes at least $10,000 per full-sized sport utility vehicle sold, he estimates. (Not to mention the windfall for the nearest gas station.)
BUSINESS
March 1, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Maybe the Muppets weren't such a good idea. Toyota, for those who missed the Super Bowl ad, has enlisted the help of Jim Henson's finest to sell its all-new Highlander SUV. This would be a hoot except for one awkward fact: This thing holds Muppets a lot better than actual people. The new Highlander has less head- and legroom in the third row than the previous generation model. In fact, it has less space back there than nearly all of its SUV and crossover rivals. That's disappointing, particularly because the outside of the Highlander is actually about 3 inches longer.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
They are the bad boys of Subaru's lineup. Offsetting the brand's otherwise crunchy mind-set, the WRX and WRX STI pocket rockets have worked hard to bring some tire-smoking street cred to a brand that otherwise markets its vehicles with love and puppies. Based on the humble Impreza compact sedan, both the everyman WRX and the rally-ready STI are new for 2015. The basics stay the same: turbocharging and all-wheel-drive. But both models get an overhauled chassis, a refined cabin and fresh styling.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2013 | By Brian Thevenot
The bottom-of-the-line Benz always faces a tough question: Is it a real Mercedes? That's a compliment to the venerable German brand's standard-setting build quality. But the question also speaks to the oxymoron inherent in a budget Benz, and the challenge of delivering a bonafide Mercedes for the price of a Ford or a Honda. Such are the hurdles facing the CLA, a compact sport sedan seeking to set a new standard for affordable luxury and tap into a broad customer base of up-and-comers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Orange County's largest toll road network on Thursday sold $2.3 billion in bonds to shore up the finances of several highways that have failed to meet revenue and ridership projections. The Irvine-based Transportation Corridor Agencies will use the borrowing to refinance the Foothill-Eastern system, which includes the 133 tollway in central Orange County as well as the 241 and 261 that run from Yorba Linda to Rancho Santa Margarita. The bond issue will extend the time that motorists must pay tolls on the Foothill-Eastern's highways by 13 years - from 2040 to 2053 - and add upward of $1.75 billion to the corridor's total interest payments by the time the bonds mature in 2053.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2013 | David Undercoffler
These are happy days for the fun side of Chevrolet, as 2013 has been a very good year for the performance division of General Motors' everyman brand. The all-new, seventh-generation Corvette went on sale in August to critical and consumer acclaim. The topless version of the C7 started shipping to customers this week, and a fire-breathing Z06 model will debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Through November, sales of the Corvette are up 228 percent over the same period in 2012.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 1999
Re "Bulk of Gas Price Rise Is Flowing to Oil Companies," April 15: As a small independent oil producer in Ventura County, I would like to point out that there are usually about 2.1 million barrels of oil a day refined in California. A third of the 900,000 barrels a day produced on- or offshore in California are produced by independent producers like me. We usually receive about $3 a barrel less than the price that producers receive for oil of the same quality in the rest of the country.
OPINION
November 11, 2012
Re “ Refiners exporting more fuel out of U.S. ,” Nov. 7 Let me understand: California refiners are exporting a large portion of their output to other countries worldwide, but these same refiners proclaim that these exports are necessary to boost profits. Meanwhile, last month, problems at a couple of the refineries put a crimp on supplies and retail pump prices in California jumped to new highs. According to recent Times articles, this puts retailers and consumers under financial stress but results in record profits for the refinery owners.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
While driving to Aliso Viejo on Tuesday to hear the Juilliard String Quartet play Bach, Schubert and a young American composer, Jesse Jones, at the Soka Performing Arts Center, I listened to a little early Bob Dylan. It seemed right. But so might have Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, something from Stravinsky's Los Angeles years or Aaron Copland. Anything by Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk would have been equally suitable. All were artists on Columbia Records, and in the '40s, '50s and '60s, all were showing the extraordinary originality of North American music.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
The leaders of Orange County's largest tollway system cleared the way Thursday for a $2.4-billion bond sale designed to shore up the sagging finances of one of its highway networks. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to refinance the Foothill-Eastern system, where the Transportation Corridor Agencies operates the 241 and 261 tollways. The roads, which course through the hills of east Orange County, have been performing below their ridership and revenue projections. Studies indicate that without a refinancing, the Foothill-Eastern highways would default on their debt payments.
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