BP failed in its efforts this weekend to stop the worst of the Gulf of Mexico oil leaks with a 98-ton concrete and steel cap. The company said the dome’s aperture became clogged by gas hydrates, and the hydrates also nearly built up to a level that would have lifted and dislodged the the stopper. “I wouldn’t say it has failed yet,” said Doug Suttles, a BP officer, at a news conference Saturday. “What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn’t work.” BP said later this week they will try to plug the hole with rubber. [More]
is in the middle of constructing has built a 100-ton concrete and steel funnel that will be placed over the Gulf of Mexico oil leak to contain it and allow the oil to be pumped onshore. The placement, which I imagine is something like an incredibly stressful large-scale version of The Claw Game, is scheduled for noon eastern today. Will it do the trick? [More]
Is your state the gassiest? This graph over at Infrastructurist compares how much each gas each state uses per person. Green is low use, blue is moderate, and red is high. What’s interesting is when you look at each state’s fuel use per capita, “High-use states like New York actually have low per-capita usage, while states like Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and North Dakota — all states with smaller populations and large distances required for drivers — have higher than average consumption.” [More]
Several states are reporting this morning that average gas prices have crept up slightly, despite the fact that oil consumption has dropped and refiners are operating below capacity. The Miami Herald blames the price creep on Wall Street speculators who are optimistic that the economy is getting better, which in turn will lead to increased gas consumption. [More]
Gas prices have spiked in the last two weeks, reaching levels last seen during the peak of the summer driving season, says the AP. The increase in gas prices has retailers worried that consumers who are putting more money in their gas tanks will buy fewer gifts during the upcoming holiday season.
Without warning, Citi decided to close a swath of gas-station co-branded Mastercard accounts nationwide. The trouble seems to have started October 15. Quan was one of the affected customers and the credit card company was pretty disingenuous about it when called.
Thanks to insurance, auto loan payments and especially gas, it’s your car that owns you and not the other way around. Gas Buddy checks in with some tips on how to cut down on fuel costs.
Sure, switching to a motorcycle or scooter for your highway commute might seem like a good idea, especially if you want to save gasoline and fantasize about gridlock-defying, illegal traffic maneuvers. But while motorcycle commuting has some good points, it probably isn’t going to save you much money over commuting by car.
We thought our love for Wawa was deep and true, then we read this lengthy column in the Washington Post about people getting married at a Wawa or flocking to the stores on 9/11 to regain a sense of community and normalcy.
MSN Money has a list of 10 secrets about gas stations that could cost you money if you don’t know about them. The best ones are about why you shouldn’t use a debit card. For example, some stations will ask banks to place a hold on some of the cash in your account to cover your purchase, and won’t report the real purchase amount for a few days, leaving your cash in limbo.
The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), popularly known as the “cash for clunkers” program, starts next month. Need help picking a suitably fuel-efficient car?
Rain water, not fraud or sabotage, is behind the bad gasoline sold at stations near Baltimore early this week. Hess, the supplier, is covering any damage to customers’ cars caused by the diluted fuel. So, how does this happen?
Things that are headed up these days: unemployment, foreclosures, adorable Pixar characters whose houses are attached to helium ballons, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s ERA and, argh, gas prices. A Russian energy group is predicting oil, which is currently just over $70 a barrel, will eventually pierce the stratosphere at $250, meaning it’ll pretty much be Mad Max time for everyone.
It looks like Shell has finally figured out a way to combine the awesomeness of ice cream with the grilling power of propane. It probably doesn’t taste very good, though. (Thanks to swarrior216!)
Spotted this sign on a Brooklyn BP gas pump last night, taking pains to point out that they are charging customers the same price whether they use cash or credit. Interesting, because last year around this time we ran a few stories about gas stations who doing the opposite. The thing is, credit card companies charge merchants various transaction fees to process the cards. If retailers can’t assess those fees to the customers who actually incur them, the business has to raise prices on everything for everyone.
When the cost of propane shot up to $1.70 or more per gallon last year, propane dealers quietly cut the amount they were putting into refilled tanks without telling customers. Now the cost of propane is under a dollar per gallon, but retailers aren’t increasing the amount back to previous levels.
Vermonters get a better deal on gas than Texans. Fuel expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold, so 5 gallons of “hot fuel” won’t get your car as far as 5 gallons of regular. Oilmen know this, and that’s why at various points in the supply chain volume gets adjusted for the industry standard temperature of 60° F. The retail pump isn’t one of them. That might start to change if a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement with Costco as a defendant goes through. Under the terms, Costco would fix its pumps in the bottom half of the country so that they dispense fuel at 60° F. If it goes through, it would be a precedent-setting consumer victory. After all, you want a Tiger in your tank, not a Heat Miser, don’t you?