By attaching a mile-long pipe to its leaking well, BP is now able to slurp off 1,000 barrels of oil daily. The Gulf of Mexico spill currently emits about 5,000 barrels of oil per day, according to BP/Coast Guard/NOAA estimates, which have been challenged by independent scientists who put the figure more at 70,000 barrels per day, and criticized BP for using methodology specifically not recommended for measuring large oil spills. BP’s response: we’re here to stop the oil, not measure it. Scientists are also concerned that the oil could reach a major stream that would ferry it into the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. Looks like we’re gonna need a bigger milkshake straw. [More]
A tank that customers at an upstate New York Costco gas station thought was full of premium gasoline may have actually dispensed E85 ethanol, damaging engines and fuel systems of cars not designed to deal with the fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85% corn juice and 15% gasoline that can severely damage engines not designed for it. [More]
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]
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]
Last week’s poll on tipping the pizza delivery guy certainly riled a lot of feathers, with over 300 comments on the topic and more than 12,000 votes tallied. It’s also brought up some good questions about tipping from Consumerist readers, like this one from Chad, who has just been introduced to mandatory full-service gas stations in New Jersey. [More]
In news certain to please the Schrute family of Scranton, PA., Shell and youngster biofuel company Virent just announced they’ve started up production at their plant that can convert beet sugar into gasoline and gasoline blend components. [More]
A Pennsylvania man died last Friday in a freak fire at a gas station. Authorities say that the fire was sparked by static electricity on the man’s body, and he died of inhalation of superheated gases. While this type of fire is very rare and fatalities even rarer, they do happen. To prevent them, you should do something terribly mundane: do not ever get back in your car while fueling, and make sure to touch a metal surface before fueling. [More]
Back in the early ’00s, I saw Smart cars zipping around my neighborhood in France and thought, “Europe is so weird! They’d never sell those in the US.” But I was wrong. And the relative success of tiny cars like the Mini Cooper and, the Smart fortwo has led to the inevitable. The world’s cheapest car, India’s Tata Nano, is coming to America and Europe in about three years. [More]
1962! It was a great year if you like large cars, crinolines, the Kennedys, and strangely prescient oil company ads. Humble Oil, which eventually became part of the company we now know as Exxon, ran this ad in Life magazine, and it’s been making the rounds of the Internet since. [More]
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.
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?
Wondering about average gas prices across the country? Overall, they’re up (big surprise) and gasoline is currently cheaper than diesel fuel, too. If you missed it back in May, you can also learn why gas prices keep going up. Spoiler alert: it involves supply and demand. [Consumer Reports Cars]
I just don’t get it. Does Consumerist know of a good media source that has a *current* (i.e., in the last week or two) breakdown of why the heck gasoline prices are rising 10 cents a week and more in the last month?