According to Reuters.com, the cost of gasoline has gone up considerably this August. Gas prices across the nation have hit an average of $3.86 per gallon, an all-time high for 2023. This is a 7% increase over prices that were seen just one month ago. In certain states, such as California and Washington, the cost has risen above $5.00 per gallon.
The abnormal timing of this price increase has some people perplexed. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at price tracker GasBuddy.com noted that, “We tend to see prices declining going into the fall.”
The price jump can be attributed to several refineries that are closed for maintenance. This impacts the available supply of oil. Heat waves, like those the United States has experienced this summer, also affect refinery production.
Despite the steep cost of filling the tank, gas prices are still below where they were in August of 2022. Labor Day travelers may still hope to get some relief at the pump.
In an effort to increase awareness about climate change, scientists in Australia are busy experimenting with printed solar panels. The team from the University of Newcastle is getting the newly invented panels ready for a 15,100-km (9,400-mile) trip in a Tesla electric car which will begin in September.
Charge Around Australia is a project that plans to power a Tesla vehicle using 18 of these special solar panels. With each plastic panel measuring 18 meters (59 feet) long, they are meant to be rolled out on the ground to absorb sunlight in order to charge. Created from laminated PET plastic, the printed solar is lightweight and costs less than $10 per square meter.
According to Paul Dastoor, the developer of the panels and coordinator of the project, the plan is twofold: the first purpose is to check the durability of the plastic panels and the second is to test the possibility of using the panels for other purposes in the future. He explained, “This is actually an ideal test bed to give us information about how we would go about using and powering technology in other remote locations, for example, in space.”
The 84-day journey is sure to raise interest in the effects of climate change. The team’s findings will have significant impact in the use of sustainable energy and solutions for the security of our planet.
Darren Woods, CEO and Chairman of Exon Mobil, said last week that his company will be investing about $50 billion in the development of the US oil business over the next 5 years.
Woods said that Exxon is able to make such an investment due to the company’s strength and because of the recently-passed tax law which will slash corporate tax in the USA.
The money will be used to boost oil production in Texas and New Mexico, and to build new manufacturing facilities.
Woods added that the investments are good quality for shareholders which are made even better by the new tax landscape.
Many business leaders have come out in favor of the tax reform plan, which lowers corporate taxes from 35% down to 21%. Republicans were especially happy with the law, saying it will fuel growth and create more jobs. Democrats are not as pleased, saying the reforms favor the rich and expands the federal budget deficit.
In order to generate cash and improve liquidity, commodity trader Noble Group Ltd. Inked a deal to purchase its American energy business to US power generation company Calpine Corporation for $1.05 billion.
The deal is the latest action in a series of undertakings designed to lower its debt as well as improve its reputation. Shares of Noble have staggered badly since February 2015, when an anonymous research group accused it of questionable accounting methods. Noble insists it did nothing wrong, and even accelerated disclosures. Poor showing of commodity prices did not help the poor earnings experienced by the company.
Therefore, in order to create cash and ease liquidity, Noble announced a series of sales of assets and reduced expenditures.
In a statement released to the Singapore Exchange, Noble announced that it will receive $800 million for Noble Americas Energy Solutions. It will be paid an additional $248 million for the US unit’s working capital.
Calpine describes itself as America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources. In July it its third quarterly loss in a row.
In order to comply with legislation enacted ten years ago, the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a small increase in the amount of renewable fuels blended into gasoline. Neither oil producers nor biofuel producers are happy with the percentages.
This year’s gasoline supply will have to have 16.93 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels mixed into it; while the 2016 supply will have to include 18.11 billion gallons of renewable fuel. Too much for big oil, but not enough for ethanol farmers.
The numbers are a compromise; they are above the levels proposed by the EPA in May, but are substantially lower than the amounts mandated by law, which refiners have said are “unrealistic.”
“With today’s final rule, and as Congress intended, EPA is establishing volumes that go beyond historic levels and grow the amount of biofuel in the market over time,” announced Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. She added that the final rule will “provide for ambitious, achievable growth.”
In 2005 Congress initiated a program to slowly but steadily increase the percentage of biofuels to be blended into the US gasoline supply. The law was enacted with two goals in mind: to help free the US from its dependence on foreign sources of oil for gasoline, and to also reduce the carbon footprint of gasoline emissions. The fight over amounts of biofuels to be mixed in has pitted oil companies against farmers in the mid-west, where corn is grown to be the source for ethanol, and important biofuel.