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Chinese government to 'declare war' on smog
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government will "declare war" on smog by taking high-emission vehicles off the road and closing coal-fired plants.
Pollution is "nature's red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development," Li said on Wednesday in what is China's equivalent of the State of the Union address.
China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, with the U.S. coming in second.
"Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people's lives and the future of our nation," Li said.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has vowed to make climate change and greenhouse gas emissions a priority in diplomatic efforts. China and the U.S. will be prominent players in achieving a substantial treaty at the 2015 Paris climate talks.
Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending February 28, 2014
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 15.2 million barrels per day during the week ending February 28, 2014, 87 thousand barrels per day less than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.4% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging over 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.6 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 7.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 75 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.4 million barrels per day, 3.2% below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 330 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 404 thousand barrels per day last week.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.4 million barrels from the previous week. At 363.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the middle of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 1.6 million barrels last week, but are above the upper half of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week but are below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories rose 0.5 million barrels last week but are near the lower limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels last week.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged about 18.5 million barrels per day, down by 0.8% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline
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Mark S. Mellman: Max support for minimum wage
One need look no further than the minimum wage to find evidence that Republicans are wildly out of touch.
A year ago, every single Republican member of the House voted against increasing the minimum wage. More recently, Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner one-upped his primary opponents by demanding a reduction in the minimum wage. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) went even further, backing complete repeal of the minimum wage.
Yet, since November alone, no fewer than eight different nonpartisan public polls by six different pollsters have demonstrated overwhelming public support for increasing the minimum wage. Though the questions have differed, support has ranged from 65 percent to 76 percent. On average, Americans favored an increase in the minimum wage by a 43-point margin.
Indeed, in each of the polls for which a partisan breakdown is available, huge majorities of independents and at least pluralities, and often majorities, of rank-and-file Republicans join nearly all Democrats in supporting a minimum wage hike.
Even groups that are not congenial to the idea have been unable to find opposition. Reason, the self-styled magazine of “free minds and free markets,” which espouses libertarian views, conducted a poll in December that found 72 percent favoring a minimum wage increase, with just 26 percent opposed. In that survey, 88 percent of Democrats joined 70 percent of independents and 55 percent of Republicans in supporting a higher minimum wage.
Republicans revealed some interesting divisions, however, that could help explain the solid phalanx of “noes” among GOP politicians. Sixty-three percent of Republicans who make less than $60,000 a year support raising the minimum wage, while only 35 percent of Republicans making more than $60,000 a year favor an increase. Similarly, 64 percent of young Republicans support raising the minimum wage, compared to
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EPA Tier 3 rule sets E10 as new test fuel
By Holly Jessen | March 03, 2014
The U.S. EPA final rule for emission standards for cars and gasoline made E10 the new federal emissions test fuel, finalized specifications for E85 test fuel for flex-fuel vehicles (FFV) and left the door open for vehicle manufacturers to request approval for alternative certification fuel, such as E30, for vehicles optimized for that fuel.
“It’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread; but at least there’s dough in the machine,” said Advanced Biofuels USA’s vehicle emissions expert, Robert Kozak, in a press release. In other words, the standards, known as Tier 3 rules, don’t contain everything the ethanol industry could have hoped for, but it did include some positive elements.
The final rule requires that all Tier 3 light duty and chassis-certified heavy-duty gasoline vehicles be certified on E10. The test fuel will be used for new vehicle certification, assembly lines and in-use testing. The EPA considered a change in the volatility of the fuel, or pounds per square inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure, but ultimately concluded that an RVP of 9 psi should be maintained for the E10 test fuel.
General Motors addressed the fact that E10, rather than straight gasoline, is now the new test fuel. “We commend EPA for selecting a certification fuel that is representative of in-use fuels,” the company said in a prepared statement. “This allows OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to optimize vehicle performance to an actual fuel that our customers use nationwide.”
In addition, finalizing specifications for an E85 emissions test fuel for FFVs will help resolve uncertainty and confusion, the EPA said. The agency also said that it intended to finalize in-use fuel quality standards for E51 to E83 and possibly E16 to E50 as well but wasn’t able to do it in time to include it in this final rule. “As the number of flex-fuel vehicles in the in-use fleet increases, it is becoming increasingly im