Tag Archives: fuel

Unstable weather to fuel Oregon blaze that is now larger than NYC

The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon is now 976 square kilometres and largely uncontained, authorities say.

Dry, unstable and windy conditions are expected to continue fuelling a massive wildfire in the US state of Oregon, forecasters said, as firefighters battle the largely uncontained blaze that is now larger than the area of New York City.

More than 2,100 firefighters were again struggling to contain the vast Bootleg Fire raging in southern Oregon, near the border with California, while some were forced to retreat as the fire spread amid the fourth intense heatwave of the summer.

California, hit by its own wildfires, vowed to send firefighters to help out in Oregon.

An initial review on Friday showed the Bootleg Fire destroyed 67 homes and 117 outbuildings overnight in one county, while forcing 2,000 people to evacuate. Another 5,000 buildings, including homes and smaller structures in a rural area just north of the California border, are also threatened, fire spokeswoman Holly Krake said.

Active flames are surging along 322km (200 miles) of the fire’s perimeter, she said, and it is expected to merge with a smaller, but equally explosive fire by nightfall.

The Bootleg Fire is now 976 square kilometres (377 square miles) – larger than the area of New York City – and remains just seven percent controlled, according to the InciWeb website.

“(The) fire remains very active with significant acreage increases due to hot, dry, and breezy conditions,” the official site said.

“We’re likely going to continue to see fire growth over miles and miles of active fire line,” Krake said. “We are continuing to add thousands of acres a day, and it has the potential each day, looking forward into the weekend, to continue those three to four-mile runs.”

Smoke rises from the Dixie Fire burning along Highway 70 in Plumas National Forest, California, on July 16 [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

A red flag weather warning was issued for the area through Saturday night.

“We have had record heat, and just all the worst possible conditions at one time,” Suzanne Flory, a US Forest Service spokesperson, told the Oregonian newspaper.

Extreme heat and drought conditions have fuelled wildfires in the western United States and Canada in recent weeks – and stretched firefighting resources to their limits.

Canada is bringing in some 100 firefighters from Mexico to bolster their exhausted counterparts in northwestern Ontario, provincial authorities announced.

Canadian officials anticipate high temperatures in coming days from Alberta to Ontario – though nothing like the record 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.6 degrees Celsius) recorded near Vancouver three weeks ago.

That heatwave contributed to hundreds of deaths in British Columbia alone, authorities said.

Meanwhile, air quality alerts were issued across four western Canadian provinces.

Scientists say the current heatwaves would have been “virtually impossible” without human-caused climate change.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

‘Little to lose’: Poverty and despair fuel South Africa’s unrest

Johannesburg, South Africa – South Africa is facing its worst unrest in decades as protests over the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma have led to spiralling violence and looting.

At least 72 people have died in six consecutive days of violent clashes between police and protesters and in stampedes by looting mobs. More than 1,200 people have been arrested so far.

What initially started as a protest against the jailing of Zuma on Friday for contempt of court has mushroomed into grievances over inequality and poverty that have rocked the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has deployed 2,500 soldiers to Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal, the two provincial epicentres of the unrest, to aid police that have been largely outnumbered and unable to deal with the unfolding chaos.

“Communities left behind in the world’s most unequal society feel angered by the system and are lashing out,” Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera.

“This anger has been bubbling below the surface for decades and we might be experiencing a revolution of the poor that is being taken advantage of by criminals who benefit from the revolt and unrest.”

‘We are hungry’

Thousands of businesses have been ransacked or forced to close their doors for fear of violence.

“We are not open because we will be looted of equipment that took us decades to afford and my staff of 14 must stay at home until its safe,” Humphrey Jeffries*, owner of a trucking components business in the Johannesburg Central Business District, told Al Jazeera.

“After 48 years of being in business, we face the real prospect of lay-offs and even closure now. We managed to get through the initial COVID-19 madness of lockdowns but this is too much now.”

Entrances to city centres, industrial areas, townships and even suburbs having been blocked off by protesters barricading roads and burning tyres [Nickolaus Bauer/Al Jazeera]

So far 200 malls and shopping centres countrywide have been forced to close by the violence, with everything from food supplies and medicines to flat-screen TVs and clothing being carried off during the looting.

Jabulani Mall in Soweto, the country’s biggest township, has been completely gutted by looting and vandalism. Business owners tried to rescue the little stock left behind under the watchful eye of security forces, who were just managing to keep protesting crowds at bay.

“People started breaking into shops and stealing because we want former President Jacob Zuma released,” Msizi Khoza, one of the protesters, told Al Jazeera.

“But even if the president does do that, [looting] will carry on because we are hungry too and need things to survive.”

The South African economy had rebounded somewhat since the onset of COVID-19 with gross domestic product (GDP) growth predicted to be up to 3.1 percent in 2021 by the nation’s treasury.

But unemployment has grown to more than 32 percent in a society classified as one of the most unequal in the world, with a Gini-Coefficient of 63 and more than half the population living in poverty.

The country’s economic recovery has also been compromised by yet another lockdown as South Africa battles a third wave of the coronavirus that has seen more than 2,500 deaths in the past week alone.

“People are under a lot of pressure and crime and lawlessness has always been a risk in the South African economy,” economist Xhanti Payi told Al Jazeera.

“But this kind of instability cripples any attempt to reconstruct this economy for the benefit of all and the poorest of the poor will lose the most from this with more job losses and government finances unable to support people joining the poverty line.”

Protests spreading

Even after the armed forces’ deployment, unrest continues to rage and has now spread to the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces.

With the country’s logistical supply chains fast becoming affected, fuel, food and medicine shortages are now predicted to be only days away.

“The main transport artery from Africa’s biggest port in Durban to South Africa’s economic capital of Johannesburg is closed holding up 6,000 trucks a day,” transport and logistics expert Mike Schussler told Al Jazeera.

“So this is not only going to affect this country but it will have a nasty knock-on effect to the rest of the Southern Africa region and the rest of the continent.”

Security analyst Helmoed Heitman told Al Jazeera that while the unrest was partly explained as actions of a desperate populace living in poverty, it was also spurred by political opportunism.

“There’s two sides to this: a mass of people with no hope of a future and very little to lose by protesting and looting, alongside a political clash over the future of the country as those aligned with former President Jacob Zuma stand to benefit from the violence and breakdown of law and order.”

*Name changed for fear of being targeted by protesters.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

Brussels targets aviation fuel tax in drive to reduce carbon emissions

Brussels will set out plans this week to increase taxes on polluting fuels and introduce an EU-wide levy on aviation kerosene for the first time, under measures intended to put it at the forefront of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. 

The European Commission will propose a revamp of its 15-year-old rule book on carbon taxes to provide an incentive for low-emissions fuel and impose levies on heavily polluting energy used in the airline and shipping industry. The measure is one of a dozen policies to be unveiled on Wednesday to ensure the EU can meet a goal of reducing average carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. Others include an extension of the EU’s emissions trading scheme, tougher CO2 rules for cars and a carbon levy on some imports.

A draft legal text of the energy taxation directive, seen by the Financial Times, proposes gradually increasing minimum rates on the most polluting fuels such as petrol, diesel and kerosene used as jet-fuel over a period of 10 years. Zero-emissions fuels, green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels will face no levies for a decade under the proposed system. 

The “Fit for 55” package puts the EU at the vanguard of decarbonisation efforts but the proposals risk a backlash from some governments and the public.

Introducing environmental taxes is likely to be among the most politically sensitive measures in the commission’s plans. Unlike most of Brussels’ new green policies, updating the energy taxation directive will require unanimous backing from the EU’s 27 member states to become a reality. 

Paolo Gentiloni, Brussels economics commissioner, has called the reform a “now or never moment”.

“Paradoxically, [the current energy taxation directive] is incentivising fossil fuels and not environmentally friendly fuels. We have to change this”, Gentiloni said at a meeting of G20 finance ministers this weekend. 

The EU’s energy taxation rules date back to 2006 and have created a system that “favours fossil fuel use” owing to a series of exemptions and loopholes for dirty energy across different member states, according to the text. The directive is designed to set a series of minimum tax rates for energy products across the bloc. 

One of the big changes being proposed is an end to exemptions for heavily polluting fuels such as kerosene used in aviation. The draft says jet fuel used in intra-EU flights should be subject to a new minimum rate of taxation, the details of which have not yet been decided, said officials. The rules should, however, exempt cargo-only flights, and apply lower rates for non-commercial flights, according to the draft. 

Although a kerosene tax has been welcomed by many EU countries, it has sparked resistance from the aviation industry. Brussels is also planning to phase out free carbon credits provided to the sector under its ETS. Along with the taxation rules, the phase out of free allowances would significantly increase the pressure on aviation to reduce its emissions or pay for polluting. 

The draft says gradually increasing minimum taxes during a ten-year transition would help avoid the problem of “double taxation” for the maritime and aviation industries which risk being subject to two forms of CO2 pricing. 

Airline group A4E has said new carbon taxes for the sector are “ecologically and economically counterproductive” and that market-based carbon pricing should be the only main form of CO2 pricing placed on the industry. 

“An intra-EU kerosene tax could lead to a competitive distortion within Europe’s internal market and globally,” said A4E. “A possible kerosene tax that would set minimum tax rates for intra-EU flights is likely to have the most negative impact, as it may open the door to different rates inside the single market.”

Who is at fault for causing the recent US fuel shortage? RT’s Boom Bust wants to know

21 May, 2021 12:41

In a fresh twist to the ongoing US fuel shortage saga, executives at Colonial Pipeline may be responsible for the shutdown which led to a gasoline crisis on the US East Coast, not the hackers.

It reportedly took the company an hour to shut down the conduit that remained inoperable for six days. The step was allegedly taken to prevent the damage from spreading to the pipeline’s operational control.

READ MORE: Colonial Pipeline hackers reportedly bagged $ 90 MILLION in bitcoin before shutting down

RT’s Boom Bust is joined by the show’s co-host and investigative journalist Ben Swann to find out how the company could make a decision that had such a massive impact on US energy supply.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

US gasoline prices stuck at 7-Year highs as East Coast fuel shortages continue

Gasoline prices remained elevated, with many stations staying shut despite the restart of operations at the Colonial Pipeline network following the May 7 cyberattack.

Reuters reports prices were at the highest in seven years, and almost 11,670 gas stations remained closed on Monday, according to data from GasBuddy. The latest data from the company shows a decline in that number, to 11,217 stations.

GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan also said that as of 9 pm on Monday, 73 percent of fuel stations in Washington DC were still out of gasoline—the nation’s capital was the hardest hit by fuel shortages, with close to 90 percent of stations out of fuel at the end of last week.
Also on rt.com Colonial Pipeline hackers reportedly bagged $ 90 MILLION in bitcoin before shutting down
A ransomware attack shut down the Colonial Pipeline network on May 7, cutting off some 45 percent of gasoline and diesel supply for the East Coast and prompting government agencies to scramble for alternative methods of transportation and granting temporary waivers from legislative restrictions for the transportation of fuels such as the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign-flagged vessels from moving between US ports.

At the same time, the shutdown prompted thousands to make a run on gas stations in most of the East Coast, despite calls against panic buying. This led to some thousand stations warning that they were running out of gasoline and diesel last week. According to Energy Secretary Granholm, rural areas in the Southeast were likely to start receiving fuels at a normal rate by last weekend. The panic buying spree sent the national US average gasoline price above $ 3 per gallon for the first time since 2014.

“The Southeast will continue to experience tight supply this week as terminals and gas stations are refueled,” an AAA spokeswoman said, as quoted by Reuters. “Over the weekend, gas prices started to stabilize, but are expected to fluctuate in the lead up to Memorial Day weekend.”

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

US fuel crisis eases after cyberattack, but many petrol pumps remain dry

The gasoline shortage crisis on the US East Coast is slowly abating, according to industry data. The modest recovery comes as the country’s largest fuel pipeline was brought back to normal operations after a cyberattack.

Even though outages slightly eased in many states, data from tracking firm GasBuddy showed that the amount of empty fueling stations in Washington, DC was still high, at 83%. At least a third of gas stations were without fuel in Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. 

Overall, some 12,870 stations across the country were experiencing outages as of Sunday, down from 13,450 on Saturday and a peak of more than 16,000, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

The six-day shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline network, the biggest fuel-carrying infrastructure facility in the United States, which supplies almost half of the gasoline and diesel that the East Coast consumes, was prompted by a ransomware cyberattack.
Also on rt.com Oil pipeline cyberattack exposes America’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure security crisis
The attack forced the Colonial Pipeline Company, the pipeline’s operator, to halt supplies to the entire network for nearly a week, which sent fuel prices to their highest level in years. 

Colonial said on Saturday it had returned the system to normal operations. The same day US gasoline demand dropped nearly 15% from a week earlier as drivers reduced panic hoarding.

“Colonial Pipeline is currently shipping at normal rates, based on shipper nominations,” company spokesman Eric Abercrombie told Reuters, adding that “It will take some time for the supply chain to fully catch up.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Drivers struggle to find fuel in U.S. Southeast as pipeline begins restart

Drivers struggle to find fuel in U.S. Southeast as pipeline begins restart© Reuters. An out of service fuel nozzle is covered in plastic on a gas pump at a gas station in Asheville, North Carolina, after a gasoline supply crunch caused by the Colonial Pipeline hack, May 11, 2021. Martin Brossman via REUTER

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Drivers in the U.S. Southeast struggled to find gasoline on Thursday, with most pumps in the region dry after days of panic buying, triggered by a major pipeline shutdown.

The Colonial Pipeline, which shut on Friday after a ransomware cyberattack, announced it had begun the restart process but would take days to resume normal operations. That could leave retail stations scrambling for supply for the rest of this week.

Around 70% of gas stations in the state of North Carolina were without fuel, along with about half the stations in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, according to tracking firm GasBuddy.

Nicole Guy, a leasing agent in Atlanta, spent much of Thursday morning driving from one shuttered gas station to another in a desperate attempt to refill her tank, before pulling over to gather her thoughts.

“My sister paid $ 3.50 at the pump last night for her car,” she said. “I thought if I went looking today I’d find a better deal. I never paid that much at the pump.”

She said she was about to call friends for help finding fuel: “Maybe one of them knows of a spot,” Guy said. “Otherwise I’ll keep looking.”

The average national gasoline price rose above $ 3.00 a gallon, the highest since October 2014, the American Automobile Association said, and prices in some areas jumped as much as 11 cents in a day.

The Colonial system carries 100 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to the East Coast, nearly half the region’s supply. Motorists’ tempers have frayed in recent days as panic buying led stations to run out even where normal wholesale deliveries were still being made.

State and federal authorities pleaded with motorists not to hoard, saying stockpiling would only make matters worse.

Levi Edison, 33, a contractor from the city Social Circle, Georgia, about 50 miles east of Atlanta, said he has weathered the fuel crisis with ease in his Dodge Ram 2500.

“It holds 34 gallons – diesel,” he said while filing up at a Shell (LON:) Station in East Atlanta on Thursday morning. “I ain’t had no problem, but I feel for most everyone who’s had.”

“I think if they all calmed down a little and didn’t load up when they don’t need it, it would be better for everybody. But that’s human nature I guess. Just can’t wait.”

Katlyn Norton, 29, a stay-at-home mother of two from Mobile, Alabama, was in Atlanta Thursday visiting relatives and to take her children to the Atlanta Aquarium.

She filled up her GMC SUV at a Texaco in Midtown Atlanta charging about $ 3.43 a gallon for regular unleaded.

“We were supposed to head home today, but I’m not sure we’d get enough gas to make it,” Norton said of the roughly five-hour trip to head more than 300 miles southwest.

“We thought about trying our luck, but with the kids, I think we’d better stay put. Better to be safe.”

By Rich McKay

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Classic car owners 'shouldn’t be worried' about new E10 fuel changes launched this year

Classic car owners have been repeatedly warned over the new fuel changes set to be introduced in September over fears the new petrol could corrode parts. However, David Bond, spokesperson for classic car insurance specialists Footman James, said drivers should not fear the new changes which will have little impact on them at all.
He said most petrol stations will continue to stock “both grades of petrol” for the time being meaning classic owners can continue to use the fuel they know.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There’s already an agreement in terms of petrol stations needing to be selling E5 petrol where there is a certain volume of petrol being sold.

In time that may dwindle. But at the same time the history of cars has been about innovation, development.

“[Manufacturers] are already looking at things like synthetic fuels.”

READ MORE: New E10 fuel changes to add £6 to petrol costs

The DfT has confirmed there is a commitment to keep E5 fuel available for the time being.

However, the DfT has said this will be reviewed within five years to ensure continuing to sell E5 “remains appropriate”.

This means E5 fuel may not continue to be sold at forecourts past this date but experts warn classic car owners will not be forgotten.

The DfT said a review after five years would consider whether there is a viable and widely available alternative for owners of older cars.

“You look at what that might mean for the petrol station which will be offering those fuel types.

“You might change the way you fill on and so on.

“By the time it comes to a point when there is no E5 I think cars will have adapted.

“I think the message is the car industry has faced many challenges over the years and it has learned to adapt.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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