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Monday, Jul 06th

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Alaskan Villages Will Get Free Citgo Heating Fuel Again

Millions of dollars in free heating fuel will flow through Alaska villages early next month courtesy of a controversial giveaway program paid for by the Venezuelan government.

The sooner the better, say many villagers and rural nonprofits who appear more concerned about their towering energy bills than international politics.

Some Alaska village families, along with people in other economically depressed areas of the United States, have come to count on the extra fuel from the Venezuelan-owned oil company, Citgo.

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Oil producers running out of storage space

As demand for crude has plummeted, the world suddenly finds itself awash in oil that has nowhere to go.

It’s been less than a year since oil prices hit record highs. But now producers and traders are struggling with the new reality: The world wants less oil, not more. And turning off the spigot is about as easy as turning around one of those tankers.

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Sun-powered device converts CO2 into fuel

Powered only by natural sunlight, an array of nanotubes is able to convert a mixture of carbon dioxide and water vapour into natural gas at unprecedented rates.

Such devices offer a new way to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into fuel or other chemicals to cut the effect of fossil fuel emissions on global climate, says Craig Grimes, from Pennsylvania State University, whose team came up with the device.

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Aptera 2e

Better yet, the 2e is scheduled to begin rolling off the Vista, California, assembly line this October for an as-yet-to-be-determined price between $25,000 and $40,000. Charge it overnight from your 110-volt home outlet, and it's claimed to have a range of 100 miles...in the carpool lane, if you wish.

Pie in the sky? Nope. The business model looks sound; nearly 4000 deposits have been placed (Robin Williams among the clientele), enthusiastic investors are locked in, and co-founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony have assembled a team that balances Detroit low-volume niche-production experience with California "anything is possible" attitude.

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A Wind Turbine for Every Rooftop?

These days, there are more and more options for those of you who want a small wind turbine out in the yard or on your roof. They range from the standard to the somewhat bizarre, and come in sizes that can power several major appliances all the way up to your whole house and beyond. In the right conditions, wind power can be much more economical than other renewable energy options such as solar or geothermal.

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Citgo to suspend heating oil aid for U.S. poor

Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corp., the U.S. fuels and refining unit of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, plans to suspend its program to provide discounted heating oil to poor U.S. communities, according to Citizens Energy, a nonprofit which helps Citgo distribute the heating oil.

Citizens Energy chairman Joseph Kennedy said in a statement Monday that Citgo was calling off its heating oil aid programs in the United States due to "falling oil prices and the world economic crisis."

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Report: Toyota developing solar powered green car

Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported Thursday.

The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market.

According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.

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