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Posts tagged “litigation”

By Robert Rapier on Jun 20, 2011 with 79 responses

Media Misinformation Promotes Dysfunctional Energy Policy

Over the years I have had some enlightening interactions with the news media. I have gradually developed the view that many in the media believe their role is more to entertain than to inform. My naive younger self believed that the media generally presents objective information, which is important to ensure that a well-informed general public makes rational choices. A public that is well-informed about energy issues can elect leaders who legislate sound energy policy. A public that is consistently misinformed on energy issues will elect leaders who legislate the kind of policies that have led us to where we are today. Here I will share three incidents in which the news media put sensationalism ahead of objective journalism. In… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 8, 2009 with no responses

How to Break Through the Blend Wall

By now you have probably heard that the EPA has postponed issuing guidelines on whether to allow ethanol blends of higher than 10% into the gasoline pool. Going up to 15% ethanol blends would allow ethanol producers to put a lot more of their product into the market, which is currently bumping up against the limits of the current 10% ethanol blend allowance. Ethanol producers and proponents have assured us that the higher blends will not damage engines. Small engine makers and boaters are very worried that the higher blends will damage their engines. In fact oil companies, having been mandated to use ethanol, are now facing a class action lawsuit over ethanol blends damaging boat motors. Even the auto… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 9, 2009 with no responses

Answering Reader Questions 2009: Part 4

This marks the final installment of answers to questions recently submitted by readers. This final installment covers the impact of E10 on fuel efficiency, my general optimism (or lack thereof), algal fuel, thermodynamics and energy limitations, Accoya, and litigation. Once again, thanks to the readers who submitted questions, and thanks to those who helped answer them. Without the help I received, this might have been a 10-part series. Here are the links to the previous installments: Part 1 – Covered plasma gasification, natural gas projections, free energy, promising alternative energy technologies, and GTL Part 2 – Covered coal-to-liquids, technology hype, green gasoline, refining improvements, allocation of money toward renewables, electricity consumption, the Automotive X Prize, Big Oil, cellulosic ethanol, and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 3, 2009 with no responses

The Lawyers Win on Hot Gas

I recently wrote an essay called A Lost Litigation Opportunity in which I discussed the root of the so-called ‘hot gas’ issue. I firmly believe that this is all about the big business of lawyers who sue people for a living. The California Energy Commission had ruled out temperature compensation equipment, saying that consumers would pay more because retailers would pass on the cost of the equipment. I thought the issue would now fade away, but a recent story involving Costco suggests that the litigators – like those behind certain ‘consumer organizations’ who have pushed this issue so hard – are starting to profit: Petroleum Marketers Respond to Costco’s Attempt To Settle ‘Fair Fuel’ Lawsuit Here are the interesting bits:… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 18, 2009 with no responses

A Lost Litigation Opportunity

While the so-called ‘hot gas’ issue has been discussed here several times before, there are new developments out in California that have Oil Watchdog and the $295/hr lawyer behind this ‘consumer organization’ crying over lost litigation opportunities. Given the time, effort, and money they have put into this issue, the events described in this essay are quite a blow for them. At least they will now have more time to devote to their other campaigns, such as 1). Stopping oil companies from donating money to universities; and 2). Berating oil companies for not giving enough to universities. (They make more sense if you view them as a satirical site along the lines of The Onion. The only problem is that… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 23, 2009 with 2 responses

Amazing Ethanol Lawsuit Against Oil Companies

I did a double-take when I saw this headline: Ethanol Lawsuit Proceeds against Oil Companies It turns out that oil companies – forced to use ethanol in gasoline despite many protests – are now being sued because ethanol blends can corrode fiberglass tanks in boats. NAPLES, Fla. — A Florida lawsuit against six oil companies that alleges negligence for failing to warn boat owners of potential harm from ethanol-blended gasoline, survived a motion to dismiss from the defendants, reported. Plaintiff attorney Jeffrey Ostrow of Fort Lauderdale said the next step is pursuing certification to become a class-action lawsuit. The intent is to represent all Florida boat owners who have used ethanol-blended fuel and whose boats have been damaged by… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 17, 2007 with no responses

Where I Go for Comic Relief

I am going to have to start issuing my own press releases. That’s what our good friends at Oil Watchdog – the oil-hating arm of the FTCR, like to do. They write their own press releases – daily – and use as reference material other press releases they have written. Their sources are frequently “Insider”, who frequently says very silly things. Not the kind of things an actual insider would say. Things like this: “Oil companies have cut back production in refineries to a mere 87 percent of potential and the surplus in storage tanks is drying up fast.” Sounds like someone never heard of fall turnaround season. You know, that time of year – every year – where utilization… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 17, 2007 with no responses

Hot Gas is a Bunch of Hot Air

The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OIDA) has launched a new website to “educate” people on the issue of hot gas. And by educate, I mean misinform and obfuscate. I can’t help but wonder about their headline story: Hot Fuel Costs Consumers More Than 2.3 Billion Dollars Annually Let’s see, Americans consume 140 billion gallons of gasoline and over 60 billion gallons of diesel each year. That means that even if their headline above was correct, the “rip-off” amounts to just over 1 cent a gallon. And given that pricing is set by supply and demand, what will happen with temperature compensation is that the average gasoline price will go up by just over 1 cent a gallon, plus a… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 5, 2007 with no responses

Hot Gas Issue Heating Up

Several people have asked me about this recently, and it has been in the news quite a bit, so this is a good time for an update. I have previously written 2 essays on the “hot gas” issue: Hot Gas Lawsuit in Utah More on Hot Gas Lawsuit If you are unfamiliar with this, this issue is that most gas pumps are not temperature compensated, so consumers are being “ripped off” on hot summer days. The funny thing is that gas is stored underground, and the temperature is very near the 60 degree temperature a gallon is based upon. Here is a story from USA Today explaining the issue: Motorists sue oil titans, retailers over ‘hot fuel’ losses Think gas… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 27, 2007 with no responses

More on Hot Gas Lawsuit

I really love my Site Meter at the bottom of the page. I check it most days, and it gives me a lot of good information about who is linking to the site and where they are coming from. Incidentally, you can access the same information I can see by clicking on it. Anyway, a few days ago I wrote Hot Gas Lawsuit in Utah. It is about a class action lawsuit that claims that oil companies are making a killing from overcharging customers because gas expands in the summer. According to my Site Meter, I was getting some hits on this article, which I ultimately tracked back to here. The discussion was fine, until one of my beloved fringe… Continue»