Diesel Prices Remain High.
The July 25 average U.S. diesel price was $3.949 per gallon, 2.6 cents more than the week before and $1.03 more than the same week a year ago. The Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Energy forecasts diesel will average $3.86 in 2011 and $3.95 in 2012, following an average of $2.99 per gallon in 2010.
Rolling in Green, Brown Sings the Blues.
UPS reported second quarter profits up by 26 percent, but CEO Scott Davis sounded a note of caution in a July 26 conference call with analysts. “While fuel prices have come down some and Japan appears to be recovering, high unemployment and weak consumer confidence continue,” he said. The company’s second quarter profit of $1.7 billion came on a 13 percent increase in international revenue.
New Fracking Rules Impact Oil Producers.
While it seems the government is always coming up with new “fracking” regulations, this week it’s for real, as the EPA released a draft of proposed rule changes that will force domestic oil and gas drillers using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to upgrade their processes and equipment to limit emissions of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants, and monitor compliance from wellheads to transmission and storage.
Riding the Rails.
The Association of American Railroads reports that intermodal traffic for the year’s first 28 reporting weeks ending July 15 was up 7.2 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date container traffic was 7.5 percent above the same period in 2010, with railroad trailer traffic up 5.5 percent.