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Energy Roundup: Clunkers Says Adieu, Cleaner Oil Sands, Chevron Revs Up Lobby Engine, and More

Cash for clunkers says ba-bye -- The cash for clunkers program, which was revived by a $2 billion lifeline earlier this month, will end Monday. The Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS program, as its officially known, has recorded more than 457,000 dealer transactions worth $1.9 billion in rebates, according to the Department of Transportation. [Source: DOT]

Shell, Exxon roll out cleaner oil sands technology -- Energy giants ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have developed a new process that cuts emissions from extracting crude from sand and mud by up to 15 percent. The process would make Canada's oil sands no more polluting than conventional wells, the companies said. Environmentalists are not impressed and are urging oil companies to do more including the development of carbon capture and storage facilities. [Source: Bloomberg]

Chevron ramps up lobbying effort to tune of $6 million -- Proposed climate change legislation and taxes targeting oil producers has revved up Chevron's lobbying engine in the second quarter. The San Ramon, Calif-based company spent $6 million lobbying, that's nearly double from the same period last year. The energy company's lobbying bill for the first half of the year hit $12.8 million, the fourth-highest for companies and organizations that file disclosure reports. [Source: Forbes]

Environmentalists vow to fight approved oil sands pipeline -- The U.S. State Department issued a permit allowing construction of a pipeline from Canada's oil sands to the U.S., much to the chagrin of environmentalists. Enbridge's pipeline will take crude from Hardisty, Alberta through North Dakota and Minnesota to Superior, Wis. Environmental and Native American groups have already vowed to challenge the permit. [Source: Washington Post]

Renewable energy focus of N. Korean talks -- A North Korean delegation met with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardsonon Thursday initially pushing for one-on-one nuclear talks, but eventually turning discussion to renewable energy. Long-time U.S. policy has been to deny one-on-one meetings and only discusses North Korea's nuclear program in a six-nation forum. [Source: AFP]

Massachusetts give thumbs up to waste-based biofuels-- Waste-based fuels are the only ones guaranteed to meet Massachusetts' new fuel standards, a ruling that could leave algae-, switchgrass- and corn-based producers in the lurch. This isn't a straight up ban. Think of it more as merely an interlude. The state will wait for the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board to agree on ways to analyze the greenhouse gas reductions in those fuels before taking further action. [Source: Scientific American]