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Latest group to file suit against EPA: Oil refiners

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The latest suit filed against the Environmental Protection Agency over its new rule allowing the sale of E15 gasoline was filed by the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association Monday, according to the Seattle Times.

The rule allows gas stations to begin selling the ethanol fuel blend for vehicles built since 2007. 

The group claims the agency does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to approve a plan for some engines but not all.

Another group comprised of engine manufacturers filed suit against the EPA over the E15 rule in mid December.

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Lithium batteries cause international trade dispute

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Safety concerns over the air transport of lithium batteries – and proposed federal regulations governing their shipment – has caused some sparks among U.S. trading partners, according to an article in the Washington Post.

A series of meetings have been held between U.S. trade officials and representatives of the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea and Israel, who are lobbying against requiring air shipments of lithium batteries and products containing them to meet hazardous cargo regulations, diplomatic and industry officials told The Associated Press. Foreign trade officials claim that the proposed regulations could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and disrupt the flow of goods into the U.S. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation disputes this number, estimating that its proposal would only cost an addition $9 million a year. Airline pilot unions are pressuring the agency to add the safety precaution because lithium batteries can short circuit and catch fire. They are also difficult to extinguish. 

Lithium batteries have come under suspicion in the United Parcel Service plane crash in Dubai in September 2010. The two pilots, who were killed, reported a cargo compartment fire and smoke so thick they couldn’t see their cockpit instruments. The plane was carrying a cargo of electronics. Investigators suspected that lithium batteries either started or contributed to the fire.

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Store employees thwart identity thief

BY HBSDEALER Staff

 

A man suspected of using stolen credit cards and personal checks to make purchases from a Northern California Home Depot was arrested after sales associates noticed a variety of credit card orders were being shipped to the same residence, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle

Richard Griffin, age 42, allegedly bought equipment from a Home Depot in San Rafael using credit card account info stolen from victims in Tiburon, San Rafael and Pleasanton, as well as checks from a person in Novato.

The suspect made the orders by phone, sometimes saying that a different person besides the cardholder would pick up the merchandise, according to authorities. Griffin also requested the items be delivered to a home in Richmond, investigators said. He allegedly racked up more than $25,000 in purchases. 

Sales associates at Home Depot notified police after they noticed that all the calls came from the same phone number and the purchases were being delivered to the same address. 

A seven-month investigation ensued. The Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force arrested Griffin just before Christmas and found him in possession of a fake California driver’s license and 10 stolen credit cards, according to authorities. 

Griffin is being held at the Marin County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

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