March 21st marks the start of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness, and you know what that means; an unproductive work force. Managers and HR departments struggle to keep their employees operating at a normal production level, and according to Chris Morris from www.fortune.com, “the average worker will spend up to six paid hours focusing on sports related activities during the tournament.”
Two major investment banks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays, have recently predicted that oil prices in the medium-term will remain locked in around $60/barrel until 2024. Bank of America believes that crude prices will bounce between $50/barrel and $70/barrel, but will remain centered around $60/barrel and most likely won’t leave that range. Barclays largely agrees with Bank of America in the belief that the volatility won’t continue and we’ll have relatively stable oil prices through the mid-2020s.
Everyone involved in the world of commercial trucking is familiar with the term IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement), but not everyone knows why IFTA exists and what its intended functions are. IFTA is an agreement between the majority of U.S. states and the majority of Canadian provinces designed to simplify the way that commercial truck or bus drivers who travel through multiple tax jurisdictions report the taxes on the fuel they purchase.
The evolution of technology in the world of trucking took another step forward at the close of 2018. Companies like Stoneridge, Inc are focusing on new ways to improve driver safety and fuel efficiency by increasing driver vision through the use of Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS). According to the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted Stoneridge a five-year exemption from federal law requiring conventional rear-vision mirrors to allow trucks to use their multi-camera angle MirrorEye system as a replacement to standard rear-vision side mirrors.
The University of Pittsburgh has always been regarded as a world class research institution, and now they are taking that reputation into the world of natural gas. Researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering were recently awarded a $1.76 million grant from the Department of Energy to conduct testing on a new method for treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. University of Pitt is teaming up with EQT, a Pittsburgh-based natural gas company, and Aquatech International LLC, a wastewater treatment company, to develop their new method.