Valero Energy

How to Keep Banks From Ripping You Off

Banks lost billions in the financial crisis, and now face profit-squeezing regulations. And make no mistake: They're looking at your balance to fix their bottom lines. Here are four ways your bank takes your money, and what you can do to hold on to more of your hard-earned cash.

Ethanol, the Next Generation: Corn Is Out, Cellulose Is In

It has become clear to politicians and scientists that corn-based ethanol isn't the solution for creating a home-grown fuel source. Enter "cellulosic ethanol," made from wood chips, weeds or algae: Is this the fuel of the future? A company called Mascoma is gearing up to prove it is.

Crude Oil Heads for First Quarterly Decline Since 2008

The price of crude oil is heading for its first quarterly drop since 2008 as concerns about the pace of the economic recovery dampen demand. Crude prices have slipped 9 percent in the last three months, despite hitting a 19-month high of over $87 a barrel in May, Reuters reported. Since then, doubts about consumer spending in the United States and China, combined with concerns over a potential debt crisis in Europe, have strengthened the dollar and increased risk aversion. That means weaker demand for commodities such as oil.

Hijacked Oil Tanker Arrives at Somali Pirate Port

Somali pirates in control of the Samho Dream, a 300,000-ton supertanker carrying $200 million worth of formerly U.S.-bound Iraqi crude have arrived off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo, a pirate stronghold.