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Drill Bits: Holiday Energy Reads

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. As the world slows down this week, here are some energy reads to keep you occupied:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf-4lCsLlpg

The Inquirer takes a look at how oil from North Dakota shale formations is breathing new life into Philadelphia-area refineries.

Oil from the Bakken  and natural gas from the Marcellus were two of the big factors that NPR’s Weekend Edition recently explored, when it evaluated 2012′s year in energy.

Also from Weekend Edition: Wind and solar power had a big 2012 – though an expiring federal tax credit will put a dent in new wind development, whether or not it’s extended this week.

Climate change is opening up new sea routes. The New Yorker went along for the ride this summer, as a freighter cut through the Arctic Circle  to deliver iron ore from Russia to China.

Last week StateImpact broke the news that a businessman with ties to the drilling industry had funded a July 2011 vacation for Governor Corbett. The Inquirer followed up this weekend with a broader look at Corbett’s ties to donors, including details about a weekend retreat the governor and administration officials held with top backers.

Gasoline prices recently dropped to their lowest levels all year, but 2012 will still set a new cost record. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was more than $3.60. That’s nine cents higher than the previous mark, which was set last year. (Bloomberg; Post-Gazette)

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