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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: November 30, 2006 5:10 p.m.

Crude-oil futures topped $63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and finished at their highest level in more than 2 months, as supply concerns mounted.

Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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•More on Tap From Tesla: After starting deliveries of its $100,000 battery-powered sports car next year, Tesla Motors plans to develop a less-expensive four-door car and then perhaps a compact car that can sell for $30,000 to $40,000, Chief Executive Martin Eberhard said at the Los Angeles auto show.

•Long-Shot Campaign Begins: Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack launched his long-shot bid for the presidency, calling for an end to U.S. dependence on foreign oil in favor of alternative energy sources. The Democrat is a prominent proponent of ethanol, biodiesel and wind power.

•Ethanol Demand Lifts Corn Prices: The ethanol industry’s growing appetite for corn has pushed prices for the grain to their highest levels in a decade amid a surge that agricultural experts say could lead farmers next spring to plant their largest corn crop in 60 years.

•EPA Plan Abandoned: The Bush administration, looking at the prospect of stronger oversight from a Democratic-led Congress, is withdrawing a proposal to let big polluters report less often on what they spew from their smokestacks.

•Questioning Russia’s Oil Reliance: The strength of Russia’s economy depends on high oil prices, which has some experts worried, Bloomberg reports.

•Energy Stocks Back in Favor: Don’t look now, but the S&P Energy Index is sitting at another all-time high, MarketBeat points out.

•New Ways to Bet on Oil: Also in MarketBeat, two new securities that represent bets on the price of oil have begun trading on the American Stock Exchange. The new instruments will allow investors to profit even if oil’s price falls.

•Warp Speed: The ethanol of the future? Matter/antimatter annihilation, per physicist Stephen Hawking.

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