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Was 2014 Really the Warmest Year?

The media is widely reporting 2014 as the warmest year on record, yet the underlying data don't support that conclusion. The data actually lead to a different finding, of 2014 tied with 2010 and 2005 within the margin of error, reflecting ...

Posted January 22, 2015    

How the Oil Price Slump Helps Renewable Energy

Intuition suggests that the current sharp correction in oil prices must be bad for the deployment of renewable and other alternative energy technologies. As the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column noted Wednesday, EV makers like Tesla...

Posted January 19, 2015    

2014 in Review: Shale Energy's First Price Cycle

2014 was an extraordinary year in energy, vividly illustrating both sides of the Chinese proverb about interesting times. Oil market volatility was the big story for much of the year, with the dominance of geopolitical risks finally yielding to...

Posted January 7, 2015    

Is OPEC Washed Up?

OPEC's unwillingness or inability to reduce output to defend high oil prices raises doubts about the cartel's effectiveness and future.Absent cuts by OPEC, it is not yet clear whether the burden of rebalancing oil markets will fall on...

Posted December 29, 2014    

The IEA's Stressful Outlook

The latest long-term forecast from the International Energy Agency suggests that the benefits of today's low oil prices might be temporary, with more volatility ahead.The report focuses on a number of risks, including the adequacy of...

Posted December 8, 2014    

Energy and the New Congress: Beyond Keystone

The Keystone XL pipeline is likely to get another opportunity for approval once the new Congress is sworn in next January. However, it will not be the most important part of a new Congressional energy agenda, and it might not even be the most...

Posted December 1, 2014    

Keystone XL Loses Another Round

The image that will stick with me from the recent failed attempt by Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to avoid a filibuster on her bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is that of her Senate colleague, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) standing next to a...

Posted November 24, 2014    

How Good Is The New Emissions Deal with China?

President Obama's emissions deal with China sets an ambitious target for US CO2 cuts while leaving substantial headroom for emissions growth in China. It will likely compound his problems, domestically, but could have significant influence...

Posted November 17, 2014    

Will Falling Prices Shift Oil Industry's Focus to Cost Reduction?

Lower oil prices may have less impact on US oil production from shale than competitors in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere appear to assume. The cost of  producing tight oil is not static, and US producers have various options for cost reduction,...

Posted November 10, 2014    

China Seizes Opportunity to Fill Its Petroleum Reserve. Should Others?

China is apparently snapping up cheap oil cargoes to fill its strategic petroleum reserve.That might make sense for the US, too, if earmarked for new regional SPRs, rather than refilling the existing one on the Gulf.The Wall St. Journal has...

Posted November 3, 2014    

How Would We Provide Enough Energy For 11 Billion People?

Reconciling energy and environmental concerns was challenging enough when global population seemed headed for a plateau around 9 billion.A new forecast of up to 12 billion people by 2100 raises large questions about the capacity of current energy...

Posted October 29, 2014    

The Impact of the Global 'Sweet' Crude Bulge

The recent slide in global oil prices has been compounded by the pressure that rising US shale oil production is putting on the price of sweet crude benchmarks like Brent.OPEC's producers may suffer as much as those in the US, while consumers...

Posted October 20, 2014