Posts by Geoffrey Styles Subscribe

2015: A Turning Point for Energy?

2015 was certainly an eventful year in energy, with plummeting oil prices and a widely anticipated global climate conference in December. It's less clear that it was a turning point. When I sifted through the major energy developments of...

Posted February 9, 2016    

An Ill-Conceived Tax Idea

Recently we learned that President Obama's final budget proposal includes a plan to raise money for transportation projects and other uses by imposing a per-barrel tax on US oil companies. Here are a few quick thoughts on this ill-conceived...

Posted February 8, 2016    

Has OPEC Lost Control of the Price of Oil?

The shale revolution effectively sidelined OPEC's control over global oil prices, but the consequences of a year of low prices are shifting power back to the cartel.In the aftermath of another inconclusive meeting of the Organization of Petroleum...

Posted December 30, 2015    

A Grand Compromise on Energy?

The idea of  a Congressional "grand compromise" on energy has been debated for years. A decade ago, such an agreement might have opened up access for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in exchange for "cap and trade...

Posted December 17, 2015    

Shrinking the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the Congressional budget compromise raises serious questions about the SPR's future role.Shrinking the SPR without first bringing its coverage into line with 21st century needs...

Posted November 24, 2015    

The Keystone Rejection and the Shift Back toward OPEC

Although the International Energy Agency's latest warning of future energy security risks doesn't mention the Keystone XL pipeline, it provides important context for assessing President Obama's decision turning down that project'...

Posted November 16, 2015    

VW Scandal Puts Diesel's Future at Risk

If the VW scandal sours consumers on diesel cars, the potential winners and losers extend well beyond the auto industry.European refineries look especially vulnerable to such a shift, while US refiners, along with manufacturers of electric vehicles...

Posted October 30, 2015    

What the Congressional Hearing on Volkswagen Missed

I made time in my schedule to watch yesterday's Congressional hearing on the VW scandal on C-SPAN. It left me with very much the same sense tweeted by Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal, though perhaps for different reasons:Similarly to the...

Posted October 12, 2015    

How Shale Reduced U.S. Energy Risks from Hurricanes

The Gulf of Mexico will be a key region for energy supplies for years to come, but shale development has boosted output elsewhere to such an extent that the US is much less vulnerable than a decade ago to shortages resulting from hurricanes.Just in...

Posted October 2, 2015    

The Fallout from Volkswagen's "Defeat Device"

The repercussions from VW's error in judgment seem likely to extend beyond the hit to their reputation and stock price, and the unnecessary extra pollution from these cars.This incident will make a useful, fuel-saving alternative to gasoline...

Posted September 24, 2015    

The Return of Iran's Oil

If approved by all parties the negotiated nuclear agreement with Iraq could affect energy markets both directly and indirectly. By adding to the current global oil glut, it would make big oil projects elsewhere riskier, while undermining outdated...

Posted August 13, 2015    

Energy Storage and the Cost of Going Off-Grid

 New energy storage offerings from Tesla and other manufacturers are widely expected to enhance the attractiveness of rooftop solar power and other renewables.However, recent analysis from the Brattle Group shows that even with rapid cost...

Posted July 8, 2015