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UK Nuclear Deal Is A Bet on Baseload Power

An agreement to build the UK's first new nuclear power plants since 1995 endorses the role of baseload generation in the future low-emission energy mix.Rather than constituting a choice of nuclear instead of renewables, this looks like nuclear plus...

Posted October 24, 2013    

Study Sheds Light on the Environmental Impact of Shale Gas

The view that methane leaks render shale gas "worse than coal" has been further undermined by the release of a new study based on actual measurements at hundreds of gas wells. Previous estimates of methane leakage relied on modeling or...

Posted October 22, 2013    

As US Oil Production Revives, New Vulnerabilities Appear

The expansion of US oil production is centered in a handful of states, and in particular two whose gains more than offset declines in two former production leaders.For various reasons the West Coast has missed out on this revival, straining...

Posted October 7, 2013    

Would An Emissions Deal Break the Keystone XL Deadlock?

A Canadian proposal to facilitate US approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by committing to greenhouse gas reductions gets to the essence of principled objections to the project.The offer provides a chance for defined, quantifiable emissions...

Posted October 2, 2013    

How Falling Oil Imports Doubled the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Falling oil imports have greatly expanded the capability of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to replace oil imports in a crisis, although prices would still rise.The SPR remains an imperfect backstop. Post-Syria, it is high time for Congress...

Posted September 23, 2013    

Energy Projects Seem Less Urgent in A Post-Energy-Crisis World

Rather than being another component of an ongoing energy crisis, opposition to various energy projects points to the alleviation of a decades-long string of US energy crises.The audience for concerns about pipelines and fracking would be much...

Posted September 17, 2013    

Do Crude Oil Shipments Make Rail Less Safe?

The movement of crude oil by rail is expanding rapidly but still represents a small fraction of the hazardous goods transported by rail in North America.The devastation caused by an oil train accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec should...

Posted September 9, 2013    

Will Fewer Young Drivers Today Mean Lower Fuel Demand Tomorrow?

Driver's licenses for those under 40 years of age are down in several large, developed countries, including the US. This is only partially explained by a weak economy.If this shift in attitudes towards driving persists, future demand for...

Posted September 4, 2013    

Will the Keystone XL Decision Be Based on Incorrect Assumptions?

Some of the facts about the Keystone XL pipeline project that President Obama cited in an interview last month turned out to be wrong. That's significant, if he is the ultimate decision-maker on this question.Whatever his assessment of the pros and...

Posted August 27, 2013    

Unlocking the UK's Shale Gas Potential

Following estimates of substantial shale gas resources underlying parts of Britain, the UK government is proposing incentives for companies and local communities to encourage its timely development.Even if it ultimately proved less...

Posted August 14, 2013    

Crashing Into the Ethanol Blend Wall

The long-anticipated arrival of the ethanol "blend wall" for gasoline is the inevitable result of a federal policy designed for a world of expanding gasoline sales that no longer exists.This is not just another arbitrary crisis; it is already...

Posted August 8, 2013    

Oil's Eastern Hemisphere is Shifting, Too

OPEC's exports earned record revenue last year, but the pressure on the cartel is increasing as Eastern Hemisphere production expands, along with higher unconventional oil production in North America.Increasing supply doesn't guarantee...

Posted August 7, 2013