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Will Self-Driving Cars Revolutionize Vehicle Efficiency?

Innovators are developing the systems necessary for cars to drive themselves. Some, including Google, have already staged impressive demonstrations.However, synergies with alternative fuels appear modest, and the largest efficiency gains from...

Posted November 19, 2013    

Energy Security Four Decades After the Arab Oil Embargo

The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-74 focused our attention on energy security and set in motion drastic changes in the way we produce, trade and consume energy. With US energy output approaching or exceeding 1970s levels, some experts now advocate...

Posted November 12, 2013    

Is An Ethanol Compromise on the Horizon?

The RFS ethanol mandate increasingly benefits farmers and ethanol producers at the expense of motorists, small-engine users, food producers and restaurants.Repeal of the RFS looks unlikely, but equitable reforms addressing the needs of all...

Posted November 4, 2013    

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