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Energy 2013: More Shifts Ahead?

2013 was an eventful year for energy, though perhaps with fewer earth-shaking implications for the future than in other recent years.Several developments concerning global oil production, when taken together, improved the odds of lower oil...

Posted January 7, 2014    

IEA Forecasts Sustained Energy Growth, But No 'Era of Oil Abundance'

The IEA's latest long-term forecasts highlights the growth of unconventional oil and gas, especially in North America, but does not see this leading to much lower oil prices.In their main scenario fossil fuels will still meet more than...

Posted December 30, 2013    

Is the Wind Energy Tax Credit About to Expire for Good?

The expiration of the federal subsidy for wind power on 12/31/13 provides an opportunity to replace it with a smaller benefit, more focused on innovation.Comprehensive tax reform is the best way to approach this, including making tax incentives...

Posted December 19, 2013    

The LPG Echo of the Shale Gas Boom

Increased US production of LPG and natural gas liquids is an outgrowth of the shale gas revolution and a key ingredient for translating its benefits into industrial growth.The infrastructure investments, export opportunities and price...

Posted December 16, 2013    

Making Petrochemicals From CO2

R&D is under way in Germany to see whether CO2 emitted from power plants or other facilities could become a useful feedstock for manufacturing chemicals.This could have several advantages over producing fuels from CO2, while providing...

Posted December 9, 2013    

Five Myths About the 'Carbon Asset Bubble'

The idea that efforts to mitigate climate change expose fossil fuel assets to the risk of a bubble-like collapse has attracted some high-profile supporters. However, the notion of a "carbon bubble" depends on questionable assumptions concerning our...

Posted November 26, 2013    

EPA's Ethanol Adjustment Falls Short of Reform

As the ethanol blend wall arrives, the EPA has proposed adjusting downward the federally mandated level of corn ethanol to be blended into gasoline.This would relieve pressure on fuel blenders and retailers, but doesn't solve a problem widely...

Posted November 20, 2013    

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