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The Ripple Effect

The fallout from the collapse of oil prices in the last quarter of 2008 is still rippling through the economy. Yesterday's announcement of a $34 billion write-off by ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil company, is the latest signpost of this...

Posted January 29, 2009    

The Big Chunks

In my first posting of the year, I suggested that the new administration faced a big decision about our national energy policy, between making either energy security or our response to climate change its top priority. Whichever they choose,...

Posted January 26, 2009    

A Painful Adjustment

A quick read through the morning paper reminded me just how much the future path of energy prices and energy sector investment depend on the economy, and on the measures intended to speed its recovery. It doesn't seem like so long ago that the...

Posted January 23, 2009    

Taxing Carbon

While many observers were focused on the most obvious first represented by yesterday's presidential inauguration, I was thinking about another one: Barack Obama is the first US President elected on a platform that included putting a price on our...

Posted January 21, 2009    

Tempering Optimism with Patience

We've all heard the President-elect mention the need for patience in confronting our economic problems, echoed by countless commentators elaborating on the scale of the challenge involved. If I could offer him one piece of advice on Inauguration...

Posted January 19, 2009    

Paying Not To Drill

I'm spoiled for choice concerning topics on which to blog , including the first glimpses of the energy provisions of the proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009--better known as the stimulus package--and a rift within the US business...

Posted January 16, 2009    

A Gasoline Floor Price for Hybrid Cars

The coverage of this year's Detroit Car Show has focused on hybrids and electric vehicles, with a number of high-profile launches, including the debut of the third generation Toyota Prius. However, as convinced as I am that electric-drive cars...

Posted January 14, 2009    

Another Tumultuous Year?

Whether or not next week's inauguration of the 44th President of the United States marks the true start to the 21st century, as a Washington Post columnist recently suggested, 2009 could herald momentous changes in long-term energy trends. While a...

Posted January 12, 2009    

Alternative Energy And Natural Gas

At the end of the first full work week of the new year--a week I suspect I am not alone in having found a bit of a slog--a pair of articles in MIT's Technology Review got me thinking about the under-appreciated relationship between alternative...

Posted January 9, 2009    

An Ethanol Stimulus?

As the new Congress and incoming administration scramble to craft a stimulus package to lift the country out of the deepening recession, it's understandable that a variety of industries and their trade associations would be lobbying for their share...

Posted January 7, 2009    

Choosing A Priority

The new year brings no shortage of energy concerns, even though oil prices are much lower than last January. Instead of enumerating those that I think merit particular attention, for today I'd like to focus on an over-arching energy policy choice...

Posted January 5, 2009    

Energy Lessons of 2008

A year ago, I looked back on 2007 and ahead to 2008, a year that has defied the predictions of most observers. Although I can't claim to have foreseen the possibility that oil would break $140 and $40--from opposite directions--in the same year, I...

Posted December 29, 2008