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Hybrid Choices

Having just returned from a brief family vacation, I spent much of the last few days driving. That afforded much time to ponder the mix of cars on our roads and the product-line choices the administration may soon be imposing as it attempts to...

Posted April 8, 2009    

Zombie Project?

A year ago, the FutureGen partnership to build a prototype low-emissions coal power plant incorporating gasification and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology looked dead in the water. Now, according to Technology Review, it may be on...

Posted April 3, 2009    

Perfect Energy

The recent start-up of the latest large-scale nuclear fusion experiment, the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was greeted with the customary mix of fanfare and skepticism that has accompanied the quest for...

Posted April 1, 2009    

The Wrong Enemy

While reading an article on oil company taxation in the Wall Street Journal, I ran across a quote from Treasury Secretary Geithner that crystallized my growing impression that the administration has misinterpreted its own mantra on energy and is...

Posted March 27, 2009    

It's the Economy

Yesterday afternoon I attended a panel discussion in the Capitol building, featuring one Senator, two Members of the House of Representatives, the new CEO of API and two senior journalists from Newsweek, which hosted the event. The discussion...

Posted March 25, 2009    

Assessing Trade-Offs

Today's posting serves in lieu of a letter to the editors of the New York Times, in response to the misleading comparisons drawn in today's editorial concerning the "Lessons of the Exxon Valdez." The editorial characterizes oil development as "an...

Posted March 23, 2009    

Rebound or Dead Cat?

US light sweet crude oil closed above $50 per barrel yesterday for the first time since late November. The financial press appears to attribute this mainly to the weakening of the dollar and inflationary expectations triggered by the Federal...

Posted March 20, 2009    

Zero Emissions?

The other day I ran across reports of a curious event, in which the Attorney General of the state of Vermont convinced Entergy, which owns or operates 11 of the nation's 104 active nuclear power plants, to back away from characterizing nuclear power...

Posted March 18, 2009    

Building the Low-Emissions Future

Last week The Economist published a detailed assessment of the state play for capturing and storing the carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and factories. Although it skirted the assertion of many environmentalists that "clean coal" is inherently...

Posted March 16, 2009    

Mark to Market

The practice of requiring banks and other businesses to mark their investments to market has drawn increasing criticism in the last several weeks from pundits and high-profile investors who would like to see it at least relaxed, if not rescinded....

Posted March 13, 2009    

Storing Sunlight

An article in MIT's Technology Review on a new liquid battery technology got me re-thinking an assumption I've been making for some time concerning the synergy between renewable energy and better batteries. The article's author makes a similar...

Posted March 11, 2009    

The End of the World As We Know It?

The opinion section of the Sunday New York Times made for sobering reading this weekend. While the Times has hardly been a bastion of economic optimism of late, three op-eds stood out for their shared sense that we might be on the brink of truly...

Posted March 9, 2009