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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    

December Surprise

A month ago an old friend--in fact a former boss and mentor--hinted that the recent collapse of oil prices might lead to revisions of the oil & gas reserves that companies carry on their books. I recalled his suggestion a week ago, when the Wall...

Posted December 23, 2008    

Open Fuel Standard

One of the energy-related email lists to which I'm subscribed recently alerted me to an interesting piece of pending legislation in the US Congress, the "Open Fuel Standard Act of 2008", S.3303. The bill would require automakers to increase the...

Posted December 19, 2008    

Oil Shock II

As OPEC's members and friends meet in Algeria to agree on deeper cuts in oil output, the effectiveness of their actions will depend greatly on the nature of the demand slump to which they are responding. If it proves to be merely a dip in the long-...

Posted December 17, 2008    

Steel on the Ground

2009 is shaping up as the Year of the Stimulus. The consensus for a massive fiscal stimulus of the US economy, in the form of direct government spending and targeted tax breaks, grows daily. The biggest remaining questions focus on how much and...

Posted December 15, 2008    

Hire the Best

The apparent selection of Steven Chu, the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to be the new Secretary of Energy looks like a good choice. Since he is already employed by the Department of Energy, he understands the organization he...

Posted December 12, 2008    

The Contango Warning

President-Elect Obama is expected to name his energy and environmental team shortly. Whoever is nominated as the next Secretary of Energy will be swamped with an array of competing priorities, including modernizing the nation's electrical grid,...

Posted December 10, 2008    

Electric Cars vs. Oil in Hawaii

Ever since last week's announcement of a deal to roll out Project Better Place's model for recharging electric cars in Hawaii, I've been curious about how it would work out, if the supplies of new renewable electricity needed to wean the Islands'...

Posted December 8, 2008