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Energy Cornucopia

I've just spent the last several hours scanning through the conference version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the "stimulus bill." This is the final version of the bill that President Obama will sign into law in...

Posted February 17, 2009    

The Other Stimulus

A short item on gasoline prices in today's Wall Street Journal had me scratching my head this morning. It suggested that the recent modest recovery of gasoline prices has essentially ended the economic stimulus that cheaper gas has provided to the...

Posted February 12, 2009    

Tell California No

One of the most eagerly-awaited environmental decisions of the year is currently in the hands of the new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. California has requested a waiver under the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 as a pollutant...

Posted February 10, 2009    

Diesel Economics

Over the weekend I was thinking more about the diesel cars I test drove at the Washington, DC Auto Show last week. They certainly performed at least as well as their non-diesel counterparts--better if you count the big boost in torque from a diesel...

Posted February 9, 2009    

Building Bridges to Greener Wheels

It's a heck of a time to hold a car show, when new figures indicate car sales last month were off 37% compared to the prior January, and with a brand new administration for which cars must surely seem to be a much bigger problem than opportunity....

Posted February 4, 2009    

Cooler Is Relative

Well, it's official; the average global temperature for 2008 was 14.44° C (57.99° F.) That's 0.13° C (0.23° F) cooler than 2007's 14.57° (58.23° F.) In fact, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), 2008 was the coolest year...

Posted February 2, 2009    

Smarter Stimulus

As the US Senate debates its version of the $819 billion economic stimulus bill passed by the House on Wednesday, I hope they will give consideration to a smarter alternative to sweeping income tax cuts, the stimulative effect of which seems...

Posted January 30, 2009    

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