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Artificial Carbon Cycle

Part of the research for my writing and consulting involves watching for trends or common themes, and one that I've been picking up from diverse sources reflects a growing skepticism about "clean coal" and the processes for capturing and...

Posted November 26, 2008    

Sales Mix and Fuel Economy

When Detroit's CEOs return to Washington, DC in early December for further Congressional hearings on a rescue package, the industry's prospects for meeting tougher fuel economy standards are likely exert significant influence on the granting of...

Posted November 24, 2008    

Buy Low?

Yesterday I received a question from a reader inquiring whether the price of oil has fallen to a level at which the US should consider resuming additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I hadn't looked at this issue since oil was much more...

Posted November 21, 2008    

Delayed Reactions

The analysis in the current edition of the Department of Energy's "This Week in Petroleum" highlights an unexpected finding from the department's Short Term Energy Outlook: a forecast of a pronounced uptick in US oil production for next year, by 8%...

Posted November 20, 2008    

A Taxing Opportunity

While watching the scenery from Amtrak's Acela on my way back from a meeting in New York yesterday, I made my first sighting of $1.99 per gallon gasoline, posted on the polesign of a station in Delaware. With wholesale gasoline trading on the New...

Posted November 19, 2008    

Detroit, Bailouts and Fuel Economy

As Congress meets today to take up the subject of rescuing the Big 3 US automakers from possible bankruptcy, I'm concerned that this subject has been conflated with energy and environmental policy, rather than being viewed as an expedient palliative...

Posted November 17, 2008    

Unlimited Clean Fossil Fuel?

If I told you that there was a potentially limitless source of fossil fuel, you would naturally want to know what the catch was. In the case of methane hydrates, a form of natural gas that has been bound up in ice crystals in the Arctic and deep...

Posted November 14, 2008    

A Growing Imbalance

This spring I reviewed Robert Bryce's book, "Gusher of Lies," a thorough debunking of the notion that America could or should become energy independent any time soon. In a provocative article in Slate, he has connected the dots between our steadily...

Posted November 13, 2008    

The Shifting Senate

Although overshadowed by the presidential contest, there was much speculation going into last Tuesday's election about whether Democrats could capture a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats in the US Senate. This would have had profound...

Posted November 11, 2008    

Ethanol Bust

The world doesn't stop when you're on vacation, and I will be playing catch-up for some time, between the implications of the US election, a report from the International Energy Agency on chronic under-investment in new oil and gas capacity, and...

Posted November 10, 2008    

Slowing Growth and Lower Emissions

Even before the global economy began to stumble, 2009 was set to be a milestone year for climate change policy. A new US administration will take office with a decidedly more pro-active attitude toward addressing climate change, and international...

Posted October 27, 2008    

A Slower Green Shift?

The global financial crisis could not have arrived at a worse time for alternative energy. When I read the comments of many of my fellow bloggers concerning the implications of a recession for the near-term implementation of green energy, advanced...

Posted October 23, 2008