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Early Retirement of US Nuclear Plants Is a Step Backward

The early retirement of the San Onofre reactor complex could increase California's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 6 million tons per year.Together with other announced and plausible retirements, the loss of existing US nuclear capacity would...

Posted July 9, 2013    

President's Climate Change Plan Hinges on Natural Gas

President Obama's plan for addressing US greenhouse gas emissions depends heavily on expanded fracking of US shale gas resources. Reducing power sector emissions will be expensive, unless implemented with maximum flexibility.The President's...

Posted July 2, 2013    

Time To Reform US Ethanol Policy

Virtually all of the assumptions underlying the Renewable Fuels Standard enacted in 2007 have changed, as the US emerges from energy scarcity into abundance.The linkage between the RFS and food prices is controversial, but a new quantitative model...

Posted June 21, 2013    

"All of the Above" Energy Policy Must Be Weighted by Common Sense

 "All of the Above" is just a cliché if not tempered by an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of different energy sources, and a standard basis of comparison.Renewable energy is gaining market share, but fossil fuels--especially oil...

Posted June 17, 2013    

Could US Oil Trends Alter How Oil Prices Are Set?

If you follow energy closely, you've likely lost count of the number of times you've heard an economist, executive or government official explain that oil prices are set by the global market, and not by oil companies or the US government. ...

Posted June 10, 2013    

...and Two Steps Back for Cleantech

Within the last week two of the previous decade's Big Ideas for accelerating the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy--or at least to electricity generated from a variety of cleaner sources--have come up short.  On May 26th electric-...

Posted June 5, 2013    

Can Energy Storage Make Wind and Solar Energy as Reliable as Coal?

Wind and solar power generated 3.5% and about 0.1%, respectively, of US electricity last year.  These figures represent large increases from much smaller levels in the last decade as the cost of these technologies declined...

Posted May 24, 2013    

The 2013 Energy Trust Barometer: Mixed Readings

Wednesday's panel discussion in Washington, DC on "The Trust Factor" in energy couldn't have been more timely. The stakes for lost trust seemed especially apparent against the backdrop of an EU probe into allegations of price fixing in the...

Posted May 17, 2013    

How Is Expanding Oil and Gas Production Consistent with Addressing Climate Change?

Last month the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of global energy use was essentially unchanged between 1990 and 2010, despite the implementation of global climate agreements and the...

Posted May 11, 2013    

Ex-Shell Chief Hofmeister Promotes US Fuel Diversity

Alternative fuels have lost some of their luster in the US, lately, for understandable reasons.  Oil production here is booming based on shale resources that keep expanding, while the market for ethanol, our most successful alternative fuel,...

Posted May 4, 2013    

The Need for Innovation: Engineering Carbon Out of Energy

Recently I ran across an excellent article in The Atlantic on the importance of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).  In light of last week's warning from the International Energy Agency that efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of global...

Posted April 29, 2013    

Will Water Limit Fracking and Natural Gas Development in Saudi Arabia?

Recent comments by Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, indicated that Saudi Aramco would soon begin exploring the country's shale gas resources. As another means of reducing oil consumption in the Kingdom's electricity sector, in order to...

Posted April 23, 2013