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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    

How Will Oil's Current Slide Affect Gasoline Prices?

We all carry assumptions around with us.  For many who follow energy one such assumption is that oil prices, and thus gasoline prices, generally rise over time.  In an otherwise fairly well-reasoned blog post I read yesterday,...

Posted April 18, 2013    

Obama 2014 Budget Energy Proposals: Stuck in A Timewarp

After spending some time going through the White House's proposed budget for 2014-23, several conclusions were inescapable.  First, this administration still hasn't thought through the implications of the energy revolution that's currently...

Posted April 12, 2013    

Crude Oil Rides the Rails

Last month's publication of the State Department's latest environmental impact report on the Keystone XL pipeline project has sparked great interest in the logistics of shipping crude oil by rail. As described in a long article in the Washington...

Posted April 10, 2013    

Two Energy Revolutions Vie Across the Atlantic

A front-page article in the Washington Post reported on the trend of energy-related investments in the US by European companies.  This is another aspect of the competing energy revolutions I mentioned a few weeks ago, in my...

Posted April 5, 2013    

Natural Gas Vehicles Already Big in Italy, Pakistan

The sudden abundance of natural gas in the US triggered a startling divergence of crude oil and natural gas prices that, in turn, has energized the advocates of using more gas in transportation. Yet despite the availability of wholesale natural gas...

Posted March 21, 2013    

Is Small Nuclear Reactor R&D Fleecing the Public?

Two weeks ago I received an email announcing that Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS), a D.C.-based watchdog organization, had awarded this year's Golden Fleece for wasting tax dollars to the federal government's efforts to promote the development...

Posted March 16, 2013    

Secretary of Energy for a Leaner DOE?

I've read a number of stories on President Obama's nomination of MIT physicist Ernest Moniz to be the next Secretary of Energy.  This overview of his background from the Washington Post is as good a place as any to start. ...

Posted March 6, 2013    

Energy and the Federal Budget Sequester

Barring a last-second deal to avert it, the federal government's budget will be cut today by $85 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.  These cuts will be applied across the board to every cabinet department and...

Posted March 1, 2013    

Keystone XL: Pyrrhic Victory Ahead?

Last weekend thousands came to Washington, DC to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline project, just a few days after a smaller protest in front of the White House resulted in a batch of arrested celebrities.   The State...

Posted February 22, 2013