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Green Car Technology: Workhorses vs. Thoroughbreds

Yesterday I made my annual trek to the Washington Auto Show, which hosts a media day before opening to the public.  Between the show's focus on policy--a natural draw inside the Beltway--and the opportunity to connect with OEM contacts, it's...

Posted February 3, 2013    

Will California Be the Next Big Shale Oil Play?

I've spent the last couple of weeks contemplating California's Monterey shale, which has been widely discussed recently as the country's next Bakken-style oil play, or even bigger. The Bakken shale has turned North Dakota into the second-...

Posted January 23, 2013    

Could Diesel Fuel Made from US Natural Gas Compete with CNG and LNG?

The announcement last month of a $21 billion project to capitalize on abundant, low-cost US natural gas should have caught the attention of everyone interested in this resource. As reported in the New York Times, Sasol, a South African energy...

Posted January 16, 2013    

Ending Virginia's Gas Tax: Smart Energy Policy?

I don't know if the Speaker of Virginia's House of Delegates intended a double entendre when he referred to the state gasoline tax that Governor Bob McDonnell (R) just proposed eliminating as a "dinosaur tax".  He was...

Posted January 11, 2013    

A Late Christmas Gift for Renewable Energy

The US Senate's "fiscal cliff" package wasn't exactly eight maids a-milking--the traditional gift for the eighth day of Christmas--though it did apparently resolve the impending "milk cliff".  Of greater relevance, the "tax extender"...

Posted January 7, 2013    

2012: The Year in Energy

As in most recent years, energy was constantly in the news in 2012. A post attempting to catalog every noteworthy story or event would be quite long.  However, a few big trends stand out. For starters, it's a near-certainty that the average US...

Posted December 21, 2012    

Should Alaska Export More LNG to Asia?

The Governor of Alaska reportedly met this week with officials from the South Korean national gas company to discuss exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Ever since crude oil production on Alaska's North Slope ramped up in the 1980s, industry...

Posted December 13, 2012    

IEA Expects Global Energy Focus to Shift Eastward

Last month the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual long-term forecast, the World Energy Outlook (WEO). Its projection that US oil output would exceed that of Saudi Arabia within five years was featured in numerous headlines,...

Posted December 7, 2012    

Does the Gas Tax Belong in the Fiscal Cliff Fix?

Recently I've seen several articles along the lines of this one from CNN, suggesting that an increase in the federal gasoline tax might be included in negotiations to avert the impending US "fiscal cliff".  While the gap between the gas...

Posted November 30, 2012    

EPA Unwavering in Support for Ethanol, Despite Drought

Last Friday the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected the petitions of a bi-partisan group of state governors for a waiver of the federal ethanol mandate, resolving one of several energy-related issues that had been deferred beyond...

Posted November 21, 2012    

Is Gas Rationing Superior to Raising Prices for Consumers?

With New Jersey about to end the odd-even gasoline rationing  imposed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we have an opportunity to consider whether this kind of response actually produces better outcomes than the price increases by which the...

Posted November 13, 2012    

Push-me/Pull-you: Post-Election Energy Policies

I've seen numerous commentaries on the energy implications of President Obama's narrow, 51%/49%  victory. One of the most intriguing of these, from Reuters, concerned the prospects for exporting a portion of the growing output of...

Posted November 9, 2012