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Exports Raise the Bar for US Strategic Petroleum Releases

I've seen a number of Tweets suggesting that the US will release oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) sometime in the next month or two, perhaps in tandem with other member countries of the International Energy Agency.  Although...

Posted August 28, 2012    

The Unlevel Playing Field for Energy

An editorial in last weekend's Wall St. Journal led me to a recent analysis by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) summarizing the costs of the federal government's various "subsidies" for energy from different sources.  This is both useful...

Posted August 22, 2012    

Are Films the Answer to Understanding Energy's Complexities?

The issues and choices surrounding our use of energy have rarely been more complex than today, yet our main channels for information about them are discouragingly shallow.  The web is often more effective at spreading misperceptions than...

Posted August 8, 2012    

Last Hurrah for the Wind Power Tax Credit?

Ahead of Thursday's meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, a bipartisan deal has apparently omitted the expiring production tax credit (PTC) for wind power from a package of "tax extenders"--various expiring federal tax provisions,...

Posted August 2, 2012    

How Secure Are Green Jobs?

It's been an article of faith among advocates of "green jobs" from expanding renewable energy deployment that wind and solar installation jobs are secure because they can't be sent offshore, even as the manufacturing of wind turbines and...

Posted July 27, 2012    

Food vs. Fuel and the Midwest Drought

It was bound to happen. As long as US corn output continued to climb year after year, the federal mandate to blend steadily increasing quantities of ethanol into gasoline could be accommodated without creating a shortage of this staple grain....

Posted July 21, 2012    

Should the US Become An Oil Exporter?

Last week I missed attending a fascinating panel on the growth of US oil production, hosted by  the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. Fortunately, I was able to catch most of the live webcast, which is still available for replay. ...

Posted July 19, 2012    

The 2013 US Energy Agenda

It's tempting to focus mainly on the energy issues that have come up in the context of the presidential campaign, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, tax breaks for energy companies, and whether and how to regulate hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a "...

Posted July 12, 2012    

GE Pullback a Sign of Sanity in Solar Manufacturing

I've been writing for some time about the chronic overcapacity in global solar manufacturing and the consolidation this is likely to produce.  Now here's a sign that at least one company realizes how bad the situation is.  GE is apparently...

Posted July 5, 2012    

Could Oil's Surge Sink Renewable Energy?

A new forecast of global oil production by the end of the decade attracted a fair amount of attention this week.  The study, from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, indicates that oil production could expand by about 20% by 2020 from...

Posted July 2, 2012    

Does All-of-the-Above Energy Include Long Shots?

An article in Tuesday's Washington Post described the current funding woes of US research into nuclear fusion, focused on anticipated budget and job cuts at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, MIT and several other sites.  Aside from the...

Posted June 28, 2012    

Does Energy-Related Drilling Trigger Earthquakes?

Last week the National Research Council published a comprehensive study of the seismic hazards and risks of a variety of energy-related drilling activities.  Despite widely publicized reports of drilling-related quakes in Ohio and Arkansas...

Posted June 21, 2012