Sign up | Login with →

Posts by Geoffrey Styles Subscribe

The "Four-Gallon Rule": Another Unintended Consequence of Ethanol Policy

The energy field is replete with unintended consequences, and US policy promoting ethanol fuels has had more than its share.  The growing competition  between food and fuel uses of corn, amplified by the current drought, is a...

Posted September 20, 2012    

Jet Fuel from Trees (or Almost Anything Else)

Out of the dozens of press releases that hit my email inbox in the last week, one that caught my eye was for a gathering of a group called the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) in Missoula, Montana this Thursday.  Their agenda is...

Posted September 13, 2012    

What If Saudi Arabia Became an Oil Importer?

I've seen numerous references in the last several days to a Citgroup analysis suggesting that Saudi Arabia might become a net oil importer by 2030.  The premise behind this startling conclusion seems to be that economic growth and demographic...

Posted September 7, 2012    

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