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Politics and The Global Cleantech Shakeout

For all the enthusiastic comparisons of the cleantech sector to infotech or microelectronics that we've encountered in the last decade, one rarely employed analogy is turning out to be more apt than the rest: Cleantech seems just as capable as dot-...

Posted June 18, 2012    

The Summer Oil Slump

Instead of US consumers facing $5 gasoline this summer, as some analysts had predicted, we now find prices slipping well below $4 per gallon as oil prices respond to weakening demand, a stronger dollar, and steady supply growth.  Yet...

Posted June 14, 2012    

Five Stars for Robert Rapier's "Power Plays"

It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to recommend a new book by a fellow energy blogger, especially when the blogger in question has the kind of deep, hands-on industry experience that makes Robert Rapier's work so authoritative....

Posted June 12, 2012    

Does A Golden Age of Gas Depend on Golden Rules for Gas?

Last Friday I was in Washington, DC for the presentation of the International Energy Agency's latest report on natural gas, "Golden Rules for A Golden Age of Gas."  It is a follow-up to last year's IEA scenario describing the enormous gas...

Posted June 4, 2012    

Can the US Military Afford More Biofuels?

Last week the US House of Representatives passed the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act by a wide, bi-partisan margin. It included two controversial provisions relating to energy that will presumably be debated when the Senate Armed...

Posted May 24, 2012    

E15's Problems Are Symptomatic of A Failing Biofuels Policy

A new report on automobile engine durability casts further doubt on the compatibility of mid-level ethanol blends such as E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) with the existing US light-duty vehicle fleet. The report was issued...

Posted May 22, 2012    

Are Chesapeake's Problems A Red Flag For Shale Gas?

Chesapeake Energy has been in the news a lot, lately, concerning both the significant challenges it faces in financing its ambitious development program, and its high-profile CEO, who was recently forced to relinquish his role as Chairman....

Posted May 17, 2012    

Where Gas is Already $10 per Gallon

I've just returned from a business trip to Norway.  One of the first things I noticed upon my arrival there, on the way into town from the airport, was the price of gasoline.  Since Norway still uses its own currency rather than the...

Posted May 9, 2012    

Resources from Space?

Last week a company called Planetary Resources, Inc. announced its intention to develop the means of exploiting minerals from near-earth asteroids on a for-profit basis.  This news got some attention for its novelty, particularly at a time...

Posted May 4, 2012    

US Natural Gas Price Nears $10 per Barrel Equivalence

While the average pump price of gasoline has held the attention of most Americans for much of this year, the price trend for natural gas has been equally dramatic in the opposite direction. Gasoline prices flirted with the psychologically...

Posted April 30, 2012    

A World Without Oil Price Speculators

The quality of media reporting on energy has improved significantly since I started this blog in 2004.  However, one subject on which I think the state of energy reporting still leaves much to be desired concerns the role of market...

Posted April 25, 2012    

How Green Is My Electric Vehicle?

One of the biggest challenges in assessing the environmental benefits of electric vehicles is that electricity is generated in so many different ways, with differing costs and consequences, and that patterns of generation vary by region, season, and...

Posted April 18, 2012