Tag archives for fossil fuels

Last year President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is without electricity.  In a parallel move, the House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership introduced the Electrify Africa Act to encourage access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since then, there has been…

Yes, failing … just like the coal ash ponds along the Dan River. What Put the Stuff on the Map Despite being a political football [pdf] that had been tossed around Capitol Hill, the coal industry and EPA headquarters throughout the ‘90s and early aughts, coal ash was rarely a topic of dinner conversation around most American supper tables I suspect.…

In his call Tuesday for boosting the fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks, President Barack Obama is taking aim at one of the world’s fastest growing engines of oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions. But one of the most popular ideas for reducing oil demand in trucking—switching to natural gas—may not help on climate change. A…

They came, they built super-efficient vehicles, gained friends and conquered. All 105 student teams from 15 nations participating in this year’s Shell* Eco-marathon Asia are going back to their home countries with a feeling of fulfillment and pride. But winners of the four-day race for fuel-efficiency—from Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore—were in an even more festive…

New study concludes that biofuels can be part of climate-energy solution.

Forty years ago this month, Syria and Egypt launched a Yom Kippur surprise attack on Israel to regain land and prestige lost in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli forces were nearing Damascus and Cairo when a ceasefire took hold. But as the Soviet Union resupplied its Arab clients and President Nixon resupplied Israel, Arab members…

This week, the United States faces down the looming deadline for extending its debt ceiling, a line in the sand that economists say could have dire consequences for our nation’s and the world’s economy if the U.S. defaults on its credit obligations. With the federal government shut down for nearly two weeks on top of…

The International Energy Agency made headlines nearly one year ago with its bold forecast that the United States was on track to being the world’s top oil and natural gas producer by 2017. (See related, “U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia, Russia as World’s Top Energy Producer.”) It turns out that the United States is fracking…

The United Kingdom may not be an Arctic nation, but it has a unique perch on the front line of the dramatic change reshaping the polar north. The U.K. government now is preparing to unveil an Arctic policy framework, its own version of the strategy documents  put forth by nations in the thick of decision-making…

Could your neighborhood be next? Neighborhoods can be turned upside down by shale oil and shale gas drilling (see here and here), by pipelines dug through backyards, and by pipeline spills that send crude oil across entire neighborhoods. All of it gives me the willies, but it’s always been theoretical willies as the prospects of something like…

The federal government’s latest international energy projections are out, and there’s no question we’re living in a time of enormous change—and perhaps remarkably little progress. The International Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration tries to identify the big trends and projections affecting the energy world through 2040. Some of the trends include: The…

When President Obama unveiled his long-awaited climate change strategy this week, he never mentioned biofuels. (See “Obama Unveils Climate Strategy.”) But with nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions due to burning petroleum for transportation, a key and controversial question is what role plant-based alternatives can play in cutting the nation’s carbon emissions. As…

The words in the title above came from Pogo, and they have bounced around in the back of my brain since the 1970s when I first heard them. Many times I’ve been confronted with the truth of that quip by Pogo, the beloved character of former Disney cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913-1973), in a poster he created for…

More than 3,000 high school and college students from 24 countries are gathered in the port city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this weekend for a race for fuel efficiency. More than 180 cars are entered in Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2013, where students design and build super-low-mileage vehicles, and then prove them on a 10-mile (16.3-kilometer)…

Peak Oil Flip-Flop

There’s a new twist in the “peak oil” debate. Is it good news for the climate? Peak Oil Question Remains, Debate Continues Ever since M. King Hubbert advanced the theory of peak oil in 1956, experts and non-experts alike have been debating about timing and relevance. (See here, here, here and here.) Hubbert’s argument seems like a…

Although hydrogen has been hampered as an oil alternative in the real world because of challenges in setting up a new fueling infrastructure, students are showing that it is a viable and clean transportation fuel at Shell Eco-marathon Americas. Andy Bank, of the University of Missouri’s Tigergen team, shows off Mizzou’s Tigergen III car in…

President Obama will soon have to decide whether he will be the “all of the above” president or the “respond to climate change” president.

History suggests he’s wrong.

United States predicted to be world’s leading oil producer. Warning: Claiming lower carbon emissions while exporting fossil fuels can lead to cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance, according to Merriam-Webster, is “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” Dustin Lynn, an admissions counselor at Vanderbilt University, writes that it is “the tension or even…

I’ve just arrived in Moscow for a meeting — the subject will be soot. You may hear it called black carbon or even elemental carbon. Scientists getting technical will call it the “light-absorbing part of particles suspended in the atmosphere.” Let’s just keep it simple and call it soot.* (More on black carbon.) Soot: pollution…

The aptly named Arctic Challenger—Shell’s* trouble-plagued oil spill recovery barge—has once again demonstrated how challenging drilling for oil in the Arctic can be in a post-Deepwater-Horizon world. (Related: “Is Another Deepwater Horizon Disaster Inevitable?“) The barge, which underwent a multi-million-dollar facelift in a Bellingham, Washington, shipyard, was retrofitted to serve as the flagship of Shell’s…

A lack of wind won’t stall our future renewable energy economy, but Congress might. Debunking the Myths That Take the Wind out of Wind Energy’s Sails Wind has its downsides. It’s intermittent; it’s too expensive. Fair points, but there are ways around them. For example the whole intermittency issue could be handled now by using…

How do Obama’s words on energy compare to Team Romney’s? Last week, while the Republicans were celebrating the Romney-Ryan ticket in Tampa, Florida, we posted a count-the-words analysis of their energy plan. The plan’s overall aim is to achieve energy independence for North America. The numbers told us the path to independence for the Romney…

Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, efficiency. Which are the Republican hopefuls’ priorities? This week, it’s convention time for the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. Last week, the Romney-Ryan team rolled out its energy policy [pdf] for the nation. Entitled “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” the new plan, running…

It’s a sad fact of modern politics that what politicians don’t say is as significant as what they do. That certainly seems to be true on energy and climate change in the 2012  campaign, where both sides seem to be ducking the issues as best they can. Unfortunately, that’s not much help to the voters.…