Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Texas freeze; oil refining and distillate exports drop most since Harvey . . .

Commenter R.J.S.: Record drops in US oil output, US oil exports, distillates’ output on Texas freeze as US burns 15% of natural gas inventories in one week . . US oil data from the US Energy Information Administration for the week ending February 19th indicated that because the big drops in our oil exports and our oil refining associated […]

Corporate/shareholder value, energy market and global warming

Updated: Renewable Germany bailing out Nuclear France   I just read the following in an article by a Mr. Bill McKibben and thought it to be an interesting perspective on why climate change/global warming is being so vigorously denied. If we spew 565 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere, we’ll quite possibly go right past […]

A boom in shale gas? Credit the feds.

A boom in shale gas? Credit the feds.  By Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus (hat tip to Barry Ritholtz) Since the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra, the solar company that received $535 million in federal loan guarantees, many have concluded that government efforts to promote energy technologies are doomed to fail. Critics cite the abandoned synthetic […]

Japan May Have Reached Point 7

I give up. It was perfectly obvious what was happening at Fukushima on Saturday afternoon, when I posted bullet points at Skippy: there was going to be a major cleanup cost and the live reactors were not salvageable, but nothing fatal to many was loose in the atmosphere yet. Which is why I followed up […]

Oil prices and consumer spending.

With the recent surge in oil prices I thought it would be useful to look at the potential impact with one set of data I watch. It is energy as a share of personal consumption expenditures or consumer spending. In the 1970s energy consumption rose from about 6% to 9% of spending, or about 50%. […]

CGI, Day 4 – Clean Technology and Smart Energy: Deploying the Green Economy

Moderator is John Holdren, Science and Technology Advisor to President Barack Obama and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Participants are: Nadia K. Al Dossary, Chief Executive Officer and Partner, Al Sale Eastern Co. Ltd Gary Hattem, President, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Deutsche Bank Tri Mumpuni, Executive Director, IBEKA Conrad van Oostrom, […]

China and use of coal

Reader benamery 21 comments on US energy consumption from a previous post at Angry Bear on a better picture of what drives energy consumption in China. The NYT article used air conditioning and shopping malls as one metaphor for the good life that the Chinese are striving for, but he would advise caution for those […]

Opower…this is your profile

The Washington Post reports on an interesting development. If people aren’t able to “see” how they personally fit in to the ‘economy’ or ‘carbon footprint’ in a real way, they often ignore the ‘problem’ or keep it so abstract it does not touch them. Three years ago, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, the co-founders of […]

Wyden’s Proposal for taxing oil and gas speculators

Ron Wyden, Democratic Senator from Oregon who serves on the Senate Finance Committee and the Energy Committee, is generally considered a liberal, though with a mixed bag of positions that hardly qualify on all grounds. He is against the estate tax and favors lowering rates of capital gains taxes, neither of which makes sense, from […]