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Energy

  • Congress Considers Federal Assistance For Laid-Off Coal Miners

    A major coal mining company has announced another round of layoffs as declining demand for coal continues to depress the industry.Alpha Natural Resources, the world’s third largest supplier of metallurgical coal, said Sept. 26 that it would be shuttering three mines in West Virginia due to “sustained weak market conditions and government regulations challenging the Central Appalachian mining industry.” The closures will put 261 people out of work. The news has a familiar refrain; more than 20,000 coal miners have lost their jobs since 2011. But coal mining jobs have been disappearing for more than 30 years. As of March…

  • How Islamic State Uses Oil To Fund Its Onslaught

    In a remote area along the Turkish-Syrian border, a line of oil trucks materializes seemingly from nowhere. Quietly, the vehicles line up to purchase oil. The drivers will pay about $18 a barrel, well below the average market price of $93.45. Still, for the seller -- the Islamic State -- the price represents a 100 percent profit since it has no investment in the oil production. This is a crucial part of how the group being called “the most dangerous Islamic extremist terrorist group in the world” fills its coffers and funds its brutal advance across Syria and Iraq. U.S.…

  • How To Spread The Risk Of Energy Investing For Income

    As the world continues to recover from the recession of 2008-09, those who depend on their investments for income have faced a challenge. Central banks in all of the major developed nations responded to the financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown in a fairly conventional manner: they forced interest rates lower. The exact mechanics of how they did this varied somewhat, but for income investors the results were the same; a drastic pay cut. As a result, many people have been forced to rethink their traditional bond holdings and turn to non-traditional ways of generating income. The energy markets…

  • Who Is Buying The Islamic State’s Illegal Oil?

    In June 2014, computer files captured from a courier for the Islamic State shortly after the fall of Mosul revealed that the group had assets of $875 million, largely gained in the sacking and looting of Mosul and its central bank. The size of the group’s bank account has now risen to an estimated $2 billion dollars, thanks in part to revenues from ransom paid for kidnapped foreigners and more pillaging. However, oil remains the group’s primary source of income.The 11 oil fields that IS controls in Iraq and Syria have made it a largely independent financial machine. Reports show…

  • The World’s 10 Biggest Energy Gluttons

    Next time you get into your car and drive to the supermarket, think about how much energy you consume on an annual basis. It is widely assumed that Westerners are some of the world’s worst energy pigs. While Americans make up just 5 percent of the global population, they use 20 percent of its energy, eat 15 percent of its meat, and produce 40 percent of the earth’s garbage.Europeans and people in the Middle East, it turns out, aren't winning any awards for energy conservation, either.Oilprice.com set out to discover which countries use the most energy and why. Related: Why…

  • Gasoline Prices Look Set To Stay Low

    To the delight of American drivers, gasoline prices are continuing to slide downwards. The national average price of gasoline hit $3.35 per gallon at the end of September, which is about 14 cents lower than at the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).Better yet, gasoline prices could drop further in the coming months. In recent years it has become commonplace for many drivers to see a gallon sell for well over $4 per gallon. Why have gas prices dropped to such low levels all of a sudden?There are a complex set of factors…

  • Europe Seeks To Undermine Russian Energy Influence

    The fragile ceasefire and negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have revived hopes that the months-long violent conflict in Eastern Europe is nearing its end. However, many questions remain unanswered, as hostilities and distrust between the confronted parties continues to plague a potential peaceful solution.With the Ukrainian conflict unresolved and winter in sight, the EU will not only have the grand task of preparing the continent for the possibility of energy shortages, but also to define its long-term energy goals.Most East European EU members depend heavily on natural gas supplies from Russia. Despite the last mild winter and efforts to stockpile…

  • Breakthrough In Oil Sands Waste Treatment

    Ultraviolet light is an economical and simple way to clean up the residue, or “tailings,” left over from extracting oil from Canadian tar sands. But now scientists at the University of Alberta have found an even cheaper way: Ditch the UV lamps and replace them with sunlight.Ponds containing oil sands tailings have various contaminants, including suspended solids, salts and other soluble material such as acids, benzene and hydrocarbons.  Using conventional decontamination methods on “oil sands process affected water” (OSPW), as it’s known, takes at least 20 years to get it clean.Using UV lamps and chlorine makes the process virtually instantaneous.…

  • Fed Up With Federal Inaction, States Act Alone on Cap-and-Trade

    Unsatisfied with the pace at which the federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several U.S. states and a few Canadian provinces are forging ahead with their own initiatives.In 2013, California kicked off a cap-and-trade program in an effort to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The first year of the program was a resounding success, with the state’s economy expanding while at the same time adding renewable energy. But carbon markets are more effective, and far more efficient, when they involve more entities in more places. California is by far the largest generator of renewable…

  • Study Finds Treated Fracking Wastewater Still Too Toxic

    One of the biggest concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is that the vast amount of wastewater produced by the process of extracting oil and gas from shale rock deep underground is incredibly toxic.  Most often, the wastewater is injected into disposal wells deep underground. But a process does exist to convert contaminated water into drinking water that involves running it through wastewater treatment plants and into rivers. Now a new report says that treated wastewater could be fouling drinking water supplies.Related: Researchers Call For New Approach To Recycling Fracking Waste WaterIn an article published in Environmental Science & Technology…