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Energy / Energy-General

OIlprice.com's Energy section focuses on all energy related topics that can't be easily classified in our other categories. Topics covered are fossil fuel energy, solar energy, wind energy and many other types of energy sources.

  • Why It’s Too Soon To Write Off Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

    It has been almost two years since Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, announced his own dream for the transportation of the future. The Hyperloop was to prove its worth alongside autonomous cars and even jetpacks as a regular transportation option, starting off by hurtling passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco at a breakneck 760 miles an hour. In the year since Musk unveiled his proof-of-concept document, the technology, engineering and cost of the Hyperloop have been broken down into exhaustive detail, and picked up more than a few critics in the process. CNET recently published a…

  • Bad Has Never Looked So Good

    Not meaning to be villainous – like my British counterparts in the Jaguar commercial - but it would seem that sometimes ‘it’s good to be bad‘. And here are some immediate examples across commodityland™.The first topic we are going to look at in dastardly detail is retail gasoline prices. Prices generally peak in the first half of the year ahead of driving season. We then take the exit ramp from this period when we pass Labor Day, and demand takes a turn for the worse.A combination of record refining this summer (taking advantage of lower domestic crude prices), tepid gasoline…

  • This Week in Energy: US Picks up Pace in LNG Race

    This week in energy, the prospect of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports gain momentum in Washington with final federal approval for two more projects in Louisiana and Florida thanks to a tweaking of legislation.On Wednesday, the US Department of Energy approved final permits for Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana and Carib Energy’s small-scale export project in Florida, making them the second and third LNG export projects to win final federal approval.The first to win a final permit to export LNG to non-Free-Trade Agreement countries was Cheniere’s Sabine Pass project in Louisiana, which was approved in 2012. Since then,…

  • The Countries Most at Risk from Declining Oil Prices

    The oil markets woke up at the end of the summer of 2014 realizing that there was not as much demand out there as they thought. Suddenly, the world is flush with supplies, and there aren’t enough buyers out there to gobble it all up.That has Brent prices at their lowest levels in over two years.The International Energy Agency said that weakening demand for oil worldwide is “nothing short of remarkable.” What is even more remarkable is the blunt language used by the IEA, usually a buttoned-up and bureaucratic bunch.But for the third month in a row the IEA was…

  • An Energy-Related Reason Why US Healthcare Outcomes are Awful

    Back in January 2013, the US Institute of Medicine published a report called U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. This poor health outcome for US citizens is in spite of the US spending twice as much as a percentage of GDP on healthcare as other high-income nations.As an example of the problems the US has, the report showed the following exhibit, pointing out that the US has made much smaller advances in life expectancy since 1980 than other high-income nations.  The US is now seventeenth of the seventeen countries analyzed in male life expectancy, and sixteenth out…

  • Why Energy Efficiency Is The Most Important Fuel We Didn’t Know We Had

    Energy efficiency has graduated from the “hidden fuel” to the “first fuel.”That’s the word from a new analysis the International Energy Agency published Tuesday, looking into the benefits of investments in energy efficiency upgrades. Those gains can be hard to measure, as they lie in energy not used and costs not encountered — hence the “hidden fuel” moniker. This tends to result in energy efficiency being chronically undervalued, a problem the study sought to remedy by taking a “multiple benefits” approach that accounted for the full sweep of effects across health, economics, energy, pollution, etc.The numbers IEA found were massive.…

  • Investigation Reveals Surprising Way Foreign Governments Buy Influence In D.C.

    An investigation by The New York Times has found that several prominent Washington, D.C. think tanks have regularly taken donations from foreign entities in exchange for using their influence over U.S. policy decisions.The damning report, published in the Sept. 6 edition of the newspaper, revealed that some of the institutions involved have accepted multi-million dollar donations from foreign governments seeking access to inside corridors of the federal government, including Congress, executive branch agencies, and even the White House. In return, the think tanks pushed agendas favored by the donor nations and hosted public events in Washington that featured speakers from…

  • Junior Mining Companies Looking for Financial Lifeboats

    Any company will tell you that panic starts to set in once the confidence of the board or of investors begins to wane. This is precisely the situation in the mining industry. Established mining companies and newcomers alike have been struggling worldwide to deliver the short-term results that their boards want. Mining is, by its very nature, an industry that produces long-term results, but that hasn’t alleviated the pressure facing operators. As a result, mining companies have sought to make the most out of their existing assets by cutting costs, shedding staff and pulling back on investments like exploration. While…

  • This Week in Energy: Project Liberty: Corn Waste for Freedom Fuel

    This week in energy we’re looking at the grand opening in Iowa of the first facility to commercially produce ethanol from corn waste products as proof that we don’t need to divert corn from the food supply or livestock feed.Under the umbrella of the government-backed “Project Liberty”, the Iowa plant is the first ever to produce cellulosic ethanol specifically from corn waste, and the second in the US to commercially produce cellulosic ethanol from agricultural waste.The Emmetsburg, Iowa plant is owned by a joint venture between American-owned POET and Dutch-owned Royal DSM. The plant owners are calling the project the…

  • Sending the Wrong Message to the Corporate World

    BP today was found grossly negligent in its connection with the 2010 deepwater horizon disaster.  It is a most surprising result and will continue to hang over the head of the company, at least until the amount of the fines that BP will have to pay under the Clean Water Act are finally determined, making the stock – again – impossible to own.  But this isn’t a column about BP. It’s a column about corporate responsibility in the oil patch and what companies can expect  -- even when they have done their utmost to atone for an admitted negligent mistake. …