With a bipartisan majority vote of 62-37, the Senate demonstrated its support for Keystone XL pipeline construction for the first time.
On March 22, the US Senate voted in favor of an amendment that supports construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries. The amendment, introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), passed the Senate by a 62-37 margin, with 17 Democrats joining all Republicans in the vote of support. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) abstained from the vote due to illness. Sens. Hoeven and Baucus also have proposed a separate bill that would facilitate Congressional approval of the project under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, bypassing the decision-making authority of President Obama. Keep reading →
Despite progress, US infrastructure continues to get a near-failing grade from the nation’s engineers, the Keystone debate drags on, climate change policy is back in the headlines and Europeans contending with Cyprus’ financial meltdown are wondering if oil and gas development could help resolve some of the island nation’s issues.
The American Society of Civil Engineers releases its 2013 Report Card for America’s infrastructure today, and the country’s parents wouldn’t exactly be enthusiastic. From deficient bridges to power outages and ever-growing traffic, the country’s score only “inched up” to a D plus, the group says. Find out more here. Keep reading →
President Obama’s energy strategy has been widely advertised as an “all of the above” approach, and the significant funds invested in renewable energy projects and energy research in the first four years of his presidency have diversified the nation’s energy supply, even as the administration comes under attack for its diffused approach.
The White House is now focusing on the transport sector, leaving aside controversial technologies like large-scale solar or wind installations that dominated the DC energy discussion for the last four years. The new plan, which includes an energy security trust, includes policies to promote the use of natural gas as a transport fuel and includes funds for research into advanced biofuels. Keep reading →
In the presence of recently nominated new Obama Administration energy secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, MIT Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, former Governor Bill Richardson stated that science should play an important role in politics.
The country needs scientists to be more involved in politics and find ways to collaborate in the policy making and review process. Richardson also recognized the path started by Obama in this direction by appointing Dr. Steven Chu to energy secretary during his first term, but he said more initiatives need to be taken to facilitate scientist involvement. Keep reading →
At a well-attended 2013 MIT Energy Conference, an expert panel explored the “big picture” questions surrounding climate change providing updated insights on pros and cons of available actions.
While Sandy has made clear the critical state of the environment – more so than 4 years worth of IPCC reports, notes Dr. Kerry Emanuel (Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT) – international and domestic efforts to enact policies against climate change continue to stall. Keep reading →
The State Department released the latest documents in one of the highest-profile and highest-stakes projects in the North American energy sector today.
The Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement was released March 1, 2013, and includes extensive information on the project, which has attracted the ire of a wide swathe the environmental community and been treated by the oil and gas business as a litmus test of the Obama Administration’s commitment to securing energy supply and energy security through increased development. Keep reading →
In his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama proposed an Energy Security Trust that would rely on the money from increased oil and gas drilling to support research that could move cars and trucks off oil-derived fuels.
From a White House briefing document accompanying the President’s speech: Keep reading →
ExxonMobil is the world’s largest international oil company by virtually all operational and financial metrics and Steve Coll’s book offers a fascinating look at the inner workings of this secretive corporate colossus.
A vestige of John D Rockefeller Senior’s Standard Oil, which famously avoided speaking to the press for much of its existence, ExxonMobil is known within the industry for its operational expertise, rigorous financial discipline, project management skills and tight-lipped nature. Coll’s extensive research and unprecedented access to individuals within and outside the company with first-hand knowledge of transformative events is what makes the book stand out. Keep reading →
Last week, President Obama used his State of the Union speech to address the importance of a robust infrastructure for America. It’s simple: Our country is fighting 21st century global competition with roads, bridges and ports from the early to mid-20th century and pipes and rail lines from the 19th century. It’s one reason the American Society of Civil Engineers graded the US a “D” on its infrastructure and why our country now ranks 25 out of 139 countries in its quality of infrastructure – a drop in years past and a dubious distinction that inspires little confidence.
To read the rest of this article, visit CNBC’s site here. Keep reading →
The language of short-lived sales and low-cost financing is more usually heard around used-car lots and department stores, but there isn’t any reason the same factors can’t apply to the utility business.
The short-term, act-now opportunity open to the power sector in the US is clear in an environment that will dictate significant capital investment, the authors of a new report from consulting firm Booz & Company argue. Keep reading →