The question of natural resource ownership has been answered in many different ways over the course of human history, with compromises between the interests of societies and individual developers taking on a variety of forms.

While it often seems that the basic parameters of ownership and regulation of ownership have been sorted out in places like the US, comparatively small evolutions in the perception of these relationships can have outsized impacts on specific energy projects or companies. Keep reading →

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney share a similar goal when it comes to the federal debt: They want to get it under control. How they would do it differs greatly. Obama’s goal is more restrained; he wants to keep deficits from growing faster than the economy. Romney’s aim is to flat-out balance the federal budget in eight years. Unfortunately, budget experts say, both candidates’ plans fall short. “Obama’s numbers are more realistic, but they don’t get us very far,” said Robert Bixby, who runs the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group. “Romney’s numbers get us a long way, but they aren’t very realistic.”

In Wednesday’s much-hyped verbal slugfest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, few topics will loom larger than taxes. They’re a central battlefield for Republicans and Democrats, an area in which the two parties are fundamentally, philosophically divided. For much of the past four years, the Bush tax cuts, the capital gains tax rate, and the oft-repeated (and heavily spun) fact that 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax have been at the heart of Washington’s conflicts, and have often spilled over into other battles like the fights over health care reform and the debt ceiling.

It’s likely more land and offshore areas would be open for drilling if Mitt Romney wins the White House. He has repeatedly called for more state control (read: faster permitting) and for drilling to be allowed in waters off the East and West Coasts. Obama has a mixed record on drilling. He’s opened some new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and issued preliminary permits to drill in the Arctic. But his administration has issued fewer permits than that of George W. Bush, largely as a result of the moratorium following the BP spill.

During this year’s presidential campaign, the renewable energy industry and the tax credits that support it have become a hot political topic.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney caused a ripple of anxiety in the US wind industry when he said he would not extend the Production Tax Credit that has helped grow the wind industry to 50GW of installed capacity. Keep reading →

The scheduled expiration of a production tax credit for the wind industry has taken center stage in the energy policy debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The credit, which allows taxpayers to claim 2.2 cents for every kilowatt hour of wind energy produced by a utility-scale wind farm, is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2012, a prospect that is already causing layoffs in the wind industry, according to its advocates. Keep reading →