Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited Boston Tuesday to commemorate Earth Day at the New England Aquarium. Before heading to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game, he sat down with the Monitor's David J. Unger to talk about the Ukraine crisis, oil exports, methane leaks, and his optimism about tackling climate change. Here are excerpts (edited for clarity):
The Ukraine crisis presents the country with an opportunity to boost its domestic energy production with the help of American expertise, says US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, in a Monitor interview. US experts will support Ukraine natural gas production and energy efficiency as part of a crisis support package announced Tuesday.
Diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, Europe, and the US agreed Thursday to steps that aim to deescalate an increasingly delicate situation in eastern Ukraine. Energy interdependency has helped tamp down tensions as the sides take a step toward settling Ukraine's natural gas debt.
Clean energy is off to a strong start in 2014, with global investment rising as prices for wind and solar power continue to drop. Renewables still hold a small share of total energy mixes, but clean-energy growth is picking up momentum.
Ukraine declared an 'anti-terrorist operation' Tuesday against pro-Russian militia in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region. Meanwhile in the West, Kiev courted its European neighbors for alternative fuel supplies that would boost its energy security.
While containing global warming will require substantial investment in cleaner sources of energy, much can be accomplished through energy efficiency, a new United Nations report says. More efficient cars, buildings, and appliances will play a crucial role in curbing the effects of global warming, the report found.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned western leaders Thursday of a potential shutoff of natural gas supplies unless Ukraine pays off the billions it owes for Russian gas. There are alternatives to Russian gas, but the cutoff Putin threatens is a worst-case scenario for Ukraine and broader Europe.
Ukraine again missed a payment deadline late Monday on the natural gas it buys from Russia. Ukraine's debt to Russia over natural gas has led to supply cutoffs before, but there are other ways to resolve a long-standing dispute.
It's not just dependency on Russian natural gas that poses problems for Ukraine, it's also Russia's virtual monopoly on the fuel for Ukraine's nuclear reactors.
Major oil and gas companies have an opportunity to lead the global fight against climate change, according to Christiana Figueres, the United Nations' climate change chief. Traditional energy firms say they are already cutting emissions, but Ms. Figueres offered both environmental and economic reasons for doing more.
Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed support Wednesday for a more diverse European energy supply as a response to Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Some have called for the US to wield its own 'energy weapon,' but the Obama administration has focused more on European solutions.
Russia is raising the price it charges Ukraine for its natural gas, and the interim Ukrainian government is upping the price of its own subsidized, domestic gas. Higher energy costs will hit Ukraine's economy hard during a delicate transition, but it could prove valuable further down the road.
Warming climates and rising incomes will lead to a surge in cooling-related energy use, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It's one of several ways global warming is set to alter global energy supply and demand.
Diversifying European oil and gas imports is no small task, but if Moscow’s Crimean incursion leads to a tit-for-tat escalation in energy sanctions, Russia faces a far more difficult time quickly finding new customers than Europe does finding new suppliers.
No, but Tesla Motors Model S gets new armor. The automaker passed a federal investigation into Model S battery fires that started when road debris struck the electric cars' underbodies. Plates will be added to further protect Tesla Motors Model S battery packs.
President Obama and European leaders warned Tuesday of broader economic sanctions on sectors like energy, finance, and arms sales should Russia escalate a delicate situation in Ukraine. Heightened warnings suggest Western leaders are more willing to counter Russia's 'natural gas weapon' with a weapon of their own.
The US Energy Department conditionally approved its seventh liquefied natural gas export terminal Monday. The authorization comes as President Obama visits Europe to discuss European energy security and the continent's response to Russia's Crimea annexation.
Galveston oil spill released heavy sticky oil into Galveston Bay Saturday, shutting down a major shipping route and creating a large oil slick. The safety record of oil tankers has improved dramatically over recent decades. Does Galveston oil spill highlight risks of increased tanker traffic?
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Friday officially incorporating Crimea as part of Russia. Moscow's Crimea annexation is a double whammy against Ukrainian energy security – blocking Kiev's access to Black Sea oil and gas while extending Mr. Putin's energy dominance in Europe.