All Energy Voices

  • Train delayed again? Blame the oil boom.

    With oil production booming in the US, producers are increasingly turning to railways to get crude to refineries. And so much oil is hitting the rails that it's crowding out grain and coal – and even people.

  • Who needs Keystone XL? Oil sands flow to US via loophole.

    As Keystone XL awaits a final decision from the Obama administration, at least one energy firm has found a loophole to ship controversial oil sands across the US border. The Keystone XL workaround could increase the flow of oil sands to the US by an additional 75,000 barrels per day without White House approval. 

  • Climate change policies pay for themselves, study says

    An MIT climate change study released Sunday indicates the cost of slashing coal-fired carbon emissions would be offset by reduced spending on public health. The EPA-funded study examined climate change policies similar to those proposed by the Obama administration in June. 

  • Oil trains face scrutiny; Alaska votes on oil taxes; Australia waffles on renewables [Recharge]

    Canada determined lax oversight and poor safety caused a deadly oil train explosion; Alaskans voted on a referendum they hope will revive falling oil production; Australia is shifting from renewable energy, just as it discovers oil offshore. Catch up on the week in global energy with Recharge.

  • In race for solar power, China is winning

    China is cutting its dependence on carbon-heavy coal and replacing it with solar power at a breakneck pace, Topf writes. The world's top energy consumer added 3.3 gigawatts of solar power capacity between January and June. 

  • US wades into Iraq: Is it all about oil? Libya reintegrates. Shale and GOP. [Recharge]

    US airstrikes, which helped Kurdish peshmerga take back at least part of Mosul Dam over the weekend, are fueling speculation that oil motivated US involvement in Iraq. But the facts point otherwise. Also: Libya continues its reintegration into global oil markets; if the GOP captures the Senate, the US shale boom would likely accelerate. Catch up on the week in global energy with Recharge.

  • Sorry, Mr. Obama, Africa needs coal

    Africa faces a dilemma: It's vulnerable to climate change but needs coal to grow robustly. So which way are Africans going?

  • Oil prices drop, raising worries for debt-heavy companies

    Oil prices have been steady or dipping in recent weeks, despite continued geopolitical turmoil. Calm prices are largely due to soft demand for oil globally – a situation that could pose problems for oil companies saddled with too much debt.

  • Keystone XL: first on a Republican Senate’s to-do list?

    Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could be a reality if Republicans take control of the Senate in the midterm elections. Keystone XL has bipartisan support in both chambers already, and a Republican Senate could force President Obama to either approve or veto the controversial project.

  • Ukraine crisis: Is it Kiev's turn to close the spigot? (+video)

    Ukraine's parliament is set to vote Tuesday on a package of sanctions against Russia that could include limiting the flow of Russian gas through Ukraine and to Europe. The move is a measure of desperation amid a Ukraine crisis that shows little sign of easing.  

  • What if your smartphone didn't even need a battery?

    Many in the energy industry are racing to invent a better battery for smartphones and other devices, but what if the latest electronic gadget didn't need a battery to begin with?

  • Oil prices shrug, Russia strikes back, Mexican oil goes global [Recharge]

    Oil prices barely moved on renewed US military action in Iraq; Souring Russia-EU relations means it could be a cold winter in Europe; Mexico moves ahead with opening its oil sector to foreign investment. Catch up on the week in global energy with Recharge.

  • Sunny Barcelona puts the rays to work

    Barcelona's solar energy regulations have moved the city to becoming an example of a sustainable city. Some of Barcelona's efforts include becoming the first European city to have a solar thermal ordinance and having one of the cleanest bus fleets in Europe.

  • US launches airstrikes in Iraq. Oil markets shrug (+video)

    The US began limited airstrikes against Islamist militants in Iraq Friday in an effort to stem the spread of violence. Despite Iraq's status as a major oil producer, oil markets haven't responded much yet to the renewed upheaval – suggesting that investors have grown accustomed to Mideast turmoil.

  • Finding new angles on solar energy

    Solar panels typically cannot capture solar radiation properly unless the sun is straight on the solar panel. However, a company has developed material that can help solar panels capture sunlight from all angles.

  • Why Obama is spending billions on clean energy to ‘Power Africa’

    The Obama administration is pushing green energy in Africa, hoping the continent will bypass coal on its road to development. But some say it's not realistic – or ethical – to expect emerging economies to sidestep fossil fuels.

  • Coal shortage? Blame oil trains.

    Shipping crude oil by rail has led to a coal shortage across the US. Rail companies have more than doubled the amount of petroleum products being shipped each week, which has caused delays in shipping coal, corn, and grain. 

  • US trade deficit narrows in June. What's fueling the decline? (+video)

    A boom in domestic oil and gas production is keeping the US trade deficit down. Some politicians and analysts think increased production means it's time the US allow for crude oil exports, while others say exporting oil would harm American energy security.

  • How magnetism might keep solar panels clean (and efficient)

    Solar panels can lose their efficiency over time due to exposure to harsh elements. Now, scientists have developed a method using magnetic forces that could help keep solar cells efficient and clean.

  • Water for drinking or fracking? Why we may have to choose by 2040.

    Research shows that by 2040, the need for drinking water and water to use in energy production will create shortages. What can people do to prevent water shortages from happening?