In recent weeks, the price of a barrel of oil has stayed at about $100 a barrel, and gasoline prices have been edging closer to $4 a gallon. The costs are apparently due to events half a world away, in the Middle East. Even though plenty of oil is around, there is fear of further disruptions, and consumers, business people, and politicians have all been making adjustments. Here are eight ways that higher energy prices are starting to affect America.
Happy Halloween: Trick or treat? Solar or oil? Even Halloween jack-o'-lanterns have joined the energy debate. When the Department of Energy promoted clean energy and efficiency as pumpkin-carving suggestions, the US oil and gas lobby served up its own Halloween ideas.
The American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry group, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the government’s estimate over how much ethanol must be blended into the US fuel supply this year.
Buzz is building around a deposit of oil in Texas that some in the oil industry say is the largest deposit in the world. It's no surprise then that the industry is trotting out the America-as-the-new-Saudi-Arabia theme once again, Cobb writes, a theme that many have shown to be pure bunkum.
Gas prices rose 4 percent in the US this week, according to AAA. Despite a boom in North American oil production, gas prices won't be approaching $2 anytime soon.
The EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard program has attracted controversy for driving up food prices and the cost of gasoline. Republican lawmakers lambasted the EPA's fuel standard in a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, but supporters say the standard is flexible and an important part of a transition to alternative fuels.
The debate over shipping oil via pipelines versus rail hinges on access, price and reliability, Graeber writes. For now, it seems trains are winning the race, but what happens long-term with more pipeline access remains to be seen.
Federal regulations on fracking barely apply because the states involved already have a say in the way drilling proceeds, Graeber writes. Perhaps, he adds, it's the energy industry that has a right to question why the government 'is moving forward with these requirements in the first place.'
Environmentalists and industry representatives are criticizing new draft regulations on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling method that has helped spark an oil and gas boom. The shared discontent reflects the complexity of the debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing and natural gas use.