From storms to politics, the year was a wild ride. What are the most meaningful US stories of 2012? Here's the Monitor's list, in roughly chronological order.
With US energy production booming, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska is leading the charge to overturn a decades-old ban on US crude oil exports. Murkowski met with the Obama administration this week to discuss oil condensate exports and the prospect of further loosening the oil export ban.
President Obama's pledge to end US support for overseas coal projects is on the chopping block, as Congress debates the future of the US Export-Import Bank. A reversal of the coal ban would deal a blow to the administration's Climate Action Plan.
Some energy analysts may suggest the US is becoming an important source of energy supply for the world. But, the US's oil supply may not translate as a foreign policy tool, writes Daniel J. Graeber.
The standoff between Russia and the West will likely take twists and turns for some time in the future. Investors in energy may need to brace themselves for a bumpy ride.
Iran nuclear talks find Russia and the West ostensibly on the same side, Cunningham writes. But Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the retaliatory steps taken by the US and the European Union to isolate Russia will certainly influence the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.