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.
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.
The crisis in Ukraine has stirred support for expanded energy exports that could counter Russia's oil and gas leverage. How might expanding oil and gas exports impact US consumers?
The European Union wants to stop American cheese producers from using European names like Parmesan and Muenster on their products, but US lawmakers and dairy farmers are fighting back.
Libya's government depends on oil revenue, which has slowed precipitously since militiamen took over the oil fields last summer. But there's no need to panic (yet).