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Energy Edge

Trying to Have It Both Ways: Energy Edge - Brought to You by Chevron

December 16, 2013

Trying to Have It Both Ways

On one hand, America is poised to nearly match its all-time record for oil production set more than 40 years ago, a government report out today finds.

On the other hand: "We remain committed, even as we produce much more oil, to lessening our oil dependence, using less oil domestically, and having fewer emissions," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recently maintained.


Across the globe, the International Energy Agency reported today that global growth in the use of coal depends mostly on China, where "two opposing trends appear"—one shifting to a lower-carbon economy and another establishing a middle class hungry for cheap energy.

President Obama and other world leaders who want to maximize fossil fuels for economic growth while simultaneously cutting carbon emissions from these fuels are trying to have it both ways.

John Podesta, Obama's new adviser, once described this scenario as "absurdly trying to ride two horses galloping in opposite directions."

Amy Harder


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman)

U.S. OIL PRODUCTION TO NEARLY MATCH ALL-TIME RECORD. U.S. crude-oil production will soar for several more years to nearly match its 1970 record in 2016, according to federal projections released that underscore seismic shifts in the country's energy landscape.

SENATE DEMS PRESS INTERIOR TO BACK OFF ARCTIC OIL DRILLING. Six Senate Democrats want the Interior Department to suspend plans to sell more oil-drilling leases in Arctic waters until there's a "thorough reevaluation" of environmental risks.

DEMS PUSH TO EXTEND CLEAN-ENERGY TAX CREDITS. House and Senate lawmakers are calling for a continuation of incentives set to expires at year's end.

IEA CALLS FOR 'RADICAL' ACTION TO CURB COAL EMISSIONS. The International Energy Agency sounded alarms over rising carbon emissions from coal, even as the agency trims its forecast for how much global consumption of the fuel will grow in the next five years.

FALLING CORN PRICES BOOST ETHANOL DEMAND. According to Energy Information Administration data, U.S. refineries blended a record-high amount of ethanol with gasoline in August.

STATES SEEK TO INFLUENCE UPCOMING EPA REGS. Fifteen states, including California and New York, want the agency to grant states flexibility in implementing caps on carbon emissions from power plants.

WHITE HOUSE DELAYED ENVIRONMENTAL REGS. Top administration officials delayed a slate of environmental regulations to prevent political controversy ahead of the president's bid for reelection.

COAST GUARD PUSHES TO MOVE FRACKING BYPRODUCT BY BARGE. The Coast Guard is pushing a proposal to ship fracking wastewater through inland waterways by barge.

PODESTA APPOINTMENT COULD SIGNAL ADMINISTRATION SEA CHANGE. Green groups say the move signals a broader push to prioritize environmental policy in the president's second term.

KERRY RETURNS TO MEKONG DELTA TO BATTLE CLIMATE CHANGE. The Secretary of State traveled to Vietnam's Mekong Delta to vow cooperation on climate change and warn China about the environmental effects of building dams upriver.

WHAT FRACKING DOES TO YOUR HORMONES. Research suggests the drilling technique can release chemicals that disrupt human hormones. 


SENATE CONFIRMATION HEARINGS. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on a slate of nominations for key Interior and Energy department positions, while the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee considers nominations for top-level EPA and Interior posts.

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