Fuel Fix

Drivers test out the Nissan Leaf electric car at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show (AP file photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Batteries to compete with gas peaker plants by 2016

Falling prices for lithium-ion batteries will make power-storage systems competitive with natural gas as a source of electricity during periods of high demand by 2016, according to the chief executive officer of A123 Systems Inc.  More »
Protesters of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline at a rally in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2011. (Puneet Kollipara / the Houston Chronicle)

GOP to push votes on Keystone XL, drilling measures

Congressional Republicans will move to get legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline through the House and Senate by using surface-transportation bills that both chambers are taking up this week. The House version of the transportation bill also contains provisions expanding oil-and-gas drilling.  More »
Demonstrators hold up signs in front of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline project in the US, and the Tar Sands Development in Alberta Canada. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Keystone XL foes flood senators with “vote no” messages

Environmental activists are staging a 24-hour campaign to send 500,000 messages to senators urging them to oppose legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline that could come up for a vote in the Senate this week.  More »
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Oil settles above $100 a barrel

Investors were encouraged that Greece would get the bailout money it needs.  More »
(AP file photo/Alastair Grant)

BP video gives outlook on rise of renewable energy

BP released its Energy Outlook 2030 report in video form, showing how the U.S. will increasingly turn to natural gas and renewables, instead of coal and oil, for its energy needs.  More »
This image provided by BP's spillcam on June 6, 2010 shows oil leaking out of the Macondo well head in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP file photo/BP)

BP loses bid to dismiss investor claims spurred by spill

BP Plc lost a court bid to dismiss fraud claims by investors who said the company lied before and after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill about its accident response capability.  More »
President Barack Obama (AP file)

Obama budget would boost renewables, nix oil and gas tax breaks

President Barack Obama called today for boosting funding for pipeline safety and renewable energy while again proposing to roll back several tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.  More »
office_space_stapler_with_milton

Reworking the workplace

At BBVA Compass’ newest Houston office, employees don’t have trash cans at their desks, and eating next to their computers is a no-no. Workers at El Paso Corp.’s headquarters can go outside to work on nice days. And Clean Line Energy has a bike room with showers and lockers for those who get to work on two wheels.  More »
Pegasus, the winged red horse icon of Exxon-Mobil, is seen on a gas pump in Ferndale, Mich. (Photo: Carlos Osorio, Associated Press)

Iraq May Bar Exxon From Oil Auction If It Pursues Kurdistan Deal

Iraq may prevent Exxon Mobil Corp. from bidding in a new energy exploration round if it refuses to rescind agreements with the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani.  More »
Eugene Isenberg

Lo and behold, boards put the brakes on CEO pay

Facing measures that will hold directors more responsible for runaway executive pay, the boards of two major local employers are already changing their habits.  More »
A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig (Photo: Chesapeake Energy)

Chesapeake looking to sell assets, reduce debt

Chesapeake Energy will try to raise as much as $8 billion by selling parts or all of some of its emerging oil and gas territory in West Texas and Oklahoma.  More »
Tim Mayo, executive vice president of KB Home, displays a Zero House 2.0 in Westheimer Lakes in Richmond. The home is powered by 32 solar panels with 7.2 kilowatts of capacity. Photo: Cody Duty / © 2011 Houston Chronicle

Sarnoff: House’s power source 93 million miles away

A national production builder is developing homes in the area designed to generate as much energy as they use.  More »