Fuel Fix

More oil rigs shut down this week

Categories: Crude oil, featured, Markets
The number of U.S. rigs chasing oil fell to a total of 646 this week, according to a weekly tally by oil service company Baker Hughes.
Alan Sadler

Feds’ plan to boost biofuel targets draws fire from all sides

In trying to balance the competing interests of oil companies and biofuel producers, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed renewable fuel quotas for 2014, 2015 and 2016 have pleased almost no one.

The Baker Hughes research and development building in Tomball, Texas. (Todd Spoth/For the Chronicle)

Financial impact of Baker Hughes shutdown in Iraq uncertain

It’s “too soon to quantify the financial impact” of the protest that shut down Baker Hughes’ operations in Iraq this weekend, but the Houston oil field service company does have a dozen rigs in the country, Tudor Pickering and Holt analysts said in a note to clients Tuesday.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is executive vice president at the consulting and technology firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

Q&A: Adm. Thad Allen gauges online risks to energy

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is no stranger to disaster.
Categories: Premium, Safety/Security

A motorist fills up with gasoline containing ethanol in Des Moines.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Seven things to know about ethanol

Billed as a green replacement for billions of gallons of gasoline, ethanol has enjoyed widespread political support. But the results of America’s ethanol policy have not been as green as advertised.
SolarCity Charles employees prepare to install solar panels on the roof of a home in Palo Alto, California.  (Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

Tea Party’s green faction fights for solar in red states

A Georgia splinter group known as the Green Tea Coalition, which is part of the broader anti-big-government movement, is reviving the Republican link with the Sierra Club on the view that plunging prices for solar panels may mean consumers don’t need to buy all their electricity from utilities and their giant centralized generation plants.
Categories: Politics/Policy, Solar
Erosion is seen in field of soybeans that was recently converted to row crops near Corydon, Iowa. The barn is also slated to be demolished to allow more acreage to be planted.  Government mandates to increase ethanol production have helped drive up corn prices leading to marginal land being farmed to produce the crop. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Ethanol industry takes aim at AP investigation

Ethanol industry officials emailed newspapers and other media, referring to the AP’s report as a “smear,” ”hatchet job” and “more dumpster fire than journalism.”
The Chinese flag blows in the wind as hundreds of people walk along the Bund boardwalk by the Huangpu river in Shanghai, China. (Paula Bronstein/MCT)

China, India increasingly drive global energy demand

China and India are increasingly driving world energy demand as the United States’ production boom puts it on track to become independent of the global market, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
Categories: Asia, Markets
An ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push

In 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.
Categories: Biofuels, featured