The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's top oil producer by 2017, the West's energy agency said on Monday, predicting Washington will come very close to achieving a previously unthinkable energy self-sufficiency. The forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises large industrialized nations on energy policy, were in sharp contrast to previous IEA reports, which saw Saudi Arabia remaining the top producer until 2035. "Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America - and the energy sector," the IEA said in its annual long-term report, giving one of the most optimistic forecasts for U.S. energy production growth to date. "The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity - with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge," … [Read more...] about U.S. to overtake Saudi as top oil producer: IEA
U s energy consumption
President George W. Bush on Tuesday called for Americans to cut their gasoline use by 20 percent over a decade, mostly through a nearly five-fold increase in use of home-grown fuels such as ethanol by 2017. In his annual State of the Union address to Congress, Bush also called for tighter vehicle fuel efficiency standards and doubling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's capacity to 1.5 billion barrels by 2027. Bush asked U.S. lawmakers to "join me in pursuing a great goal" of reducing gasoline consumption by 20 percent -- the equivalent of 75 percent of current oil imports from the Middle East. Most of that reduction comes from a massive increase in ethanol made from both corn and unconventional sources such as wood chips and farm cast-offs. "We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol - using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes," Bush said. Bush's "Twenty by Ten" strategy furthers a theme he has tried to drive home in his annual … [Read more...] about Bush wants to cut U.S. gasoline use by 20 percent
U.S. researchers have successfully used certain microbes to produce biofuels, opening a door to developing cheaper "green" energy. The discovery was made by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The findings were published on Sunday's issue of the journal "Nature Biotechnology". The work concentrated on tricking microbes into eating protein and using the resulting energy to generate specific proteins that can be refined into fuel, the researchers explained. This is different from the current biofuel production which is based on plants or microbes that generate fats, oils or carbohydrates that can be refined into biofuel, said Dr. James C. Liao, who took part in the study. "This research is the first attempt to utilize protein as a carbon source for energy production and biorefining," Liao said. " Complex cellular regulation in nitrogen metabolization had to be rewired." The researchers said they are now working to take ammonia out of … [Read more...] about U.S. researchers discover way of using microbes to produce biofuels
Despite the sizable price spike in crude oil and other commodities, the longer-run inflation expectations remained stable in the United States, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday. Overall consumer prices in the nation rose somewhat faster in December and January than in earlier months, as consumer energy prices posted further increases and consumer food prices responded to the recent upturn in farm commodity prices, the central bank noted in minutes released on Tuesday of a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held in March. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) excluding food and energy, or the core PCE price index, ticked up slightly in January, boosted by an increase in prices of core goods after four months of declines, while the 12-month change in this core price index stayed near the very low levels seen in late 2010, according to the minutes. "A few members remained uncertain about the benefits of the asset purchase program, but … [Read more...] about U.S. long-term inflation expectations remain stable: Fed
The General Motors Co. (GM) on Tuesday announced its plan to build an electric motor plant near Baltimore, Maryland, the first such plant dedicated to making key components for vehicle electrification in the United States. The plant is scheduled to open in 2013. "We believe the future of sustainable transportation is electrically driven vehicles and this facility will help us maintain a leadership position within this category," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president in charge of environment and safety policy. GM has dedicated 269.5 million U.S. dollars to the building of the plant. Besides, GM said that the plant will be powered in part by a 1. 23-megawatt rooftop solar array, which is expected to generate nine percent of its annual energy consumption and save approximately 330,000 dollars during the life of the project. GM said last week it plans to invest two billion dollars into 17 U.S. facilities nationwide over the next few years. VietNamNet/Xinhuanet … [Read more...] about GM to build first electric motor plant in U.S.