BURN: BURN BLOG

THE BURN BLOG: November 8, 2012

Professor John Sides

Gas prices tend to have small effects on how people evaluate the economy and the incumbent president.  On balance, other economic indicators are more powerful—like inflation and unemployment.  Moreover, gas prices appear to have had little effect on presidential election outcomes, once other economic variables are taken into account.  The upshot: for gas prices to matter by themselves, there would need to be a large spike in gas prices that was not accompanied by other negative trends in the economy.

November 8, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: October 18, 2012

Amy Jaffe

Growing shale resources in North America look poised to strengthen the U.S. economic and diplomatic position with respect to China, just as they have already done with respect to Russia. U.S. shale gas has already played a key role in weakening Russia’s ability to wield an energy weapon over its European customers. By significantly reducing U.S. demand for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), rising shale gas production has freed up more of the global LNG supply to go to Europe instead of the U.S. As American shale production expands from natural gas to oil, the geopolitical fallout will also mushroom.

October 18, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: September 10, 2012

Matt Fajkus

Since 40% of energy used in the United States is consumed by buildings, pressure has increased to design and build more energy-efficient structures and respective systems to reduce demand. As humans, our natural inclination is to look for a technological solution. That’s the approach taken with the Passive House Standard, which started in Germany and is intended to create buildings which are passively energy-efficient, typically with highly-insulated, airtight construction, and the incorporation of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels.

September 10, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: April 24, 2012

Safety is at the heart of everything we do – driven by our leaders and applied through our operating management system. Our safety and risk management approach is built on deep experience in the oil and gas industry. This includes learning from the conclusions of investigations into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005, as well as operations audits, annual risk reviews, other incident investigations and from industry practice of sharing experience.

April 24, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: April 19, 2012

We have a serious and growing problem: While the severity and scope of operational risks in hydrocarbon production increase, the society’s (and planet’s) ability to absorb possible accidents decreases.  For both partners in this “Big Energy” tango – us and them – the Deepwater Horizon accident was a watershed.  We all realized how unprepared humanity was for such disasters and how disruptive they were for the living Earth.

April 19, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: April 13, 2012

Nuclear energy faces economic challenges in the U.S. Natural gas, thanks to the low price, is projected to be a less costly alternative for electricity production in the next few years. It would be dangerous for the U.S. to put all of its energy eggs in one basket. We need a diverse and less carbon-intensive energy matrix. These are important reasons for energy policy makers to keep nuclear as a viable option within the total mix.

April 13, 2012 more »

The Energy Idea – A blog from the University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin logo

In a week of remembrances about last year’s events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant it is surprising how little has been said about the Fukushima Fifty. “Fukushima Fifty” was the name the Japanese and international media applied to the group of plant workers and emergency responders who, on the morning of March 15th, stayed behind to man the control systems and the site while the bulk of the plant’s employees were relocated.

April 9, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: February 27, 2012

Dale Klein, Ph.D.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year since a titanic earthquake and tsunami crippled northeastern Japan, triggering a partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. While much of the resulting media coverage has focused on the events at Fukushima, the true tragedy is that nearly 20,000 people were killed from the earthquake and tsunami. In contrast, we have not learned of any deaths or significant injuries from radiation exposure, though that could change over time.

April 9, 2012 more »

THE BURN BLOG: March 23, 2012

In a week of remembrances about last year’s events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant it is surprising how little has been said about the Fukushima Fifty. “Fukushima Fifty” was the name the Japanese and international media applied to the group of plant workers and emergency responders who, on the morning of March 15th, stayed behind to man the control systems and the site while the bulk of the plant’s employees were relocated.

March 23, 2012 more »