President Obama's sudden embrace of natural gas has changed the face of the energy landscape. Only two months ago, Stephen Moore was writing in thud Wall Street journal at the President "has never uttered the woes, 'Marcellus Shake.'" now he is claiming credit for it. Industry leaders are glowing in the sudden attention. Some are disputing the claim that the government led the way in developing Fracking technology. Environmentalists are not very happy about the whole thing and in some quarters "Fracking" is still a four-letter word.
Tensions continued high in the Middle East as a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Tehran for another inspection of nuclear sites. Iranian officials offered to extend their visit and said airman has nothing to hide. India has elected not to join the international boycott and South Korea is expressing reluctance. Europe has joined, however, and now Tehran is threatening to stop shipments, predicting the price of oil will rise to $150 per barrel. Europe has it's own troubles with Greek debt , however, and oil gas slipped to $99 per barrel in anticipation of a Greek default.
The report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Nuclear Waste has raised hopes that efforts may be renewed to find a permanent repository, but even the best estimates say it could take twenty years. Newspapers in Nevada are happy to see the country look elsewhere but those in Seattle say Yucca Mountain should be revived. Brad Plumer of the Washington Post says Sweden has much to teach us on the issue.
And finally, after spending years in the theoretical and experimental stage, Microgrids (above) may be ready to move into the real world. Microgrids are small neighborhood grids that have their own power source. They can be isolated during emergencies and avoid the cascades that end in blackouts. They move us toward the decentralization of power generation and some observers say they can be a utility's best friend.