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Falling Oil Prices and US Economic Activity

Weak demand and abundant supply are behind the recent trend in oil prices, which have fallen by more than $50 per barrel since June. This event is not unprecedented—in fact, the conditions associated with the 2014 crude price drop are very similar to those surrounding a similar drop during 1985 and 1986. In both cases, oil conservation […]

Where Falling Oil Prices May Take Us Next

The world economy has seen a 40 percent drop in oil prices since mid-June, partly because of a recent Saudi Arabia decision to not cut oil production in the face of global oversupply.  This price drop, should it last more than a few months, raises the issue: Will low prices end or seriously diminish the […]

Lifting the Oil Export Ban: A Staged Approach

In the debates surrounding a lifting of the oil export ban, what is sometimes missed is that exceptions—some big, some small—to permit exports have been made for decades.  President Reagan issued a finding in 1985 that exports to Canada for consumption in Canada would be in the national interest and such exports began to be […]

The GAO Report: Competition of Oil Export Ban Studies

Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that reviews four studies about lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports—those by RFF, ICF International and EnSys Energy, IHS Global Insights, and NERA.  According to the GAO’s summary, these studies estimate that U.S. crude oil prices would increase by about $2 to $8 […]

What Did the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Moratorium Mean for the Workforce?

On April 20, 2010, the Transocean Deepwater Horizon suffered a catastrophic blowout while drilling in a BP lease in the Gulf of Mexico’s Macondo Prospect. This accident resulted in the largest oil spill in US history and an unprecedented spill response effort. Due to the ongoing spill and concerns about the safety of offshore oil […]

On Proposed Regulations for Arctic Offshore Oil Drilling

This entry previously appeared as a comment on the National Journal’s Energy Insiders forum “Can Arctic Drilling Be Done Safely?”. On August 15, the Obama administration took a long awaited step forward in the development of safety standards for Arctic offshore drilling operations. The submission of proposed regulations by the Department of the Interior (DOI) […]

Update on Ending the Export Ban: What It Means for US Gasoline Prices

Data aficionados among our readers will appreciate that it is best to analyze price movements using as disaggregated data as possible, both temporally and spatially. In the original version of our recent issue brief, we used annual data.  But with more time to acquire data, we found monthly data series.  Importantly, these new data include […]

Russia and Ukraine: The Energy Dimension

Russian incursion into Crimea, potential counter-measures by the United States and other Western countries, and retaliatory Russian responses to such counter-measures have, unsurprisingly, spotlighted the role of energy in the conflict. In the case of oil, Russia, it is accurately noted, is the world’s largest producer and second ranking exporter (behind Saudi Arabia). In the case […]

Misplaced Obsessions

The environmental movement has long been and will remain a crucial engine behind environmental policy, but I believe it really needs to reorient itself toward policies that matter, and in the process give up on its misplaced obsessions. First, environmentalists’ obsession with reducing carbon emissions is NOT misplaced. I am not just worried, but scared […]

Ending the Export Ban: What It Means for US Gasoline Prices

Last week, top Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee requested a comprehensive review of what would happen—in terms of energy prices, consumer prices, and more—if the US were to lift its ban on oil exports. In a new RFF issue brief, together with Stephen Brown, Charles Mason, and Jan Mares, we tackle […]