Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 were the lowest in the United States since 1994, at 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2. With the exception of 2010, emissions have declined every year since 2007.
The gap in natural gas prices has opened quickly, leaving companies that make investment decisions years in advance scrambling to catch up. As recently as 2007, U.S. natural gas prices were only about 20 percent lower than Europe's, not enough to fundamentally reshape markets.
Expressing surprise at the enormous increase in U.S. production of oil and natural gas by unconventional means, Thomas Helbling, a division chief in the IMF's (International Monetary Fund) Research Department, was forced to admit that it was free enterprise that was responsible for it after all.
A draft State Department report concludes that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not speed up development of Canada's oil sands, dealing a blow to environmentalists who claim Keystone would worsen climate change.
Fracking is short for "hydraulic fracturing," and the catch-all term used to describe the process of extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. The process goes roughly like this: A company drills down more than a mile deep into the shale rock formations. Then comes what is known as "horizontal drilling" - effectively, the drilling turns 90 degrees, so that the well is exposed to more rock than it would be otherwise.