Energy security is one of the most talked about topics not only in terms of the debates around climate change action but also conventional policy. Energy price and stability have very real economic implications for any nation and there is now more than ever increasing concern to secure the resource by internalising energy generation.
There won't be an end to political gridlock yet, there's just a movement of the chokepoint from the Senate to Obama's veto. People were very frustrated that nothing got done in Washington the last couple of years, but they should not count on DC becoming a smooth, tough, lean and mean operator just because of one election. Some market friendly decisions now have a better chance of being taken, but politics in general in America will not begin to work better overnight.
Tonight at the European Parliament there will be a vote on whether Miguel Arias Canete, nicknamed "Senor Petrolhead" by the Sunday Times, will be accepted as the new EU commissioner for Climate and Energy. To cut a long story short, Canete has long embedded family ties with the oil industry so if common sense were to prevail, he would not be appointed.
I, for one, cannot wait for this debate to be over in September. Once, we finally get over this issue, we can finally focus on the real issues - housing, social security, schooling, the NHS, pensions etc. Only when the referendum has concluded we will turn back to these issues and deal with them as a united nation.
The Kurds of Iraq cannot be accused of impatience over exploiting their energy riches. Oil has been underground for millennia and as it bubbled to the surface was used in traditional medical treatments. But those who ruled Iraq neglected it, apart from the Kirkuk region which was forcibly taken from the Kurds...
The announcement this week by the gas company Cuadrilla that it wants to drill and frack up to eight new wells in Lancashire has alarmed local people and green campaigners alike; they are worried about the impact of hydraulic fracturing - the controversial technique which involves injecting, at high pressure, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the earth to release shale gas - on the area's countryside and wider environment.
The latest civil conflict within newly-independent South Sudan is a depressing, avoidable tragedy. This is a part of Africa that has already fought two 'civil' wars in pursuit of independence. It is chronically poor and suffers the worlds highest infant and maternal mortality - and female illiteracy.