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Ready for more? Department of Energy

Are we ready for more offshore drilling?

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Obama administration is looking to expand offshore drilling. Is it any safer today?
The National Transportation Safety Board made an ‘urgent’ recommendation to improve the safety of oil-carrying rail cars. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Shipping oil by rail is booming. Technology can make it safer

While federal agencies ponder regulations for safer oil rail cars, researchers are developing high-tech inspection and safety systems.
Iranians, who celebrated in the streets of Tehran following this month’s nuclear agreement, are keen to rebuild relations with the West. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Julie Bishop can reach out to Iran now that confrontation has failed

By reaching out to Iran, Australia can help end a long stand-off with the West that prevented solutions to many of the world's most dangerous problems, including Syria's civil war and Islamic State.
This derailed oil-carrying train in Ontario in March was the third from a single freight company in a month. Reuters

Despite disasters, oil-by-rail transport is getting safer

Derailed train cars carrying oil have more communities concerned about spills. What's behind the oil-by-rail boom and a federal agency's 'urgent' call last week for better safety?
With rooftop solar installations soaring, utilities are nervous – for a few reasons. Greens MPs

Why rooftop solar is disruptive to utilities – and the grid

Electric utilities want to quash distributed solar because they don't want the competition, right? Perhaps, but if you rely at all on the grid, you have a stake in this fight, too.
The massive Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California was partially funded by a large Department of Energy loan guarantee yet the policy has been harshly criticized. Gregg Tavares

Why is low-carbon energy innovation so slow? You can thank Economics 101

The world needs new energy technologies to meet global demand and slow emissions. Government plays an outside role in energy so what policies work best for innovation?
Some of the earliest applications of photography came in the fields of archaeology and botany. Pictured is a photograph from botanist Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843).

How photography evolved from science to art

Because a photograph came from a machine – not a human hand – many were not entirely sure if it could be called art.
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline. Andrew Cullen/Reuters

Keystone pipeline veto: politics or real policy?

A roundtable of energy experts weigh in on the significance of Obama’s veto — the economics, the politics and the environmental — as well as what’s next.
Sometimes you don’t need a measuring stick to come up with an assessment: really, really deep. katorisi

Where do those snowfall totals on the news come from?

It's really hard to measure snowfall accurately. The National Weather Service relies on more than 8,000 volunteers with rulers.

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