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It is not uncommon to read articles or hear of claims that international oil companies somehow “set” the price of crude oil and use this power to drive profits. But a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) would, I hope, convince readers otherwise. This online report, called “What Drives Crude Oil Prices?” shows that there are a multitude of factors that influence the price of oil and gasoline – and demonstrates that oil companies simply aren’t able to set prices.

Considering it is the “paper of record” for many Americans, I’m glad to see that The New York Times has published its own critique of a June 25 article about the U.S. natural gas industry. The original article, by Times reporter Ian Urbina, aspired to be an exposé about U.S. shale gas production. But in his column on Sunday, the Times’ public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, chastised the article for many of the same flaws that a wide range of commentators and industry experts had already identified.


More than one week after the breach of the ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (EMPCo) line under the Yellowstone River in Montana, the Unified Command in charge of the response – consisting of local, state and federal resources, as well as those from ExxonMobil – has been making progress in the cleanup efforts.

I’m currently in Montana working with ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (EMPCo) as part of the response team following last Friday’s spill, and I wanted to provide a quick summary of actions taken since my last update. Yesterday, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer joined EMPCo President Gary Pruessing on a visit to the site of cleanup operations in Laurel, Mont. There, Gov. Schweitzer saw the work being done by some of the more than 300 people who are now part of the cleanup and response efforts.