Washington Post: $2 Gas Is Not Having the Economic Impact Everyone Thought It Would
If low oil prices are a gift to U.S. consumers, why isn’t the U.S. economy growing faster?
After all, cheap crude pumps money into consumers’ pockets much the same way a tax cut would. The drop in oil prices this year has been like a $290 billion tax cut, roughly equal to a 1 to 2 percentage point across-the-board cut in federal income and payroll taxes.
But the economy has not snapped back. And consumers aren’t responding to falling gasoline prices with the usual shopping gusto. Instead, the economy has slowed to a lackluster annual rate of 2 percent in the third quarter, confounding the Federal Reserve and souring Americans on the recovery that President Obama has tried to portray as one of his principal achievements.
InsideClimate News: 2015 Was the Year We Found Out Exxon Knew
From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail to households across the nation, there is a roiling call for federal and state prosecutors to probe what Exxon knew about climate change and whether it broke consumer and shareholder protection laws in what it communicated to the public. Petitions and other public demands for investigations follow the publication of investigative stories by InsideClimate News and other news organizations that showed Exxon was at the forefront of global warming research decades ago until it launched campaigns to cast doubt on climate science and delay action.
Exxon is already the target of a probe by the state attorney general in New York, though the inquiry was opened months before the nationwide clamor for action began. Investigators for Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed Exxon records last month spanning four decades of research findings and communications about climate change.
The Atlantic: The Storm That Will Unfreeze the North Pole
The sun has not risen above the North Pole since mid-September. The sea ice -- flat, landlike, windswept, and stretching as far as the eye can see -- has been bathed in darkness for months.
But later this week, something extraordinary will happen: Air temperatures at the Earth’s most northernly region, in the middle of winter, will rise above freezing for only the second time on record.
On Wednesday, the same storm system that last week spun up deadly tornadoes in the American Southeast will burst into the far north, centering over Iceland. It will bring strong winds and pressure as low as is typically seen during hurricanes.
MSNBC: The Year in Climate Change
The Earth’s climate has never had a year like 2015.
It’s likely to shatter the record for the hottest year since humans started keeping track. But the most amazing part of 2015 isn’t the heat -- it’s the fact that humanity finally agreed to do something about it.
The historic moment arrived on December 13, just after 7 p.m. local time, inside a high-security airplane hangar on the outskirts of Paris. Delegates from nearly 200 nations ratified a universal pact to slow manmade global warming, ending a decades-long political stalemate and -- according to the best possible science -- lowering the risk of ecological collapse.
Industry Week: Drama Erupts at Solar Energy Firm Hanergy as Boss Sells Stake at Huge Discount
The boss of Beijing-based solar energy firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group is selling a stake in the company at a massive discount in Hong Kong, as the once high-flying firm faces a continuing regulatory probe.
Hanergy grew more than sixfold to became the world's largest solar power company by market value before dramatically suspending trading in May after its stocks plunged 47%.
But even before that crash, questions were raised over its valuation and revenue sources.