Lisa Margonelli

Lisa Margonelli writes about the global culture and economy of energy. Margonelli is a fellow at the New American Foundation and the author of "Oil On the Brain: Petroleum's Long Strange Trip to Your Tank" (2008).

Lisa Margonelli appears in the following:

Fracking's Impact on the American Landscape

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fracking has worked miracles in the west, but are we back to a form of wildcatting for oil and gas — a boom time with no rules? Richard Manning, a writer based in Montana has been re...

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As Tensions with Iran Rise, So Do Oil Prices

Friday, February 17, 2012

This time last year, unrest in Libya sent oil prices climbing, adding pressure to an already struggling economy.  Now, it looks like a similar scenario could happen this spring and summer: in retaliation for an embargo planned by the European Union, Iran has threatened to cut off oil supplies. Impacting virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy, these increased oil prices will almost certainly influence the election's climate.

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Backstory: What Solyndra Can Teach Us about Green Technology Investment

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The bankruptcy of California-based solar-panel producer Solyndra made headlines last month when it was revealed that the company had received $527 million in federal loans and that the Energy Department had later agreed to restructure its government-backed loan in an effort to help the ailing firm. On today’s Backstory, Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation, explains what lessons the Solyndra bankruptcy can teach us about federal investment in green energy and how countries like Germany and China are bolstering their green energy sectors.

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Solyndra a Scandal? What it Means for Obama and Green Energy

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

For me, a scandal would mean that you do it for your own personal self-interest, and although there's a lot of smoke out there, no one has proven yet that this was done for political ...

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One Year Later: Looking at the Impact of the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's been a year since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill and many questions remain about the long-term impact that the disaster will have not just on public policy, but on the fragile ecosystems of the Gulf Coast. To mark the one year anniversary of the disaster, two of our regular contributors reflect on what the future looks like one year later. Lisa Margonelli is the Director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation and David Biello is an editor at Scientific American.

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Will We Ever Stop Using Unsafe Energy?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tokyo's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is said to be registering at 100-thousand times the normal level of radiation following the Sendai earthquake three weeks ago. Is the breach at Fukushima further proof that, in our search for energy independence, nuclear power may just be an uncontrollable gambit? Or is there a safer means to extract the power of the atom? Does fail-safe technology really exist?

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Government Weighs Opening Strategic Oil Reserves

Monday, March 07, 2011

As prices at the pump go up, the government is considering tapping into our strategic oil reserves. Coming up on The Takaway, oil expert Lisa Margonelli says what makes sense in the s...

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As Oil Prices Rise, Looking at the Year Ahead for Energy

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back in 2008, the price of a barrel of oil rose to $133, and prices at the pump topped $4 per gallon. As the economy slowed, and demand for oil dropped, the price did as well. However, the cost of oil has risen to just over $90 a barrel, as confidence in the economic recovery grows stronger and the price of filling up your car is expected to keep rising throughout 2011. What will happen to our economic recovery if we hit the psychological benchmark of $100 per barrel or higher this year?

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Five Months, Eight Days: BP's Gulf Oil Spill

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We've come a long way, baby...

The Macondo well may be sealed and "dead," but the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is going to be felt for some time to come. We're spending the whole hour wrestling with some of the unanswered questions and lingering issues that the BP oil spill has left in its wake. To help us navigate these dirty waters, Robert Hernan, author of "This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters Around the World" joins us for the hour.

Also, check out our timeline of the entire disaster, spanning from the Deepwater Horizon's construction in 1998 through when it was declared "dead" on Sunday.

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Experts Answer Your Questions About Oil Spill

Friday, May 28, 2010

As we learn more about the BP oil leak, there's more that doesn't make sense. It's been almost six weeks since the explosion, which caused the disastrous gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and many of the public's questions are still unanswered.

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Oil Spill: Answers to Your Questions

Thursday, May 27, 2010


We asked our listeners for questions about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and then had two of our favorite energy experts answer them.  Lisa Margonelli is director of the New America Foundation Energy Policy Initiative and writes about global energy issues; David Biello is an associate editor on Energy & the Environment at Scientific American.

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Oil Execs' Play Blame Game on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton – the three companies involved in the massive oil spill that continues to spew in the Gulf Coast – testified on Capitol Hill yesterday, pointing fingers at each other and deflecting blame from their own firms.

Senators were clearly not amused by all the blame game in full swing. "There's this transference of liability, or finger pointing," Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said. "There's going to be plenty of time to figure out who is to blame, who is at fault.”


First the Oil Spill, Then the Reforms

Friday, May 07, 2010

Energy reforms are on the minds of politicians following the collapse of the Deepwater Horizons oil rig that spewed more more than 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has reversed his position, and come out against off shore oil drilling. Then yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a halt on new drilling permits until his agency determines the cause of the rig collapse. Historically, regulatory and environmental laws follow disasters and regulatory changes, from equipment upgrades to increasing legal liability, are already on the table.


President Unveils Offshore Drilling Plan

Thursday, April 01, 2010

President Obama unveiled plans to expand oil and natural gas drilling off the coasts of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and north coast of Alaska, yesterday. If implemented, the move is expected to decrease the country's dependency on foreign fuels, please oil and gas companies and Republicans, but anger those on the left and environmental groups.


Exxon Buys XTO; Is Natural Gas The New Oil?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This week, Exxon acquired XTO Energy, one of the largest domestic producers of natural gas. Natural gas is considered a cheaper and greener form of energy due to its somewhat lower ca...

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'Pixie Dust,' the Prius, and the New Green Power

Thursday, July 09, 2009

As we look for alternatives to oil and try to develop new technologies, we are tapping into an entire periodic table of new important commodities. These rare earth metals are the basi...


California, Here We Come: New Fuel Standards

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Obama administration is expected to announce new national standards for car emissions and mileage today. The standards are expected to be comparable to the standards California so...

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Underreported: Neodymium and Green Energy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Neodymium is a rare earth metal and important component in the electric car engines and wind turbines that are being touted as the future of alternative energy. But, neodymium is not without it’s problems. We'll look at what neodymium is and why we may soon face a global shortage of ...

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