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America's boom in oil and natural gas is being compared to the tech boom of the 1990's, with the unexpected capacity to create new jobs and accelerate economic recovery. But it's already bad news for the environment and lifestyles in many places, and it could drastically set back efforts to cope with global warming. Also, the air war between Israel and Hamas continues, and BP has admitted to felony crimes resulting from the Gulf oil spill of 2010.

Banner image: Piceance Basin Natural Gas Operations in northwestern Colorado. Photo by EnergyTomorrow/flickr

Making News Air War between Israel and Hamas Continues 7 MIN, 11 SEC

Alarms sounded today in Tel Aviv, but incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip fell in open areas near the port city of Jaffa and another community. The Israeli Army has called up the reserves. Joel Greenberg is Jerusalem correspondent for the Washington Post.

Joel Greenberg, freelance reporter

Main Topic America's Oil Boom: the Economy and the Environment 34 MIN, 39 SEC

When the President and Mitt Romney talked about "energy independence" during the recent campaign, it had the sound of an unattainable promise. Now the International Energy Agency says the US will surpass Saudi Arabia's oil production in just five years and be "all but energy self-sufficient" soon after. That means new jobs and economic growth, but renewable fuels and increased efficiency will also have to be part of the picture. If they're not, there could be drastic consequences for the environment and climate change.

Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times (@nytrosenthal)
Kevin Hall, McClatchy Newspapers (@KevinGHall)
Philip Verleger, PKVerleger (@pkverlegerllc)
Ralph Cavanagh, National Resources Defense Council (@NRDC)

Reporter's Notebook BP's $4.5 Billion Payout for Oil Spill 8 MIN, 23 SEC

Speaking of the risks as well as the benefits of oil production, the worst offshore spill in US history is back in the news. Early this afternoon in New Orleans, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that "BP has agreed to plead guilty to all 14 criminal charges, including responsibility for the deaths of 11 people and the events that led to an unprecedented environmental catastrophe. The company has also agreed to pay $4 billion in fines and in penalties." Loren Steffy is a business columnist for the Houston Chronicle and author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit.

Loren Steffy, Houston Chronicle (@lsteffy)

Drowning in Oil

Loren C. Steffy

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