Should energy consumers pay extra taxes to fund government-mandated and subsidized renewable energy technologies? "Absolutely yes," says John Bryson, President Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary. He made the remark at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California in 2009 and went on to extol the virtues of hidden rates in California, a state encumbered with some of the nation's highest electricity and unemployment rates.

In recent years, former Vice President Al Gore has been the object of a great deal of humor — and ire — for his extremist views and hypocritical actions when it comes to the environment. But a bizarre rant from the man who was once heartbeats away from becoming President of these United States calls forth a term which Americans want nowhere near the Oval Office: unhinged.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine "diesel fuel" so it can expand regulations in natural-gas drilling. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce claims the measure is necessary to "protect human health" from fuels used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects high-pressure fluids and sand into shale formations deep beneath the Earth's surface to tap natural-gas reserves.

Environmental contention stirs as discussions cultivate over the long-delayed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, to southern parts of the United States. Due to environmental concerns, lawsuits from oil refineries, and opposition in the U.S. Congress, the project has been on hiatus, as it lingers in the State Department’s permitting process, awaiting President Obama’s approval.

Rising energy prices in Germany are forcing the pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate Bayer to threaten a move to China. The culprit is Germany's nuclear energy exit bill, passed last month in reaction to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. The bill orders a nuclear phase-out by 2022. Meanwhile, China plans to build 36 new nuclear power plants during the next decade.