Editor's note

Oil is a cyclical business: production expands when prices are high and contracts when they fall. But as Scott Montgomery of the University of Washington explains, technical innovations have enabled oil companies to make big new discoveries in Alaska even in a time of relatively low prices. If these fields are developed, he predicts, the Arctic will bolster America’s role as the world’s newest petro-superpower.

Meanwhile, protests continue in the streets of Venezuela against the government and President Nicolas Maduro, after the Supreme Court ruled to take power from the national assembly. Maduro, successor to Hugo Chavez, has led a steady erosion of Venezuela’s democratic institutions.But now, writes Laura Gamboa, the mask of Venezuela’s democracy has been ripped off.

Jennifer Weeks

Editor, Environment and Energy

Top story

Trans-Alaska Pipeline, northern Brooks Range, Alaska. U.S.Geological Survey/Flickr

Fracking comes to the Arctic in a new Alaska oil boom

Scott L. Montgomery, University of Washington

Oil production used to fall when prices were low. But a new drilling boom in Alaska, driven by technical advances and global partnerships, spotlights America's rise as a world oil power.

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

Ethics + Religion

  • Is temptation such a bad thing?

    Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross

    While temptation can be an invitation to sin, experiencing temptation can also make us consider more deeply: What is it that tempts us and why?

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy

Economy + Business

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