Oil rig with American flag © Martin Rogers, Photographer's Choice, Getty Images

America's energy future is looking independent

We've come a long way since the oil shock of 1973, when Arab countries raised the price of oil while cutting production -- throwing the U.S. into crisis. Now, the American energy story is completely different. The U.S. is the fastest-growing oil and natural gas producer in the world, and it's leading many to wonder if we're approaching the long-sought goal of energy independence. Could we finally take care of ourselves? 

Can the US frack its way to energy freedom?

Using new technology to tap huge underground deposits holds the promise of American energy independence -- along with worries of environmental harm and health threats. The stakes couldn't be higher.

Worker carrying a large solar panel toward a house under construction © Mint Images, Tim Pannell, The Agency Collection, Getty Images

Want to get off the grid? It'll cost you

Declaring your independence from the energy grid is more feasible than ever -- especially if you have $30,000 to spare. See what it takes to get your electric meter spinning backward.

Deepwater drilling reborn in the Gulf

A mere three years after the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the region's oil industry is booming -- and it may be just the start of a new long-term growth cycle.

Alternative energy keeps flowing in a cheap-fuel world

In the span of a generation, the idea of capturing power from sources other than fossil fuel or nuclear energy has gone from utopian nonsense to being widely incorporated into the national grid. But now the country is producing fossil fuels at rates not seen in years, putting the alternative energy sector in a familiar bind -- because whenever fossil fuel prices fall, interest in alternatives tends to dry up.

10 weird renewable energy sources

'The Flintstones' foot-powered car © Moviestore Collection, Rex Features

From Fred Flintstone's foot-powered car to the Starship Enterprise's dilithium crystals, Americans have a rich history of imagining alternative fuel sources for petroleum-free worlds. But what may have seemed like science fiction just two decades ago -- think dance floors that produce energy and cars that run on chocolate -- is quickly becoming reality.

Nuclear power faces uncertain future in the US

A decade after Americans finally seemed ready to embrace nuclear power again, the shifting economics of energy and Japan's Fukushima disaster may have squashed the industry's attempted comeback.

A rear view of two Tesla cars at a Tesla car dealership in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 23, 2009 © MCP, Rex Features

Alt-fuel cars are hitting America's on-ramp

The number of vehicles in the US powered by something other than plain-old gasoline is still small, but growing steadily.

13 energy stocks ready to roll

After a big market run-up and a relatively mild pullback, many energy stocks were left behind in the rally. But they are lagging for the wrong reasons, say several money managers who can usually be counted on for outperformance.