Daily Archives: April 3, 2009

Ed Crooks

On Energy Source:

G20 reactions: the disappointment is unjustified

The causes and consequences of the oil shock of 2007-08

Elsewhere:

Clean tech venture capital funding has been plunging worldwide in the first months of 2009 (NY Times)

The oldest working nuclear power plant in the US gets its life extended, for another 20 years. It is now set to run for 60 years from its opening in 1969 (NY Times)

Ed Crooks

The US economic downturn of 2008 was caused almost entirely by the surge in the price of oil up to $147 per barrel last summer. That is the fascinating conclusion of economic modelling by professor James Hamilton of the University of California, San Diego.

Prof Hamilton says it is “a conclusion that I don’t fully believe myself.” But his work raises the important question of whether the role of oil in the US and global downturn has been under-estimated.

It also deals a blow to the comforting idea, promulgated by the International Monetary Fund among others, that the demand-led oil price rise of the 2000s would be more economically benign than the supply-led shocks of 1973 and 1979.

Ed Crooks

The London G20 summit ended on Thursday with the leaders wreathed in smiles, basking in the reflected glow from the brighter mood on world markets.

Meanwhile, however, the protestors that marched through London against climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the banks and capitalism in general, were claiming victory in their bid to block the market-based solutions to climate change favoured by G20 leaders.

Some environmentalists and NGOs were left complaining that the meeting had paid nothing more than lip-service to the environment.

Even so, its significance for the environment and energy policy may be greater than the critics think.

Energy news from elsewhere:

- US clean-energy industry in the doldrums (WSJ)

- Rising nationalism in Latin America threatens output, World Bank says (Platts)

- Sinopec says it has signed $350m Kuwait drilling deal (Reuters)

- Natural gas faces barrier in moving average, BMO analysis says (Bloomberg)

- BP and Eni struggle to replace reserves, Sanford Bernstein says (Bloomberg)

Energy news from the FT:

- Senate deals blow to Obama’s climate change legislation
Administration now has slim chance of fast-tracking cap and trade system

- US lawmakers unveils radical shift in energy policy
Democrat-led bill’s climate targets more aggressive than Obama’s

- Centrica and EDF locked in talks on British Energy
Companies at loggerheads over selling 25% stake

- Chloride Group’s results power along thanks to central Asia
Forecasts trading for year will be in line with expectations

- Wood Mackenzie is up for sale

Energy information provider could fetch £650m-plus

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