Daily Archives: April 9, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

John Kemp, a former commodities analyst and now columnist at Reuters, believes the defeat of the US administration’s attempt to fast-track the introduction of a carbon cap-and-trade scheme means it won’t be enacted until at least 2012 or 2013. This would be uncomfortable for the government, which has factored in $79bn in revenue from cap-and-trade in 2012.

As Kemp explains, the administration attempted to get cap and trade through congress faster by attaching it to the budget, for which there are special provisions. That fact that 26 Democratic senators chose to vote with the Republicans to exempt the climate change legislation from these exemptions exposes a big rift in the party along state lines. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

It’s not been a good week for oil majors accused of unethical behaviour.

Several big pension funds are worried about an upcoming court judgment against Chevron over environmental damage in Ecuador, the WSJ reports, adding that the potential damages could be bigger than the $3.5bn awarded against Exxon for its 1989 oil tanker spill. Three state public employee pension funds and their New York City peer have reportedly contacted Chevron directors asking how the group would protect itself against an unfavourable ruling. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source today:

Will China, India and Japan be Venezuela’s saviours?
New deals – and reports of deals – aplenty for oil-rich country Read more

Kate Mackenzie

The US Energy Information Agency held a conference in Washington over the past two days and David Summers, an Oil Drum founder and scientist, wrote up some notes from his attendance.

A few highlights:

Summers says US energy secretary Stephen Chu appeared to agree with the theory advanced by Professor James Hamilton that the 2007- 08 oil price shock was responsible for the 2008 US downturn. (The EIA will publish the speeches later for those who want to check.) Chu was also concerned about the receding Sierra mountain snows and implications for California’s water supply. Read more

Fiona Harvey

The European Union delegation at the UN talks in Bonn this week, the first of many this year aimed at producing a successor to the Kyoto protocol by late December, were forced to excuse the antics of the current holder of the EU presidency.  The Czech republic has the revolving presidency but its president, Vaclav Klaus, has views on climate change way out of line with the official position.

Klaus is an outspoken global warming sceptic, given to denouncing climate change as an invention, a communist plot, a product of the “new religion” of environmentalism. His views are an embarrassment to the EU, which is trying to lead the rest of the world to an agreement on cutting greenhouse gases. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Two reports this morning about foreign interest in Venezuela, which has been seeking private investment to exploit its oil reserves, are not too much of a stretch. Earlier this week Hugo Chavez signed a $33.5bn investment agreement with Japan, and  was said to be meeting with China yesterday.

Today Bloomberg reports PetroChina may form three oil ventures with Venezuela – citing the 21st Century Business Herald reported, which in turn cites an unnamed executive at the Chinese company. Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

Energy news from elsewhere:

- Australia mines minister backs strong China links (ReutersRead more

James Fontanella-Khan

Energy news from the FT:

- De Beers braced for turnover to fall
The diamond miner struggles to cope with a downturn in an industry it no longer controls

- Japan to restart the world’s biggest nuclear plant
Move comes nearly two years after plant was damaged by an earthquake

- Russian investors face ‘political antagonism’
Top business people blame Poland and Lithuania Read more