Daily Archives: May 19, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

“The signs are that if a bill does somehow pass, it will be ugly,” says an FT editorial today of a proposed US cap and trade scheme. The debates around the Waxman-Markey bill, thought to be the best hope of getting a scheme approved, are already turning ugly.

Oil companies are not happy, and neither are some environmentalists. Republicans and quite a few Democrats are also opposed. Some of the political opposition is explained by constituency: those from electorates with more carbon intensive industries are the most likely to be opposed.

But there are also concerns that it will punish American industries in favour of imports, and harm those on low incomes – just to name a few. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

A nifty chart by Point Carbon shows how energy allowances would be distributed under the Waxman-Markey bill as it is – or at least, how it was a couple of days ago. Local power distribution companies (pink) get the bulk of the proceeds, followed by low income households (yellow) and trade-exposed and energy-intensive industries (grey).

Kate Mackenzie

Royal Dutch Shell had several reasons to be cautious about its remuneration report, which was just voted down at its AGM today.

It might be an unusual event for shareholders to reject such a move but the warning signs were all in place.

At the broadest level, the financial crisis has provoked a generally critical sentiment about executive pay.

At the sector level, this year’s lower oil prices have clearly rankled with shareholders. While oil companies have fared relatively well in the recession and Shell is raising its dividend this year, its debt ratio is also set to rise significantly. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

So who says there’s no oil/dollar correlation?
The evidence has grown stronger over recent months

Throwing out the myths: the realities of recycling
It’s not a waste of energy after all Read more

When oil behaves irrationally at the moment, it seems there’s usually only one explanation offered: it’s trading in an opposite direction to the dollar.

RBC Capital sums up the return of this significant correlation in the following chart:

Dollar/Oil correlation - RBC Capital

As can be seen, it appears the correlation slipped out of place from October 2008 until February 2009 – the peak of the financial crisis – and since then has increasingly been coming back into play. Read more

The Government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has been coming to the defence of recycling recently, addressing three key myths that have been circulating in the press.

Myth 1: Collecting and transporting recycling is bad for the environment as it causes CO2 emissions.

According to Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s chief executive, this greatly overstates the emissions associated with transportation. “The impact of collecting and transporting is a tiny fraction of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 0.04 tonnes per tonne of recycled material.”

Dr Goodwin adds: “Current levels of recycling in the UK save 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to flying the population of Northern Ireland to Australia and back twice.” Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Early snaps: Read more

US crude oil prices regained the $60 a barrel level while base metals, agricultural and soft commodities all made gains on hopes for a more rapid recovery in the global economy.

In energy markets, Nymex June West Texas Intermediate hit a high of $60.48 before easing back to trade 75 cents higher at $59.58 a barrel. The June WTI contract was due to expire at the close on Tuesday and the July contract, the US benchmark from Wednesday, rose $71 cents to $60.30 a barrel after reaching a high of $60.99. Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

- China plans to build petrol reserves
Move that mirrors Europe’s policy (FT)

- PetroChina says to issue $3.8bn in corporate bills
Asia’s top oil and gas producer says issuance would start soon (Reuters) Read more