On Energy Source this week:
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It’s not a big surprise that the Obama Administration decided to grant a permit to build the Alberta Clipper, a 1,000-mile pipeline designed to carry up to 800,000 barrels a day of fuel from Canada’s vast oil sands into the US.
But the oil sands fuel is greenhouse gas intensive, and importing it into the US will add to carbon emissions. So approving its construction contradicts the administration’s goal of building a green economy.
Yet politics is politics. And despite Obama’s campaign pitch to change Washington, it is becoming increasingly clear that is easier said than done. Just as the Waxman-Markey climate bill had to be watered down to appease enough Congressmen to make it out of the House, the Alberta Clipper had to be approved to appease Canada – a major supplier of crude oil to the US.
Nothing in government is done without compromise and a nod and a wink at someone. Environmentalists know that, but they had high hopes that a president who came into office campaigning against global warming would at least make a symbolic gesture and reject the permit, if only to appear to stand by his principles. Read more
By Tracy Alloway
Wow, the commods analysts at Dresdner/Commerzbank have taken a rather bold — if slightly self-congratulatory — stand on oil speculators.
In a note published on Thursday, analysts Eugen Weinberg, Barbara Lambrecht and Carsten Fritsch, are very clear: oil speculators have driven up oil prices, and pending an imminent clampdown by the CFTC, those oil prices will now be going down — closer to their fundamentals. Read more
The spot price for natural gas contracts in the US fell below $3 per million BTU yesterday for the first time since 2002, but gas producers are still pushing ahead with new shale plays.
Things do not look great for natural gas, right now. The ratio of natural gas to crude prices is at historic levels, storage is getting tight as supplies rise, and it’s not been a great summer for consumption.
Yet the likes of Anadarko and Chesapeake are bullish and plan to keep expanding their investments in shale gas. Read more
Remember BP’s announcement of a small investment in Martek, a company trying to make biofuels from sugar with algae?
That $10m investment by BP was only a tiny fraction of the shrinking pot of money it has allocated to renewables, but it’s pretty small beer for Martek too, according to the Washington Post: Read more