Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Sheila McNulty

One way of judging investor sentiment is through the types of investor resolutions filed each year. This year, a record 95 resolutions involving climate change have been filed. That is a 40 per cent increase over last year’s proxy season, according to Ceres, a coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest groups working to address sustainability issues.

It says that the 95 resolutions have been filed with 82 US and Canadian companies, including some of the US’ biggest coal companies, electric power and oil producers; homebuildiers; big box retailers; financial institutions and other businesses investors believe are not adequately disclosing and manging potential climate-related business impacts. These include ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Southern Company, and so on.

Carola Hoyos

Mexico is about to inch back its 1938 oil industry nationalisation that started the ball of nationalisations rolling across the oil-rich world. The finishing touches are being put on new contract rules for the junior partners of Pemex, the country’s national oil company, writes Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, the industry newsletter, in its current edition.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

- Why a US carbon tax on gasoline is being seriously discussed

- Weather modification in demand

- Carbon market outlook not completely gloomy

- How bad is carbon trading fraud?

- Biofuels warning and Japan in Africa in Energy headlines

Further reading:

- Gazprom: the essence of the energy curse

- US energy supply, state by state

- The Bill Gates recipe for climate inaction

- A (very wonkish) note on climate policy

- Possible breakthrough in solar thermal costs

- France builds world’s biggest PV solar plant

- Is ARPA-E enough to keep the US on the cutting edge?

- 10 companies reinventing our energy infrastructure

- Google publishes PowerMeter API

- An oil major’s guide to beating out Exxon

- Concern over UK feed-in tariff delays

Kate Mackenzie

China Daily reports that the country’s Weather Modification Office says there is ‘rising demand’ for ways to control the weather:

As drought and hailstorms pose severe threats to rural income and food supply, there is a rising demand for technology to cushion the impact, Zheng Guoguang told China Daily.

What is weather modification, you ask? Well, it’s mostly cloud-seeding, and, in China at least, precipitating snowfall and preventing hail.

China is a big proponent of weather modification, and claimed success with the technology at the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, among other events.

Kate Mackenzie

Remember the big carousel fraud discovered in European carbon markets last year? New Energy Finance, the research firm recently bought by Bloomberg, takes a dig at Europol’s estimate that it has cost €5bn in lost taxation, saying it doesn’t chime with their analysis:

New Energy Finance estimates that about 400 million metric tons of trades may have been fraudulent last year, or about 7 percent of the total market, including futures transactions. The Europol figure indicates about 27 percent of the market was fraudulent over the 18-month period, or 1.9 billion tons. That’s based on VAT of 17 percent, an average carbon-allowance price of 15.80 euros a ton and 7 billion tons traded in the period.

Europol for security reasons wouldn’t disclose how it calculated the €5bn figure, but said it stood behind that number.

Kate Mackenzie

The weekend Washington Post report that Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman were now considering a three-part approach to a climate bill wasn’t surprising in some ways – it fits into the cap-and-trade is dead theme that has been talked about quite a lot lately. But it left a lot of questions unanswered.

Such as: why keep cap-and-trade just for the electricity sector? And why consider a carbon tax for transport sector – ie, oil? Surely talk of a new gasoline tax is political death.

Greenwire however reports that it was at the urging of the oil majors themselves that Kerry and co began to consider the carbon tax for transport.

Kate Mackenzie

There’s a less-than-jubilant atmosphere at the carbon market conference under way in Amsterdam this week, at least judging from the tone of some of the reports.

The conference, run by independent research firm Point Carbon, was no doubt scheduled with Copenhagen in mind – it comes some 10 weeks after the climate change meeting finished. Whether such a grim backdrop was expected back then is anyone’s guess. Not only did Copenhagen fail to get a binding agreement, but the US this week looks further than ever away from legislating for a cap-and-trade system that was once the great hope of the carbon market.

Kate Mackenzie

Warning biofuels may hit oil supply (FT)

Yukos case goes to European court (FT)

Japan group eyes African oil pipeline plan (FT)

Renault’s Ghosn predicts electric car scramble (FT)

Carbon traders question Europol’s €5bn fraud estimate (Bloomberg)

EPA eyes 75,000 tonne threshold for GHG rules (Argus)

Wave of oil tanker deals predicted (FT)

German cabinet approves solar incentive cuts: Source (Reuters)

Brazil government approves basic text of exploration bill (Dow Jones)

China to ban inefficient air conditioners (Xinhua)

South Africa seeks UK support for power plant loan (FT)

Petrofac poised to spin off North Sea oil assets (FT)

Shell Nigeria flow station attacked (Argus)

LLOG makes deepwater hit at Mandy (UpstreamOnline)

Demand rising for weather modification (China Daily)

CER inefficiencies blamed on speculator ban (Argus)

Talk of Russian partner returns at PKN (FT)

Miclyn tests Australia’s IPO appetite (FT)

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Insight into the financial, economic and policy aspects of energy and the environment.

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