Daily Archives: January 25, 2011

Kiran Stacey

Gasland, the environmental documentary about the effects of shale gas extraction, has been nominated for a “best documentary” Oscar.

The makers are, of course, buzzing, but, predictably, gas campaigners are livid. This is the rather cuting response from Energy In Depth, the lobbying group, which has mounted something of a campaign against the film:

While it’s unfortunate there isn’t an Oscar category for propaganda, this nomination is fitting, as the Oscars are aimed at praising pure entertainment among Hollywood’s elite.

Ouch. If you have any questions arising from the film, or if there’s anything you would like to ask about shale gas or fracking, watch out for our Energy Source readers’ Q&A with Josh Fox, coming up on February 11th. I’ll advertise it fully nearer the time.

Kiran Stacey

In the last two days, we have had two new and similar accounts of the way in which BP’s corporate culture was to blame for the Gulf oil spill.

Following hard on the heels  In Too Deep: BP and the drilling race that took it down, a book by two Bloomberg reporters, which was launched last night, comes an in-depth report by Fortune magazine.

The Fortune piece finds much the same as the book (review to follow) – the focus on risky new discoveries coupled with corporate cost-cutting that characterised the company under both John Browne and Tony Hayward helped foster an environment where such an accident could happen.

The Fortune piece focuses on one thing in particular: the way in which company bosses focused on personal safety rules for staff at the expense of process rules for avoid major industrial accidents.

Kiran Stacey

Carol Browner has been a polarising figure within the Obama administration. Environmentalists were delighted at her appointment, given her background in the EPA, where she was described as, “the greatest administrator [the] EPA has ever had,” by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John Podesta.

But Republicans were angry not just at her appointment, but the position itself and the authority it carried. Fred Upton, the new chair of the House energy committee, has recently suggested he would investigate her powers.

Green campaigners will be worried about the signal Browner’s departure sends, especially when they see quotes like this from one Democratic aide who worked on the doomed cap-and-trade legislation. That person told Politico, which broke the story:

This does strike me as a quiet kill, so to speak. If there were a sacrificial lamb, it could have been on health care, financial issues, on a whole number of other things. But it’s the climate tsar that’s going down.

I don’t know the exact circumstances of it, but the circumstantial evidence, I think the timing is frankly fairly frightening.

FT Energy Source

- China beats the US in wind energy – FT

- France to launch offshore wind tender – Reuters

- Caspian Sea oil find could be ‘biggest this year’ – The Telegraph

- BP: ‘An accident waiting to happen’ – Fortune

- BP broke civil racketeering law in spill, say lawyers – Bloomberg

- Linc extends synthetic diesel deal with BP – Argus

- Halliburton enjoys profit boost from shale rush – FT

- Rio leads in Riversdale takeover race – FT

- Alternative fuels ‘don’t benefit military’ – NY Times

- Saudi to develop solar and nuclear power – FT

- UK prepares to submit final list of sites for nuclear – WSJ (£)

- Nuclear clean-up costs face big rise – FT

- Coal producer Koks valued at $2.6bn in London float – The Telegraph

- Churchill Mining in focus – FT

- A test drive for the all-electric Leaf – NY Times Green blog

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