Wikileaks has an impeccable sense of timing. As Hilary Clinton meets counterparts from Arctic nations in Greenland to talk about oil, the whistle blowing website publishes a raft of cables showing just how much international tension the country’s natural resources have provoked.
The cables make for fascinating reading, and tell a tale of US perceptions of Russian paranoia and aggression in the territory. They claim:
The dispute between China and the US escalated this weekend, after China said the US probe into Chinese subsidies for alternative energy companies was little more than political posturing.
China’s top energy official, Zhang Guobao, said:
Does America want to get fair trade or a genuine dialogue, or get transparent information? I think not – it seems America’s main reason is to get votes.
Chinese subsidies to new energies companies are very small, but the United States subsidised new energy enterprises with $4.6bn in cash in the first nine months of 2010.
New York state is making inroads against hydraulic fracturing, the process that has enabled the big natural gas boom in the US in recent years. This is something environmentalists have been pushing for, and gaining traction with. They worry about what the fracturing of rock underground is doing to groundwater and what the entire process does to air pollution.
This week, the New York state Senate voted by a wide margin – 48 to 9 – in favour of a temporary suspension through May 15, 2011, on new drilling permits for the fracturing of shale rock deep under the ground. The fracturing process involves pumping underground, at high pressure, millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals and fine sands. The water breaks apart the rock and the fine sands prop it open so the gas can escape and be pumped out of the formation.