Drumbeat: December 8, 2012
Posted by Leanan on December 8, 2012 - 11:36am
DOHA (Reuters) - Ecuador believes it has the support of Iran and Qatar for its proposal for OPEC members to pay a small levy on their oil sales to help poor countries fight global warming, the chief climate negotiator from OPEC's smallest producer said.
With pressure mounting at U.N. climate talks in Doha for rich Gulf OPEC states to do much more, setting aside a few cents on each barrel sold could help appease critics. OPEC collectively exports more than 30 million barrels a day at over $100.
Oil capped the first weekly loss since early November as the dollar rose against the euro after the U.S. jobless rate fell and Germany cut its growth forecast.
Futures slid 0.4 percent as unemployment dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the Bundesbank sliced more than 1 percentage point off its 2013 forecast. The dollar climbed to a two-week high. Saudi Arabia is content with current prices, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said five days before an OPEC meeting.
Gas prices dropped below $3 this week at some Tucson stations for the first time in a year.
The last time the average price of gas in the Old Pueblo was less than $3 per gallon of regular was in February 2011, though some local stations were selling gas for under $3 as recently as November 2011, according to figures from AAA.
State officials are scrambling to replace $140 million in funding after an Ohio Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the Commercial Activity Tax on gasoline cannot be used for nonhighway purposes.
In a 6-1 ruling, the court determined that the way the state has spent the tax money on gasoline violates the Ohio Constitution. The court did not invalidate the CAT, which replaced the state corporate franchise tax, nor did it apply the decision retroactively.
The US unit of Oslo-listed shale startup Norse Energy has filed for bankruptcy reorganisation, the company said on Thursday.
The Chapter 11 filing may “likely constitute an event of default” on a $21 million bond, the company said.
Hyderabad (IANS) India's shale gas exploration policy is likely to be ready within a year as it prepares for its exploration to meet the huge gap between demand and supply of natural gas, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Pannabaka Lakshmi said Saturday.
YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon's oil production stood at 18.82 million barrels by October 31 since the beginning of the year, an increase of 5.26 percent compared with the same period in 2011, Cameroon's National Hydrocarbons Corporation said on Friday.
The increase resulted from the development of new fields and the optimisation of existing production, the company said in a statement.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper approved Cnooc Ltd. (883)’s $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc. and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s C$5.2 billion ($5.2 billion) takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp.
Canada’s government has approved China’s biggest overseas energy acquisition, a €11.7bn takeover by state-owned CNOOC of oil and gas producer Nexen.
But the Canadian prime minister vowed to reject any future foreign takeovers in the oil sands sector by state-owned companies.
Stephen Harper said the government would only consider future takeover deals in the oil sands by state-owned companies in exceptional circumstances.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least seven companies from China, India, South Korea and South Africa continued to have investments in Iran's oil and gas sectors in 2012 even as Tehran came under international scrutiny for its nuclear ambitions, a U.S. government watchdog said on Friday.
Facing the prospect of regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency, cable TV operators and appliance manufacturers have announced a voluntary program to improve the energy efficiency of the set-top boxes that bring programming into your home. Some environmental advocates say the changes don’t go nearly far enough.
In many respects, these boxes are the gas guzzlers of home appliances. Although modest in size, they may be using as much electricity as a new energy-efficient refrigerator, a study last year by the Natural Resources Defense Council found. That’s because the drives in the devices are running at full tilt, or nearly so, even when you are not watching or recording a show.
The roar of chainsaws has replaced birdsong, the once-lush, green jungle scorched to a barren grey. The equivalent of six football pitches of forest is lost every minute in Indonesia.
The disappearance of the trees has pushed thousands of animals—from the birds they harbour and sustain to orangutans, gibbons and black panthers—out of their natural homes and habitats.
They have been replaced by plantations that are too nutrient-poor to support such wildlife, instead dedicated solely to producing fruit that is pulped to make oil used globally in products ranging from food to fuel.
We are in a race. A race of participants who are scrounging for liquid fuels.
This thirst is insatiable. It causes competition and conflicts among the users, the environment, geo-political situations, water, and money.
Apocalyptic prophecy behavior is puzzling at first glance because people tend to be optimistic, rather than pessimistic, Willer says. (See also: Powerball jackpot.) The people who believe in the prophecies, he explains, aren't crazy. They just "need some kind of source for the apocalyptic prophecy that they believe is credible," be it a Mayan calendar or the predictions of Nostradamus. Willer listed superstitions and astrology as examples of common nonscientific beliefs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers has turned back requests by federal lawmakers and the barge operators to release more water from the Missouri River, believing the drought-starved Mississippi River it feeds still will remain open to shipping. The industry, however, warns that the situation is growing increasingly dire.
The Kingdom plans to invest more than $ 100 billion over the next 20 years in strategic solar programs in order to diversify its energy mix. This was stated by Khalid M. Abuleif, adviser to the minister of petroleum and mineral resources and head of the Saudi negotiating team at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Conference for Climate Change (COP18 – UNFCCC), in the Qatari capital Doha. "Work commences on the first major solar farm early next year as a first step toward a long-term renewable energy strategy Saudi Arabia has put in place," he said.
Projections by climate scientists indicate that winter temperatures could rise by anywhere from 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and the length of the snow season in the Northeast could be cut in half.
There are claims that climate change, deforestation, poor planning and other factors worsened the catastrophe. Government officials said storm patterns related to climate change had put communities unaccustomed to strong typhoons in Bopha's path. But they also said the destruction had been exacerbated by deforestation from illegal logging and small-scale mining, as well as poor planning and confusion created by unclear maps of vulnerable areas.
Conservatives are less likely to accept the reality of human-caused climate science when presented with supporting scientific evidence. But tell them that 99 out of 100 climate scientists agree on the subject, and conservatives will be more likely to accept that humans are altering the climate, according to a new pilot study.
The findings, presented today (Dec. 7) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, suggest that scientists shouldn't break out the graphs and tables when talking climate with conservatives. Instead, climate advocates should emphasize how much of the scientific community agrees on the subject.
350.org's current “Fossil Free” campaign is aimed at convincing colleges to divest their oil stocks, and McKibben is on a 21-city campus tour in a biodiesel bus, speaking and raising hell. He called me from the road, shortly before taking delivery of his new Ford C-Max plug-in hybrid.
DOHA (Reuters) - Weak proposals to extend until 2020 a shrivelled U.N. plan to fight climate change pushed marathon talks to the brink of collapse on Saturday.
Delegates from nearly 200 nations spent hours poring over a package deal put forward by the host, OPEC member Qatar, that would also postpone until 2013 a row over demands from developing nations for more cash to help them cope with global warming.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Scientists are expressing fresh concerns about the carbon locked in the Arctic's vast expanse of frozen soil. New field studies, presented here this week at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, quantify the amount of soil carbon at 1.9 trillion metric tons, suggesting that previous estimates underestimated the climate risk if this carbon is liberated. Meanwhile, a new analysis of laboratory experiments that simulate carbon release by thawed soil is bolstering worries that continued carbon emissions could unleash a massive Arctic carbon wallop.
VANCOUVER — Rising sea levels could jeopardize the Lower Mainland’s food supply, a University of B.C. professor says.
Stephen Sheppard said agriculture in the area could be profoundly affected by rising water tables, increased salinity, and the effect of climate change on crops, such as different growing seasons or temperatures.
Messrs Desmet and Rossi-Hansberg build a model economy, and then batter it with different temperature increases to see how it reacts. In their benchmark analysis, they allow people to move around as they like in response to these changes. In extreme scenarios freedom of movement doesn’t make much difference: temperatures reduce global agricultural productivity to near zero, “implying the end of human life on Earth”. But in more moderate scenarios, rising global temperatures improve agricultural productivity in northerly climes. Welfare losses are small because there are big movements of people northward. A relatively small temperature increase (by the model’s standards), of 2°C at the Equator rising to 6°C at the North Pole, causes a shift in the average locations of agricultural and manufacturing activity of about ten degrees of latitude by the end of this century—roughly the distance between Dallas and Chicago, or Frankfurt and Oslo.