The National Weather Service reports 55 record highs on Wednesday: more than 1% of all temperature records in the country.
Archive for July, 2011
The Sierra Club is the beneficiary and will use the money in its Beyond Coal campaign, which has helped block the construction of 153 new coal-fired power plants across the States since 2002. The campaign will expand from 15 to 45 states, plus the District of Columbia. The aim will be to shut a third of the c. 400 US coal plants by 2020.
So says Rowena Mason of the Daily Telegraph. The banking ombudsman publishes such a league table, but the energy ombudsman does not yet.
The energy companies helped write identical legislation for multiple states at a meeting organized by a group they finance, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Corporations pay fees to sit and draft with legislators, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show.
David Blair reports in the FT that SSE’s price rise, the third of the Big 6, means that 6% of the median post-tax salary now goes on the average dual-fuel £1,265 domestic energy bills.
Trying to stop the eurozone contagion, they have agreed a further €109bn plus called in private bondholders, to contribute a further #37bn under conditions that amount to a partial default. Sarkozy says that the EU has effectively created a European Monetary Fund. Will they succeed? In the FT, Philip Stephens asks whether this crisis, and the US equivalent, are a spasm or a spiral. He concludes it is too early to panic: bold leadership could solve both crises.
John Elkington on the CarbonTracker report: “Having written my first report on climate change in 1978, I have been dutifully tracking the evolving science for half a lifetime, but only on Friday 15 July 2011 did I truly feel that the climate, carbon and financial agendas had been spot-welded in a way that potentially brings all of this right home to people such as asset owners, rating agencies, brokers, analysts, investment bankers, accountants, data providers and financial regulators.”
EDF says completion of its first French next-generation EPR nuclear reactor will now be in 2016, not 2014. In July 2010, if delayed the start of the 1,600 megawatt nuclear reactor from 2012 to 2014 and raised its cost estimate from 4 to 5 billion euros. It now expects the cost to rise to 6 billion euros ($8.52 billion). EDF blames complex engineering and Fukushima. The project will take almost twice the time originally announced and nearly twice the budget. The company hopes to build two of these at Hinckley Point and two at Sizewell.
Export began last month via the longest pipeline in the world (8,700 km). Turkeminstan will export 40 bcm pa, around half its production, 30 of which will be delivered by this pipeline.
Saudi Arabia is on course to consume an average 2.8 m barrels a day this year. This would make it the world’s sixth-largest oil consumer behind the US, China, Japan, India and Russia. On a per capita basis, consumption is set to jump by 5.6 per cent against the global average of 1.4 per cent. Demand is up 75% in the last ten years. The IEA estimates that more than 0.5 mbd are being burned in electric power plants.
The National Snow and Ice Data Centre reports that Arctic sea ice extent declined rapidly through the first two weeks of July, at a rate averaging nearly 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) per day. Ice extent is now tracking below the year 2007, which saw the record minimum September extent.
Friends of the Earth ask MPs to reject the UK government’s energy plan on the basis that the big energy companies are planning dozens of new fossil-fuel stations that will impede the development of renewables.
Andrew Smithers in the FT: “Financial crises occur when debt levels are excessive and asset prices fall. The severity of the recession that ensues can then be mitigated by large increases in government deficits and large cuts in interest rates. / Today the conditions for the next financial crisis are already in place. Debt remains at pre-crisis levels and US equities and UK property are seriously overpriced. But the ability to reduce the impact of the next recession with large increases in government deficits and sharp falls in interest rates has vanished.”
Will Hutton walks through the drama in the Observer: “When President Obama, the supreme rationalist, says that there are just days to avert Armageddon, everyone should sit up and listen. For months, Republicans have used their new majority in the House of Representatives to block any move to lift the artificial cap on the amount the US government can borrow. If by this Friday they still refuse – insisting on up to $4trillion of spending cuts, excluding defence, and no tax increases as the price of their support – then the US will be unable to service its public debts. The biggest economy on Earth will default. / The results will be catastrophic…. The US government will have to start to wind down: soldiers’ wages and public pensions alike will be suspended. But in the financial markets there will be mayhem. Interest rates will shoot up and there will be a flight from the dollar. Banks, uncertain about their expected income from their holdings of US Treasury bonds and bills, will call in their loans, creating a second credit crunch.”
Standard & Poor’s warning: a 50-50 chance it could cut its triple-A status within the next three months. The trigger is the deadlocked talks between the White House and Republicans on raising the government’s $14.3tn (£8.9tn) borrowing limit.
This out of 91 undergoing them: a failure rate lower than predicted that prompts questioning of the severity of the testing. Failed banks have to raise more capital.
A Treehugger.com editorial blog based on a 2 minute video: “Once you get to the interview with Jeremy Leggett, he says something very simple, but very profound—as soon as people see solar energy at work, they want to see more of it.”