Cameron: fracking is “good for UK”, energy independence is “our duty”.

March 26, 2014 Gas 

Guardian: “Fracking will be “good for our country”, David Cameron said as he blamed a “lack of understanding” about the process for some of the opposition to shale gas.”
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US Congress experts tout LNG exports to punish Putin for Crimea.

March 25, 2014 Gas 

Guardian: “Congress moved to punish Vladimir Putin for the annexation of Crimea on Tuesday by expanding America’s exports of natural gas to challenge Russia’s energy dominance. In the first of three hearings on natural gas exports this week, the Senate energy committee was told repeatedly that exporting US gas to Europe – or even Asia – would end Putin’s “energy blackmail” by lowering prices and providing an alternative to Russia as Europe’s big energy supplier.”
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Oil & Gas Journal: $35bn writedowns in shale raise “financial questions”.

March 25, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Oil & Gas Journal: headline: Financial questions seen for US shale gas, tight-oil plays. “Financial problems of operators in US shale gas and tight oil plays might hold production growth below current expectations, according to the author of a March comment published by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES).”
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Fracking safety: report warns of “significant unknowns”.

March 25, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “The lack of publicly available data on the UK’s onshore oil and gas drilling means there are significant “unknowns” about the safety of future fracking wells, according to a new study. The research also found that public data from the US showed that hundreds of recent shale gas wells in Pennsylvania have suffered failures that could cause water or air pollution.”
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The vulnerable US grid: how a little dispersed generation would help a lot.

March 24, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear “….the human race has been reminded again and again that big things have their vulnerable points. The U.S. power grid, sometimes called the world’s largest machine, is no exception.”
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“European regulators warn as risky loans rise above bubble peak.”

March 23, 2014 Finance 

FT: “Debt investors are abandoning normal creditor protections on European leveraged buyout loans as they snap up riskier securities at a faster rate and in greater proportions than at the peak of the credit bubble.”
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“Checkmate for cheap unconventional gas:” Dizard in FT.

March 21, 2014 Gas 

John Dizard in the FT: “….The share prices of primarily gas-directed US exploration and production companies are not doing so well this year, at a time when the macro prospects could not be better. Not only are there more equity sellers than buyers, but the junk-rated US E&P companies are selling nearly 80 per cent less public debt this year than they were by the same time last year.”
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List of tech companies targeting 100% renewables energy grows.

March 21, 2014 Change for Good, Clean Energy, Climate 

Guardian: “Software giant SAP plans to figuratively power its operations worldwide with 100% renewable electricity by the end of this year, according to its sustainability report released today.”
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Growing global energy use threatens water supplies, UN warns.

March 21, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Growing demand for energy will put increasing pressure on the world’s already strained water resources, particularly in developing and emerging economies, the UN has warned.”
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“How the oil sands could very quickly become unviable.”

March 20, 2014 Climate, Oil 

Macleans: “It was reported today that Exxon-Mobil will begin disclosing the degree to which its assets are exposed to future greenhouse gas policies. This risk is at the heart of what has become known as the carbon bubble, a term advanced by UK group Carbon Tracker, which suggests that assets may be over-valued as a result of not accounting for potential future limits on fossil fuel extraction imposed to fight climate change.”
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ExxonMobil agrees to report to investors on carbon asset-stranding risk.

March 20, 2014 Climate, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

NYT: “Energy companies have been under increasing pressure from shareholder activists in recent years to warn investors of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions would place on their business. On Thursday, a shareholder group said that it had won its biggest prize yet, when Exxon Mobil became the first oil and gas producer to agree to publish that information by the end of the month.”
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After investing more than $8 bn in renewables, BP retreats.

March 20, 2014 Clean Energy, Gas, Oil 

Bloomberg: “BP Plc, recovering from an oil spill that may cost it as much as $42 billion, said it hasn’t set a new target for investing in renewable energy after investing $8.3 billion in the business.”
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EDF failed to disclose flooding risk caused Dungeness shutdown.

March 19, 2014 Nuclear 

Guardian: “EDF has failed to be open and transparent by shutting down its Dungeness plant in Kent for two months without properly informing people, environmentalists have said.”
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China cuts time for researchers to develop thorium reactor to 10 years.

March 19, 2014 Nuclear 

Guardian: “….In an effort to reduce the number of coal-fired plants, the Chinese government has brought forward by 15 years the deadline to develop a nuclear power plant using the radioactive element thorium instead of uranium.”
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California drought brings wildfires “outside any normal bounds”.

March 19, 2014 Climate 

Guardian: “California is facing wildfires ”outside of any normal bounds” as a historic drought turns drying brush and trees into a perfect tinderbox, officials have warned.”
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How does an aging workforce build an electric power plant? Er, I forget.

March 18, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Mass-marketing e-mail: “Participants at this 2nd Utility Aging Workforce Conference will become familiar with the utility and energy industries challenges and trends concerning the aging workforce, effective knowledge transfer, and retirement impacts. Over one-half (50%) of utility workers will be eligible to retire in the next 6-8 years.” Read more

$1.75bn Toyota bond: a new horizon for green bonds?

March 17, 2014 Finance 

Climate Bonds: “‘Wow! Toyota will this week issue a huge $1.75bn, investment grade, multi-tranche green bond, backed bond by electric+hybrid auto loans. It was going to be only $750m but demand was very strong. A new horizon opens?”
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Paris bans half its cars from the streets for a day to fight air pollution.

March 17, 2014 Climate 

Guardian: “The French government has halted a controversial scheme to ban half of the traffic from Paris streets after a single day, claiming that the experiment aimed at curbing harmful pollution had been successful and that the vast majority of Parisians had co-operated.”
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NASA-funded study: Is industrial civilisation set for irreversible collapse?

March 14, 2014 Climate, Coal, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.”
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“The Oil and Gas Weapon Won’t Work”: Davis & Leggett on Ukraine.

March 13, 2014 Commentaries, Gas, Oil 

Lt. Col. Daniel Davis & Jeremy Leggett in The National Interest: “After many weeks of political chaos and bloodshed in Kiev, Moscow sent soldiers across the frontier into the Crimea on February 27, claiming it aimed to protect the Russian-speaking population.” Read more