Guardian: “More than 70 environmental groups called on Barack Obama to take the lead on climate change on Monday, urging him to shut down ageing power plants and block a controversial tar sands pipeline project.” Read more
In the FT: “Many, if not most, of the headline-dominating Washington political fights are less significant than they appear to be. ….However, the fight between TransCanada, the sponsor of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the US Gulf coast, and the North American environmental movement is a lot of noise about a very important matter.” Read more
Carbon Tracker recently collaborated with global credit-ratings agency Standard & Poors to publish ‘What a carbon-constrained future could mean for oil companies’ creditworthiness’. Read more
Guardian: “Bob Dudley’s remarks came as the company published a study predicting oil production will increase substantially, and that unconventional and high-carbon oil will make up all of the increase in global oil supply to the end of this decade, with the explosive growth of shale oil in the US behind much of the growth.” Read more
In the Globe and Mail: “The IEA’s rosy forecast isn’t all that it appears – and it certainly isn’t going to lead to a significant break at the pump for you. ….The problem isn’t the availability of the fuel but the price needed to get it out of the ground. Unfortunately, that’s already more than we can afford. Read more
A group of 49 investors with more than $2tn under management launches an initiative pressuring companies operating in the Canadian oil sands to improve their environmental performance, arguing that value could be impaired if greenhouse-gas emissions or water use are regulated.
Harvard University: “Oil production capacity is surging in the United States and several other countries at such a fast pace that global oil output capacity is likely to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2020, which could prompt a plunge or even a collapse in oil prices, according to a new study by a researcher at the Harvard Kennedy School.” Read more
Belfer Center, Harvard University: “Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.” Read more
Scientific American: “Previous studies have vastly underestimated the carbon footprint of the Canadian oil sands by not considering the industry’s impact on peatlands, according to new research. Scientists from the University of Alberta found that 10 operational oil sands mining projects would destroy enough peatlands to release 11.4 million to 47.3 million metric tons of stored carbon into the atmosphere. That release is the equivalent of seven years’ worth of emissions from the oil sands mining region.”
The President gives in to Republican pressure and endorses construction on a key southern portion of the controversial project. Environmental campaigners say he has betrayed them. TransCanada says it will renew its efforts to win the permit for the more contested stretch across Nebraska that would link to the tar sands.
The tar sands operator raises $575m on the Hong Kong exchange. FT: “Sunshine, which is backed by Chinese state-owned investors, raised $350m, or 60 per cent of the total amount, from cornerstone investors including China Investment Corp, China’s sovereign wealth fund, and Sinopec Group, the country’s biggest oil refiner.”
The API launches a political campaign called “Vote 4 Energy”, which will use all modern comms to press both Republican and Democratic politicians to support the industry’s agenda, notably the Keystone XL pipeline.
Just a day after signing the Durban accord, Canada commits an act that is condemned at home and abroad. China calls it “preposterous.”
Citing the need for more studies of the route, so handing a victory to environmental campaigners and a blow to the oil industry.
The XL pipeline decision has become a defining issue for Obama’s. As many as 12,000 turned out. Obama was away playing golf.
The European Commission has decided to back a new directive on fuel quality setting minimum environmental standards for a range of fuels, including tar sands, coal converted to liquid and oil from shale rock. Member states now have to vote. The UK could vote against.
Jim Hansen on the President’s forthcoming decision about the Keystone XL pipeline: “If he chooses the dirty needle it is game over [for the earth's climate] because it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians with no real intention of solving the addiction. Canada is going to sell its dope, if it can find a buyer. So if the United States is buying the dirtiest stuff, it also surely will be going after oil in the deepest ocean, the Arctic, and shale deposits; and harvesting coal via mountaintop removal and long-wall mining. Obama will have decided he is a hopeless addict.”
The Canadians will exploit the tar sands anyway, so there will be no increase in emissions as a result of the 1,700 mile 700,000 barrel a day pipeline, which will have minimal other environmental impacts, says a State Department official.
The NYT opposes the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline citing two worries: spills in sensitive terrain en route to the Gulf, and greater greenhouse intensity than conventional oil production.