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News from November 2009

Dubai's Debt Troubles: Beginning of the Next Leg Down?

Dubai's Debt Troubles: Beginning of the Next Leg Down? thumbnail

Most of us have heard that Dubai World is asking for a six month delay in paying back its debt. The debt was supposedly backed by the Dubai government, so Standard & Poor’s considers this a default of the Dubai government. It is a little early to see how the Dubai situation will play out, […]


Whistle-blower sees 'Collapse' on horizon

Whistle-blower sees 'Collapse' on horizon thumbnail

Chris Smith walked into his interview with L.A. police detective-turned-whistle-blower Michael Ruppert early this year planning to make a film about the CIA’s alleged drug-smuggling operations in the 1980s. Smith emerged from the meeting with an entirely new movie in mind. “Michael had no inclination to talk about the past,” Smith recalls. “This was in […]


China's proposed ban of rare-earth metals would affect hybrid cars, CFLs

China's proposed ban of rare-earth metals would affect hybrid cars, CFLs thumbnail

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is proposing a total ban on exports of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium and a restriction on neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum to a total of 35,000 tons a year, which is far below global needs. Many of these metals are vital to energy-efficient technology. For example, […]


Rare Earths Shortage Expected by 2015 – Experts Gather in Hong Kong

Rare Earths Shortage Expected by 2015 – Experts Gather in Hong Kong thumbnail

“Rare earths” are a collection of 17 rare chemical elements in the periodic table. A wide range of gadgets and consumer goods, including the hybrid car and generators for wind turbines consume these little-known elements. Industry experts are predicting an annual shortage of 44,000 tons by 2015.In Hong Kong, experts discussed these rare earth metals […]


Korea Moves to Secure Rare Metals

Korea Moves to Secure Rare Metals thumbnail

South Korea will spend a total of 300 billion won ($257.1 million) over the next nine years to secure and refine rare metals used in various modern gadgets. Under the plan, projects for the development of 40 core technologies concerning the metals will be supported until 2018 to hike the nation’s self-sufficiency ratio in refinement […]


Are We Running Out of Uranium? Let's Hope So

Are We Running Out of Uranium? Let's Hope So thumbnail

Can a nuclear weary TreeHugger really believe what she’s hearing? Could uranium mines be facing shortages? Earlier this week, New Scientist reported that nuclear power may be faced with a double blow: Uranium mine owners are talking shortages, and estimates for the amount of uranium that can be economically mined may be lower than once […]


KLM Claims First Biofuel Airline Passenger Flight

KLM Claims First Biofuel Airline Passenger Flight thumbnail

Dutch airline KLM has made the latest step in what appears to be a rush by airlines to demonstrate the use of alternative fuels. The airline made what it is calling the first passenger flight using biofuel. KLM completed the flight with one of its Boeing 747s using a 50 percent biokerosene mix to fuel […]


German Biofuel Industry Collapsing Under New Taxes

German Biofuel Industry Collapsing Under New Taxes thumbnail

Not everyone wants to save the planet. This is a sad, but true fact. Yet everyone who lives and works within a capitalist economy loves saving money. So it’s good for the planet that, in many cases, saving money and green initiatives go hand in hand by providing an increased economic benefit while lessening environmental […]


Canadian biofuel cuts emissions sharply -report

Canadian biofuel cuts emissions sharply -report thumbnail

Canadian ethanol emits 62 percent less greenhouse gas than conventional fuel, taking into consideration all stages of the fuel’s production from planting a crop to burning the fuel, a new report prepared for Canada’s biofuel industry said on Friday. The results rebut a key argument against producing biofuels, that they use more energy than they […]


Coal Towns Remain the Heartbeat of China's Economy

Coal Towns Remain the Heartbeat of China's Economy thumbnail

Amid the glowing reports of new wind farms and investment in solar photovoltaics throughout China, it’s easy to forget that cities like Datong are still the heart of this country. Located about 150 miles west of Beijing in Shanxi province, this city is the coal capital of China. The Jing Hua Gong mine on the […]


New oil platforms, pipes to boost Iraq export

New oil platforms, pipes to boost Iraq export thumbnail

Iraq aims to install four new floating oil terminals and three new undersea oil pipelines that will boost export capacity to 8 million barrels per day from a current 1.9 million bpd, a top oil official said. Dhiya Jaafar, current chief of Iraq’s South Oil Co. (SOC), which oversees the bulk of exports from the […]


Europe should not count on an oil-backed Dubai bail out

Europe should not count on an oil-backed Dubai bail out thumbnail

Many analysts shrugged off the long-term repercussions of Dubai’s request, on the grounds that oil rich neighbour and fellow UAE federation member Abu Dhabi would stump up the necessary cash to save Dubai’s face – and by extension – the federation’s reputation on the world stage. But the composition of the UAE economy is a […]


The Fundamentals of Oil Shocks

The Fundamentals of Oil Shocks thumbnail

Speculators take most of the heat for the recent oil spike, but were they really to blame for last year’s high prices? Probably not, says Dr. James Hamilton, who argues that supply and demand, not speculators, were behind oil’s 2008 rise. …Crigger: You’ve written quite a bit about oil shocks, particularly the one in 2008. […]


Bulgaria Rethinks Pro-Russian Energy Policy

Bulgaria Rethinks Pro-Russian Energy Policy thumbnail

Long one of Russia’s most reliable energy customers, Bulgaria is now reconsidering its dependence in favor of diversifying suppliers and investors Bulgaria’s energy minister recently likened his country’s energy sector to the way English football used to be played Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov recently said that until now Bulgaria’s energy landscape has been dominated by […]


Clean energy, better homes cut pollution, save lives

Clean energy, better homes cut pollution, save lives thumbnail

HONG KONG (Reuters) “Indoor household fuel pollutants would be removed by switching all household fossil fuels to electricity, and energy could be saved by reducing thermostat temperatures,” the researchers said in a paper published in The Lancet Series on Health and Climate Change Led by Paul Wilkinson at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical […]


Solar power technology takes its next step

Solar power technology takes its next step thumbnail

The technology behind solar energy is constantly evolving. Portable devices that charge up gadgets from the sun are becoming smaller and more powerful. There has been a steady growth in small-scale electricity production at home in recent years. In 2008 there was a considerable jump – the number of people looking to generate their own […]


Iraq drilling firm to drill 180 wells in 2010

Iraq drilling firm to drill 180 wells in 2010 thumbnail

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – The state-run Iraq Drilling Company plans to drill 180 oil wells in 2010, and will be able to drill more than 250 new wells every year from 2011 onwards, the head of the company said. Thirty of the new wells planned for 2010 will be in northern oilfields and 150 in […]


Who's to blame for Climategate?

Who's to blame for Climategate? thumbnail

The publication of damning emails about climate change could literally change the world. The drab, drum-shaped home of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit is an anonymous little outpost, blending seamlessly with its chunky concrete neighbours on a windswept campus just outside Norwich. To the uninitiated, it has the look of a Seventies […]


Much less stable ice for polar bears, expert says

Much less stable ice for polar bears, expert says thumbnail

Survey by ship finds satellite data about thicker Arctic ice was wrong Arctic sea ice conditions are even worse than feared after a survey found that ice detected as older and thicker by satellites is actually thin and fragile, a prominent Canadian researcher reported Friday. University of Manitoba researcher David Barber said experts around the […]


High prices don't deter gas guzzling

High prices don't deter gas guzzling thumbnail

Everyone knows that $4 gasoline in 2008 finally led Americans to abandon their gas guzzlers and start buying gas sippers – right? Turns out, everyone is wrong. According to a new report released with little fanfare last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans bought vehicles in 2008 that averaged only 0.4 mpg better than […]


Talking Energy: carbon capture and storage

Talking Energy: carbon capture and storage thumbnail

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) – also known as ‘clean coal’ – could soon allow for a new generation of coal-fired power stations. The UK is facing transformation of its energy generating system. The closure of end-of-life nuclear and coal power stations is coinciding with ambitious commitments to reduce carbon emissions and the demise of […]


$77.2 Billion in 2010 Funding for Clean Energy Projects

$77.2 Billion in 2010 Funding for Clean Energy Projects thumbnail

Advanced Clean Technologies (PINKSHEETS: ACTH) reported today that the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior have proposed a total of $77.2 billion in new 2010 funding for Clean Energy projects. According to Business Green, the US renewable energy industry received a major boost recently as the release of new budget proposals from […]


Solar Power Costs 50% Lower than Last Year

Solar Power Costs 50% Lower than Last Year thumbnail

New research by leading alternative energy research firm New Energy Finance finds that solar power will cost less by about 50% at the end of 2009 compared to the end of 2008. The costs are pre-subsidy, so they could be much lower if you take better government subsidies into account. But it isn The research […]


U.S. Unlikely to Use the Ethanol Congress Ordered

U.S. Unlikely to Use the Ethanol Congress Ordered thumbnail

WASHINGTON But nobody at the time counted on fuel demand falling in the United States, which is what has happened during the recession. And that decline could well continue, as cars become more efficient under other recent government mandates. At the maximum allowable blend, in which gasoline at the pump contains 10 percent ethanol, updated […]


Melbourne 2030 will be "transport chaos": Professor

Melbourne 2030 will be "transport chaos": Professor thumbnail

The state government will need to rethink its policy on meeting urban demand as the city reaches five million people, urban management expert, Professor Nicholas Low, warns. Speaking ahead of a University of Melbourne public forum on the implications of


The Tragedy of 21 Darts

The Tragedy of 21 Darts thumbnail

This is a long article on the subject of oil & gas reserves and due diligence. My purpose is to alert you to revision of SEC Regulation S-K and Regulation S-X effective January 1, 2010. Concealed in a handful of benign new regs is a financial truck bomb that’s going to blow away “proved reserves” […]


Canadian biofuel cuts emissions sharply: report

Canadian biofuel cuts emissions sharply: report thumbnail

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canadian ethanol emits 73 percent less greenhouse gas than conventional fuel, taking into consideration all stages of the fuel’s production from planting a crop to burning the fuel, a new report prepared for Canada’s biofuel industry said on Friday. The results rebut a key argument against producing biofuels, that they use […]


Food banks nationwide report more 1st timers

Food banks nationwide report more 1st timers thumbnail

…”The line has grown so long that when you walk outside, it’s overwhelming,” said Jesse Taylor, senior director at the pantry. “A lot of people are coming out in suits, they’re carrying brief cases.” Food banks across the country report about a 30 percent increase in demand on average, but some have seen as much […]


U.S. Crude Oil Production Poised for Biggest Jump Since 1970

U.S. Crude Oil Production Poised for Biggest Jump Since 1970 thumbnail

United States crude oil production for 2009 is on target to have its biggest one-year jump since 1970, according to a Platts analysis of industry data. With U.S. oil production averaging 5.268 million barrels per day (b/d) through October, the gain in U.S. output will be the most since the country produced 9.637-million b/d in […]


Munich Re Says Climate One of Mankind

Munich Re Says Climate One of Mankind thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Munich Re, the world …The average number of major weather-related catastrophes such as windstorms, floods and drought is now three times as high as at the beginning of the 1980s, Munich Re statistics show.


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