Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

April 16, 2015

Top Stories

Energy Policy.  A panel of federal judges heard the first legal challenge today to the EPA’s forthcoming Clean Power Plan rule, designed to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants.  Two of three judges on the panel appear inclined to dismiss the case altogether, noting that there is no legal precedent to stop a regulation before it has even been finalized.  NY Times

Oil.  In its monthly oil market report, OPEC joined other major energy forecasters in predicting that U.S. oil supplies will level off and begin to decline in the second half of 2015.  The report stated that low prices were “beginning to punish U.S. producers”, as evidenced by the decline  in the number U.S. rigs and drilling permits, as well as reductions in the capital spending budgets of major U.S. oil companies.  WSJ

Nuclear.  China’s top government body approved construction for the first China-built nuclear reactor yesterday, opening up international competition among nuclear technology providers.   Industry analysts note that if the new Chinese reactor succeeds, it will likely mark a turning point in the global nuclear industry — particularly because China boasts the largest nuclear growth market in the world.  WSJ

Energy Outlook.  Scientists and hobbyists are increasingly experimenting with personal air pollution monitors — a technology that is new and often unreliable, but nevertheless cheaper and more portable than monitors currently used by the government.  Because pollution levels vary considerably within areas of cities, researchers hope to ultimately use these devices to feed streams of information to interactive maps, helping the general public determine what streets or neighborhoods are especially polluted.  NY Times

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

April 15, 2015

Top Stories

Energy Outlook.  According to the EIA’s 2015 Annual Energy Outlook, U.S. energy imports and exports are likely to become balanced between 2020 and 2030 for the first time since the mid-1950s.  This updated projection reflects changes in both U.S. energy supply — particularly booming natural gas production and continued growth in oil production — and in U.S. energy demand — most notably improvements in efficiency.  EIA

Energy Policy.  Key senators forged a bipartisan compromise yesterday to establish an expedited framework for Congress to review and potentially vote on a final nuclear agreement with Iran.   Recent presidential administrations have implemented foreign policy largely without congressional approval; this legislation, if enacted, represents a rare assertion of congressional power over a foreign-policy matter that the White House would have preferred to handle alone.  WSJ

Energy Outlook.  The International Energy Agency reported that there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding the “settling point” for global oil prices.  In its monthly oil market report, the agency noted that competing forces — such as higher than anticipated demand from China, India, and Europe, lethargic economic growth, and policy uncertainty among oil producers in the Middle East — are still playing out in the broader market, rendering the future direction of price swings unclear.  NY Times

Oil.  Energy companies have announced plans to lay off more than 100,000 workers around the world since crude prices began to decline last year — mostly among “roughneck” oil-field workers.  In the U.S., oil field jobs offer high-salary positions requiring mostly specialized skills that can be learned on the job; industry analysts note that while many of these workers can find work in fields like construction, such positions will likely pay half of the typical salary of an oil-field worker.  WSJ

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

April 13, 2015

Top Stories

Energy Outlook.  According to the International Energy Agency, it could take three to five years for increased production of Iranian oil to significantly increase world supplies and have an impact on prices.   While Iranian officials claim that they could quickly add as much as one million barrels a day to the world’s supply once sanctions are lifted, IEA officials counter that the nation will require Western technology, additional funding, and time to ramp up production.  WSJ

Energy Policy. The Obama administration will soon propose a new rule to tighten standards for drilling from deep-water oil and gas rigs.  The rules — which largely stem from the 2010 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico — will impose tougher standards for blowout preventers, which are built to shut down wells during emergencies.  WSJ

Energy Outlook.  Nick Butler of the Financial Times writes that the EU is gaining momentum toward an “internal energy market” that creates a “new level of policymaking” above independent nations.   While some see no harm in national differentiation of energy policy, Butler counters that it may undermine the state’s ability to price-in externalities — particularly related to the impact of carbon emissions — and mostly ignores key trade links with other parts of the world. FT

Oil.  Peter Waldman of Bloomberg Business discusses Saudi Arabia’s strategy to defend market share and, more importantly, stimulate demand for its oil by opting not to cut production last fall.  Waldman notes that while the U.S. has long been concerned about “security of supply”, Saudi Arabia has been concerned about “security of demand” — particularly in light of recent energy efficiency developments, an international movement toward a climate accord, world urbanization, and the country’s substantial reliance on revenues from oil exports.   Bloomberg

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

April 10, 2015

Top Stories

Energy Policy.  Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi announced today that although Iran is committed to reaching a nuclear deal within the specified three month time frame, its leaders will extend negotiations if the deal does not meet their criteria by that deadline.  Furthermore, he stated that none of the progress made so far guarantees that Iran will continue negotiations to a final deal.  WSJ

Energy Outlook.  Peter Kelly-Detwiler writes that corporate buyers and other groups such as colleges and universities are increasingly entering into long term purchase power agreements in order to circumvent the short-term volatility of the global commodity market and secure their electric consumption costs at a fixed price.  Larger companies with the available capital are moving from purchasing renewable energy credits to actually buying the electrons themselves — and Kelly-Detwiler predicts that mid-level companies will soon begin to follow suit.  Forbes

Energy Outlook.  China is building ski slopes outside of Beijing in a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics there; while its bid states that the environmental impact of the Games would be “ecofriendly,” scientists worry that the artificial development will be ecologically unsustainable given how water-stressed the environment is there.  Conservationists have also expressed concern over Beijing’s plans to build Olympic ski resorts in its national parks if it wins the bid, which could be damaging to a formerly protected natural reserve.  NY Times

Energy and Environment News

Energy and Environment News

April 9, 2015

Top Stories

Energy Outlook.  President Obama is meeting with Caribbean leaders today in efforts to reaffirm American influence in the region, as well as press the leaders to pursue alternative energy solutions that would loosen Caribbean reliance on oil from Venezuela — a country with which the U.S. has recently had strained relations.  American officials say they are eager to work with Caribbean partners in order to demonstrate commitment to a region that they concede has often felt “ignored” by the United States.  NY Times

Energy Policy.  Today Iran’s supreme leader stated that he is pessimistic about completing the framework nuclear deal reached last week between the Tehran government and other world powers.  While he didn’t entirely rule out the possibility that an accord could be reached by June 30, his comments reflect the wariness that he and other Iranian hard-liners have expressed over any deal with the U.S. and other Western powers.  WSJ

Oil.  Anticipating a recovery in the price of crude oil, the largest independent producer of oil and natural gas said it would substantially increase the number of rigs on crucial U.S. shale acreage in 2017.  This rig forecast represents a strong sign that producers believe in the long-term viability of drilling for shale oil, despite sharp scale backs over the past year.  NY Times

Page 97 of 135« First...102030...9596979899...110120130...Last »