LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The Critical Minerals Policy Act
of 2013, backed by a bipartisan group of 18 senators, is one of
those pieces of special-interest legislation that deserves to
die in the U.S. Congress.
The bill (S 1600), pending before the Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources, directs the secretary of the
interior to designate a list of up to 20 “critical minerals”
based on the risk of potential supply restrictions and their
importance to the economy.
LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s decision to quit
trading in most commodity markets is another sign of the excess
capacity across the commodity-trading sector and likely
foreshadows further consolidation over the next two to three
Deutsche, rated one of the top five commodity
banks globally, will cease trading in energy, agriculture, base
metals, coal and iron ore, while retaining its precious metals
business and popular index funds.
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has
directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
finalise regulations on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emitted by existing coal-fired power plants by June 2015, as
part of the White House Climate Action Plan.
The EPA has already published draft regulations that would
limit greenhouse emissions from new coal plants to no more than
1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity
LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Supporters of renewables often
imply the clean-energy revolution is close to phasing out fossil
fuels for electricity generation in the United States,
especially polluting coal-fired power plants.
They point to the wind farms sprouting up in Texas and
across the Great Plains, as well as the giant solar thermal
arrays being commissioned in California, as signs that coal’s
days are numbered.
LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery. So the package of measures designed to cut average
British household gas and electricity bills by around 50 pounds
($82) a year, outlined by Conservative and Liberal Democrat
ministers on Sunday, is a compliment to the opposition Labour
Labour had successfully made the rapidly escalating price of
energy a central political issue, part of its focus on the “cost
of living crisis”, and drawn a clear distinction between its
policies, which would halt price rises for 20 months after the
next general election, and those of the ruling Conservative and
Liberal Democrat parties.
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – There is widespread agreement on
the problem facing Europe’s troubled oil refining sector but no
consensus about how to solve it.
Europe’s refineries were mostly built between the 1950s and
1970s and geared to producing as much gasoline as possible.
LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Great leaders and statesmen must
know when to betray their most ardent followers to reach a deal
with former enemies, turning opponents into partners in an
agreement – if not friends.
Striking a compromise is one of the most perilous moments
for a leader because it involves sacrificing maximalist goals to
offer terms that can be accepted by former enemies.
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – “Nothing is agreed until
everything is agreed,” a standard principle in international
negotiations, applies to the deal between Iran and the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany
In case there should be any doubt, the joint plan of action
spells it out explicitly.
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Sometimes what is left unsaid is
more important than what is actually written down in the text of
In the case of the deal between Iran and the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), the
interim agreement struck on Sunday allows Iran to retain all the
important elements of a nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium
LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Before sitting down to negotiate
with someone, make sure they have the authority to deliver their
side of the deal. It is one of the cardinal rules for
For one side to be confident enough to make concessions, it
must know the reciprocal concessions offered by the other will
be honoured and additional demands will not be made at the last
minute altering the delicate balance of compromise.