LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – While the leaders of Britain’s
coalition government insist “we are all in this together”,
austerity is being felt and viewed very differently across the
country, re-opening the big north-south divide which
characterised the economy and politics in the 1980s.
Broadly the country is again dividing into the “Two Nations”
that was part-title of a novel written by Benjamin Disraeli in
the 1840s, when he was a young and radical politician, before he
went on to become prime minister in the 1860s and 1870s (“Sybil,
or the Two Nations”, 1845).
LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – North America has enough
underground capacity in depleted oil and gas fields, uneconomic
coal seams, and saline aquifers to store all its carbon dioxide
emissions for the next 600 years. That is according to the first
comprehensive survey published by the U.S. Department of Energy,
Natural Resources Canada and Mexico’s Energy Ministry.
For policymakers in all three countries, underground storage
is essential if North America is to continue to burn its
abundant fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, to meet energy
demand without worsening climate change.
LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Statisticians at Britain’s Office
for National Statistics (ONS) could be forgiven a little
schadenfreude today after the latest batch of manufacturing
surveys showed the sector barely grew in April.
The ONS came in for blistering criticism last week after its
preliminary estimates pointed to an economy-wide contraction
during the first three months of 2012.
LONDON (Reuters) – The knives are out for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following the resignation of the agency’s senior official in Texas and four other south-central states, which is symptomatic of the mounting pushback in Congress and the courts.
Unless the EPA can find a way to build bridges with some of its critics, and enforce environmental laws more sensitively, its wings will be clipped by legislators and judges angry about the sweeping impact of its rules and concerned that it puts environmental considerations above jobs, growth and competitiveness.
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Oil hedgers held the smallest
net short position in WTI-linked futures and options for at
least six years in the week ended April 24, according to
commitments of traders data published by the U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
This physical hedgers category, which the CFTC identifies as
“producers, merchants, processors and users” (who use futures
predominantly to manage or hedge risks), typically runs an
overall short position in U.S. crude futures and options
<0#CL:>, according to CFTC records.
LONDON (Reuters) – The race to succeed Mervyn King at the helm of the Bank of England when his second five-year term ends in June 2013 is now well underway, with contenders jockeying for position, though the UK government insists the formal search will not start until the autumn.
The field is thought to include five economists and policymakers, plus a couple of long-shots from the banking world, according to a race guide published by the Financial Times (“MPs look to monitor the next bank governor” April 20) and a recent survey by FT columnist Samuel Brittan (“The BoE needs neither a bureaucrat nor a dictator” April 26).
Economists and media commentators have lined up to question the accuracy of estimates published by Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), showing gross domestic product shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter, tipping the economy back into recession.
“The figure is disappointing and paints an unduly pessimistic picture of the state of the economy,” according to David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce. “Many commentators will question the accuracy of the data . Business surveys have shown a more positive picture, and we believe these give a more accurate indication of the underlying trends,” Kern said.
LONDON (Reuters) – National governments increasingly see themselves locked in a “race” to support the development and deployment of clean energy technology to cut emissions and capture a competitive advantage by offering a range of financial incentives to support the commercialization of innovative technologies.
“When it comes to the clean energy race, America faces a simple choice: compete or accept defeat,” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told Congress in November 2011. “In the coming decades, the clean energy sector is expected to grow by hundreds of billions of dollars. We are in a fierce global race to capture this market.”
LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – New estimates for undiscovered
world oil and gas resources underline the growing operational
and political challenges facing the industry as the exploration
frontier moves into much more difficult countries and
environments in Africa, Latin America and the Arctic.
Undiscovered but technically recoverable conventional oil
reserves are put at 565 billion barrels, according to a
comprehensive estimate published by the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) on April 18.
LONDON, , Feb 20 (Reuters) – Hydraulic fracturing has
already transformed the North American gas industry, and has the
potential to revolutionise gas production and eventually oil
So far the approach has been based on brute force: employing
ever-increasing amounts of horsepower, fracking fluid and sand
to wring natural gas and oil from previously inaccessible tight
rock formations in a manner that is wasteful, expensive and
maximises the environmental impact.