LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – With his promise to freeze
utility bills if his party wins the next parliamentary election,
Labour leader Ed Miliband has lobbed a metaphorical grenade into
the heart of the country’s delicate political consensus on
energy and climate change.
Despite fierce disagreements over some details, such as the
siting of wind farms and how to finance new nuclear power
stations, there is a high degree of consensus among Britain’s
three big political parties, at least at leadership level, as
well as business groups and environmental campaigners over the
broad outlines of energy and climate policy.
LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s Labour Party has
seized the initiative by promising to freeze gas and electricity
prices for 20 months if it wins the next general election, due
in May 2015, putting utilities and its political opponents on
Price freezes may be poor policy, perhaps even
irresponsible, but as a way to seize political advantage the
pledge was a master-stroke, pushing questions about the cost of
living to the top of the political agenda.
LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The Energy Savings and
Industrial Competitiveness Act (S 1392) is the sort of dull but
worthy law that should easily pass the U.S. Senate, even in an
era of extreme partisan polarisation.
Running to 48 pages, the bill, co-authored by Democrat
Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire and Republican Rob Portman
from Ohio, would encourage more energy efficiency by
strengthening voluntary building codes, helping train workers,
and directing the Energy Department to work closely with the
private sector on energy efficient manufacturing.
LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s proposed carbon pollution standard for new
coal-fired power plants, published on Friday, is “arbitrary,
capricious (and) an abuse of discretion,” under the
Administrative Procedure Act.
The federal courts should toss it out if the agency persists
in adopting the rule in its current form.
LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – If the Securities Industry and
Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) hoped to convince U.S.
policymakers banks should be allowed to carry on trading
physical commodities by commissioning a report from independent
consultants then it is set to be disappointed.
“The role of banks in physical commodities,” a 70-page
report funded by the trade group for major banks and financial
firms in the United States, published on Thursday, provides a
thorough overview of the multiple roles banks play in
contemporary commodity markets.
LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Large-scale gas exports from the
United States will narrow the gap between U.S. domestic prices
and those in Asia, but the boost to U.S. domestic gas prices is
likely to be smaller than U.S. gas producers hope and consumers
In October, gas importers in Japan and Korea will pay more
than $15 per million British thermal units for shipments of
liquefied natural gas (LNG), compared with under $10 for
importers in Britain and less than $4 for importers in the
United States, according to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory
LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Based on regulatory approvals so
far and sales contracts already signed, the United States will
export much more liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of the
decade than most analysts thought possible even a year ago.
In late 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned
NERA Economic Consulting to study the impact of exports on the
U.S. economy under a number of scenarios.
LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Australia’s prime minister-elect
Tony Abbott has pledged to repeal the country’s carbon tax to
boost economic competitiveness, so it is ironic that Australia
is about to host the world’s most ambitious project for
capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground.
Starting in 2014/15, Chevron will begin injecting 120
million tonnes of pressurised supercritical carbon dioxide 2.5
kilometres underground as part of its giant Gorgon LNG project.
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Syria has revealed a deep rift
between international relations experts and ordinary voters in
Britain, France and the United States over intervening in the
country following the apparent use of chemical weapons.
In 2008, the financial crisis revealed that the “masters of
the universe” who ran the banks were not actually all that good
at controlling risk – leading to a sharp reduction in their
status and influence with politicians and the public.
LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – The market for giant engineering
projects has begun to cool after running red hot for a decade.
Mining companies have been among the most aggressive in
postponing or cancelling projects, but major capital
expenditures are also being deferred by oil and gas companies
Like most other developments in the oil and gas sector, the
changing environment for large-scale projects stems from the
shale revolution. Shale has transformed the outlook for oil
prices and sources of supply that underpinned so many of the
megaprojects launched earlier in the century.