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.
LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – European refineries must stop
being treated as strategic assets, propped up by politicians, if
they want to become profitable again.
“The oil refining sector is a strategic European asset,”
according to the European Petroleum Industry Association,
Europia, which lobbies in Brussels on behalf of the refiners.
LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Integrating an increasing supply
of wind, solar and other variable sources of power onto the grid
will require conventional plants to become more flexible. The
question is whether coal-fired generators are up to the
On a grid with more renewables, conventional gas, coal and
nuclear generators have to be able ramp their output up and down
at short notice to offset short-term changes in wind speed and
LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Climate campaigners reserve a
special scorn for coal-fired power generation. Coal has replaced
nuclear as the form of energy that environmentalists most love
“The world needs to turn its back on the fossil fuels of the
past, like coal, which have helped to create today’s climate and
instead look to the clean, renewable energy sources of the
future,” the UK charity Christian Aid said on Monday.
LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – How quickly the shale revolution
spreads from North America to the rest of the world is the
single most important factor affecting the outlook for oil and
gas markets over the next two decades.
For pessimists, the conditions that made the shale
revolution possible in the United States will be difficult to
replicate, slowing the spread of shale oil and gas production.