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Street Protests Loom as Shortages, Inflation and Oil Slump Hit Venezuela

       

Students block a street as they clash with national guards during a protest against the government in San Cristóbal on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

As President Nicolás Maduro tours the world in search of financing, the most conciliatory opposition leader says the time has come to mobilise on the streets

theguardian.com - by Sibylla Brodzinski - January 16, 2015

Even Venezuela’s most conciliatory opposition leader has had enough.

Amid sky-high inflation, an absent president, snaking queues outside supermarkets, and plummeting oil prices, Henrique Capriles said this week that the time was ripe to try to force a change.

“We are in a state of emergency,” he said on Monday. “This is the time to mobilise in the streets.”

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At Least One Major Oil Company Will Turn Its Back on Fossil Fuels, Says Scientist

Jeremy Leggett: 'One of the oil companies will break ranks and this time it is going to stick.'
Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

submitted by Margery Schab

Jeremy Leggett, former industry adviser, warns over plunging commodity prices and soaring costs of risky energy projects

The oil price crash coupled with growing concerns about global warming will encourage at least one of the major oil companies to turn its back on fossil fuels in the near future, predicts an award-winning scientist and former industry adviser.

Dr Jeremy Leggett, who has had consultations on climate change with senior oil company executives over 25 years, says it will not be a rerun of the BP story when the company launched its “beyond petroleum” strategy and then did a U-turn.

“One of the oil companies will break ranks and this time it is going to stick,” he said.

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White House Moves to Rein In Methane Emissions

       

New EPA standards will aim to significantly cut methane emissions from oil and gas sites in the U.S.

The Obama administration makes its latest move to take on climate change.

usnews.com - by Alan Neuhauser - January 14, 2015

In the Obama administration’s latest use of executive authority to address climate change, the White House announced plans Wednesday to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry that would nearly halve methane emissions from wells, drill sites and pipelines in 10 years.

The new standards, to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act, would aim by 2025 to cut methane emissions by up to 45 percent from levels recorded in 2012. They would also slash the spread of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, key components of ground-level smog that have been linked to cancer, neurological conditions and other illnesses.

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Finally, Germany Makes Progress on Coal

forbes.com - November 3rd, 2014 - Richard Martin

For critics who scoff that Europe’s carbon emission reduction goals are unachievable, Germany has become Exhibit No. 1. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel decreed in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that Germany would phase out its nuclear power industry, coal use in Germany has been on the rise, and the country’s carbon emissions have remained stubbornly high.

Now it appears that tide may be turning.

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Free Fall in Oil Price Underscores Shift Away From OPEC

A hydraulic fracturing well in Colorado. With the technology, America is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Credit Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

Image:  A hydraulic fracturing well in Colorado. With the technology, America is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Credit Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

nytimes.com - November 28th, 2014 - Clifford Krauss

Since the economically crippling oil embargo of 1973, every American president has pledged to seek and achieve energy independence.

That elusive goal may finally have arrived, at least for the foreseeable future, with the failure of Saudi Arabia and its 11 oil cartel partners in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to a production cut that would put a brake on plummeting crude prices.

On Friday, the benchmark American price for crude oil continued the free fall that began on Thursday, closing at $66.15, its lowest price in more than four years.

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Electricity from Renewables Cost Competitive with Coal

energymanagertoday.com - by Linda Hardesty
November 26, 2014

Although a recent story from Spectrum IEEE said Google researchers gave up on a project to produce electricity from renewables more cheaply than electricity from coal, a story in the New York Times says some renewable electricity is already cost competitive with coal.

The story cites a study by the investment banking firm Lazard, which finds the cost of utility-scale solar is as low as 5.6 cents per kWh, and wind is as low as 1.4 cents, while natural gas comes in at 6.1 cents and coal at 6.6 cents.

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CLICK HERE - STUDY - Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis - Version 8.0 (20 page .PDF file)

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US, China Set Carbon Pollution Goals

Image: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White HouseImage: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House

environmentalleader.com - November 13th, 2014

The US and China set ambitious climate change goals on Wednesday, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The announcement was met with praise from environmentalists and business groups.

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Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC

A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

Image: A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

bbc.com - November 2nd 2014 -  Matt McGrath

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.

If not, the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage.

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Is the Rockefeller family really getting out of oil?

Jon ExcellImage: Jon Excell

theengineer.co.uk - September 24th, 2014 - Jon Excell

There’s no doubt that the decision by the $860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund to reinvest its fossil fuel money in clean energy represents a pretty symbolic moment.

John D Rockefeller – who founded Standard Oil in 1870  – is one of the towering figures; some would argue the father, of the international oil industry. So the news that a charitable fund bearing his name is turning its back on the stuff that made the family fortune was always going to raise a few eyebrows.

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Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels

      

Stephen Heintz, left, with Valerie Rockefeller Wayne and Steven Rockefeller on Tuesday.
Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

nytimes.com - by John Schwartz - September 21, 2014

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels.

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