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21 января, 02:42

Will Offshore Wind Continue To Grow Under Trump?

While development of off-shore wind energy in the United States is still relatively small, interest has been growing as technology becomes more available and demand for renewable energy expands. Prospects for an expansion of wind power in the United States may already be hitting a wall, however, as political resistance to new wind farms on the East Coast threatens to derail the growth of renewable energy. A wind farm constructed off the coast of North Carolina costing around $400 million is meeting resistance from state lawmakers, who have written…

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21 января, 00:49

Solar Power and Clean Energy Innovation

Experts discuss innovations in solar technology, investment opportunities in the renewable energy industry, and the effects of solar power innovation on the U.S. energy portfolio.

20 января, 23:27

Climate Change Disappears From White House Website Under Trump

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The White House website has removed the page devoted to climate change action and posted newly sworn-in President Donald Trump’s pledge to undo environmental regulations and “revive America’s coal industry.”  The 361-word policy outline on the new page, titled “America First Energy Plan,” makes no reference to global warming or climate change, except to note Trump’s commitment to “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.” The Climate Action Plan, which the Obama administration launched in 2013, set forth a strategy for slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The utility sector makes up the largest portion of the country’s carbon footprint, producing 30 percent of emissions, according to 2014 data from the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s because coal, by far the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel, once served as the country’s primary source of electricity. Republican-dominated states have sued to halt the Climate Action Plan, and last February the Supreme Court granted a stay on the rules until a lower court hears the case. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, led the charge to block the plan. With Trump now in the White House, Republican majorities in Congress and an open seat on the Supreme Court, the climate rules are in jeopardy.  Trump, along with many Republican lawmakers, blames former President Barack Obama’s push to cut emissions for the virtual collapse of the coal industry over the past decade. But the domestic coal industry was already on the decline before the Clean Power Plan.  The U.S. coal industry has struggled for several reasons, including the risky bet many companies made on the future of coal consumption in China. While China still uses enormous amounts of coal, it has dramatically curbed its consumption over the last few years as it invests heavily in renewable energy. The U.S. natural gas boom likely sealed the domestic coal industry’s fate, as the less-polluting fuel became cheaper. In 2001, just 17.1 percent of U.S. electricity came from natural gas generation. By 2014, the share from natural gas had increased to 27.4 percent. Now it is tied with coal at 33 percent.  Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, previously led a company that vowed to eat coal’s lunch with its natural gas business. Exxon Mobil has showed no signs that it plans to cut back on natural gas production.  The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry. White House website “Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America,” the new White House website reads. “The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans.” The new president’s energy plan ― to the extent it’s explained on the website ― seems to signal a shift away from renewable energy sources, which flourished under Obama. Trump, who has called climate change “a hoax,” has also stacked his Cabinet with fossil fuel allies who, even if they acknowledge that the planet is warming, question the overwhelming scientific evidence that puts the blame on carbon emissions.  “Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well,” says the new White House site. “The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.” The White House website for the Council of Environmental Quality, a division founded in 1969, also disappeared on Friday afternoon. Study after study shows the planet began rapidly warming as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere soared in response to humans burning coal, oil and gas on an industrial scale. Separate analyses from two federal agencies released Wednesday show that 2016 was the hottest year on record. “Minutes after he was sworn in, any illusion that Trump would act in the best interests of families in this country as President were wiped away by a statement of priorities that constitute an historic mistake on one of the key crises facing our planet and an assault on public health,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement. “This is a shameful and dark start to Trump’s Presidency, and a slap in the face to any American who thought Trump might pursue the national interest.” How Trump might actually ease coal’s pain is unclear. Even coal magnate Robert Murray said in 2014, “If you think it’s coming back ... you’re smoking dope.” This article has been updated with information about the CEQ website.  How will Trump’s first 100 days impact you? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 января, 20:36

11 Facts That Matter Even More Now That Donald Trump Is President

Like it or not, Donald Trump just officially completed his transformation from billionaire businessman, reality TV star and old man yelling on Twitter to 45th president of the United States. And he didn’t even have to give up his other titles to do it. There’s a lot to say about how this happened. Was it racism or economic anxiety? Sexism or anti-establishment rage? Out-of-touch liberals or a low-information electorate? An awful miscalculation by Hillary Clinton’s campaign or Russian hacking? The answer to all of these questions is yes. If history is kind to Trump, however, he may be remembered best as a man who won by flouting political norms. His supporters revered his brash speaking style and off-the-cuff remarks, often mistaking candor for honesty. They said he was “telling it like it is,” even as Trump leaned on countless untruths and outright lies throughout the campaign. In November, one of his surrogates suggested that Trump had triumphed not just in the election but in his all-out war on facts. “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts,” said Scottie Nell Hughes, responding to baseless conspiracy theories claiming millions of people had illegally cast ballots in the election. That is, fortunately, total bullshit. Trump may have shaken many people’s confidence in the power of objective truth over deception and ignorance. But facts still exist, and they still matter ― now more than ever. So as we prepare for the next four (or however many) years, let’s all get a few facts straight. We may not all agree on the best way to deal with the realities below, but we should at least acknowledge they exist and demand the same of President Trump. 1. There has been no proven link between vaccines and autism. Lots of people, including Trump himself, have expressed concern that routine vaccinations are leading to increased rates of autism in children. There is no factual basis for this belief. But anti-vaxxers don’t need hard proof. Driven by a potent distrust in institutions, they allege that government agencies have colluded with Big Pharma to suppress evidence that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once widely used in vaccines, is harmful to kids. Numerous large-scale scientific studies have found no evidence to support this conspiratorial claim, and have instead concluded that thimerosal is safe. Much of the anti-vaxxer alarm has been based on a now-debunked 1998 study published by British surgeon Andrew Wakefield in The Lancet, a medical journal. His research purported to have found links between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. But Wakefield was later accused of fabricating data after it was revealed that he’d been compensated by attorneys representing families suing MMR vaccine manufacturers. The Lancet retracted his study in 2010, and Britain’s General Medical Council later revoked his medical license. It’s unclear whether Trump will take a fact-based approach on the issue of vaccines, however. Earlier this month, he met with vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who said that he’d been tapped to lead a new commission on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” The Trump campaign later said it hadn’t made any decisions about forming a commission. But Trump’s decision to seek input from Kennedy has already led to fears in the medical community ― and among reasonable people everywhere ― that the incoming president could be willing to ignore settled science and put the health of millions of American children at risk. 2. We still haven’t seen Trump’s tax returns, and the public does care. Trump broke modern precedent by refusing to make this basic financial disclosure during his campaign. At a press conference last week, he suggested he won’t change his mind now that he’s in the White House. Trump has repeatedly pointed to an ongoing IRS audit as the reason he’s avoided releasing his tax documents, while also maintaining we’d find nothing in them if given the chance. Ethics experts say nothing is preventing him from releasing his tax returns, and the filings could provide essential insight into his business dealings with Russia and other foreign nations, his use of various federal tax loopholes and his actual wealth. Maybe there really is nothing to see there. If that’s the case, many people would find value in at least knowing for sure that their president isn’t compromised in any way. Instead, Trump will face a persistent skepticism that is entirely his own doing. And contrary to what Trump has claimed, this does bother the American public. Surveys have shown a majority of Americans believe it’s Trump’s responsibility to release his tax returns, though a Pew survey conducted earlier this month found that only 38 percent of Republicans still feel that way. 3. Trump will benefit financially from his company’s success while he serves as president. Trump has rejected calls to sell his stake in his companies and put the proceeds from the sale into a blind trust for the duration of his presidency. Ethics experts have told HuffPost that this is the one surefire way Trump could address ethics issues surrounding the Trump Organization and its global hotel operations. By ignoring these concerns, Trump is defying another presidential precedent: All of Trump’s modern predecessors divested from potential conflicts of interest or placed their holdings into the hands of an independent trustee before they assumed the office. Jimmy Carter handed off his peanut farm to an independent manager to avoid even the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest. At Trump’s press conference earlier this month, his lawyer explained that while Trump wouldn’t separate himself from his business, he would “donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury.” Those donations are tax deductible, however, and experts say this arrangement does nothing to guarantee that Trump’s bottom line won’t get a boost from his presidency. 4. Russian aggression has been ramping up, and it’s not a joke. Golden shower jokes and “shirtless Vladimir Putin” on “Saturday Night Live”  are fun and all, but it’s hard to laugh while watching a U.S. president gleefully prepare to cede ground to an autocrat intent on disrupting U.S. influence in the global arena. In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and seized part of its territory. It continues to support separatist rebels there who are linked to the downing of a commercial airliner that killed almost 300 people. Despite this, Trump promised in an interview last year that Putin is “not going to go into Ukraine.” He later attempted to clarify that he meant that if he became president, he would prevent further Russian incursions into the region. So far, however, Trump has seemed more interested in cozying up to Putin than in policing his actions. This bromance could lead to wide-ranging policy changes in the coming months. Some will have immediate consequences. Trump must decide how to act in Syria, where Putin has aligned with President Bashar Assad in a bloody response to a peaceful uprising that has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. If Trump dismisses the war crimes accusations lofted at Assad as an acceptable consequence of Syria and Russia’s fight against the so-called Islamic State group, the ongoing humanitarian crisis will likely continue and Syria will become even more fertile ground for terrorist recruitment. Trump has also repeatedly criticized NATO, suggesting member nations bordering Russia need to “pay up” (which many of them already do) in order to get the assurances the treaty affords. A diminished U.S. commitment to NATO would leave Russia with a greater ability to bully former Soviet Union nations. While many in those countries favor closer cooperation with the West, Putin wants to keep them in Russia’s historic sphere of influence. Trump and his Cabinet nominees have also refused to rule out rolling back the economic sanctions President Barack Obama recently announced in retaliation for Russian hacking surrounding the presidential election. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that Trump would consider rewarding the regime that deliberately interfered in a U.S. election with the goal of helping him get elected. 5. The crime rate is still near historic lows. Trump campaigned on a promise to bring “law and order” to the nation, which he said was being afflicted by rampant crime and violence. Recent crime data suggests the story isn’t so simple. Murders and violent crime did rise substantially in a number of the largest U.S. cities last year, according to a study published in December, and those increases likely pushed an uptick in national rates for the second straight year. This growth comes after a decades-long downturn, during which the murder rate reached a low point in 2014. Furthermore, almost half of the 14 percent increase in murders in cities last year was attributable to Chicago alone, where more than 750 people were killed in 2016, up from 478 in 2015. These preliminary figures are troubling, especially if the trajectory of the past two years continues. But it’s important to keep in mind that violent crime still remains near the bottom of the nation’s 30-year downward trend. The overall crime rate of major U.S. cities also tells a different story, with an increase of just 0.3 percent last year.  6. Immigrants are not to blame for our problems. Trump launched his presidential campaign with a riff about Mexico supposedly “sending” illegal immigrants across the border to bring crime, drugs and rape to the U.S. It was an effective dog whistle, but a strange claim considering net migration from Mexico has remained below zero for several years, meaning more people have been crossing back into Mexico than into the U.S. illegally. The data also show that illegal border crossings have been at or near historic lows in the past few years, though crises in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have sparked a wave of migration, with Border Patrol reporting apprehensions of hundreds of thousands of families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the U.S. But there’s a broader anti-immigrant tone to rhetoric like Trump’s. Many of his supporters have accused undocumented immigrants ― and in many cases, immigrants in general ― of committing crimes and taking jobs from Americans, while simultaneously branding them as a net drain on society. Trump helped push this narrative during the election by campaigning with the families of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He’s followed up with a vow to deport 2 million to 3 million undocumented “criminals,” despite the fact that the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute estimates the total number of undocumented immigrants with criminal records at only 820,000 ― a figure that includes crimes as petty as traffic violations. The tragedies among these cases appear to be outliers. Studies have shown that new immigrants — including those who are undocumented — are less or equally likely to commit crimes than their natural-born counterparts. A separate report published last year found that immigrants had “little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.” It also concluded that while first-generation immigrants may initially cost governments more in services than they contribute in taxes, they make huge positive financial contributions by the second and third generation. 7. The unemployment rate is as low as it’s been in the past nine years. The jobless rate dropped to 4.6 percent in November, reaching a nine-year low, before ticking up slightly to 4.7 percent in December. Other metrics suggest the job market is less robust ― for instance, the overall workforce participation rate is still below pre-recession levels. But the headline unemployment rate is pretty close to what economists consider “full employment,” the lowest level possible without triggering price inflation. Although many of Trump’s supporters have stressed that jobs should be his top priority, it may be difficult for him to deliver measurable progress on this metric. Fortunately for Trump, he’s shown little regard for official unemployment numbers in the past, going so far as to create an alternate reality in which the jobless rate is actually above 40 percent. This strategy served him well during the campaign, when he sought to portray the U.S. economy as a disaster in need of fixing. Maybe he’ll take a different approach now that he’s inheriting a strong economy that has, by many indicators, largely recovered from the morass of the Great Recession. Or maybe he won’t. He’ll likely end up going with whichever one makes him look best. 8. Climate change is real. This story dropped on Wednesday, two days before Trump’s inauguration.  Although Trump has dismissed climate change in the past as a Chinese-led hoax ― a claim he’s since slightly walked back ― neither he nor his Cabinet picks appear intent on championing the effort to cut carbon emissions and expand renewable energy sources. The officials preparing to take roles in Trump’s administration include literal oil barons, climate change skeptics and outright deniers who have maintained that the science isn’t clear on these issues or their causes. 2016 marked the 40th consecutive year of above-average global temperatures in more than a century of record keeping. The planet keeps getting hotter, Arctic sea ice keeps melting, glaciers keep retreating, oceans keep getting warmer and more acidic, sea levels keep rising and extreme weather events keep growing more common. The scientific consensus on the cause of these changes is overwhelming: 97 percent of the scientists who have published articles on climate attribute it primarily to humans, who have pumped a truly astonishing amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. They also agree that world leaders need to take drastic steps to cut back on emissions and begin addressing this near-constant rise in global temperature before it’s too late. 9. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has given health insurance to 20 million Americans. Health care reform was a signature achievement of Obama’s presidency, and while the controversial law has had its fair share of detractors, it’s also produced tangible results. The ranks of the uninsured have dropped by 20 million since 2010, according to a report published by the Department of Health and Human Services last year, and the national uninsured rate is now the lowest ever recorded. Obamacare isn’t perfect. Insurance premiums have risen for many Americans, in some cases substantially. Millions of others remain uninsured due to various gaps in coverage, made worse by Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Trump and congressional Republicans have said the best way forward is to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass a replacement, while keeping some elements of the coverage expansion in place for as long as four years. Although Trump vowed this month that the GOP would come up with a plan to provide “insurance for everybody,” neither he nor Republicans appear interested in actually pursuing that promise. The Congressional Budget Office painted a much more dire scenario of the likely consequences of the GOP’s plan, predicting that the first year of repeal would lead to 18 million people getting kicked off their health insurance as premiums increase dramatically. A survey published this month also found that Obamacare is more popular now than it’s ever been. For the first time since the health care law’s passage, more Americans said they believe the measure is a good idea than a bad one. 10. Trump did not win the popular vote. According to the final vote tally, 65,844,610 people cast ballots for Clinton, compared with 62,979,636 for Trump. Clinton’s popular vote win is purely symbolic, as Trump won the Electoral College vote 304-227. Clinton finished with the largest margin of victory in raw numbers for any presidential candidate who went on to lose the election. Contrary to Trump’s claims, there is no evidence that widespread voter fraud affected the vote totals. Trump’s weaker performance in the popular vote doesn’t make him an illegitimate president, as some of his critics have suggested. But on the heels of the most divisive presidential campaign in modern history, it’s clear that Trump has his work cut out for him. Nearly 66 million people voted for Trump’s opponent, and many of them cast ballots not only in favor of Clinton but explicitly against Trump’s candidacy, which they saw as empowering racism, sexism and intolerance. If Trump truly wants to be a president for all Americans, he’s going to have to take the concerns of his opponents into consideration. He cannot expect his opponents to simply shut up and blindly fall in line behind their new president just because he won. 11. Trump has the lowest approval rating of any modern president on Inauguration Day. The president’s approval rating has trended downward since Election Day, and a poll released this week showed that 48 percent ― nearly half ― of Americans had a negative view of Trump as he prepared for his inauguration. Just 38 percent of Americans viewed him positively. Additionally, 52 percent said they disapproved of the way the president-elect handled his transition, compared with just 44 percent who approved. Other polls showed even lower approval ratings. Those numbers are unprecedented in the modern era. The same poll, taken in early 2009, showed Obama with a 71 percent approval rating in the run-up to his first inauguration. Obama’s approval rating upon leaving office also hovered above Trump’s, in the mid-50s. Watching Trump’s presidential honeymoon end before the actual nuptials may be cause for schadenfreude, but that’s not the point. These polls should remind Trump that he’s accountable to the American public and that his actions as president will have serious, often immediate, consequences. Instead, he’s chosen to reject the premise of approval polls entirely. The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017 Although pollsters have admitted the deficiencies in polling around the 2016 presidential election, the biggest flaws appeared at the state level. National polling on issues like presidential approval tends to be more accurate than pre-election polls, because pollsters don’t have to deal with the challenge of identifying likely voters. And even if these recent approval polls were off by a few points, Trump is still beginning his presidency underwater. If Trump refuses to heed public opinion and accept that it reflects the nation’s support for him as a leader, we’re going to have a rough couple of years ahead. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 января, 19:25

GE Q4 Earnings in Sync, Revenues Missed; 2017 View Bullish

Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, sustained restructuring initiatives for a leaner firm with a re-focus on core operations enabled General Electric Company (GE) to report relatively healthy fourth-quarter 2016 results.

20 января, 16:42

Shell (RDS.A) Signs $210M Drilling Contract with Halliburton

Per recent reports published by Reuters, integrated energy major Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) has entered into a $210 million contract with Halliburton Company (HAL).

20 января, 15:10

UPDATE 4-GE looks for sharp cut in corporate tax rate under Trump

Jan 20 (Reuters) - General Electric Co is seeking a sharp cut in corporate tax rates under President Donald Trump but is bracing for U.S. sales of medical equipment to suffer if Congress delays changing U.S. healthcare laws.

20 января, 14:37

GE profit rises 35.7 percent

Jan 20 (Reuters) - General Electric Co reported on Friday a 35.7 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by strength in its power and renewable energy businesses.

20 января, 02:07

OPEC To Meet In Vienna This Weekend For Oil Cut Compliance

This weekend the representatives of OPEC and several other major oil producers outside of this group, including Russia, are meeting in Vienna for their first meeting to monitor compliance with the oil output cut agreement. The meeting will establish a compliance mechanism to verify that producers are sticking to a deal to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day, said OPEC's Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo. Their plan is to figure out how to confirm that all 24 signatories of this historic deal are keeping to their pledges to reduce output…

20 января, 02:07

China Puts Shanghai Oil Futures Contract Launch On Hold

Faced with international investors’ concern over China’s potentially heavy interventions on money and commodity markets, Beijing has quietly postponed, probably by years, the launch of a new crude oil futures contract, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting five sources in the know. China has had ambitions for years to create a new oil futures contract that would be traded on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange INE, but foreign investors have been recently spooked by Beijing’s policies for the yuan currency and capital outflows…

20 января, 02:07

North America Rise Helps Schlumberger Q4 Revenue Top Forecasts

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) reported on Friday fourth-quarter revenues slightly beating analyst estimates, after revenue in North America increased by 4 percent sequentially and international revenue ticked up 1 percent. Schlumberger’s total fourth-quarter revenues came in at US$7.107 billion, up 1 percent on the quarter and down 8 percent on the year. The figure is slightly up from the US$7.1 billion which 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had projected. The world’s biggest oilfield services group said that its fourth-quarter…

20 января, 02:07

Gazprom Neft Expands Arctic Oil Field Output

Gazprom Neft said today it had launched production from two new wells at its Arctic oil field Prirazlomnoye, bringing the total to six. Prirazlomnoye is the first Russian Arctic oil project, and this year, output is seen at 2.6 million tons of crude, or 19.06 million barrels, despite a three-month technical maintenance shutdown of the same-name platform during the summer. To compare, last year the Prirazlomnaya platform pumped 2.1 million tons of oil, or 15.4 million barrels. The summer maintenance work will be carried out mainly by U.S. companies,…

20 января, 02:07

The Sneering Revolution: Obama’s Attempt To Undermine U.S. Strategic Capability?

The outgoing U.S. Barack Obama Administration and its supporters embarked on a campaign to traduce and challenge the incoming Administration of Pres. Donald J. Trump in the hope that it would find it difficult to govern effectively. This may be unprecedented in U.S. history, and could, to the degree that it succeeds, have an impact on U.S. strategic capabilities, actions, and alliances going forward. No departing U.S. president had gone to such lengths to use the pulpit of the Presidency to discredit an incoming President or presidential candidate…

20 января, 02:07

$50B Project Could Make Saudis Major Renewable Energy Exporters

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih says the Kingdom has designs of becoming a “major exporter” of renewable energy, targeting the European market for starters. “If the region gets connected to Europe for example, then solar [power] that is produced in Saudi Arabia can be exported all the way to Europe through a network,” Al-Kalif told the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. “When it’s sunny in the region, it’s dark and cloudy sometimes in Europe… So we can be a major exporter. “…

20 января, 02:07

Nigerian NNPC Calls Tender To Import Petroleum Products

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued an invitation for bids under the model of direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products (DSDP). Under this DSDP scheme, foreign refiners receive Nigerian crude oil supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of refined oil products to NNPC. The Nigerian state-held company introduced the Direct Sale-Direct Purchase model last year to replace the Crude Oil Swap initiative and the Offshore Processing Arrangement in a bid to increase transparency into the…

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19 января, 22:08

Big six energy suppliers warned not to raise prices any time soon

Ofgem tells companies they should be as slow as passing on a recent 15% hike in wholesale prices as they were in passing on recent price fallsThe regulator Ofgem has warned the big six energy companies against raising prices in spring, despite a 15% increase in their costs.It said rising wholesale gas and electricity prices were largely to blame for driving costs upwards, along with renewable energy subsidies. But its chief executive, Dermot Nolan, said this was not an excuse for tariff hikes. Continue reading...

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19 января, 20:29

Rick Perry Made An Inadvertent Sex Joke During His Confirmation Hearing

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It was another “Oops!” moment for Rick Perry. Senators grilled the former Texas governor on Thursday during his confirmation hearing for energy secretary. The lawmakers questioned Perry on climate science and renewable energy, and brought up his threats to actually cut the department during the 2012 presidential campaign ― a threat he famously made while forgetting the name of the agency itself. But when it was Sen. Al Franken’s turn to question Perry, things went a bit awry.  Referring to a private meeting they’d had earlier, Franken (D-Minn.) asked Perry, “Did you enjoy meeting me?” Without a trace of irony, Perry replied, “I hope you’re as much fun on that dais as you were on that couch.” After the crowd erupted in laughs, Perry quickly backtracked. “May I rephrase that?” he said. “I think we’ve found our ‘Saturday Night Live’ sound bite.” “Oh my lord,” Franken replied. “Let’s move on.” Behold the supreme awkwardness in the clip above. 5880f040cb65d31e4786129a -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 января, 19:58

Environmental Markets: Economics Set To Outstrip Political Head Winds

Investors in environmental markets are, understandably, expecting strongheadwinds from a Trump presidency. Candidate Trump campaigned as a pro-coal, climate change skeptic. His proposed cabinet is packed with nominees who are strong foes of environmental regulation. And the Republican Congress is unlikely to go out to bat for aggressive environmental protection. However, against these political headwinds, powerful economic forces are at work. The underlying drivers advancing many environmental technologies are, increasingly, beyond most regulatory intervention. Meanwhile, consumers and companies are increasingly seeking more sustainable products and services. The last few years have seen dramatic falls in the cost of many environmental technologies, especially in renewable power and energy storage.Renewable power technologies are increasingly able to compete, unsubsidized, against natural gas- and coal-fired capacity. Take-up will accelerate further as the price of battery storage continues to fall, allowing renewables to supply power when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, At the same time, many environmentally focused companies have built business models that do not rely on subsidies or regulatory support, rather they help their customers reduce resource use, and therefore cut costs. Industrial energy efficiency, for example, offers some of the highest returns on investment that companies can make with their capital expenditure. There are also seismic changes underway in public perceptions of sustainability. Consumer survey company Nielsen found that more than three-quarters of Millennials are prepared to pay a premium for sustainable products and services, up from 50% in 2014. Some of the world's most successful companies are responding: some 84 companies have recently announced that they will source all their power from renewable sources from 2017. Individuals and companies are driving demand for environmental technologies that will continue regardless of policy signals from the new administration. Moreover, policy changes by the new occupants of the White House will be harder to implement than many assume. Trump will have to work through Congress, where there is support on both sides of the aisle for renewable energy and environmental technology. Congress extended crucial tax credits for wind and solar technologies at the end of 2015, and there is little appetite for their repeal. And efforts to roll back existing regulations are likely to face stiff legal challenges. Meanwhile, the States control powerful policy levers to support environmental regulation and technologies. They have the power to set renewable energy targets - Ohio's Republican governor, John Kaisich, recently vetoed a bill to freeze the state's rising renewables goals. California retains the right to set vehicle emission standards that, given the size of the state's car market, strongly influence the entire auto industry. California's incoming attorney general has promised to defend the state's environmental policies. All this presumes, of course, that a Trump Administration is an implacable foe of the environmental markets. This is unlikely to be the case. Trump himself has called for a focus on clean air and clean water . There are substantial majorities - including among Republican voters - in favor of clean energy and reductions in carbon emissions. Red States such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are leading the country in wind energy investment. And North Carolina is second only to California in new solar farms. Also, there are already a number of Trump proposals that will benefit the sector. The new president's plans for $500 billion of infrastructure spending have already helped spur a rally in stocks linked to water infrastructure. Promises to cut corporate tax rates will benefit the environmental markets sector, which largely comprises small and mid-cap firms, and rising interest rates should not pose issues for environmental firms, which tend to carry relatively low levels of debt. If a business-friendly Trump Administration is prepared to put economic pragmatism ahead of the ideological preferences of parts of its base, it will recognize - and reward - the economic potential of the environmental markets sector. It also raises enormous opportunities for job creation: for example, the solar industry created jobs 12 times faster than the overall rate of job creation in the US in 2015. As candidate and president-elect, Trump has been nothing if not unpredictable. If this continues into government, investors can expect high levels of volatility - which itself provides opportunities for disciplined active investors. But while we can expect the unexpected from the White House, there are broader forces at work that should give investors confidence that the underlying investment thesis for environmental markets remains compelling. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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19 января, 19:51

RHI scandal: Arlene Foster's former adviser resigns over botched heating scheme

A former adviser to Arlene Foster resigns following claims he exerted influence over a flawed renewable energy scheme.

19 января, 18:47

Contrite Perry regrets calling for abolishing Energy Department

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry left the swagger at the door, taking a contrite stance at his nomination hearing for the top job at Department of Energy by disavowing his pledge to dismantle the agency. Perry, who had a short-lived run early in the Republican primary for the presidency, also reversed course of climate change, saying that he now believed it was least partially due to manmade causes. Still, he appeared skeptical, saying the question remained about to deal with climate change in a way that doesn't compromise the economy.Here are the highlights from his hearing at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: DOE is vitalPerry walked back his 2011 criticism of the Energy Department, which he listed as one of three agencies he would seek to eliminate -- and famously forgot its name during his "oops" episode during a Republican debate. "My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking," he said. "In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination." That statement was aimed at skeptics on the committee who worry the Perry may slash funding for the network of 14 national labs and curb DOE's research into renewable energy and climate. And Perry's statement was an acknowledgment that he had little understanding of the main mission of the agency: maintaining the U.S. nuclear stockpile and the cleanup of old Cold War weapons sites Perry disavows climate questionnairePerry criticized a questionnaire the Trump transition team sent to the agency seeking to ferret out the names of employees who had worked on climate issues."That questionnaire that you reference went out before I was selected as the nominee to sit before the committee," Perry told Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), top Democrat on the committee. "I didn’t approve it. I don’t approve of it. I don’t need that information. I don’t want that information. That is not how I manage. I have a history of working with people that find that challenges that face us."DOE has rejected the request, but it still alarmed rank-and-file bureaucrats in the department who feared the new administration was beginning a climate witchhunt. Energy securityPerry promised to ensure the reliability of the electric grid and protect it against cyber attack, and he said he would build on the Energy Department's emergency response capability."I am committed to undertaking enhanced security measures where necessary and assisting with recovery efforts, so that Americans can depend on stable sources of power," he said in his opening statement. "I will draw upon my years of experience as governor of a coastal state in organizing emergency response personnel to handle disasters effectively and efficiently."

27 ноября 2014, 12:39

Почему Google отказалась от "зеленой" энергетики

Несколько лет назад компания Google инициировала амбициозный энергетический проект. Но даже мастеру инноваций современной эпохи не удалось найти реальную замену углю и другим ископаемым источникам топлива. Целью проекта RE

10 июня 2014, 09:23

Налоги на нефть. Mother Jones

Обсуждение налогов на добычу полезных ископаемых, а также льгот в этой области зачастую оказывается значимой частью политической полемики. Эту тему энергично освещают СМИ; она же в ряде случаев фигурирует как знаковый момент политической или активистской риторики. В США последняя волна налоговых льгот в недавней истории пришлась на 1995 г., когда цены на нефть упали настолько, что вложения в отрасль стали казаться невыгодными. Чтобы дать стимул к развитию нефтедобычи, правительство стало вводить налоговые льготы, вплоть до полного устранения налогов для тех, кто разрабатывал нерентабельные или низкорентабельные месторождения (например, глубоководные). В результате эти льготы продолжают действовать в отношении разработок, начавшихся в период с 1996 по 2000 г. Властям США в условиях бюджетного дефицита такие льготы в настоящее время очень невыгодны, тем более что цены на нефть, с тех пор как льготы были введены, выросли в десятки раз. В связи с этим тема устранения этих льгот обсуждается регулярно. В 2013 г., например, за нее энергично взялся [1] конгрессмен Эдвард Марки (Edward Markey, демократ из Массачусетса), член Комитета по природным ресурсам. Он, в частности, подсчитал, что если бы налоговые льготы отменили сразу после того, как цены на нефть начали расти, то общий доход бюджету от налогов, выплачиваемых нефтяными компаниями, мог бы составить порядка $11 млрд. Входящие в состав Комитета демократы выпустили отчет, в котором сообщалось, что около 25% нефти, добываемой только в Мексиканском заливе в настоящий момент не подлежит налогообложению, то есть более 100 нефтегазовых компаний арендуют не менее 200 не облагаемых налогом нефтеносных участков. По их прогнозам, если снять льготы, то за следующие 10 лет дополнительный доход бюджета составит порядка $15,5 млрд. Нефтяные компании, в свою очередь, стали высказываться резко против этой инициативы Комитета. В частности, они сразу стали апеллировать к тому, что устранение льгот приведет к сокращению объемов нефтедобычи, так как у компаний пропадет стимул к разработке труднодоступных месторождений, а дохода федеральному бюджету, соответственно, не прибавится. Еще один распространенный аргумент [2] состоит в том, что уплата налогов в итоге ляжет не на корпорации, а на плечи конечного потребителя, который будет больше платить за нефтепродукты . Компромисс до сих пор не был найден, и полемика продолжается. В апреле 2014 г. был опубликован большой материал [3] в левом некоммерческом издании Mother Jones, которое, конечно, поддерживает отмену льгот для крупных корпораций. Авторы, в частности, приводят следующие цифры. За последние сто лет федеральное правительство вложило в нефтегазовую отрасль более $470 млрд. в виде налоговых льгот, которые «первоначально были призваны поддержать американских нефтяников, а потом превратились в чистый бонус для самых доходных в мире компаний». При этом налогоплательщики сейчас спонсируют нефтедобычу в размере примерно $4,8 млрд. в год, из которых половина идет пяти крупным нефтяным компаниям (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP и ConocoPhillips). Их льготный налог в среднем составляет $3,34 за баррель, притом что цены на нефть превысили $100 за баррель. Авторы также отмечают, что со времени введения первых государственных субсидий для нефтедобывающих компаний (это произошло в 1916 г.) вопрос о непропорциональном распределении налоговой нагрузки поднимался неоднократно – преимущественно при президентах-демократах. В частности, приводится высказывание Гарри Трумэна, который назвал правила взимания налогов с нефтедобывающих компаний самой вопиющей дырой в системе налогообложения. Тем не менее, вплоть до настоящего момента нефтяники удерживают за собой льготы. Технически говоря, они сейчас действительно ничего не получают от государства, помимо налоговых поблажек, а для того чтобы отменить их, нужно изменить законодательство. Когда цены на нефть после 1998 г. только начали расти, министерство внутренних дел США (DOI - iv_g) попыталось ввести ограничения на льготы, поставив порог в $28 за баррель, после которого льготы считались недействительными. Большинство компаний последовали этому требованию, однако корпорация Kerr McGee, которую позднее купила Anadarko, подала на министерство в суд на том основании, что у него не было права вводить такие ограничения. Kerr McGee выиграла процесс, после чего все компании, уже выплатившие налоги, получили эти средства обратно. Больше подобных инициатив пока не было. Британские нефтяные компании сейчас энергично разрабатывают месторождения в Северном море. Прибыль с этого они начали получать во второй половине 1970-х гг., а в середине 1980-х гг. наступил первый пик их доходности, составившей более 3% национального дохода. По некоторым подсчетам, с начала разработок к настоящему моменту доход государству должен составить 850 млрд. фунтов. В отличие от США, полемика о налоговых льготах в области добычи нефти в Соединенном Королевстве не настолько острая. Стимулирующие льготы там обычно встраиваются в бюджетный план на предстоящий год. Это, конечно, тоже может быть поводом для возмущения, но менее массового. В частности, когда в 2012 г. ряд компаний, в том числе BP, получили льготы [4] на разработку глубоководных месторождений к северу от Шотландии, это вызвало недовольство у экологов и сторонников зеленых движений. Оно было вызвано тем, что нефтяные компании не просто получили разрешение на проведение своих неэкологичных работ (особенно BP, отметившаяся в 2010 г. тем, что разлила в Мексиканском заливе нефть и устроила там экологическую катастрофу), но еще и удостоились за это вознаграждения. Всерьез тема налогов на добычу нефти стала обсуждаться в британской прессе – также, в первую очередь, с позиции политического противостояния – в 2014 г. Поводом послужило поступившее в январе сообщение [5] норвежского национального Пенсионного фонда о том, что каждый норвежец стал потенциальным миллионером, так как объемы фонда достиг 5 трлн. крон, в миллион раз превысив численность населения страны (около 5 млн. человек). В 1990 г. был создан Нефтяной фонд, куда стали поступать налоги из нефтегазовой отрасли (в том числе налоги на добычу). Позднее он был объединен с Пенсионным фондом, в результате чего получился такой эффект. Естественно, граждане не могут просто прийти в фонд и забрать деньги. Однако известно, что эти средства идут на обеспечение гражданских нужд, в том числе строительство дорог и обеспечение отопления. По подсчетам экспертов [6], доход от нефтяных налогов на душу населения в Великобритании, конечно, был бы меньше - с учетом большей численности населения, однако всё равно составил бы около 13 000 фунтов на человека. Но ничего в этой сфере не изменилось, и ни о каком использовании этих средств для прямого обеспечения гражданских нужд речи не идет. Эти средства шли и продолжают идти на установление налоговых льгот для крупных корпораций вне нефтяной сферы. Левые комментаторы ставят это в упрек консервативным правительством, по чьей инициативе это было организовано так. Их оппоненты указывают на общественную полезность стимулирования развития бизнеса http://www.oilru.com/news/412616/ http://polit.ru/article/2014/06/01/oil_royalty/ 1/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/lawmaker-attacks-oil-companies-free-drilling-in-gulf/2013/02/26/cc55014a-806a-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html 2/ http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2014/04/californians-already-pay-oil-severance-tax-states/  3/ http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/oil-subsidies-renewable-energy-tax-breaks 4/ http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/mar/21/budget-2012-oil-industry-tax 5/ http://www.radioazadlyg.ru/content/article/25225524.html 6/ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/13/north-sea-oil-money-uk-norwegians-fund  - - - - Выжимка из статьи i/ В США последняя волна налоговых льгот в недавней истории пришлась на 1995 г., когда цены на нефть упали настолько, что вложения в отрасль стали казаться невыгодными. Чтобы дать стимул к развитию нефтедобычи, правительство стало вводить налоговые льготы, вплоть до полного устранения налогов для тех, кто разрабатывал нерентабельные или низкорентабельные месторождения (например, глубоководные). В результате эти льготы продолжают действовать в отношении разработок, начавшихся в период с 1996 по 2000 г. ii/ около 25% нефти, добываемой только в Мексиканском заливе в настоящий момент не подлежит налогообложению, то есть более 100 нефтегазовых компаний арендуют не менее 200 не облагаемых налогом нефтеносных участков. iii/ если снять льготы, то за следующие 10 лет дополнительный доход бюджета составит порядка $15,5 млрд. iv/ За последние сто лет федеральное правительство вложило в нефтегазовую отрасль более $470 млрд. в виде налоговых льгот v/ налогоплательщики сейчас спонсируют нефтедобычу в размере примерно $4,8 млрд. в год, из которых половина идет пяти крупным нефтяным компаниям (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP и ConocoPhillips). Их льготный налог в среднем составляет $3,34 за баррель, притом что цены на нефть превысили $100 за баррель. Выводы i/ Убивать курицу, несущую золотые яйца, чтобы получить в среднем прибавку $1,5 млрд. в год неразумно. ii/ Налоговые льготы за 100 лет в среднем $4,7 млрд. в год, вероятно, большая часть в последние 20 лет. Очень немного, принимая во внимание мультиплицирующий эффект на экономику и значительную степень выработанности запасов - - - - Mother Jones Mother Jones (abbreviated MoJo) is an American magazine featuring investigative and breaking news reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. First issue February 1976 Company Foundation For National Progress http://www.motherjones.com/search/apachesolr_search/oil Jan. 2, 2013 Big Oil's Billions in Tax Perks Survive Fiscal Cliff Deal http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/01/big-oil-tax-subsidy-fiscal-cliff Apr. 14, 2014 A Brief History of Big Tax Breaks for Oil Companies http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/oil-subsidies-energy-timeline  Oil derricks and a "lake" of spilled crude in Santa Barbara, California, in 1935. Associated Press      Chart sources Estimated Annual Tax Breaks for the Big Five: Center for American Progress Estimated Tax Break per Barrel of Oil Produced in US: Calculation based on companies' SEC filings and Center for American Progress data Total Tax Breaks…/Average Annual Tax Breaks: DBL Investors (PDF), Congressional Budget Office (PDF) Political Giving Center for Responsive Politics Federal Lobbying: Center for Responsive Politics Campaign Spending by Top 20 Donors: Center for Responsive Politics Energy Tax Breaks: Congressional Budget Office (PDF) Where Our Energy Comes From: Energy Information Administration http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/oil-subsidies-renewable-energy-tax-breaks  О диаграммах i/ Налоговые льготы ВИЭ весьма существенны ii/ Лоббирование ВИЭ значительно, особенно если посмотреть как долю от продаж iii/ Сравнивать 2005 и 2011 не совсем корректно. 2005 - пик добычи традиционной нефти в мире и в отдельных компаниях iv/ Журнал демократов ведет кампанию против нефтяных компаний, которые плохо финансируют демократов. И более благосклонен к ВИЭ, которые приносят демократам больше, чем республиканцам v/ Налоговые льготы ВИЭ весьма существенны особенно если сравнивать объем льгот и производство энергии. На максимуме в 2008 г. налоговые льготы на ВИЭ превосходили все льготы на ископаемое топливо в более чем в 5 раз, а сейчас превосходят более чем в 2раза.

18 февраля 2014, 14:14

Успехи Техаса и США: нефть и газ животворящие :)

Richard W. Fisher, President and CEOFederal Reserve Bank of DallasDallas, Texas February 11, 2014             - - - - - - - 05 Февраль 2014 О ценах на газ в США http://iv-g.livejournal.com/997777.html   23 Октябрь 2013 U.S. Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2011. 2 http://iv-g.livejournal.com/956077.html   28 Август 2013 McKinsey: Five opportunities for US growth and renewal (Energy) http://iv-g.livejournal.com/931584.html  26 Август 2013 API.org: Инфографика о добыче сланцевых нефти и газа. 2 http://iv-g.livejournal.com/931067.html   24 Август 2013 API.org: Инфографика о добыче сланцевых нефти и газа http://iv-g.livejournal.com/929565.html   17 Январь 2013 IEA: World Energy Outlook 2012. Presentation to the press http://iv-g.livejournal.com/818512.html  26 Декабрь 2012 forbes: Влияние нетрадиционных газа и нефти на экономику США http://iv-g.livejournal.com/806390.html   25 Июль 2012 Занятость в США и добыча углеводородов http://iv-g.livejournal.com/715320.html     28 Март 2012 Citigroup report. Energy 2020: North America as the new Middle East http://iv-g.livejournal.com/633928.html