Friday, July 17, 2009

OilDrum: DrumBeat: July 17, 2009

Natural Gas Heads to Seven-Year Low as Supplies Swell
(Bloomberg) -- Natural gas futures, the worst performing commodity in 2009, may fall to seven-year lows as demand drops with the deepest recession in half a century.

Because chemical plants and power producers are burning less, gas inventories rose to 2.886 trillion cubic feet in the week ended July 10, the highest for any week in July since at least 1994, the U.S. Energy Department reported yesterday. Natural gas is down 36 percent this year on the New York Mercantile Exchange, compared with a 39 percent gain in oil.

Letter gives EnCana three months to leave or attacks will 'get a lot worse'
A letter sent to a daily newspaper and addressed simply to “EnCana” says attacks against the company will stop for three months to give it a chance to leave the area.

“We can all take a summer vacation including your security personnel and the RCMP who have not helped you to date anyway,” the letter states, adding that the six explosions that have occurred so far have been minor and controlled to make the point that “you are indeed vulnerable, [and] can be rendered helpless.”

Petrobras Seeks $9 Billion to Finance Suppliers, Valor Reports
(Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, is seeking $9 billion to finance its Brazilian suppliers, Valor Economico newspaper reported.

Petrobras, as the company is known, is participating in so- called road shows worldwide and intends to create shared funds with banks to finance Brazilian suppliers in the exploration of the pre-salt region, the Sao Paulo-based newspaper said, citing Marcilio Miranda, a Petrobras consultant.

Nigeria 'ready for 10,000 rebels'
Some 10,000 militants could benefit from an amnesty in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta region, a military official has said.

Air-Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile said militants who disarmed would be paid a monthly allowance while being reintegrated into civilian life.

However correspondents are sceptical about the figures, saying there are hundreds, not thousands, of fighters.

Pickens Said to Seek Investors for Hedge Funds After 79% Gain
(Bloomberg) -- T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor hit by losses and client redemptions in 2008, is raising money after his hedge funds gained as much as 79 percent this year, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Ukraine pledges gas reform before EU talks
Ukraine has promised to raise household gas prices and enforce payment of bills to strengthen its national gas company and help it secure loans to avert a new gas crisis with Russia, an EU official said today.

Kiev hoped the pledge would boost the chances of progress at talks today between state-owned Naftogaz and international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which were hosted by the EU in Brussels.

Lester R. Brown: Agriculture Industry's Oil Addiction Threatens Food Security
This prospect of oil production peaking and countries at the same time failing to establish greater energy efficiency and renewable energy sources has direct consequences for world food security.

Modern agriculture depends heavily on the use of fossil fuels. Most tractors use gasoline or diesel fuel. Irrigation pumps use diesel fuel, natural gas, or coal-fired electricity. Fertilizer production is also energy-intensive. Natural gas is used to synthesize the basic ammonia building block in nitrogen fertilizers. The mining, manufacture, and international transport of phosphates and potash all depend on oil.

Efficiency gains can help reduce agriculture’s dependence on oil. In the United States, the combined direct use of gasoline and diesel fuel in farming fell from its historical high of 7.7 billion gallons (29.1 billion liters) in 1973 to 4.2 billion in 2005—a decline of 45 percent. Broadly calculated, the gallons of fuel used per ton of grain produced dropped from 33 in 1973 to 12 in 2005, an impressive decrease of 64 percent. One reason for this achievement was a shift to minimum- and no-till cultural practices on roughly two fifths of U.S. cropland.

But while U.S. agricultural fuel use has been declining, in many developing countries, it is rising as the shift from draft animals to tractors continues. A generation ago, cropland in China was tilled largely by draft animals. Today much of the plowing is done with tractors.

OPEC still on course to meet oil market challenge
LONDON (Reuters) - A $10-a-barrel price slide, an unseasonable rise in motor fuel stocks and a slackening of output discipline have complicated, but not yet sabotaged, OPEC's quest to push the oil market higher.

At its last meeting in May, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was in upbeat mood and the $75-a-barrel level its members have argued is a fair price for consumers and producers emerged as a goal for later this year.

It was very nearly achieved at the end of June when oil hit this year's peak of $73.38. But since July a different mood has swept financial markets, which are now as focused on economic gloom as on embryonic growth.

"Yes, we are concerned," a source close to the Angolan OPEC presidency said. "But we cannot panic. We have to wait until the meeting in September."

Pemex Struggles to Meet $20B Investment Target
Mexican oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos is struggling to meet an ambitious $20 billion investment plan for this year after it nearly quadrupled capital expenditures over the past decade.

Pemex, as the state-run company is known, needs to find new pools of oil to replace traditional fields that are running dry. Pemex said on Wednesday it spent 88 billion pesos ($6.4 billion) during the first half of the year, or 38% of its $16.9 billion exploration and production investment budget.

Pemex's output has fallen by a fifth since peaking in 2004, and tumbled 7.9% during the first five months of 2009 from the year-ago period.

Asia Gasoline/Naphtha-Open - spec at week high
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian naphtha prices rose for
the fourth-straight session, hitting their highest level in one
week, while cracks recovered marginally, but were still below
levels seen at the start of the month due to higher supplies.

Saudi Aramco sold a rare parcel comprising 40,000 tonnes of
light naphtha from Yanbu, and 15,000 tonnes of A310 grade from
Jeddah for July 23-27 lifting to a European trader at a premium
around $15.00 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

"From what I understand, Aramco may have slightly increased
their light naphtha grade due to higher crude throughput," said
a Northeast Asian trader.

Gulf’s Petrochemical Industry Forges Ahead
ABU DHABI - The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), a regional trade group founded in March 2006, promotes co-operation among petrochemical and chemical firms in the region and tries to ensure that their growth is sustainable and socially responsible.

The Gulf, with its huge petroleum reserves, is the hub of the global petrochemical industry, with exports from the region last year exceeding $10 billion. The GPCA, headquartered in Dubai, has a 141 members, up from its original roster of eight, and they include all major players in the regional petrochemical industry.

FACTBOX - Global oil, gas projects delayed in 2009
(Reuters) - Following is a list of some of the oil and gas projects and oil refinery expansion plans that have been delayed or cancelled so far in 2009.

The global financial crisis, falling oil demand, a slide in prices and poor general market conditions have prompted many in the industry to scale back spending and delay projects.

Fuel oil rises on power demand, run cuts
DUBAI (Reuters) - Fuel oil stayed strong on demand for power generation across the Gulf on Thursday amid soaring summer temperatures, while refinery run cuts limited supply. The Gulf is in the season of peak power demand as air conditioning works at full throttle, straining domestic power grids and upping demand for oil products at power plants.

Sentiment is that supply could stay tight for the rest of the year, as Middle East demand combines with strong demand from the Asian bunker sector. OPEC supply cuts have kept the supply of crudes with high fuel-oil yields tight.

Asia-Wide Refinery Output Cut Causes Marine Fuel Oil Shortage
(Bloomberg) -- Marine fuel oil supplies in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering port, have plunged as oil refiners across Asia cut output, according to official figures and traders.

The shortage reduced Asian benchmark fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude, or the crack spread, to $1.636 a barrel on July 15, the narrowest since Feb. 11, 2004, according to Bloomberg data.

Oil sands pain points to long-term gain: Moody's
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canada's oil sands developers will emerge from the economic downturn smaller in number and ready to advance projects at a more measured pace than during the boom, a debt rating agency said on Wednesday.

Moody's Investor's Service said today's slowdown should be a boon for the sector overall as high-cost plans get scrapped and development costs drop. Since last autumn, companies have deferred or canceled more than C$90 billion ($81 billion) worth of Alberta oil sands projects.

Still a buyers' market for energy, but wait...
World prices for energy are expected to inflate in 2010 in line with increased demand during a broad-based economic recovery. But, in the shorter term, the next six months of 2009, energy buyers will face a marketplace full of reduced demand, increased supply and erratic prices.

Palin's Successor Talks to Exxon, TransCanada about Gas Pipeline
Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday that he met with executives of Exxon Mobil Corp. and TransCanada Corp. to talk about progress on TransCanada's proposed natural gas pipeline.

The discussions came a little more than a week before Parnell is scheduled to be sworn in as Alaska's new governor. He will replace current Gov. Sarah Palin -- a staunch advocate for a new Alaska gas pipeline -- who announced her resignation earlier this month.

Aramco, Conoco to award refinery deals in May
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi state oil giant Aramco and U.S. ConocoPhillips plan to award contracts to build a joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia in May 2010, sources at contractors said.

Aramco and Conoco invited contractors to bid for the construction of the 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) Yanbu refinery last month and set January 31 as a deadline to submit proposals.

Nigeria: ‘Gas Shortage Threatens 6,000 Megawatts’
The Federal Government yesterday admitted that the power sector was in shambles half way into the “magic year” where its power emergency plan is expected to deliver increased power generation to as much as 6,000 megawatts.

It disclosed that following the recent campaign by militant groups in the Niger Delta and the collateral damage done to strategic pipelines supplying gas to several power stations, power generation has dropped to an unprecedented low of about 900 megawatts.

Uganda: Tell people about the looming energy crisis?
People should be told the truth that there will be no locally available firewood for the villages and no charcoal for the towns in 10 years time. The nearest trees which are not privately planted and owned will be in Congo, and to import them here for cooking posho and matoke may not be viable. Someone will have to take the honest decision and tell the people the truth.

Monsoon rain too late for sugarcane, rice
Weak June rainfall has reduced the water level in India's main reservoirs by more than half, limiting the prospects of irrigating winter-sown wheat and rapeseed crops, and reducing hydropower supply by 10 percent, government officials said.

While hydropower accounts for a quarter of India's power generation, power supply has been further depleted by a severe shortage of coal in the country.

The shortage has boosted the use of standby power generation using liquid fuel, which helped raise India's June domestic oil product sales by 14 percent.

Blood and Oil in Central Asia
In the past month, two seemingly unrelated events have turned Central Asia into a potential flashpoint: an aggressively expanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a nascent strategic alliance between Russia and China.

At stake is nothing less than who holds the future high ground in the competition for the world's energy resources.

For Venezuela, There Still is Power through Petro
The Bolivarian revolution propelled by Hugo Chávez has transformed Venezuela, its messianic vision for the country brought to fruition by its vast oil reserves. The petro-revenues have permitted President Chávez to encourage an abundance of social welfare programs around the Caribbean basin and have allowed him to cement his hold over the country. Oil has granted profits from the country’s hydro-carbon reserves that account for almost 30 percent of its GDP, 90 percent of export earnings and 50 percent of its federal budget revenues in 2006. Until this past winter, the steady growth of oil revenue allowed Chávez to press on with his left leaning agenda as well as expand his influence throughout the Andean and Caribbean regions. However, the dependence on petroleum has left the country vulnerable, as the global recession has quickly led to a precipitous plunge in prices that have caused revenues to dwindle. As a result, many flaws in the Venezuelan economic model are now becoming evident due to the overdependence on oil.

The economic backlash has manifested almost like a disease, as oil has created enormous profits during the boom years which caused distorted growth in services and non-traded goods’ sectors . The country’s current financial state is in an uncertain position due to an over-dependence on oil and the ongoing global economic crisis.

Jeff Rubin on the End of Cheap Oil (audio)
Canadian economist Jeff Rubin says global oil consumption is unsustainable. And he thinks the world as we know it is in for a change. Some familiar sights he says will disappear: food that's been frozen and shipped around the world to your plate, and drivers commuting solo for long stretches along the nation's highways. Not because the world is running out of oil, but because all the cheap oil was burned in your parents' engines. He says the way forward is to sharply reduce demand for oil and return to localized economies. Jeff Rubin is former chief economist at Toronto investment firm CIBC World Markets. His new book is "Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization." He spoke at Town Hall in Seattle on June 8, 2009.

The good life 2.0
We urgently need to take an evolutionary leap in the way we do things and to design systems from the bottom up in ways that fit this planet’s carrying capacity and we need to do this together, as communities. Web 2.0 is the term that has come to signify the new upgraded internet, which is community based, interactive and user-driven. As the current crisis is too overwhelming for individuals to face alone, I want to propose a ‘Good Life 2.0’ - a response to the challenges of our times based on an upgrade for the 21st century of the ideas of the 1970’s self-sufficiency movement and the values of community plus everything we have learned in the thirty years that have passed.

Electric cars poised to give auto industry a jolt
In the next year or so, after only a century or so of trying, the electric car may break free of the lunatic fringe and become a mainstream transportation option for everyday drivers.

The next step forward for electric cars will come on Aug. 2, when Nissan is expected to unveil the first of three electric models in three vehicle segments that the automaker will reportedly sell en masse by 2013 in the United States, Japan and Europe.

Are consumers ready for the smart grid?
"There's a lot of good technology that fits into the smart-grid concept, but the challenge frankly moving forward is getting consumer acceptance, not just today but in the future," said Bryan Olnick, senior director of the Meter Service department at Florida Power & Light.

Lawmakers urge caution on mandating flex-fuel vehicles
Six lawmakers urged the Energy Department to scale back plans to boost the number of vehicles that can run on a blend of mostly biofuel.

The lawmakers sent a letter to the Energy Department saying that mandating that all vehicles be capable of running on E85, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, is a bad idea. Their protest came in response to a speech last month by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who told an audience in Iowa that the Obama administration was considering requiring all vehicles to be able to run on E85.

One world government and global warming/climate change/whatever
No small number of people were very angry about the term "denier" insisting that it lumps skeptics in with holocaust deniers. No apologies here. “Denier” is a term that accurately describes people who refuse to acknowledge established facts.

There’s a particular outrage amongst many skeptics about the notion that their arguments and many of the people who champion the cause are so routinely dismissed by other scientists and the media. On this and other issues I am often remonstrated for failing to give due credit to “the other side of the story”. It’s a phenomenon Thomas Homer Dixon has identified as “the unbalance of balance”; the idea that minority opinions deserve not just consideration but equivalence.

Allianz Says Insurers Will Be Hit by More Wind Storms in Europe
(Bloomberg) -- Insurers will be hit by a higher number of wind storm-related claims in Europe as a result of global warming, according to Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer by market value.

“Global warming is happening and it’s here to stay,” Olaf Novak, head of risk management related to natural disasters at the Munich-based insurer, said in an interview in Munich. “It’s not so much the severity of wind storms in Europe but their rising frequency that worries us.”

Allianz, which generates about 84 percent of its premium income in property and casualty insurance in Europe, sees wind storms in its “home turf region” as the most important risk related to natural disasters, Novak said.

Deflation as prices decline in June
OTTAWA – Canada's annual inflation rate dipped below zero for the first time in 15 years in June, as the low cost of filling up at the gas station compared to last year dropped the overall index to minus 0.3 per cent.

Crude Oil Falls as Stronger Dollar Limits Commodity Investments
(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell in New York for the first time in three days as the dollar rose against the euro, limiting the appeal of commodities as an investment.

The dollar climbed as investors sought safer assets amid speculation that CIT Group Inc. will file for bankruptcy, and after two explosions hit hotels in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s largest oil user, fell the most in the first six months to an 11-year low as the global recession curbed shipping and air traffic, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday.

Oil May Test Bollinger Support Near $58: Technical Analysis
(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil remains in a downtrend and may slip toward its lower Bollinger Band just above $58 a barrel as traders test the resilience of technical support levels, said the head of Cameron Hanover Inc.

Gasoline to Trade Above Heating Oil Into October: Chart of Day
(Bloomberg) -- Wholesale gasoline prices will maintain a premium over heating oil through October, two months longer than usual, because of record supplies and low demand for distillates, said Sander Cohan, an analyst with Energy Security Analysis Inc.

Art Smith Believes in the Long-Term Bull Case for Oil
There's a very good organization the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Peakoil.net, that does a solid job of trying to provide a fact-based backdrop of the real data. When you boil it down, the key driver is that oil demand globally will continue to increase and with continuing depletion of discovered reserves, ultimately, it will dissipate or eat away at the 6 million barrels a day of apparent OPEC surplus that now exists.

Energy costs to rise by one percent a year for the next ten years
Energy bills both for consumers as well as in the business sector are set to rise steadily and dramatically over the next decade The increases will be driven by increased costs of creating energy at source as a result of the government’s plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Shell weighs staff cuts at U.S. refineries
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Shell Oil said on Thursday it was considering staff cuts at its refineries and chemical plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast to reduce costs in the current recession.

Among the plants where reductions are being considered are the refineries Shell operates jointly with Saudi Aramco through Motiva Enterprises and a Deer Park, Texas, refinery operated jointly with Mexican state oil company Pemex, said spokeswoman Anne Peebles.

General Electric quarterly profits down 49%
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US energy giant General Electric announced a 49-percent drop in second-quarter net profit on Friday to 2.68 billion dollars.

Perenco Rules Out Future Investment in Ecuador After Seizure
(Bloomberg) -- Perenco, the London-based explorer whose oil fields in Ecuador were seized by the state yesterday in a dispute over taxes, ruled out future investment in the South American nation.

The loss of the fields “absolutely rules out future investments for the moment,” Rodrigo Marquez, Perenco’s regional manager for Latin America, said in a telephone interview today. “We are left with no other possibility than to simply defend our rights” in court.

U.S. Interior proceeding with contested offshore plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday said that it will go ahead with an offshore oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico scheduled next month, despite some legal concerns about the Bush-era drilling plan.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ordered the department to rewrite the 2007-2012 leasing plan developed and approved by the Bush administration because it had not undergone proper environmental review.

Exxon Sabotaged Wells, Should Be Fined, Texas Land Office Says
(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, may be fined more than $1 billion for “malicious” sabotage of wells to prevent other producers from tapping fields it no longer wanted, the Texas General Land Office said.

Jerry Patterson, commissioner of the land office that oversees oil leases that help fund Texas schools, asked the Texas Railroad Commission to conduct hearings into an alleged 1990s program at Exxon Mobil of plugging abandoned wells with trash, sludge, explosives and cement plugs. The barriers made it impossible for other producers to revive the wells, Patterson said in a statement he gave to Bloomberg News yesterday.

Under Railroad Commission rules, Exxon Mobil could face fines of $10,000 a day per well, Patterson said in the statement, which he plans to release on Monday. He said those penalties could add up to more than $1 billion on wells the company abandoned in 1991 after a disagreement over royalties with the owners, the O’Connor family, a Texas oil dynasty.

CNPC Six-Month Overseas Oil Output 31.29 Million Tons
(Bloomberg) -- China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s largest oil company that’s expanding globally to secure energy supplies, said its overseas crude output reached 31.29 million metric tons in the first half.

China Will Buy LNG From Gorgon, W.A. Premier Says
(Bloomberg) -- China will buy liquefied natural gas supplies from the Chevron Corp.-operated Gorgon project in Western Australia and should invest in other gas ventures proposed in the state, Premier Colin Barnett said.

“What would be a good step forward would be for China to become a foundation investor in a new LNG project,” Barnett told reporters in Perth today. “I’m not talking about being a majority owner, maybe a 10 to 15 percent share of a project.”

Iraq trade union threatens to block foreign oil field work
BASRA, Iraq (AFP) – The trade union representing workers of Iraq's state-owned Southern Oil Company (SOC) threatened on Thursday to prevent exploitation of one of Iraq's biggest oil fields by energy giants BP and CNPC.

Baghdad last month accepted an offer from British energy firm BP and its Chinese counterpart CNPC to work in the giant Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq that has known reserves of 17.7 billion barrels.

Turning up the gas
Faisal Al Suwaidi has become a victim of his own success in creating a worldwide market for liquid natural gas.

TVA says hazard rating 'high' at 4 coal ash sites
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday significantly raised the hazard potential for several of its coal ash sites in a self-assessment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suggesting people living near four sites could die if an ash pond ruptured.

UK: Greenlight given for first eco towns
LONDON (AFP) – The government gave the green light Thursday to four so-called "eco towns," claiming it is playing a leading role globally in promoting carbon neutral communities.

The green towns are designed as the first of 10 such projects Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government wants to set up by 2020, despite criticism and local opposition in some cases.

Should the plans for eco-towns be scrapped?
A shortlist published this week names the first four 'green' communities approved for construction. Is it just tokenism?

Howie Hawkins declares
Climate change and peak oil means that we in Syracuse can no longer take our supplies of food and energy for granted. We should no longer plan on securing food from the other side of the continent and fuel from the other side of the world. Global transportation networks and supply and production chains will become more and more expensive due to climate change and rising oil prices in the coming years.

Four North American geothermal companies plan tie-up
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) – Taking advantage of investor appetite for renewable energy projects, four geothermal firms said on Wednesday they plan to combine forces to form a single, larger company that will be able to raise funds more easily to develop "green" power projects.

Canadian-based Polaris Geothermal Inc, Western GeoPower Corp and GTO Resources Inc, along with Ram Power, a private U.S.-based geothermal power developer, said they plan to combine operations and try to raise C$100 million ($90 million).

Solar Power Generation Capacity May Double in 2010
(Bloomberg) -- New solar power generation may double next year, recovering from low capacity utilization caused by the global financial crisis, as China and the U.S. increase demand for clean energy, a fund manager said.

BP exits jatropha biofuel project to focus on ethanol
BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil company, will exit its jatropha biofuel project with D1 Oils Plc to focus on production of ethanol in Brazil and the U.S. and advance biobutanol development.

“To ensure the success of these investments, BP is concentrating new business development in these areas and will no longer be directly involved in the jatropha as a biofuel feedstock,” Sheila Williams, a London-based company spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail.

Hungry World: A Silent Crisis Calls for Urgent Action
Surprisingly, while our world may be increasingly urban, the world of the poor and hungry remains overwhelmingly rural. Of the 1.2 billion people in the world living on less than a dollar a day, the majority, almost 700 million, are small farmers, farm laborers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia who are unable to sustain themselves, not to mention rapidly growing urban populations, due to decades of lagging farm productivity.

U.S. and China Agree to Study Ways to Make Buildings More Energy-Efficient
BEIJING — Ending his first official visit to China, the United States energy secretary, Steven Chu, said the two nations had agreed to plan joint studies on ways to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, a major issue in addressing China’s contribution to climate change.

Mr. Chu said that the United States and China had drafted a memorandum of understanding for creating a team of experts that would study ways to provide heat, air-conditioning and light for buildings while minimizing their electricity needs.

South Korea Plans to Spend $100 Million on Asian Water Projects
(Bloomberg) -- South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, plans to invest about $100 million by 2012 to help Asian developing countries cope with water shortages and floods.

The funds will come from the $200 million that President Lee Myung Bak has pledged to provide to neighboring nations for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, Park Heung Kyeong, a counselor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said today in an interview.

Asia, with half the world’s population, has less available fresh water than any continent except Antarctica, Suzanne DiMaggio, director at the Asia Society, said in April. Glacier runoff is the primary water source for many nations in the region, and they are shrinking with climate change.

In Provo, a call to action against federal climate bill
The U.S. effort to counteract climate change is poised to not only destroy the U.S. economy, but dramatically increase global carbon dioxide levels.

That was the message, on Thursday, from Tom Tripp, a magnesium specialist from Utah who gave a 45-minute keynote address in Provo at the Utah Farm Bureau Midyear Conference.

The Last Straw
Hopelessly overcrowded, crippled by poverty, teeming with Islamist militancy, careless with its nukes—it sometimes seems as if Pakistan can’t get any more terrifying. But forget about the Taliban: The country's troubles today pale compared with what it might face 25 years from now. When it comes to the stability of one of the world's most volatile regions, it's the fate of the Himalayan glaciers that should be keeping us awake at night.

U.S. should pay for carbon content of imported goods: Locke
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - To address the serious threat of global warming, Americans should be required to "pay" for the carbon content of goods they consume from countries around the world, a top U.S. official said on Friday.

"It's important that those who consume the products being made all around the world to the benefit of America -- and it's our own consumption activity that's causing the emission of greenhouse gases, then quite frankly Americans need to pay for that," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

U.S. protectionism in green garb
The United States Senate is now considering a sweeping climate-change bill that squeaked out of the House of Representatives by a razor thin, seven-vote margin. The mammoth 1,400-page bill passed in the House despite the fact that few members actually read it. A majority of Americans rightly fear what could be its devastating consequences.

A careful reading of the Waxman-Markey bill makes it clear that its potential damage reaches far beyond the U. S. border. If enacted in its current form, it would irrevocably harm Canada and the trade that has been the hallmark of our bilateral relationship.

Canada's dirty secret
Canada has come last on a WWiF scorecard of G8 countries' efforts against climate change. That news would once have elicited at least a slightly surprised response. For several decades, Canada managed to present itself as the friendly giant of environmental issues. The 1989 Protocol on CFCs, an early turning point in combating the depletion of the ozone layer, was born in Montreal, and American environmental campaigners like Al Gore are always quick to heap praise on their northern neighbour.

But these days, Canada is looking increasingly like the dirty one of G8. The WWF report noted that Canada is one of the few countries on the scorecard whose emissions are still rising, and that Canada's Conservative government isn't doing enough to combat climate change.

Ocean current switch due to warming could be slower than feared
CHICAGO (AFP) – The nightmare global warming scenario which provided the plot for a Hollywood blockbuster -- the Atlantic Ocean current that keeps Europe warm shuts down and triggers rapid climate change -- has long worried scientists.

But a study published Thursday in the journal Science found it may not occur as quickly as previously feared.

U.S. releases unclassified spy images of Arctic ice
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States released more than a thousand intelligence images of Arctic ice to help scientists study the impact of climate change, within hours of a recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences.

In an unusually fast move by a U.S. government agency, the Interior Department made the images public on Wednesday. The academy's report urging this action was released at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Some 700 images show swatches of sea ice from six sites around the Arctic Ocean, with an additional 500 images of 22 sites in the United States. The images can be seen online at http://gfl.usgs.gov/.