AC Alert for March 7, 2012 One Issue That is Not Going Away – Energy!

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AC Alert for March 7, 2012 One Issue That is Not Going Away – Energy!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 6:40pm

CONTENT: Newsletter

AC Alert for March 7, 2012
One Issue That is Not Going Away – Energy!

None of us should underestimate the impact that higher oil and gasoline prices will have on our citizens and our economy. For many people, filling the car up has become an increasingly painful experience as the average prices for fuel escalate nationwide. The issue is also bound to become part of the upcoming Presidential campaign.

At the same time, the media is already doing its best to whip everyone into a frenzy. To wit: Last week one of our editors was visiting the New York Metropolitan Area, and he was a bit perplexed by the newscasts he heard on one of the Metro area's most respect all news radio stations:

It seemed that a gasoline station on Long Island (NY) had just raised its price for regular gasoline to US$5.00 per gallon. A news reporter was dispatched to the scene -in the upscale and trendy Great Neck village (on Long Island's North Shore) to speak with drivers about the increase in price.

The radio station ran with lead stories all day about how gasoline on Long Island was now running $5 per gallon. There was only one problem: Virtually all of the gas stations on Long Island did not reach the $5 mark -- or even come close. In fact, many of the stations were selling regular gas for under $4.00 per gallon.

In an attempt to sensationalize their news coverage, this large radio news outlet chose to focus on one renegade retailer. We feel our readers deserve better information – less hype, more objectivity and accuracy in the news reports that we monitor for you. (Commentary is different – we invite perspectives and points-of-view on energy matters.)

This is the mission of the AC editors working to find timely news and commentary. We present the results every day in our Energy Section(one of the “E” content silos in the ESG framework of Accountability Central).

We live in the Energy Age. It would be hard to imagine life in the 21st Century without the convenience and benefits of abundant and economic energy.  However, no resource on this Earth is truly inexhaustible. The world’s oil supplies are being depleted at a rapid rate, and oil and gas has become more expensive to extract, process, transport and distribute.  The good news about rising middle class populations in many countries also means they will buy cars – one of the consequences of emerging nation affluence is the increased pressure on the world’s fossil fuel inventories.

Meanwhile there are still some of the world’s regions without abundant and affordable energy.  As more nations industrialize and modernize their systems, the demands made on the world’s fossil fuel supplies will place greater stress on energy-related issues and global supplies.

AC's Energy content silo includes many of today's hot button subjects on energy  --reduction of energy use or wasted power, conservation of existing known supplies, expansion of energy efficiencies, and alternative (and renewable) sources of energy. 

While the world goes on using traditional fossil fuels, the race is on to harness natural and renewable energy sources. AC reports on these issues every day in our Energy Section. Here are some recent excerpts:

BP settles Gulf spill suits, expects $7.8B payout
(Source: Associated Press) New Orleans — BP's settlement with plaintiffs suing the company over the 2010 oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may address harm to individuals and businesses, but there is nothing in it that compensates the public for damage to its natural resources and environment, the Justice Department said Saturday.

Oil falls, posts weekly loss after Saudi supply scare
(Source: Reuters) Oil prices fell 2 percent at the end of last week after Saudi Arabia eased investor concerns about an alleged pipeline explosion. Earlier in the week, Brent futures had jumped above US$128 bbl reacting to an Iranian media report of a pipeline fire in Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia said on Friday that there had been no attack in the kingdom.

Obama Seeks to End Subsidies for Oil and Gas Companies
(Source: New York Times) President Obama has asked Congress to end US$4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies. He also called for renewed investment in alternative energy while vowing to tackle a problem that may not be solved in a decade.

Shell sues environmental groups to score drilling rights
(Source: MSNBC) Shell has sued more than a dozen environmental groups that oppose offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The environmental groups hope to block Shell’s plans to drill exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi Sea, between Alaska and Russia.

Western sanctions tighten squeeze on Iran oil exports
(Source: Chicago Tribune) Western trade sanctions against Iran are strangling its oil exports even before they go into effect, a U.S. advisory body has found, amid warnings that any shortages will only push up crude prices and strain a weak global economy.
With crude prices trading around 10-month highs and limited spare production capacity worldwide, the United States may offer Iran's biggest customers waivers from the oil sanctions, which take effect June 28. Iran is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and the second-biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia.

Keystone XL: Trans-Canada not giving up, forges ahead on 2 fronts
(Source: Los Angeles Times) The Canadian pipeline company thwarted last year in its bid to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf of Mexico ports plans to reapply for a permit for the project and to proceed immediately with plans to build the southern portion of the pipeline, from Oklahoma to the coast.

Chu Says U.S. Considers Oil Reserve Amid Iran ‘Concern’
(Source: Bloomberg) The Obama Administration sent mixed signals last week concerning the possibility of tapping the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Initially, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said they were considering that option but later in an e-mail clarifying Chu’s remarks, Jen Stutsman, an Energy Department spokeswoman, said the secretary was not implying that they were working specifically with the International Energy Agency on a potential release.


The Pipeline For Canada
(Source: Robert R. McMillan) AC's featured commentator Robert R. McMillan believes that the Obama Administration's veto of the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline is bad news, not only for the US, but also for the impact it will have on jobs for Canadians and the Canadian Government, who he calls the closest ally we have anywhere on the globe.  (Bob was the last US chairman of the Panama Canal Commission.)


Consumer Support for Clean Energy Has Declined Significantly Since 2009, According to New Survey from Pike Research
(Source: Distributed on the private Business Wire) According to a new survey from Pike Research, consumer support for clean energy concepts -- ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies -- has declined significantly between 2009 and 2011. In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, the clean-tech market intelligence firm found that the average percentage of consumers with an "extremely" or "very" favorable view of 13 clean energy concepts declined from 50% in 2009 to 45% in 2010, and dropped further to 43% in 2011.

The Energy Section of Accountability Central brings you news and updates, research and insights, commentary and opinion, and more information you can use on Energy topics. We present the information in a factual, informative manner. Our agenda is to keep you fully apprised of all developments around the corner and the globe. We urge you to make AC's Energy section a daily stop in your travels through AC. 

This is just a sampling of the information in our Alert. Go here for the full text of this alert, and more information on Sustainability, and other Accountability related topics.