|US: Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs|
by Clifford Krauss , New York Times
April 29th, 2010
BP says that the offshore drilling accident that is spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico could cost the company several hundred million dollars. Nobody really knows whether the oil giant is being too conservative about the cost for the April 20 accident, which some experts say could end up as the biggest oil spill in history.
|CANADA: Munk takes on mine protesters, defends capitalism|
by John Spears, The Star
April 28th, 2010
Mark Ekepa journeyed from Papua New Guinea to tell the shareholders of Barrick Gold Corp. how police had burned down his house near the Barrick’s Porgera mine. Idolia Bornones travelled from Chile to say that Barrick operations are damaging local glaciers and rivers. But Barrick chairman Peter Munk was unrepentant as he faced the company’s annual meeting.
|WORLD: Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans|
by NEIL MacFARQUHAR, New York Times
April 13th, 2010
In recent years, the idea of giving small loans to poor people became the darling of the development world, hailed as the long elusive formula to propel even the most destitute into better lives. But drawn by the prospect of hefty profits from even the smallest of loans, a raft of banks and financial institutions now dominate the field, with some charging interest rates of 100 percent or more.
|CHINA/US: Google Partners Call For Clarity on China Plans|
by Reuters, New York Times
March 17th, 2010
Chinese firms selling advertising space on Google's search pages have demanded clarity about the search giant's plans in China, as speculation increases over Google's future there. The demand comes amid signs that Google Inc may soon move to close Google.cn.
|CANADA/CHINA: Canada looks to China to exploit oil sands rejected by US |
by Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian (UK)
February 14th, 2010
Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource.
The move comes as US firms are turning away from tar sands because of its heavy carbon footprint and damage to the landscape.
|US/IRAQ: U.S. Companies Join Race on Iraqi Oil Bonanza|
by TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, New York Times
January 13th, 2010
American companies have been arriving in Iraq to pursue an expected multibillion-dollar bonanza of projects to revive the country’s petroleum industry. But there are questions about the Iraqi government’s capacity to police the companies. “These are for-profit concerns and they are trying to make as much money as they can,” said Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch.
|US/CHINA: U.S. Holds Fire in Google-China Feud|
by JAY SOLOMON, IAN JOHNSONAnd JASON DEAN, Wall Street Journal
January 12th, 2010
U.S. government officials and business leaders were supportive but wary of taking sides in Google Inc.'s battle with China, a sign of the delicate tensions between the growing superpower and the West. Google has threatened to bolt from China over censorship and alleged cyber spying.
|NIGERIA: Ex-militant leader heads SPDC’s patrol team|
by Chris Ejim, Nigerian Compass
January 8th, 2010
Authorities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have unveiled a new security strategy for securing oil pipelines and platforms within the Niger Delta region. Shell has appointed former MEND militant commander, Eris Paul, and his company, Eristex Pipeline Patrol, to secure oil facilities in the Southern Ijaw area of the Delta.
|GHANA: Corruption probe into sale of Ghana oil block|
by William Wallis, Martin Arnold and Brooke Masters, Financial Times
January 7th, 2010
US and Ghanaian authorities are investigating corruption allegations involving a Texas oil company and the local partner that helped it secure control of the Ghanaian oil block that yielded one of Africa’s biggest recent discoveries. The case risks complicating efforts by Texas company Kosmos to sell its stake in the Jubilee oil field to ExxonMobil in a deal valued at $4bn.
|EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges|
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
|CHINA: Earth-Friendly Elements, Mined Destructively|
by Keith Bradsher, New York Times
December 26th, 2009
Some of the greenest technologies of the age, from electric cars to efficient light bulbs to very large wind turbines, are made possible by an unusual group of elements called rare earths. Most of these come from China. “In many places, the mining is abused,” said Wang Caifeng, the top rare-earths industry regulator at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China.
|US: Ex-UBS Banker Seeks Billions for Blowing Whistle|
by Lynnley Browning, New York Times
November 26th, 2009
Bradley C. Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for helping rich Americans dodge their taxes, his sentence reduced in turn for informing on Swiss banking giant UBS. Now, with the help of the National Whistleblower Center, he and his lawyers hope to use a new federal whistle-blower law to claim a multibillion-dollar reward from the American government.
|US/ECUADOR: New nonprofit uses Web to pressure Chevron|
by David A. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
November 16th, 2009
Retired retail executive Richard Goldman was astonished when he heard about the $27 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador. SO he has created a nonprofit group, Ethos Alliance, that will use social-networking tools to spread word of the case and put pressure on Chevron.
|UK: Friends of the Earth attacks carbon trading|
by Ashley Seager, The Guardian (UK)
November 5th, 2009
The world's carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another "sub-prime" style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn. In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date "cap and trade" carbon markets have done little to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption.
|SOUTHEAST ASIA: Sizing up palm oil|
by David Grant, Christian Science Monitor
November 2nd, 2009
While it doesn’t sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide like the Rainforest Action Network argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.
|IVORY COAST: Trafigura offers deal to 31,000 Africans over dumped waste|
by Frances Gibb, The Times (London)
October 17th, 2009
British oil trader Trafigura has offered to settle a court case brought by 31,000 Africans who say that they were injured in the largest personal injuries class action mounted in an English court. The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tonnes of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006 — one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.
|BRAZIL: Giants in Cattle Industry Agree to Help Fight Deforestation|
by Alexei Barrionuevo, New York Times
October 7th, 2009
Environmental groups hailed a decision this week by four of the world’s largest meat producers to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Brazil has the world’s largest cattle herd and is the world’s largest beef exporter. It is also the fourth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.