Energy, Mining & Utilities

Last month, the Bush administration confirmed that it expected the government to waive about $7 billion in royalties over the next five years, even though the industry incentive was expressly conceived of for times when energy prices were low. And that number could quadruple to more than $28 billion if a lawsuit filed last week challenging one of the program's remaining restrictions proves successful.
It has been called the pipeline from hell, to hell, through hell. It's a 1,270-kilometer conduit, 1.2 meters in diameter, that would snake across Afghanistan to carry natural gas from eastern Turkmenistan -- with 700 billion cubic meters of proven reserves -- to energy-hungry Pakistan and beyond.
To put it mildly, the U'wa are a touchy issue for Gore. The presidential candidate owns between $500,000 and $1 million in Occidental stock and his father, Al Gore Sr., served as chair of the board for 28 years, earning an annual salary of $500,000. The elder Gore was such a close political ally of the company that Armand Hammer, Occidental's founder and CEO, liked to say that he had Gore ''in my back pocket.''
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, is recalling nearly one million toys in the United States today because the products' surfaces are covered in lead paint. According to Mattel, all the toys were made by a contract manufacturer in China.
THE Ministerial investigation committee into alleged dumping of toxic waste by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Igbeku and Ejekimoni communities of Sapele local government area of Delta State has come up with recommendations for the company to remove and treat in situ the "alleged buried waste" to acceptable statutory levels.
The Texas-based oil-services company Baker Hughes pled guilty on April 26 in a U.S. federal court to violating U.S. antibribery provisions, and agreed to pay a fine of $44 million.
Attorneys argued in federal court on Thursday over whether homeowners whose property fell victim to an oil spill from Hurricane Katrina can band together and sue Murphy Oil Corp in a class-action lawsuit.
Brazil has demanded that 17 Chevron and Transocean executives surrender their passports while they await the outcome of criminal charges brought against them for a spill that took place off the coast of Rio de Janeiro last November. Both companies have been in trouble for similar problems in the past.
Greenpeace temporarily blocked Shell from drilling for oil in the Arctic by blocking the path of a specialized ice-breaking ship in Portland, Oregon. Thirteen climbers suspended themselves from a bridge while hundreds of local supporters paddled below in kayaks forcing the company to delay operations for almost two days.
U.S.-funded aerial spraying of coca plantations in Colombia near the Ecuador border has severely damaged the DNA of local residents, a new study has found.