Energy, Mining & Utilities

The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.
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.
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.
Federal agency allowed drilling without adequate assessment of impacts on marine mammals
BOSTON -- President Bush's former oil firm formed a partnership with Harvard University that concealed the company's financial woes and may have misled investors, a student and alumni group said in a report on Wednesday.
Green groups from around the world were drawing up a global action plan Friday that could include boycotts of U.S. energy giants to force the United States to honor its Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction commitments.
TransCanada is seeking permission to build a 1,661-mile-long oil pipeline to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Tribal leaders from both sides of the border have joined environmental activists to oppose the project.
The Bodo community in the Niger delta will get £55 million ($84 million) to settle claims of environmental pollution by the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant. Despite the relatively large settlement, many other pollution claims by Nigerian communities affected by Shell remain unresolved.
European Union officials told leading automakers to make deep cuts in tailpipe emissions of the cars they produce or face fines that could reach billions of euros. Companies including Volkswagen and Renault immediately promised a fight to weaken the proposed legislation.
ESCRAVOS, Nigeria -- Hundreds of women carrying straw mats and thermoses abandoned ChevronTexaco's main oil terminal, ending a peaceful 10-day protest that crippled the oil giant's Nigeria operations and won an unprecedented company pledge to build modern towns out of poor villages.