Energy, Mining & Utilities

Tens of thousands of Mexican miners and metal workers joined a nationwide strike on Wednesday in two separate disputes that crippled output at the country's biggest mines, metals refineries and steel mills.
SANTA MONICA -- The California beach city of Santa Monica is suing 18 oil companies for damages that could exceed $200 million, claiming that the firms polluted drinking water wells with the possibly cancer-causing gasoline additive MTBE.
A Texas based oil conglomerate and four of its employees were indicted last week on 97 counts of violating federal clean air and hazardous waste laws. The charges come less than one year after the company was slapped with the largest civil penalty ever levied under federal environmental statutes.
Protestors have forced Sichuan Hongda to cancel plans to build a $1.6 billion copper alloy plant in Shifang city in southwestern China, because of pollution concerns. The halt has been hailed as a major victory by environmental activists against corporate and government power.
The Yerisiam Gua indigenous community of West Papua filed a complaint six months ago against a Sri Lankan owned conglomerate for taking over their land to create a palm oil plantation. To this day, the industry body charged with oversight has yet to formally respond to their concerns.
Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to withdraw an advertisement in the Netherlands that sought to portray the oil giant as environmentally friendly, and British authorities said Thursday they had opened a formal investigation in the case.
Bucking the Bush administration's position that tougher rules would harm the U.S. economy, Fortune 500 companies including General Electric Co., Duke Energy Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in recent months have championed stronger government measures to reduce industrial releases of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas that scientists have linked to rising temperatures and sea levels.
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.
Indonesia's economy is riding the recent wave of high global commodity prices. But local pressure is arising towards steel makers and power producers in China and India who have diverted coal supplies abroad by locking in 20-year supply contracts with Indonesian miners.
In the wake of the multiple scandals over tainted Chinese food and drug exports in recent months, Chinese goods now have an indelible image of being not just cheap, but life-threatening as well. But the fact that wrongly labelled foods, liquor and pharmaceuticals have routinely sickened and even killed people en masse in China has been largely overlooked.