Energy, Mining & Utilities

Only days away from the end of the United Nations' Year of Deserts and Desertification, four experts discuss the challenges of translating a decade's worth of research about the degradation of land in arid areas of the world. Phuong Tran reports from VOA's Dakar bureau, located in the arid Saharan region of West Africa.
Did US officials and oil companies play a role in international arms-for-oil scandal?
One of the surest indications that trouble is at hand is when diplomats start hiding behind catchy phrases and meaningless terminology. Participants and observers to the COP-6 Climate Change conference here have been told that ''breakthrough,'' ''deal,'' or ''compromise'' (take your pick) had been achieved.
Barinem Kiobel was executed on November 10, 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha of Nigeria. Almost 16 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide whether Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil multinational, can be held responsible for his death.
British Petroleum (BP) has been sued by some 25,000 Mexican fishing businesses over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The company says it has paid $1.8 billion in compensation to U.S. businesses but has yet to offer money to those affected south of the border.
Environmental campaigners are urging several heavyweight investment firms, including Credit Suisse, Barclays, Fortis Group and Merrill Lynch, to shoulder some responsibility for a catastrophic mud volcano on the Indonesian island of Java that resulted from a gas project the firms helped fund.
Not everybody is convinced that Turkmenistan will be the source of a future pipeline in Central Asia. Joseph Naemi, another Iranian born businessmen who splits his time between Sydney, Australia, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is working on the possibility that Afghanistan's other major northern neighbor may be a better business bet
The Bush administration said Tuesday it had broken off negotiations on a free trade agreement with Ecuador following the South American government's decision to annul an operating contract with Occidental Petroleum Corp.
With companies eager to tout their "green" credentials to consumers, advertising watchdogs in a number of countries are stepping up efforts to rein in marketers that make false or exaggerated claims.
Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists released "Drilling in Detroit," an analysis conducted jointly with the Center for Auto Safety. The study finds that US automakers could produce a fleet of cars and trucks that get an average of 40 miles per gallon by 2012, and 55 mpg by 2020 (up from the current 24 mpg average), with no diminution of safety and performance. This increased fuel efficiency would save consumers billions of dollars each year, cut 273 million tons of annual GHG emissions by 2010 and 888 million tons by 2020, and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the auto industry.