Energy, Mining & Utilities

The idyllic village of Balcombe, just south of London, is a stronghold of the Conservative party. Just the sort of place that one might imagine cheering on industry plans to drill for natural gas and applaud the tax breaks that the government has offered to industry.
A defense lawyer in the trial of former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling spent Thursday morning trying to undermine the testimony of the government's star witness and questioning the authenticity of a "smoking gun" document.
LAGO AGRIO, ECUADOR: ChevronTexaco will face off against indigenous Ecuadorians in an Ecuadorian court and the stakes are massive. On May 6th, attorneys representing more than 30,000 Ecuadorian rainforest peoples will file suit in Lago Agrio, a small oil town in the heart of Ecuador's Oriente region, charging the petroleum giant with systematically destroying their homeland through massive dumping of highly toxic wastewater and crude oil over the two decades of the company's operations in Ecuador.
European Union governments delivered a blow Monday to the biotechnology industry, allowing Austria and Hungary to maintain national bans on growing genetically modified crops from Monsanto. The market for genetically engineered crops is worth several billion dollars worldwide.
Shell, the oil company that recently trumpeted its commitment to a low carbon future by signing a pre-Bali conference communique, has quietly sold off most of its solar business. Rival BP decided last week to invest in the world's dirtiest oil production in Canada's tar sands, indicating that Big Oil might be giving up its flirtation with renewables and going back to its roots.
Vedanta, a fast growing British mining and aluminium production company founded by a billionaire expatriate Bombay businessman, threatens communities in India with environmental degradation and widespread pollution.
The EU Water Fund, to be presented at the G8 summit in Evian, seems more about corporate welfare than helping the world's poorest. The EU plan builds on controversial proposals by former IMF director Michel Camdessus, to use aid money to subsidise the expansion of private water corporations. Confidential documents obtained by CEO show how the European Commission has worked in tandem with Suez and other giant water corporations in developing its international water initiatives.
According to the report, thousands of villagers in eastern and central India received no compensation after state-owned Coal India used a $530 million loan from the World Bank in 1997 to raze their homes in a coal mine modernization scheme. Although resettling, compensating and retraining farmers as entrepreneurs was part of the loan deal, Coal India had no experience in these activities and was unable to carry them out.
Corporate interests and their proxies are looking to exploit the September 11 tragedy to advance a self-serving agenda that has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with corporate profits and dangerous ideologies.
BP, the British oil company, is attempting to blame "blue collar workers" for the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, alleges the U.S. government. Federal lawyers say the company is trying to divert attention from management failures of "gross negligence."