Energy, Mining & Utilities

A third wildcat strike this year has closed yet another South African platinum mine less than a week after the police opened fire and killed 34 miners at the Lonmin mine north of Johannesburg. One reason for the clash is a war between rival unions.
Three years after Chad began exporting its oil with assistance from the World Bank, few people outside the capital have access to electricity, running water, paved roads, and health clinics. Public schools are nonexistent. Life expectancy is 46 years for men, and only slightly longer for women.
The Chilean government has granted Endesa, a Spanish corporation, permission to carry out exploratory studies in the south of the country for the purpose of building four hydroelectric plants, in a move opposed by environmentalists, who are planning several demonstrations.
In Colchester, Essex, John and Alfred Donovan are compiling perhaps the world's largest dossier on Royal Dutch Shell, at royaldutchshellplc.com. It's an awkward position for Shell, this month crowned by Fortune magazine as the world's largest company, as trying to shut the website down would draw even more attention to it.
One year ago this Tuesday, a gas-exploration well part-owned by the Australian mining giant Santos blew, sending a geyser of mud and toxic gas into the air. Nearby villages and factories were flooded, then a big highway and railway were covered, and later East Java's main gas pipeline ruptured.
A Nigerian court said on Friday Royal Dutch Shell should pay $1.5 billion (861 billion pounds) in damages for pollution in oil-producing Bayelsa state, the latest instalment in a long-running case.
LONDON -- BP PLC has announced it will no longer make political donations anywhere in the world, acknowledging that the relationship between corporations and government is under unprecedented scrutiny.
While the Bush administration was drafting its national energy policy, a leading lobbyist for Enron Corp. was plotting strategy to turn the plan into a political weapon against Democrats, according to a newly obtained memo.
Puerto Rican citizen groups are protesting two renewable energy projects: a 30 megawatt solar energy project in Yabucoa by Western Wind Energy corporation from Vancouver and a 75 megawatt windmill array in Santa Isabel by Pattern Energy of San Francisco. The reason: these projects will threaten scarce farm land on the food dependent island.
Companies which produce weapons that through their normal use violate fundamental humanitarian principles. The weapons in question are antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, key components for nuclear weapons, incendiary weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, weapons that produce non-detectable fragments, and blinding laser weapons.