Energy, Mining & Utilities

Enslaved workers make charcoal used to make basic steel ingredient
WASHINGTON -- A U.S.-led ouster of President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and Iraqi opposition leaders.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Jakarta follows the Bush Administration's controversial decision to reestablish full relations with the Indonesian Military (TNI). That move opens the door to renewed U.S. assistance, but pumping aid to an unreformed Indonesian military would serve only to encourage further rights abuses and undermine civilian governance.
California Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney has rejected an attempt by Unocal Corp. and two of its former officials, Roger Beach and John Imle, to dismiss claims that they facilitated and abetted human rights abuses on Unocal's Yadana Pipeline project in Burma.
CorpWatch and its partners today released an alternative annual report on Halliburton titled: "Goodbye Houston" The new report was prepared in association with Halliburton Watch and the Oil & Gas Accountability Project.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a temporary order yesterday governing development in "roadless" areas of national forests, requiring all new projects to be approved by him personally. A USDA official said it is unclear whether projects with a strictly commercial aim, such as logging or mining, will be allowed.
Environmentalists have taken multinational oil giant Shell to court over its plans to build a pipeline for mineral and gas exploration in Pakistan's Kirthar National Park.
As with other behemoth multinational companies, Irving-based ExxonMobil's annual meeting is strictly a formality. Most of the crowd that packed the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas to vote on shareholder resolutions last week were retirees who own relatively small amounts of company stock.
Some 4,000 contract workers at Los Bronces copper mine in Chile went on strike against Anglo American, a UK-based mining multinational from South Africa. The strike is the latest in a series of protests against the Chilean copper industry, the world's largest producers of the metal.
Soon heading to trial, the former Enron CEO implores -- before a wealthy crowd -- company employees to "stand up" for him.