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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

one that uses water cooling and one that uses dry air cooling. The water-cooled, per Kwh, requires about the same amount of water as a nuclear plant or coal per Kwh, however the dry-air cooling requires hardly any water, except for cleaning — the cost of that is that you lose about 4 per cent of the energy generated.” “I’m optimistic it’s technically feasible, not so optimistic on people coming together and agreeing on things in a particular way, though we have seen some movement on that.” “Right now we don’t have a free market, we have a free-loading market where the fossil fuel companies pollute the air, and get subsidies from the government. Subsidies should be given for a benefit, not to allow people to damage other people’s health. But the fossil fuel companies are taking subsidies and at the same time damaging people’s health, including killing them. In the US, 50,000 to 100,000 people die each year [from fossil fuel pollution], and worldwide, it is 2.5 million people per year.”316

13.5.10. Eight Wall Street banks investigated over misleading mortgage securities. Subpoenas served by the New York Attorney General include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. They stand accused of misleading ratings agencies. Banks’ practice of hired ratings agencies employees to package mortgage deals will be probed. The only criminal prosecution so far – of two Bear Stearns traders – say them acquitted.317

More and more reports are coming in about delays to oil drilling projects in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident. A temporary moratorium on new drilling permits is in place. Hearings on Virginia’s offshore development have been suspended. BP’s Tiber field and Shell’s Alaska plans could be affected.318

BP was aware of equipment problems aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig hours before the explosion, a congressional hearing finds. Documents suggest BP, Transocean, and Halliburtonignored tests that indicated faulty safety equipment. Henry Waxman, the chair of the energy and commerce committee demands to know why work was not stopped. FT: “The failures included a dead battery in the blowout preventer, suggestions of a breach in the well casing, and failure in the shear ram, a device of last resort that was supposed to cut through and seal the drill pipe in the event of a blowout.” 319

Climate bill unveiled in Senate is amended to give states veto power over projects in deep water (75 miles from their shores). The previous draft of the Kerry-Lieberman bill, unveiled yesterday, supported offshore drilling. (FT: “The bill aims for a 17% cut in emissions over 2005 levels, the same weak target enshrined in a bill passed by the House in June last year. But the Senate version would apply to a smaller share of the US economy. Heavy industries would not be required to cut emissions until 2016. The bill would stop the Environmental Protection Agency regulating greenhouse gases and would scrap region cap and trade systems now underway in two dozen states and Canadian provinces”).320 The bill will need 60 votes to overcome any filibuster - the Democrats have 59. Also in the legislation: a cap-and-trade system for power plants, and for large industrial facilities at a later date, incentives for nuclear including $54bn in loan guarantees for new plants. It does not cover transport emissions.321

Obama drops the cap on BP’s liability for the oil spill. BP has shelled out $450m so far and the lawsuit total now stands at nearly 100.

14.5.10. Fears over Greek bailout send shares and euro tumbling. A Spanish newspaper didn’t help by claiming that Sarkhozy had threatened to pull out of the Euro unless Germany backs the bailout. But after a recent regional election, Merkel’s coalition is under pressure.322

Cameron says his coalition will be “the greenest government ever.” In DECC, flanked by Liberal Democrat, Chris Huhne, who will run the department, Cameron says that the environment was a top priority for him. “There is a fourth minister in this department who cares passionately about this agenda and that is me, the prime minister, right. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.” Cameron pledges to cut emissions from government 10% within a year.323

Hayward says the Gulf oil spill is “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean.” “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume,” says the BP CEO in an interview with the Guardian. Asked if he felt his job was already under threat, he replies: “I don't at the moment. That of course may change. I will be judged by the nature of the response.” Some analysts put BP's total bill for the clean-up and damages at $23bn. As for the future of deep-water drilling: “Apollo 13 did not stop the space programme. The Air France airplane that fell out of the sky off of Brazil did not stop the aviation industry.’’ 324

Debate over rate of oil leakage after BP releases video footage: three scientists say rate is much higher than the official 5,000 barrels a day. One says 70,000, another 20,000-100,000.325

Marine toxicologist Jacqueline Savitz says dispersants cause huge toll on wildlife out at sea. “You obviously can't count how many zooplankton are being impacted,” she says. The estimated 400,000 gallons of dispersant so far may will be damaging to fish, she says. “It certainly helps BP's public relations story if oil is not hitting the shore.”326

Credit rating agencies under investigation alongside Wall Street banks. The New York attorney-general’s office is now investigating whether the credit rating agencies allowed themselves to be co-opted by Wall Street Banks. Subpoenas ask for documents and e-mails between bankers and rating agency counterparts who ultimately approved the triple A designations. FT: “Analysts at credit rating agencies who earned between $100,000 and $200,000 per year could improve their salaries by a factor of five or more by moving to a Wall Street bank. Prosecutors are looking for instances where analysts who moved from a rating agency to an investment bank still held some pull over their old colleagues, or whether the lure of a potential move to Wall Street affected the judgment of the analysts who slapped triple-A ratings on highly correlated parcels of subprime securities.”327

NEF issues Better Banking Manifesto, with a ten-point charter. 1. Separate retail banking from speculation. 2. Break up banks that are ‘too big to fail’. 3.  Create a National Post Bank based on the existing Post Office network. 4. Set up a Green Investment Bank. 5. Launch a competition enquiry into the banks, that looks also at the role played by ratings agencies and accountancy firms. 6. Introduce controls on bonuses. 7.  Introduce a financial transaction (or ‘Robin Hood’) tax. 8. Demand better regulation. 9. Bailouts are not free: bring-in a taxpayer ‘quid pro quo’. 10. Introduce a Universal Banking Obligation328

15.5.10. EDF’s de Rivaz says the UK coalition is a boost for nuclear, but experts say the opposite, pointing to the stipulation that no state money can be contributed.329

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