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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

16.5.10.New financial investment in clean energy worldwide totalled $27.bn in Q1 2010, up 31% on the same quarter last year. 2009 total was $162 bn down just 7% on the record year of 2008 ($173bn) in the teeth of recession. Only 9% $16.6bn) of stimulus funding for cleantech has been dispersed so far. Of the total $184bn, 66.6 is US, 46.9 China, 27.8 S Korea, 8.6 Japan, 4.2 Germany, 3.7 UK. $55bn will be dispersed in 2010, 55.2 in 2010, 33.1 in 2012.330

17.5.10. Concern is growing that vast dead zones are forming below the surface of the Gulf. BP has used 500,000 gallons of dispersants, which break the oil down into small particles, so far. The company is now collecting 1,000 barrels a day via 4 inch diameter pipe. But between 4,000 and 99,000 barrels are still escaping. The faulty blow-out preventer has been subpoenaed by US investigators.331

18.5.10. Tar balls reach Mexico and the no fishing zone now embraces 19% of the Gulf. The Obama administration admits it has underestimated the risks of offshore drilling.332

19.5.10.  German regulator bans “naked short selling” as Merkel says Euro is in danger of collapse. Shares fall sharply across Europe. “Every one of us here can feel that the current crisis of the euro is the greatest challenge that Europe has faced for decades, since the signing of the Treaty of Rome,” Merkel says in a speech to the German Bundestag. “The euro is in danger ... If we don't deal with this danger, then the consequences for us in Europe are incalculable.” The German clampdown covers sovereign bonds issued by eurozone countries, CDSs on those bonds, and the shares of 10 of Germany’s biggest financial institutions including Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. The ban will run until 31 March 2011. City experts were broadly united in attacking the proposal as badly thought out, and potentially counter-productive, arguing that if investors cannot hedge their exposure to Europe by short-selling of bonds and CDS contracts, then they may simply sell the Euro instead. The Euro has fallen to $1.2146 against the dollar, the lowest since April 2006. But analysts also believe other European countries could follow Germany's move.333

Tony Hayward tries to soothe his employees’ turmoil over the oil spill concerns with an email. In it, he felt he needed to reassure his staff members that their jobs and pensions were safe and that the BP could afford the massive response it has launched in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. “We can afford to do the right thing.” He also promises not to “get distrected” by Congressional hearings.334

Obama’s handling of the gulf oil spill has been disappointing, writes Thomas Freidman in the NYT. “It’s his 9/11 — and it is disappointing to see him making the same mistake George W. Bush made with his 9/11. Sept. 11, 2001, was one of those rare seismic events that create the possibility to energize the country to do something really important and lasting that is too hard to do in normal times. President Bush’s greatest failure was not Iraq, Afghanistan or Katrina. It was his failure of imagination after 9/11 to mobilize the country to get behind a really big initiative for nation-building in America.” “So far, the Obama policy is: “Think small and carry a big stick.” He is rightly hammering the oil company executives. But he is offering no big strategy to end our oil addiction.” “Why is Obama playing defense? Just how much oil has to spill into the gulf, how much wildlife has to die, how many radical mosques need to be built with our gasoline purchases to produce more Times Square bombers, before it becomes politically “safe” for the president to say he is going to end our oil addiction?”335

Britain could become the "Saudi Arabia of the renewables world" by using North Sea wind and wave resources, according to a study carried out by the Offshore Valuation Group, a government-and-industry group. By 2050, so the OVG estimates, the UK could generate the equivalent in electricity to the 1bn barrels of oil and gas being produced annually offshore. The Boston Consulting Group carried out the study, which suggests that Britain could both keep the lights on and export electricity via subsea cables. Even the most conservative scenario – 13% resource utilisation, producing 78 gigawatts of power at a capital cost of £170bn – would provide half of the UK's electricity demand. A more ambitious scenario, using 29% of resources would see 169GW installed at a cost of nearly £433bn and would make Britain a net exporter of electricity.336

20.5.10. BP sent a vital Schlumberger crew home without final checks on well 11 hours before the disaster. Hired to test the strength of cement linings on the well, a Schlumberger crew was flown off the rig 11 hours before the explosion “without performing a final check that a top cementing company executive called 'the only test that can really determine the actual effectiveness' of the well's seal.” So the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. A worker has told “60 Minutes” that BP ordered Transocean to ignore a critical safety measure during the sealing of the well. By failing to use drilling mud to seal the well, BP saved money but may have caused the explosion.337

Survivors had to spend 40 hours in isolation after the Deepwater Horizon explosion – barred from phoning their families – while lawyers believe Transocean readied its legal defences. “This will be one of the biggest torts probably in the history of the US”, says Anthony Buzbee, a Houston lawyer who is representing survivors who are seeking $5.5m (£3.7m) each in damages from Transocean and other firms.  Lawyers say Transocean deliberately isolated the men, trying to wear them down so they would sign statements denying that they had been hurt or that they had witnessed the explosion that destroyed the rig. Buzbee: “These men are told they have to sign these statements or they can't go home. I think it's pretty callous, but I'm not surprised by it.”338

Deepwater wells may not be as productive as had been thought, says the PostCarbon Institute BP's Thunderhorse started producing in 2008, after years of delay, and was supposed to produce a billion barrels of oil at the rate of 250,000 barrels a day (b/d). Production reached 172,000 b/d in January of 2009, but then fell rapidly to a low of 61,000 b/d last December. BP watchers are growing increasingly skeptical that the platform will ever produce the planned billion barrels. “At least 25 other deepwater projects are said to be facing problems of falling production, raising the question of just how much oil these very expensive deepwater projects will ever produce.”339

UK coalition in danger of backing off zero-carbon by 2016 target, Green Building Council fears. “We will require continuous improvements to th energy efficiency of new housing,” the new manifesto says. “Without urgent clarification, this one line risks a wave of uncertainty sweeping throughout the construction and property sector,” says the GBC’s John Alker.To pull the rug out from under the feet of all those companies who have been investing and innovating and preparing for 2016 would be disastrous.” On the positive side,

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