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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

29.5.10.Community Interest Companies growing as an alternative form of investment for renewables in the UK. This new type of limited company is designed for those wishing to operate for the benefit of the community rather than owners or individuals. Water Power Enterprises (h2oPE) is the latest, seeking investors for its ground-breaking renewable hydroelectricity schemes. Its is launching a £1m social share offer to finance its next two schemes, offering a return of around 3% per annum after the first two years, rising to 5% per annum in later years. Investors can claim back 20% of their initial investment against their income tax. Given how low interest rates are on deposit accounts, it adds up to an attractive package. Ideally, the organisers say, investors should be prepared to lock their money away for at least 10 years – and preferably longer: investors should perhaps see it as a social rather than financial investment.369

30.5.10. Top Kill and Junk shot fail in the Gulf. Obama calls the situation "heartbreaking" and Carol Browner says the spill may go on until August now. BP is deploying American Bob Dudley on TV. He is confronted with a New York Times report that BP engineers were concerned almost a year ago that the metal casing around the well would buckle under the pressure 5,000ft below sea level. He smoothly plays these down without rejecting them. “The casing designs that are used in the Gulf of Mexico: we’ve used those in other places,” he tells ABC’s This Week.370

Louisiana residents have taken to calling Tony Hayward Mr Wayward, and invective heaped on him in local media includes his “toffee-nosed voice.” Congressman Ed Markey to CNN: “I think it’s pretty clear that BP, from the very beginning, has been making it up. They really did not have a plan in place to deal with a catastrophe of this size.” ATimes-Picayune reader on the paper's website: “Has anyone Googled ‘Tony Hayward spill minor’ to see what the CEO of BP is saying to the European press? Very different press releases ... Look at the May 19 report ‘environmental impact will be very, very modest’.”371 Markey has also said that BP is “either lying…or incompetent.”372

Bob Dudley calls’ BP’s effort “the equivalent of doing heart surgery on TV.” The next attempt with be to cut the pipe in two places, one immediately above the blow-out preventer, and try and siphon oil in a cap (or the use the tech term, a lower marine riser package) to a tanker at the surface. BP admits this next gambit can’t hope to collect all oil. And press articles mention the hurricane season, which starts 1 June, with increasing frequency. The tanker collecting from a successful cappint operation above a new break in the pipe could not stay on station in severe weather.373

The Deepwater Horizon was registered in the Marshall Islands, under a flag of convenience, it emerges in Congress. Further fury is toked at this discovery.374

“Malia for President:” Tom Friedman op-ed title in the New York Times. Obama had said in a press conference: “When I woke this morning and I’m shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, ‘Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?’” Friedman: “His most important job is one he has yet to take on: shaping the long-term public reaction to the spill so that we can use it to generate the political will to break our addiction to oil. In that job, the most important thing Mr. Obama can do is react to this spill as a child would — because it is precisely that simple gut reaction, repeated over and over, speech after speech, that could change our national conversation on energy. ….Kids get it. They ask: Why would we want to stay dependent on an energy source that could destroy so many birds, fish, beaches and ecosystems before the next generation has a chance to enjoy them? Why aren’t we doing more to create clean power and energy efficiency when so many others, even China, are doing so? And, Daddy, why can’t you even mention the words “carbon tax,” when the carbon we spill into the atmosphere every day is just as dangerous to our future as the crude oil that has been spilling into the gulf?” …..That is what a child would want to know if he or she could vote. That is the well of aspiration for a game-change on energy that Mr. Obama can tap into. And he could even rip off BP for his moon shot motto: Let’s get America “Beyond Petroleum.” As you would say, Mr. President, this is your time, this is your moment. Seize it. A disaster is an inexcusable thing to waste.”375

More oil has been spilled in the Niger delta than has been lost in the Macombo spill. So say two major independent studies over the last two years (necessary because government and industry keep the figures secret). “We are faced with incessant oil spills from rusty pipes, some of which are 40 years old,” says Bonny Otavie, a Nigerian MP.   Writer Ben Ikari, a member of the Ogoni people: “If this Gulf accident had happened in Nigeria, neither the government nor the company would have paid much attention. This kind of spill happens all the time in the delta. The oil companies just ignore it. The lawmakers do not care and people must live with pollution daily. The situation is now worse than it was 30 years ago.”  The Niger delta and its 600+ oilfields supply 40% of all the crude the United States imports. Amnesty has calculated that the equivalent of at least 9m barrels of oil was has been spilled.376

Do brewing sovereign debt crises mean we are about to slide into Global Meltdown part II? Most economists say no. But sceptics “warn that shares will plummet as investors take stock of the unprecedented scale of a swathe of sovereign debt crises. They see confidence-shattering debt defaults, a eurozone in a perpetual identity crisis and years of financial pain as households ultimately foot the bill for the bailouts ushered through in Meltdown part I.”377


BP has asked for $700m from Transocean’s insurers. This has gone down badly: insurers claim they convered the rigg, not the subsea leakage. Meanwhile BP faces a “blizzard” of claims against them.378

Hayward makes another gaffe: “There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I’d like my life back,” he says on camera. Invective flies on the websites, some pointing out he should be spending a piece – or the rest – of it in jail.379 The public relations strategy for dealing with a disaster such as the Gulf of Mexico spill, now officially the worst in US history, was always going to be about damage limitation.

Scottish government bullish about renewables job prospects. The Offshore Valuation Group recently forecast that renewables could create 145,000 new jobs and make Britain a net exporter of electricity by 2050. They estimate that if wind and wave power use only a third of the available resource they could generate electricity equivalent to the current level of North Sea oil and gas production. The group also forecasts renewables could create 145,000 new jobs and make Britain a net exporter of electricity by 2050. Some 5,000 people are employed directly in the UK’s large-scale onshore and offshore wind industries, according to Renewables UK,and up to 60,000 new recruits will be needed in the next 11 years. The Scottish government estimates that renewable energy could create 26,000 jobs in Scotland during the next decades and provide up to £15bn ($22bn) of investment opportunities.380

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