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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

and we move to narrow banks the impact on jobs and the global economy will be very negative.”113

Darling has secret talks with bankers in Davos as top City bankers try to head off Obama-style measures in the UK. But FSA boss Turner says policymakers need more than interest rates to tame asset-price booms and calls for the creation a new macro-prudential body in Britain with the power to take pre-emptive action.114

FT commentariat split on the Volcker plan. Martin Wolf points to a number of difficulties, but John Gapper welcomes it, even though the investment banks escaape lightly.115

US courts set to become a major battleground on climate change as three cases progress. Three lawsuits have been filed around the US, and are gaining ground. Two federal appeals courts, one in Connecticut and one in Mississippi, have reversed decisions by federal district courts to dismiss climate-change lawsuits, allowing the cases to go forward. The third, an Innuit lawsuit in Alaska over eroding shoreline, is going to appeal. The American Justice Partnership argues that the conspiracy accusations on this case make it “the most dangerous litigation in America.”116 In a report last year, Swiss Re compared the suits to those that led dozens of companies in asbestos industries to file for bankruptcy. The reinsurance giant predicted that “climate change-related liability will develop more quickly than asbestos-related claims,” and said that pressure from the cases “could become a significant issue within the next couple of years.”117

UK opinion poll shows huge public support for feed-in tariffs. A survey of more than 2,000 people carried out for the Cooperative Group and others shows that two-thirds of people think that the government's feed-in tariff plans should be more ambitious, and that 71% of homeowners would consider installing green energy systems if the tariffs give a good return. JL: says that the new government scheme could yet deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs in solar photovoltaics and other small-scale renewables. “It could also cut significantly our country's increasing dependence on imported fossil fuels,” he added.118

Up to £160bn per field tax relief available for oil companies on the North Sea frontier, the Government announces.  This applies to companies planning to exploit the estimated 4bn barrels of oil and gas equivalent lying in deep waters as far as 100 km off the west coast of the Shetland Isles. Total claims the projects will be uneconomic with support because of the long distance transportation requirements.119

Areva and GDF-Suez negotiate a partnership to develop the next generation nuclear reactor. Not yet signed, it will surely be opposed by EDF’s new boss. The deal will give EDF’s rival privileged access to the design and operation of the Areva/Mitsubishi 1110MW Atmea reactor, a smaller version of Areva’s flagship 1600MW EPR reactor.120

Toyota wins the Zayeed Prize, and then has to recall millions of cars in the US with faulty accelerators. More may need to be recalled in Europe and China.121

28.1.10. Saudi Aramco and Total bosses disagree on the peak oil threat in Davos. “The concern about peak oil is behind us,” Aramco chief executive Khalid al-Falih tells a forum of oil bosses at the World Economic Forum. Total chief executive Thierry Desmarest says 95 million barrels per day will be the cap -- 10 percent above present levels in “about 10 years ….The problem of peak oil remains.” Falih: “Of the 4 trillion (barrels) of oil the planet is endowed with, only 1 has been produced. Granted most of what remains is more difficult and complex (to exploit) ... there's no doubt we can do a lot more than the 95, 100 (million barrels) that are projected in the next few decades.”122

Global demand will be >100mbd by 2030, says Tony Hayward in the same forum. This will be a “supply challenge.” He pins major hopes on Iraq growing to . 10mbd. Peter Voser of Shell agrees, and says the investment needed will be up to $27 trillion ….> $1.3 trillion a year. PWC estimates that only a third of global supply will go to the OECD by 2030. China sold 13m cars last year.

Unconventional gas is a “complete game changer in the US,” says Hayward. “It probably transforms the US energy outlook for the next 100 years. It's yet to seen if it can be applied globally.” Gazprom seems un-nerved. A board meeting in Moscow this week apparently centred on the implications of US shale gas on its own investment plans for the northern Yamal peninsula, with export by ship to the US partly in mind. Meanwhile…. The EPA is airing “serious reservations” about allowing shale gas drilling in parts of New York state in case NYC water supplies are affected. The EPA identifies 14 “contaminants of concern” in 11 private wells surveyed in the Pavillion farming community of Wyoming. Contamination has also been found in in Pennsylvania. Bills are under preparation in Congress that would tighten restrictions on unconventionals. In Taking over gas company XTO, Exxon inserted a clause enabling it to scrap the transaction if there were changes to the law that made hydraulic fracturing “illegal or commercially impracticable.”123

Environmental problems of fracking in shale gas production include air quality: elevated benzene. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has found elevated levels of benzene, a carcinogen, at 19 of 94 sites saampled above the Barnett Shale.124

29.1.10Scientists say almost one third of warming in 1990s was down to stratospheric water vapour, an effect that had been underestimated. Susan Solomon’s NOAA team says their research does not invalidate projections of climate change, but it seems certain to be used by sceptics. Water vapour has dropped 10% since 2000. Solomon says: “We call this the 10, 10, 10 problem. A 10% drop in water vapour, 10 miles up has had an effect on global warming over the last 10 years.” She is not sure if this is a negative feedback or a natural effect.125

30.1.10.China is moving ahead so fast with green energy that dependency for West may be an issue. China became the largest manufacturer of wind turbines last year and of solar cells the year before. An article in the New York Times posits: “These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.” Renewables jobs were 1.12 million jobs in 2008 and are climbing by 100,000 a year, says the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association. China’s domestic demand for electricity is rising 15 percent a year, and the International Energy Agency says China will need to add nearly nine times as much electricity generation capacity as the United States will. The government announced the creation of a National Energy Commission this week, composed of cabinet ministers in a “superministry” led by the Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. 126

31.1.10.Senior negotiators around the world say a climate deal in 2010 is impossible. A senior British diplomat said ahead of Copenhagen: “we can go into extra time, but we can’t afford a replay.” And he is proving right.127

1.2.10. Shale gas boom may leave US as a gas exporter, some independent producers are saying. How fast

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