In today’s EMN, the Wall Street Journal explores the strain on utilities‘ bottom lines from weak prices and demand. The Hill covers the lobbying efforts of the American Petroleum Institute and export-focused Canadian oil sands interests. Business Green and the AP dispatch from the Bonn talks.

Quote of the Day:

“Nearly all of Canada’s crude oil exports, about 99%, go to only one customer: the United States. US demand is dropping. Their domestic supply is growing and they do have a desire to be self-sufficient. Us finding another customer won’t hurt their feelings.”

-Janet Holder, Enbridge EVP for Western Access, in The Hill’s “Energy exec: US production boom makes case for oil sands exports to Asia”

Lead Stories

Power Firms Slowdown
Wall Street Journal
Coping with falling prices and weakening demand, European utility companies are struggling to remain profitable as households and businesses throttle back on energy use in what’s become a protracted period of economic uncertainty in the region.

Oil industry to offer wish list to Dems, GOP
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The powerful American Petroleum Institute isn’t especially shy about its agenda, which includes opening more federal lands for drilling, preserving tax breaks and warding off stringent federal rules in areas such as hydraulic fracturing, among other goals.

US production boom makes case for oil sands exports to Asia
The Hill’s E2 Wire
A senior executive with Enbridge, the company seeking to send Canadian oil sands west via pipeline toward Asian markets, says the U.S. production boom and falling imports help make the case for the project.

Bonn talks aim to build on “Durban Platform”
Business Green
Diplomats from around the world are meeting in Bonn from today in an attempt to reignite long-running climate change negotiations following the qualified success delivered by last year’s Durban Summit. 

U.N. meets to discuss global climate treaty
Long-running arguments over who needs to do what to stop the planet from overheating are back in focus this week as rich and poor countries meet in Bonn, Germany, to resume talks on a new global climate treaty.

Deadlock over Rio+20 action plan fuels NGO scepticism about summit’s payoff
After two weeks of closed-door negotiations, the UN preparatory committee PrepCom has failed to reach consensus on a global plan of action, entitled The Future We Want, to be adopted at the Rio+20 summit meeting of world leaders in Brazil next month.

Challenges ahead for carbon trade scheme
Korea Herald
A plan to introduce a greenhouse gas emissions trading program didn’t generate as much debate in Korea as in the U.S. and some other countries before it passed the parliament earlier this month.

Norway acts as others drag feet on carbon emissions
The National
Advocates of burying the world’s carbon emissions underground have long pushed for a global price on greenhouse gases.

Case study: GE’s innovator community
Financial Times
In 2005 Jeff Immelt, chief executive of US conglomerate General Electric, announced a stratety called “ecomagination” to double its revenues from environmentally friendly products. GE saw it as a big growth area but its interest was also spurred by the environmental and natural-resources challenges facing the world.

Coming To Grips With The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
CDKN on Ecosystem Marketplace
The ‘nexus’ has become a popular buzz word to describe the complex linkages among water, energy and food security – sectors that have traditionally remained fairly separate. Talk of the water-energy-food nexus was a hot topic at last month’s Planet Under Pressure conference; it is also the focus of a significant German government-organised input to the UN Rio+20 Summit. What has brought nexus thinking to the fore, and what does this nexus look like? How does it relate to climate compatible development?

WWF: We will need two Earths by 2030
Business Green
Humanity is currently using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide and by 2030 the combined capacity of two planets will not be sufficient to support global demand unless a step change in consumption patterns can be delivered.


Chesapeake Takes Texas Oil Sale Off Table to Keep Cash
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the worst- performing U.S. oil and natural-gas stock this year, postponed a sale of future production from Texas oilfields and the spinoff of its drilling subsidiary as slumping prices worsened a cash crunch.

BHP to Assess Value of Shale Assets, Cut Gas Drilling
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) plans to decide at the end of next month whether to write down the value of the U.S. shale gas assets it acquired for $20 billion, while cutting back on drilling natural gas wells until prices recover.
**repeats in Asia

E.P.A. Appeals Coal Mine Ruling
The New York Times
The Obama administration said Monday that it would appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency illegally vetoed a major coal mining project in West Virginia.

Offshore Transmission Line Takes a Step Forward
The New York Times
A pioneering proposal to build a wind power transmission line on the ocean floor from southern Virginia to northern New Jersey cleared a hurdle on Monday when the Interior Department opened the way for the project’s sponsors to start work on an environmental impact statement.


On climate change, a need for a realistic plan
Montreal Gazette
Despite sustained misgivings within party and caucus ranks, the federal Conservative government has, however reluctantly, come around to acknowledging that human-generated greenhouse gases are a driving factor in global climate change that is becoming increasingly evident and undeniable.

Coyne: On climate change, the Tories generate heat without light
Postmedia News
If there is one thing on which all federal parties and all national political leaders are agreed, it is that they “believe the science” on climate change. They believe that the earth is warming, they believe its effects are on balance malign, and they believe it is caused by human activity. As such they believe it can and should be mitigated by human action, namely by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Italy Signals Plan to Cut Subsidies for Renewable Energy
The Italian government may delay the introduction of a new bill reducing premium tariffs and spending targets for solar energy by three months, according to a Deutsche Bank AG analyst.

Co-Operative Bank to Lend $482 Million for U.K. Renewables
Co-Operative Bank Plc will provide about 300 million pounds ($482 million) in loans for U.K. renewable energy projects this year and may increase its overall lending target, its head of renewables said.

Germany Increases Grants of Free Carbon to 15% of Emitters
Germany, which will sell more European Union carbon allowances starting next year, intends to increase grants of free permits to 15 percent of its emitters in the bloc’s greenhouse-gas market.

Czech coal-based power output up 3.3 pct in Q1
Point Carbon
Coal power plants in the Czech Republic generated 3.3 percent more electricity in the first three months of 2012 than a year ago, according to preliminary figures that suggest rising emissions in the country’s energy sector.

Carbon capture leak simulated in sea off Scotland
Several thousand kilos of CO2 will be pumped into the seabed off west Scotland from Monday to simulate what happens if a leak occurs from a carbon capture store.


BHP to Assess Value of Shale Assets, Cut Gas Drilling
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) plans to decide at the end of next month whether to write down the value of the U.S. shale gas assets it acquired for $20 billion, while cutting back on drilling natural gas wells until prices recover.
**repeats in US

CO2 posts modest profit lift
The West Australian
Carbon offset firm CO2 Group has lifted its first-half profit by 6 per cent to $1.6 million on a 117 per cent jump in revenue to $32.7 million. CO2 said the results were delivered in an environment of ongoing debate around carbon policy and its implications on Australian businesses.

Stoner labels report’s weather claims ‘alarmist’
The Age
THE acting NSW Premier, Andrew Stoner, has dismissed extreme weather predictions for NSW by the federal government’s Climate Commission as ”alarmist”.

Canberra knows cost of carbon and value of saying nothing
The Age
IF CARBON could be removed from the atmosphere as efficiently as it has been scrubbed from the latest government carbon tax advertisements, our problems would be solved.

$30m Sumatra forest deal in doubt after concerns over funding
The Age
THE future of a much-vaunted $30 million Australian project to protect Indonesian forests for their carbon is in doubt after an independent review found it is not the best use of the money.

Africa/Middle East

S. Africa to Name Second-Round Renewable-Energy Bid Wins May 21
South Africa will announce the winning bids in its second round of proposals for renewable- energy power plants on May 21, the Department of Energy said.

Standard Bank buys 313,000 African CERs
Point Carbon
South-Africa based Standard Bank has signed a deal to buy 313,000 Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) over 10 years from a renewable energy Clean Development Mechanism project in Kenya, the deal’s broker said on Monday.

Iran Company to Renovate Syrian Hydropower Plants, Press TV Says
State Press TV/Bloomberg
Safa Nicu Sepahan Co., a privately owned Iranian company, reached an agreement with Syria’s government to renovate two hydroelectric power stations in northern Syria, the state-run Press TV reported.

Latin America

Peru’s coffee growers turn carbon traders to save their farms from climate change
In the foothills of the Andes, in the Sierra Piura region of Peru, the problems faced by coffee farmers are clear. Up to 6,600 farmers produce here for the Central Piurana de Cafetaleros co-operative (Cepicafe), growing 4,000 tonnes a year of the finest Peruvian coffee on family plots scattered across the mountainside. Together, year in, year out, they bring in this special harvest, the arabica coffee cherries, which are painstakingly picked by hand, processed and dried in the sun.

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