BP is on course this year to announce the largest profits ever by a British company, with annual profits of over $21bn (£12bn). This is despite the company taking a billion dollar hit over the fallout from Hurricane Katrina. The company’s giant windfall is due to the recent high oil prices.
BP is not the only one making obscene amounts of money from oil at the moment. The US Department of Energy has forecast that OPEC’s revenues will increase by 10 per cent to a record $522bn this year – this would be the largest in real terms in 25 years.
Chris Finlayson obviously likes a big challenge. Having been running Shell’s highly controversial operations in Nigeria, where the company has repeatedly been cited for environmental pollution and for being complicit in human rights abuses, he has moved to head up Shell’s operations in Russia.
Wimps! Sissies! Cowardly! Un-American! That's what Cheney, Bush and co are, according to Times pundit Thomas Friedman, because they won't embrace alternative energy. He says "green is the new, red, white and blue," meaning that getting off our oil addiction is a "national security imperative" and that energy efficiency and conservation is "the most tough-minded, geostrategic and patriotic thing we can do."
Some two weeks after the UN Montreal talks scraped together an 11th hour deal on climate change there is still a raging debate on whether it was a good deal or not. Environmental groups from Europe were surprising upbeat about Montreal in the immediate aftermath. Friends of the Earth called it an “historic step” forwards that “sent a clear signal that the future lies in cleaner and more sustainable technologies and is good news for people everywhere”.
Blair gets an Official Warning over Inaction on Climate
The US is usually seen as the villain over climate and rightly so – see - click here
However, the day after the Montreal meeting, Tony Blair faced the wrath of his own watchdog on sustainable development. For the first time ever the “Sustainable Development Commission”, measured government performances in certain key areas such as biodiversity, energy usage and climate change.
BP Goes Green Again.
BP is at it again. Whether it is completely coincidental that we have had the Montreal meeting, the melting Arctic, extreme weather and extreme profits of the oil companies, but BP is in the middle of an unprecedented greenwashing campaign, trying to persuade the public, politicians and who ever else is listening that they are a green energy company.
Although Russia has now switched the tap back on allowing gas exports to resume at full strength to the Ukraine, the ramifications of the dispute are still rumbling across Europe.
You could argue that the Russian action could be beneficial in that it has woken people up to the problems of long-term energy security based on fossil fuels from foreign lands.
I think many people are shocked to find out just how dependent Europe is on Russian gas. We now know that this dependency will only grow.
Check out this AP article re: Chevron in Ecuador and Nigeria. Quotes from Oil Change, Earthrights, and Amazon Watch.
So three days into the New Year and we have already had our first energy crisis, with a spat between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices. What started as a regional argument soon rapidly spread affecting Italy, Hungary, France, Germany and at least seven central and eastern European countries.
It has also highlighted just how dependent Europe has become on Russian Gas, especially with declining North Sea reserves. Russia accounts for about one-third of EU gas imports, and one-fifth of the gas used in EU.