The Bullroarer - Friday 17th October 2008

ABC - Qld coal industry insulated from slowing China economy: QRC

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) believes the Queensland coal mining industry will be largely insulated from a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

National Business Review NZ - Price of oil sinks to half its July peak

The price of crude oil had sunk to $US73.52 today on escalating fears of a global recession, half of its peak of $US147.27 a barrel on July 11 and the lowest price since August last year.

Commodities across the board tumbled as Opec slashed its 2009 demand forecast, and oil traders looking at the stock market as a barometer of economic health are pricing a recession into the market, despite central bank and government moves to free up credit markets.

NZ Herald - Do you think the local fuel companies are charging a fair price?

Do you think the local fuel companies are being fair? Here is the latest selection of Your Views:

The Age - Woodside keeps mum about LNG expansion and falling oil price

WOODSIDE has steered clear in its September-quarter production report from making any statements on the effect of the global economic slowdown on its aggressive expansion plans in liquefied natural gas, or when the oil price might recover.

ABC - Bowser pain continues

Tasmania's main motoring body says the weak Australian dollar is now one of the main factors hurting local drivers at the bowser.

Commodity prices, including oil, have tumbled in recent months but there has been little or no change in local fuel prices.

The Australian - Oil giant ExxonMobil lobbies for buffer from ETS

EXXONMOBIL has appealed to the federal Coalition to use its numbers in the Senate to protect the petrol refining industry from being forced offshore by the Rudd Government's proposed emissions trading scheme.

The Australian - ASX to introduce emission futures

THE ASX plans to introduce futures contracts for coal, natural gas and renewable energy certificates. .

They will be launched next year ahead of a national emissions trading system.

NZ Herald - Ferry company threatens to dump two services

Auckland's public transport agency is arranging emergency ferry connections with Manukau and North Shore, after a threat by the operator to withdraw boats from two routes.

Ferry company Fullers dropped a bombshell yesterday on the Auckland Regional Transport Authority by serving 90 days' notice of its intention to withdraw from the Half Moon Bay and Bayswater routes, on which it carries about 800 passengers a day.

That follows the collapse of more than two years of negotiations with the authority for a new contract, during which the company says fuel prices have soared by 60 per cent.

"It is with extreme reluctance we provide this notice, but for 15 months we have operated without a formal contract and at a considerable financial loss," said Fullers chief executive Douglas Hudson.

NZ Herald - Coal's revival opens old scars

Not 10 years ago, mining was a doomed calling, and the Unity mine was just another jagged scar slashed into a South Wales hillside. But coal is making a comeback, bringing jobs - and misgivings - that seemed gone for good.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard there were jobs down the pit again," said Gary Williams, an 18-year-old apprentice at the Unity mine. "My dad was a miner. His old man was a miner, everyone we knew was a miner, but he told me not to think of going down the mines. He said it would never happen." - Power bills get paid but households are hurting

Power companies and consumer groups say few people have overdue power bills - perhaps just 5 percent - not the one in five suggested by National Party leader John Key.

Even so, hundreds of thousands of people are in serious strife financially because of rising power bills, some facing bills of $500 or even $1000 a month in winter, consumer groups say.

Otago Daily Times - Stewart Island strives for energy efficiency

reliance on fossil fuels will begin on Stewart Island today.

Power, generated by diesel turbines, costs householders 52c a unit, but the energy trial hopes to reduce that expense, as well as its carbon footprint, Stewart Island Electrical Supply Authority manager Peter Thompson, of Invercargill, said.

By 11am today, solar panels on the post office and on the Department of Conservation office will be activated, along with a 1.8kW wind turbine on a property at Ringa Ringa.

The Age - Ex-Premier Carr attacks 'filthy' coal

Former NSW premier Bob Carr has launched a savage attack on "filthy" coal-fired power plants, saying the world's reliance on coal must end