The Bullroarer - Thursday 20th November 2008

NZ National Business Review - Oil drives up producer’s prices for third quarter

Oil was the driving factor behind output prices rising 2.8% and input prices gaining 3.7% for the September 2008 quarter in the Producer’s Price Index (PPI) released this morning, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Herald Sun - Bury the idea of clean coal

HOLY SMOKE – hang on, make that unholy smoke – NewGenCoal has risen from the ashes of clean coal!

You've got to be kidding me. The Australian Coal Association's (ACA) latest push to make burning fossils acceptable should have been called NewGenCon.

Desperate to give as much oxygen as possible to the planet warping coal-fired electricity industry, the ACA has embarked on a multi-million dollar marketing campaign (substantially subsidised by government).

Contrary to everything it has ever denied about global warming, the ACA now protests that burning coal is bad for the environment but, hey, it is doing more than most to fix climate change by conjuring carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology or NewGenCoal. Yeah, right.

The Australian - Young oil and gas companies are hurting

JUNIOR oil and gas companies are beginning to struggle against the outgoing tide.

Falling oil prices and tougher capital markets threaten to spark a contraction in the sector similar to that seen by Australian mining minnows.

SMH - Oil explorer on the prowl

EXPLORER AED Oil said yesterday it was looking for opportunities to snap up other oil companies running low on cash. It also announced a promising discovery at the troubled Puffin field.

The Age - Mining firm tied to Somali oil pirates

AN AUSTRALIAN mining company has paid millions of dollars in controversial fees to Somali rebels responsible for a surge in international piracy, including the hijacking this week of an oil supertanker.

- Australian firm paid millions to rebels
- Somali group behind piracy surge
- Pirates demand oil tanker ransom

Since 2005, oil explorer Range Resources has paid the disputed government of the Puntland State of Somalia more than $US6 million ($A9.3 million) for resource rights to the region.

Otago Daily Times - Partners sought for Coast coal mining development

L&M COAL Ltd is seeking partners for a multimillion-dollar coking coal development northeast of Westport.

The project, which will look to develop several open cast mines, is estimated to cost up to $100 million and is expected to have a minimum 10-year lifespan and a 10-million-tonne output. - John oils the wheels

He recycles, separates his glass from his plastics and paper and uses energy-saving light bulbs.

While that could be the influence of his wife of nearly 32 years, Jill, Mr Bay even supports New Zealand generating 90 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 – a target set by the defeated Labour-led government.

However, he is incredibly critical of that same government's 10-year ban on building new base- load thermal-generation power plants over 10 megawatts, something the new National-led government has announced it will lift.

"At the end of the day, despite the desire for 90 per cent renewables, there are days when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow."

Herald Sun - Victorian households face higher energy bills as price controls end

MORE than half a million Victorian households face higher energy bills next year when the State Government ends price controls.

Price caps end on January 1, when retailers will be free to alter their prices without any official checks, leaving many householders to search for the best deals themselves.

The Age - Australia turns its coal shoulder

THE approach to emissions trading has virtually wiped coal off the table of options for new power stations in Australia, an official survey reveals.


Methane generated from coal seams is the second-biggest source of new power, accounting for 19% of new capacity, followed by wind with 11%.

The Age - Doyle gets 'F' for transport

ROBERT Doyle gets an F, the Greens have earned an A and an anarchist wins a B+ for transport policies — under a report card issued by the Public Transport Users Association.

The association has rated the 11 lord mayoral candidates on their attitudes to trams, traffic, car parking, a road tunnel and Swanston Street and declared none of the would-be mayors are perfect.

SMH - Macarthur Coal sees demand slowing

Queensland coal miner Macarthur Coal says the fall in world steel production is likely to impact demand for raw materials for the next few months.

National Business Review (NZ) - Ministerial BMW fleet sets out to prove itself

The then government said the evaluation process was largely about “whole-of-life-cost”, clean exhaust emissions, and efficient fuel consumption, leading BMW to win the tender with its 3 litre turbo diesel 7 Series.

The vehicle is capable of a fuel consumption of 6.3 litres per 100km. By comparison, a typical 6 cylinder Commodore uses about 11 litres of petrol per 100 km. - Avoiding Energy Poverty

Too many older people are living in 'energy poverty' and it's getting worse, with 11 percent price rises in Wellington and Otago.

Age Concern New Zealand national president Liz Baxendine says this is the time to discuss the issue of energy poverty

"News that Contact Energy has lost up to 10,000 customers since it doubled the amount it could pay its directors, on top of 11% price rises in Wellington and Otago, shows that people can't afford price rises and they aren't prepared to put up them any more.

"Let's talk about energy use and conservation now, before it becomes another winter crisis," Mrs Baxendine says.

"Cold homes are killing people."

Otago Daily Times - Key handed poisoned chalice

Compare this with an oil tanker passing a coal exporter outside Sydney harbour.

Under current Kyoto rules, Australia doesn't get dinged for exporting coal - which is the main global warming culprit.

Meanwhile New Zealand cops it for exporting plantation forestry trees, which are good news for the planet.

To show how truly stupid the Kyoto Protocol is for food-exporting countries like New Zealand, agricultural consultant Robin Grieve has calculated that mowing a lawn with a motor mower is six times better for the environment than letting sheep graze it. (The environmental impact of sheep, as defined by Kyoto, is 19.65kg carbon-equivalent compared with a lawn mower's 3.107kg of carbon - i.e., a sheep is 6.3 times worse for the environment than a lawn mower.)

Courier-Mail - Tunnel's Viability Questioned

Australia's new car sales have slumped and one of the world's biggest car manufacturers, General Motors, is in financial chaos.

Population growth is slowing, private car use is at 30-year lows, cheap oil is gone, Brisbane's outer suburbs have become so dependent on cars, the spike in fuel prices and interest rates has had a catastrophic impact on family finances, a Griffith University study says.

But governments are throwing billions of dollars at the roads of southeast Queensland and Brisbane City Council estimates the city's roads will need another $34 billion by 2026.

... There are also serious doubts about the traffic forecasts used to back up Brisbane's high-profile tunnel projects.

... Transport planning researcher at Griffith University Matt Burke asked: "Why would anyone pay to use the tunnels in off-peak periods when they would only save a few minutes?"

Courier-Mail - Linc Energy Quits Queensland

Underground coal gasification hopeful Linc Energy has seen the writing on the wall in Queensland and will transfer plans for its $1 billion gas-to-liquids plant to South Australia.

Thanks BrisVegas, interesting links.

Linc's migration to SA to flee the coal seam gas juggernaut is certainly noteworthy.

The 7.30 Report (ABC Television) - Many Brisconnections shareholders facing financial ruin

Many small time investors in the recently floated company Brisconnections could face financial ruin after discovering the shares they purchased are to be paid for over three instalments. Many investors bought into the company when the share price plummeted from $3 to just a mere tenth of a cent believing they were snapping up a bargain. Now, investors face bills running into millions of dollars when the next dollar per share payment is due in April, a liability they claim was never spelled out to them.