The Bullroarer - Tuesday 2nd December 2008

Bloomberg - Shell, Anglo to Delay A$5 Billion Clean Fuels Project

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Anglo American Plc have delayed plans to develop a A$5 billion ($3.2 billion) project in Australia to convert coal into clean fuels, citing higher costs. The partners will extend studies into the proposed plant rather than move forward toward development, Roger Bounds, project director at the Monash Energy Holdings Ltd. venture, said in an e-mail. They still believe coal-to-liquids provides a ``long-term'' opportunity for the brown coal resources in Australia's Victoria state, he said.

Herald Sun - Peak oil keeps on peaking. Terry McCrann gets the 'dumbest article of the week' award.

WELL, so-called 'peak oil' hasn't filtered Down Under quite just yet. Australian oil production has remained pretty constant around 30 million barrels a quarter since mid-2006.

The reason is basic. As individual old fields, like Bass Strait, do peak and decline, new ones come on. And we'd have a lot more coming on if we actually directed some of the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on useless wind 'energy' to promoting real carbon energy.

This is where our size actually helps. We don't have to find a Saudi Arabia. Good small fields will keep us around 35 per cent self-sufficient.

SMH - 90 cents a litre just in time for Christmas holidays. Our chances of getting people to pay attention to peak oil are sinking as fast as the oil price I suspect.

THE price of petrol should drop to 90 cents a litre at service stations across Sydney in the coming weeks following dramatic falls in the price of oil, according to analysts from the NRMA and CommSec. The only thing holding up the much-needed Christmas bonus, the analysts say, is the scrooge-like reluctance of oil companies to pass on the good cheer.

SMH - A 14% power price hike proposed for Qld

Queenslanders are facing their third hike in electricity costs in three years - but the government maintains consumers are benefiting from deregulation. The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) on Tuesday released its draft decision to increase the maximum charge for electricity by 13.6 per cent from July 1 next year. It would add $4.20 a week, or $55 a quarter, to a $400 quarterly bill. The QCA said the rise was needed because of higher fuel and capital costs as well as increased transmission and distribution costs.

The Australian - PNG LNG project on track

PAPUA New Guinea's liquefied natural gas (LNG) project remains on track, despite the global financial crisis.

SMH - Abandon ship: passengers avoid Sydney's failing ferries

While patronage on Government-owned buses increased by 2.3 per cent, and by 5.2 per cent on trains, the ferry service went backwards. More than 171,000 commuters abandoned ship. Patronage was down 1.2 per cent, in what is an era of unprecedented demand. It is likely to take another hit this year when 36 Manly JetCat services per day are cancelled from December 31, and the vessels are sold.

Despite receiving a 14 per cent boost in taxpayer funding in the past financial year, the organisation still failed to meet 11 of 14 performance benchmarks during that time, including reliability targets. In the previous year, it met only one of these targets.

The Age - New mayor driving down a wrong-way street

Most Melbourne City councillors have told The Age they will not support Mr Doyle’s pledge to reopen Swanston Street to cars. "Even my children are telling me it’s a stupid idea," said newly elected councillor Ken Ong. And in a move that would buck the worldwide trend to make cities more friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists and public transport users, Mr Doyle called for cheap parking on the city’s fringes, and removal of tram "super stops".

The proposals contradict the State Government’s policy of reducing the number of cars coming into the city centre. Urban planners derided Mr Doyle’s proposals as retrograde. "Encouraging private motor vehicles in the heart of the city is something we need to be moving away from, not towards," Planning Institute president Jason Black said.

SMH - Sydney bike plan: shared pavements. I'm glad I never ride down College St.

Pedestrians will have to share the pavement with cyclists under a bike path plan the City of Sydney council is considering for a busy CBD street. Under the proposal, the College Street footpath between Liverpool and Macquarie streets would be widened to 2.4 metres and shared between walkers and bike riders, resulting in the loss of 52 parking spots. At least 12 cyclists have been hit by cars or trucks on College Street between 2003 and 2007.

SMH - Australia squibs on climate promise

THE Rudd Government has reneged on a commitment to present its 2020 target to cut greenhouse gases to UN climate talks that start today. The back-pedalling comes amid wrangling in cabinet over how far to go with curbing emissions.

SMH - Green groups condemn climate plan delay

A CENTRAL plank of the NSW Government's climate change plan has been delayed. Targets for statewide energy efficiency improvements have been put back to next July. ...

The delay has been condemned by green groups, which see it as a concession to large energy users. "This is a very disappointing delay to a very important part of the NSW Government energy efficiency and climate change plan," the director of the Total Environment Centre, Jeff Angel, said. "It translates into a six-month loss of potential benefits, and is effectively slowing down action on climate change. Any more delays, interferences or un-ambitious targets will severely weaken the potential of the scheme and the Government's environmental credentials."

SMH - We're committed to second Sydney airport: minister. And a big road to link it to Sydney.

The Federal Government has committed to a second airport for Sydney outside the city and signalled increased foreign ownership of Qantas. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, said the new airport would not fall within the Sydney Basin but be supported by strong links to the city by train or road.

Peak Energy - Geothermal industry plan launched in Australia

Peak Energy - Europe Backs Supergrids

Peak Energy - Matt Simmons' Plan for the world's biggest wind farm

Peak Energy - Ocean currents can power the world

Peak Energy - Smart metering is essential to hit cardon emission targets

Peak Energy - The Famine Of 2009 ?

Peak Energy - Media Studies

McCrann should be paying back his wage to the Herald Sun for that article. It is appallingly inaccurate. Perhaps if he read TOD he might have a clue about what is going on!

McCrann is a hack, pimping himself out for speeches. He gets praised by Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, so that shows you where he stands. He's just a finance journo, and denies climate change (member of Crikey's unofficial club, amazing how many CC sceptics have ties to mining and oil companies, complete coincidence I'm sure), peak oil, and thinks uranium mining is a smashing idea, since it continues Australia's grand tradition of "dig it up, sell it overseas, have no other economy except for talking heads."

I tried to write a response in the reader's comments section. Said this article should be in the opinion section.

Funny, the Herald Sun did not post my comment.

I read the article on the second Sydney airport in the Sydney Morning Herald. I wrote this to them, but I am sure it will never be published:


That old chestnut the second Sydney airport has come up again. It appears Mr Albanese has no idea that air traffic most likely has passed its all time peak and he is evidently mired in the "Business As Usual" mindset common to those with limited understanding of energy, where it comes from and what it means to our society. To state things bluntly - oil supply has peaked and there are no susbstitutes for aircraft fuel. None. No combination of used chip fat, e10 ethanol or anything else will keep the airline industry growing. BA & Qantas are merging because the alternative is that they go bust individually.

Mr Albanese should have a chat with the Mr McNamara, minister for sustainability in the Queensland government. He would say building airports is crazy. The money should be put into rail.