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Japan’s Noda Backs Restarting Two Reactors

Japan’s Noda Backs Restarting Two Reactors

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced his decision to restart two nuclear reactors in western Japan. As I noted in this blog a month ago, all of Japan’s nuclear reactors are offline. Before the Fukushima meltdown, 30% of the nation’s electricity came from uranium fission reactors. As a result of these shutdowns, there is […]

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Lithuania Working Towards Energy Independence

Lithuania Working Towards Energy Independence

  Two decades after achieving independence from the Soviet Union, Lithuania is still struggling to achieve energy independence. It appears to have taken some significant steps in that direction recently. First, it managed to get the foreign shareholders of Lietuvos Dujos, a Lithuanian natural gas company, to agree to divide the utility into three separate […]

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Japan Shuts Down Last Nuclear Reactor

Japan Shuts Down Last Nuclear Reactor

For the first time since 1970, not a single electron on the Japanese power grid comes from fission reactors. On Saturday, May 5, 2012, engineers began inserting control rods to bring the fission process to an end at the third and final Tomari reactor. Until last year’s earthquake, tsunami and reactor meltdown, Japan got 30% […]

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Germany on Target for 100% Renewable Electricity Supply by 2050

Germany on Target for 100% Renewable Electricity Supply by 2050

Jochen Flasbarth, President of Umwelt Bundes Amt (UBA – Germany’s central federal authority on environmental matters), was in New York last week, where he discussed, among other things, Germany’s efforts to create a national electric supply that relies completely on renewable energy. Germany’s goal is to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90% by the […]

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Lithuania, Russia Tense Over Natural Gas Law

Lithuania, Russia Tense Over Natural Gas Law

Two decades ago, the Baltic States became politically independent from Moscow. Their energy independence has yet to occur. In Lithuania, Russia’s Gazprom remains the sole supplier of natural gas to the nation of 3.2 million, Obviously, this gives Russia quite a bit of leverage in Lithuania post-independence – February in Vilnius is much more pleasant […]

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Fukushima: One Year On

Fukushima: One Year On

A year ago today, a huge earthquake hit Japan, followed by a tsunami that destroyed thousands of lives. It also started a chain of events that caused three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant to meltdown. Here are a few facts that are important to remember as we reconsider nuclear power and how we do […]

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Gazprom Admits to Reducing NatGas Flow to Europe

Gazprom Admits to Reducing NatGas Flow to Europe

The cold snap that has frozen most of Europe solid has created some tensions over Russia’s role as supplier of natural gas to its neighbors. On Friday, a Gazprom official claimed that Ukraine was taking more than its share from the pipeline that runs through its territory. For those who remember the unpleasantness between Moscow […]

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IEA Cuts Forecast for Oil Demand Growth

IEA Cuts Forecast for Oil Demand Growth

The International Energy Agency has reduced its forecast for growth in oil demand in 2012 to 1.1 million barrels per day from 1.3 million bpd. The lower demand will stem from the weak economic conditions in the OECD nations, off-set in part by continued heavy demand from Asian consumers. As a result, global demand for […]

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S&P Downgrades France and 8 Other Eurozone Sovereigns

S&P Downgrades France and 8 Other Eurozone Sovereigns

Standard and Poor’s rating agency has lowered the credit ratings of 9 eurozone members, including formerly AAA-rated France and Austria. The move is significant, affecting as it does the future of the eurozone’s bail-out fund, the French presidential election, the roll-over of existing European sovereign debt, and more. However, the downgrade is not really a […]

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China Wins Afghan Oil Contract

China Wins Afghan Oil Contract

Any suspicions that the US went into Afghanistan to secure access to resources went out the window last week. On Wednesday, Tom A. Peter over at the Christian Science Monitor reported, “China’s National Petroleum Corporation became the first foreign company to tap into Afghanistan’s oil and gas reserves. Chinese officials have estimated that the deal could […]

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UK Rejects Drafting New Eurozone Treaty: Continent Isolated

UK Rejects Drafting New Eurozone Treaty: Continent Isolated

At least 23 and perhaps as many as 26 of the 27 members of the European Union have agreed to an inter-governmental agreement that may or may not save the euro from the bond market vigilantes. A full-blown treaty failed because there was not unanimous support for the idea – Britain stood alone in saying […]

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Energy: 2011 in Review

Energy: 2011 in Review

With the arrival of December, it’s time to check the rear-view mirror to see where we have been in order to have some clue as to where we are going. In the energy realm, 2011 was the Year of the Three Fs: Fukushima, Fracking and Finance. Japan is used to earthquakes, and the odd tsunami […]

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Iraq Signs Gas Deal with Shell and Mitsubishi

Iraq Signs Gas Deal with Shell and Mitsubishi

Iraq has agreed to a $17 billion deal covering the next 25 years with Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi to capture the natural gas that is currently being flared off in its southern oil fields. The BBC reports “The new venture will be called Basra Gas Company, with Iraq holding a 51% stake, Royal Dutch […]

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What Germany’s Failed Bond Auction Means

What Germany’s Failed Bond Auction Means

Wednesday, November 23, 2011, Germany sold 10-year Bunds at its debt auction worth 3.64 billion euro with an average yield of 1.98%, and the bid-to-cover ratio was 1.1 , while the Bundesbank retained the remainder of the 6 billion euro offering. To most people, that’s just Wall Street gobbledegook, but in fact, it is a […]

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Australia May Lift Ban on Uranium Sales to India

Australia May Lift Ban on Uranium Sales to India

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced her intention of lifting her country’s ban on sales of uranium to India. Although this will set up a clash within the Labor and Green coalition, she probably doesn’t have to muster the votes to push this through the Australian Parliament; an executive order may well suffice. Even […]

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About the Author

Jeff Myhre
Jeff Myhre

Jeff Myhre is a graduate of the University of Colorado where he double majored in history and international affairs. He earned his PhD at the London School of Economics in international relations, and his dissertation was published by Westview Press under the title The Antarctic Treaty System: Politics, Law and Diplomacy. He is the founder of The Kensington Review, an online journal of commentary launched in 2002 which discusses politics, economics and social developments. He has written on European politics, international finance, and energy and resource issues in numerous publications and for such private entities as Lloyd's of London Press and Moody's Investors Service. He is a member of both the Foreign Policy Association and the World Policy Institute.

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