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Italy Votes against Berlusconi by Voting against Nuclear Power

Italian voters cast ballots Sunday and yesterday in referenda on four questions: two on privatization of water services, one on criminal procedure (which would exempt the prime minister from prosecution) and one on a return to using nuclear power. More than 57% voted, surpassing the 50% +1 needed for the referenda to be binding. Of […]

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OPEC Meeting Ends without Consensus

OPEC’s meeting in Vienna a couple days ago ended without the cartel agreeing on a production level. This hasn’t happened in years (if memory serves, the last time was during the Iran-Iraq War), and it has left many questioning the organization’s future. After 5 hours of talks, the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said, […]

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Brazilian Government Vows to Boost Ethanol Industry

Brazil has relied on sugar cane-derived ethanol for much of its auto fleet for years. However, the industry has hit a soft patch in investment. Since 2005, the country has built 117 ethanol mills, but after the five currently coming on line are finished there are no plans for further expansion. When you consider that […]

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Atomkraft? Nein Danke – Germany Ending Nuclear Power

Germany’s Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen announced that Germany is going nuclear-free by 2022. The country’s seven oldest reactors were taken off-line shortly after the Fukushima meltdown, and an eighth (the glitch-prone Kruemmel facility in northern Germany) has been off-line for technical reasons and won’t be returned to active service. Six more will go into shut […]

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Swiss Opt to Go Nuke-Free by 2034

Switzerland’s government has decided to go nuclear-free in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. Last week-end, 20,000 rallied against nuclear power. Earlier today, the cabinet decided to build no new fission plants while allowing those currently on line to operate through their designed lifespan. “Existing nuclear power plants will be closed at the end of […]

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Alberta's Energy Minister Visits US to Spur Investment

Last week, Alberta’s Energy Minister Ron Liepert was in the US to promote his province’s energy sector. During breakfast at the Penn Club in Manhattan organized by the Canadian Consulate-General, he discussed a wide array of energy-related subjects. The message he had for US foreign policy was simply that Alberta (and by extension Canada as […]

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Rosneft May Be Freezing BP out of Arctic

A deal between BP and Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft to explore the Arctic seems to have fallen apart after the two failed to come to an arrangement on a stock swap. It is now doubtful that BP will get a piece of the Arctic action at all. Rosneft was to take a 5% stake […]

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Aramco Will Double Power Supply by 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company, has announced plans to double the amount of power it can generate to about 4,000 megawatts by 2015. “Currently we have approximately 2,000 megawatts of generating power internally … we want … to go to 4 to 4.5 gigawatts depending on new facilities that are coming,” […]

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Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant Started Up

The Iranian nuclear power plant built by Russia at Bushehr is now operating. Atomstroyexport says that a self-sustained fission reaction began on Sunday. “This is one of the final stages in the physical launch of the reactor,” said Vladislav Bochkov, a spokesman for the Russian company. The plant is at “the minimum controlled power level.” […]

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Japan to Stick with Nuclear Power

This morning on NHK TV, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku (the second-in-command in Japan’s civil service) said, “Our energy policy is to stick to nuclear power.” Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors are under review for safety in light of the Fukushima disaster, but apart from three reactors at the Hamaoka facility in central Japan, the […]

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Crude Oil Drops 10% for No Particular Reason

Yesterday, the price of crude oil dropped about 10%. This will not bring any immediately relief to motorists, nor does it mean that a bear market has started in the trading pits. The sell-off did not come from the killing of Usama bin Laden (or it would have happened on Monday), nor did any survey, […]

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Poland's Energy Future May Rely on Natural Gas

A new US Energy Information Administration study, World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the US, suggests that shale gas is going to be the game-changer around the world that it has been in the US. A good example is Poland. According to the EIA study, Poland has 5.3 trillion cubic […]

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Chernobyl's Silver Anniversary – No End in Sight

It was 25 years ago today that the Number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic exploded. The first the world learned of it was the following day when radiation detectors in Sweden went berserk. The heroics of the “liquidators,” many of whom died from radiation sickness in […]

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Myanmar Announces Deal with Foreign Partners to Expand Oil and Gas Exploration

The state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Company [MOGC] is going to sign deals with firms from China, Singapore and South Korea to explore three new areas for energy, according to the state-run media. Reuters reported that a deal is in the works with “North Petro-Chem Corporation Limited of China for exploration and production of oil […]

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TEPCO Aims for Cold Shutdown of Fukushima in 9 Months

Tokyo Electric Power [TEPCO], the company that operates the nuclear reactors that have partially melted down at Fukushima, has announced a plan to get the reactors to cold shutdown within 9 months. Cold shutdown is defined by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission as “The term used to define a reactor coolant system at atmospheric pressure and at […]

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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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