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4 percent: The limited scope of new sanctions on Russia's Rosneft makes them unlikely to greatly deter future energy deals with the West, but any US limit on a company responsible for more than 4 percent of global oil is a big deal. The new sanctions tighten the grip on Moscow and make broad sectoral sanctions the next logical step in the Obama administration’s slow-boil diplomacy.

West Stream: Europe has yet to match the latest round of sanctions, but it is finding quieter ways to crimp Russia’s energy sector. South Stream talks are still on hold, and the EU again delayed an important decision on whether Gazprom can pump more gas from Nord Stream into Germany’s pipelines. Meanwhile, at this week’s TTIP talks, EU officials pressed US counterparts on lifting energy trade restrictions, hoping its next new gas flows will come from the West.

Tax-free: Australia’s carbon tax reversal should not be interpreted as a wholesale denial of climate change, or even as a rejection of carbon pricing as a potential solution. It should, however, demonstrate that taxing carbon without offsetting cuts elsewhere is unlikely to be sustainable. The majority of Australians still want to reduce carbon emissions; They just don’t like how their government went about doing it.

– by David J. Unger; Send tips/events/reports/comments/corrections to

In the pipeline


Drill deeper

A world without water [Financial Times]
Multinational corporations like Coca-Cola are learning the hard way that water is no longer the free, limitless resource it used to be. Energy companies across the globe are spending billions to manage, conserve, and maintain water for hydropower, hydraulic fracturing and myriad other uses.

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions [The New York Times]
Utilities in Minnesota are on track to produce 27.5 percent of the state's power with renewables by 2025. As the US looks to cut power plant carbon emissions 30 percent before 2030, Minnesota is a model for shifting the grid without breaking the bank or antagonizing industry.

The gas company that says it can take your backyard [Al Jazeera]
“It appears, in my perspective, a new and innovative effort for Sunoco to do what they’re trying to do here," a lawyer representing Pennsylvania landowners told Al Jazeera. "Innovation can be good, but not at the expense of private property rights.”


Energy sources

  • ACEEE: "Germany comes in first in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world’s major economies, followed by Italy, the European Union as a whole, China, and France ..."

  • IEA to US: "You are in an enviable position today, given your oil and gas situation and the power of your economy. But your energy is not as secure as you may think."

  • RMI: "Without using advanced technologies or processes, Australian installers can install solar systems in less than two-thirds the time per kW than U.S. installers."


"The History of US Unconventional Play Development in One Map" (click to animate):


MMXIV wk.29 • vol. 1 no. 25

by David J. Unger and Jared Gilmour of The Christian Science Monitor

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