Energy: Oil, Agriculture, Food, Commodities & Cost of Living (9)

  • Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD / Sinn Féin Government must address fuel poverty crisis: “2,500 households have had their gas and electricity cut off in the first two months of the year. 150,000 ESB customers are experiencing debt difficulties and 11,000 Bord Gáis households are currently at risk of disconnection.
    “This is a crisis situation and one which is only going to get worse. Options like making a prepaid meter facility available to those who request it should be explored. This facility could and should be made available at no additional charge to families.
    “Without urgent intervention thousands of families will find themselves without essential household fuels – this is the reality. The Government must take action now to address this crisis.”
  • BBC Northern IrelandConsumer Council’s call as heating oil prices soar: The NI Consumer Council has called for the heating oil industry to be regulated as the price of 900 litres rose to £550.
    John French from the council said regulating the industry should be a key priority for a new NI assembly.
    “It is estimated that with rising fuel prices, the recent cold winters and the current economic climate, fuel poverty levels have risen above 50%,” he said.
    Gas and electricity customers already benefit from a regulatory framework.
    Mr French said that oil customers should too.
  • Mickey Brady MLA / Sinn FéinAttwood riding two horses on Fuel Poverty: “This is a welcome announcement and will go some way to helping those who are currently in, or facing, fuel poverty. The increased prices and excessive duty placed on fuel, in particular oil, has added a huge burden to households across the north.
    “With the Minister announcing £127m to tackle fuel poverty over the next four years, a measure which Sinn Féin supported, the reality of the situation is that if Alex Attwood had gotten his way last week, when voting against the budget at the Executive, this money would not have been available.
    “Alex Attwood is now riding two horses as the SDLP wish to stylise themselves as the unofficial opposition in the Assembly while at the same time reaping the benefits of the Budget which they opposed.“
  • BBCOil price; Should we fear the latest rises?: The oil price has a nasty habit of predicting global recessions… With populations and incomes steadily increasing in Asia, there seemed to be an inexorable rise in global energy demand.
    And with a finite limit to the amount of hydrocarbons in the ground, “peak oil” – the point where global oil production reaches its highest practicable rate – became the buzzword…
    Shortly before the latest turmoil in the Middle East began, Professor Krugman was already arguing that the strong global recovery – underway everywhere outside the forlorn West – was leading to exactly the same economic conditions that spawned the previous spike in commodity prices.
    And the problem is not only manifesting itself in energy prices – food, metal and cotton prices are also well on the up again…
    The dilemma for Western monetary policy is particularly unpleasant, because the only way for them to keep inflation down is by punishing households in their countries even more by increasing their borrowing costs.
  • Martina Anderson MLA / Sinn FéinSocial tariffs needed to tackle fuel poverty (2007)
  • South East Farm Press (USA) – Fuel costs go beyond sticker shock for farmers: According to testimony presented last week by the American Farm Bureau Federation, government figures show farmers this spring will pay almost 85 percent more than they paid in 2000 just to plant their crops.
  • 24/7WallSt.comCommodities Watch: US Oil Supply Surges, Refiners Post Yearly Highs; Cotton Jumps to Limit; Copper, Gold, Silver Shine: “If it’s any consolation, China is raising its prices for gasoline as well.” … Demand for cotton is expected to be high again this year, while in the US acres planted in cotton did not increase by the expected 20% over 2010 plantings. US acres devoted to cotton are forecast to rise about 15%, from nearly 11 million acres in 2010 to about 12.6 million acres in 2011. Competition for land from other high-priced grains and oilseeds are partly responsible for the less-than-expected plantings.
    Copper continues its spectacular rise, up more than another $0.10/lb today, to $4.37. Regardless of warnings by many observers that non-commercial Chinese buyers are stockpiling copper to use as collateral for loans, traders just can’t seem to get enough of copper futures. China is expected to crack down on the non-commercial stockpiling of copper, but hasn’t done so yet. Even if the Chinese government does take a firm stand, however, there are plenty of indications that copper supply will be short of demand by at least 400,000 metric tons in 2011. Some analysts are predicting an average price for copper of $4.45/pound in 2011. This is nosebleed territory.
  • BBCOn the trail of the scrap metal crime wave: People have been stealing copper signal and power cables, causing havoc on the rail network.
    It is just one example of a crime wave plaguing the country – scrap metal theft.
    The problem is simple: international metals prices are being driven up and up by the insatiable demand of China and other booming economies.
    And with the prices for recyclable metal also hitting new highs… this age-old crime is becoming endemic.
    A quarter of Hertfordshire lost its broadband connection last year because of telecoms cable theft.
    Thefts from the nation’s electricity and gas infrastructure are currently running at double the rate of a year ago, according to Tony Glover of industry group Energy Networks.
  • New Ross EchoRailway line stolen in Campile
  • Business InsiderChina Helps Keep U.S. Corn Market All Bulled Up
  • Foreign Policy / Steve Levine – The next oil crisis point: Nigeria is about to become the crisis du jour, and there is good reason — Goodluck Jonathan (pictured above) is running for re-election as president this month; so are candidates for Parliament. In the last elections — in 2007 — there was so much violence that 1 million barrels of oil a day — half the country’s total production — was lost to export markets, the Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Dicolo reports. If that recurs — or if traders figure it will — look for prices to go a lot higher than the $107.94 a barrel that they reached last week. Along with that will rise gasoline prices.
This entry was posted in Agriculture, Budget, Economy, Energy / Natural Resources, Euro / Sovereign Money, Infrastructure / Transport, Solutions, War & Peace and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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