Australia

Oil

Apache strikes oil offshore Western Australia

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Apache Corp. says its Phoenix South-1 well in the Canning Basin off Western Australia may have tapped into as much as 300 million barrels of crude, which would represent the largest oil discovery for the country in decades, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cooling Pacific reduces odds for El Nino: Australia

Source: 
Bloomberg

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is reducing to 50 percent the odds of an El Nino weather pattern developing this year, as Pacific Ocean temperatures have cooled, Bloomberg reports.

Global carbon emissions hopes dashed by Australia

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

International efforts to control emissions ahead of the next round of climate talks have been hit hard by Australia repealing its pioneering carbon tax, which has left Europe isolated in its efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Senate Democrats

Reid backs climate bill push in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday said he wants to bring up climate  legislation after the mid-term elections this fall, though he made no firm pledge.

"I sure hope so," Reid, D-Nev. said when asked by a reporter during a conference call if a bill to put a price on carbon or otherwise address climate change was possible between the November elections and the end of the current Congress in early January.

Opponents paint Australian carbon tax repeal as climate retreat

Source: 
The New York Times

The move by the Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott to repeal a two-year-old carbon tax drew outrage from environmentalists and opposing politicians, saying the repeal makes Australia the only country to scale back progress on climate change, The New York Times reports.

Australia repeals controversial carbon tax

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to axe the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.60) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by the center-left Labor government in July 2012. Conservative lawmakers burst into applause as the final tally was announced.

Steyer's past coal investments draw scrutiny

Source: 
The New York Times

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer has publicly divested from fossil fuel firms, but his former hedge fund's past investments in foreign coal mines and power plants could overshadow his efforts to elect climate-minded lawmakers, The New York Times reports.

Misconceptions helped kill Australian carbon tax

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — In 2007, Australians were ready to do something to combat climate change, even if it was expensive. More than two-thirds of them said so in a poll, and both major political parties vowed to make industries pay for greenhouse-gas emissions.

The undoing of that perspective will likely be complete after a new Senate is sworn in Monday. It's expected to give Prime Minister Tony Abbott the votes he needs to repeal a 2-year-old tax charged to around 350 of Australia's biggest carbon polluters. Three top political leaders lost their jobs over the issue as support for climate-change measures plummeted.

A global recession, political miscalculations and failed negotiations only partially explain the dramatic change.

Australian PM introduces bill to repeal carbon tax

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prime Minister Tony Abbott reintroduced legislation to the Australian Parliament on Monday that would repeal a carbon tax that the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters have to pay.

The opposition center-left Labor Party and minor Greens party used their Senate majority in March to block the bills that would remove the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.79) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by a Labor government in July 2012. The bills were defeated 33 votes to 29.

But with new senators to take their seats on July 7 for the first time since Abbott's conservative coalition government took power in an election in September, the bills are expected to be passed by a narrow margin. Coal mining magnate and carbon tax critic Clive Palmer leads four new senators who have promised their allegiance to his influential Palmer United Party.

Australia tips trans-Pacific trade pact for next year

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A trans-Pacific free trade pact could be agreed upon early next year before U.S. presidential election politics get in the way, Australia's trade minister said Wednesday.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is aimed at cutting tariffs and setting trade rules, and is central to the Obama administration's attempt to boost American exports to Asia and re-orientate U.S. foreign policy toward a region of growing economic importance. The pact is seen as a precursor to a future wide free-trade arrangement for the entire Pacific Rim region.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb told a U.S. Studies Center conference in Canberra that there was no chance of an agreement being struck among the 12 nations this year.

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