MACKAY, Australia (AP) — The Australian mining boom built over a decade on Chinese hunger for energy and raw materials is turning into bust for many business owners as China's cooling growth reverberates through a country accustomed to winning from the rise of an Asian economic giant.
BEIJING (AP) — Voracious demand for wood to feed factories for exports and satisfy wealthier consumers at home has turned China into a magnet for the illegal timber trade, causing other countries to strip their forests as Beijing does little to discourage the practices, an environmental group said in a report released Thursday.
The Australian government pushed a new 30 percent tax on big mining companies through Parliament on Monday but faces an uphill battle to reduce the tax burden on struggling companies outside the booming commodities sector.
The Senate passed the legislation 38 votes to 32, allowing the government to take a bigger slice of profits from a mining boom driven by Chinese and Indian demand for raw materials.
Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal producer, reported lower sales and revenue in the fourth quarter, cut its dividend and announced a projection for a first quarter loss that was wider than expected, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Having received criticism in the past for failing to stay on top of severe weather response efforts, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., has generated a personal blizzard of tweets about Tuesday's winter storm, National Journal reports.
Oil jumped Tuesday on a weaker dollar despite reports of a continuing build in stockpiles. U.S. benchmark crude gained $1.08 to finish Nymex trading at $46.23 a barrel, while in London Brent soared 3 percent, or $1.44, to $49.60, Reuters reports.
The CEOs of four refiners -– members of the Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy -– have sent a letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and new chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, asking that their views on lifting the crude export ban be heard by the panel, FuelFix reports.
Florida Power & Light’s plans to put in solar systems in three different locations, nearly doubling the state’s solar capacity by adding 225 megawatts of generation, shouldn’t result in higher costs for consumers, the company said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will discuss the Obama administration’s climate action plan with senior officials at the Vatican when she makes a stop there Friday, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
Calling it a new Magna Carta for the Earth, Prince Charles said it’s imperative that a new global climate deal be reached this year, adding that it’s a “last chance” to save the world from an “irreversible situation,” The Guardian reports.
A well site supervisor from Houston -– Race Addington -– will face charges he lied to federal inspectors about tests on a blowout preventer on an offshore platform in November 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, The Associated Press reports.