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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have reportedly reached agreement on a temporary fix for the highway funding crisis, so that is likely to be one of the accomplishments for lawmakers during a busy week ahead of their summer recess, National Journal reports.
Easing overseas demand, an oversupply of crude and weaker refining margins are combining to keep the pressure on crude prices despite ongoing turmoil in Gaza and Ukraine Monday, Reuters reports, noting that U.S. benchmark crude fell 68 cents to $101.41 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 66 cents to $107.73.
Republicans used their weekly broadcast to attack President Obama’s climate policy, which they say amounts to a “war on coal.” This week the address was delivered by Rep. Steve Daines of Montana, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. John Walsh for his seat, The Hill reports.
Despite ongoing concerns from the farming community – where her outreach efforts have had mixed success -- and continuing opposition from Republicans, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is refusing to back down from WOTUS, or Waters of the United States, the EPA’s proposed rule outlining which bodies of water it has jurisdiction over, National Journal reports.
The decision about lifting the ban on crude exports should rest on what’s good for the overall economy, not just what’s good for refiners, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told Platts Energy Week on Sunday.
The fight against a charge Rocky Mountain Power wants to impose on net metering customers is generating strong feelings in Utah and attracting attention from elsewhere around the country, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Although Commerce Department moves to slap duties on Chinese solar products are preliminary, they have already triggered an increase in prices and appear to have helped companies like SolarCity and SolarWorld, The New York Times reports.
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.
Russia will overcome any economic difficulties caused by Western sanctions over Ukraine, but also won’t respond with “hysterics” that descend into tit-for-tat impositions of retaliatory measures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists Monday, Reuters reports.