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.
Coming from different sides of the issue, environmentalists and a number of states presented arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s designation of areas that do and don’t meet its 2008 ozone rule, E&E reports.
Tom Steyer is closing in on the $50 million he promised to put into his NextGen Climate PAC in the 2014 election cycle, as the $15 million he added in September – reflected in Federal Election Commission records – brings his total to some $41 million, The Hill reports.
Minnesota Democrats Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Collin Peterson, as well as Michigan Senatorial candidate Rep. Gary Peters, are getting support from ads being run by Fuels America, a biofuels group, which is also lending its support to Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., The Hill reports.
If oil prices dropped to less than $80 a barrel, a third of U.S. production of shale oil would no longer be economically viable, an analyst told Bloomberg, which reports that such a major development would change the global energy picture.
A bigger-than-expected increase in Chinese quarterly gross domestic product numbers sent oil prices higher Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose 10 cents as the contract expired, to $82.81 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London December Brent jumped 1 percent, or 82 cents, to $86.22, Bloomberg reports.
Crestwood Midstream Partners says it will start seeking binding contracts in November for its proposed 30-mile MARC II natural gas pipeline in New England, having attracted nonbinding commitments for 700 million cubic feet per day already, FuelFix reports.
California’s big agricultural firms produce almonds, pistachios, melons and tomatoes in the Westlands district with irrigation despite the state’s crippling drought, but they buy and import huge quantities of water to do it, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Russia and the crisis over Ukraine, the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the advent of cheap shale gas are some of the challenges facing European Union leaders as they meet in a summit to discuss climate change issues later this week, The New York Times reports.