What goes up must come down and oil prices seem headed in that direction. With speculators speculating on a new trend, the price of crude has fallen for seven straight days, the longest downward run since 2009. There’s good reason. Election turmoil in Europe and sputtering growth in China have opened the possibility that demand may be slackening for some time. Meanwhile, oil inventories are at their highest level since 1990. Does that sound like a formula for an oil bubble bursting? We’ll see.
Energy was at the forefront of the campaign as Mitt Romney steamed into Colorado preaching homegrown energy development. The GOP nominee apparent called President Obama’s energy policies “old and outdated” and said he is "in the thrall of environmentalists.” Perhaps even more significant than the Romney effort was a four-minute video called “If I Wanted America to Fail,” (above) put out by FreeMarketAmerica. The hard-hitting short has already been viewed by 2 million people on YouTube. Meanwhile, President Obama indicated his position on energy is evolving as he warmed to the natural gas industry.
The Keystone Pipeline was back in the news as TransCanada once again applied to the U.S. State Department to cross the border. Alberta Premier Alison Redford praised the effort as opinion on the Canadian side has coalesced. Nebraskans are still opposed, however – according to the Huffington Post – and climate alarmist James Hansen once again said building the 2,000 connection with Canadian tar sands would mean “game over” for fighting climate change.
Aubrey McClendon’s troubles at Chesapeake Energy continued to mount as a look at his 2009 contract showed he was barred from running the $2 million hedge fund out of his office. An Oklahoma shareholder is also accusing the company of hiding the costs of jet travel for executives and the board of directors. McClendon’s pattern of taking a personal interest in West Virginia drilling land acquisition has also come under suspicion. Predictably, the first shareholder suits are starting to arrive.
Finally, Japan’s first day without nuclear has opened the question of how the country hopes to survive the summer heat. Carbon emissions are already rising and critics are saying that green energy might not be up to the task. CleanTechnica reports that Japan’s hot springs are being eyed for geothermal energy, although the potential is still relatively small. The San Francisco Chronicle speculates, however, that Japan has started a pattern that Europe and the US may follow suit.