Deepwater_Horizon_Oil_Spill_-_Gulf_of_Mexico

Top 3 stories

1) Deepwater Horizon: 5 years on – and a very different oil market

A glut of stories this weekend on BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill which caused public outrage and a six-month drilling moratorium in the area five years ago, has actually led to an increase in deepwater rigs – from 35 to 48 – reports the New York Times.

Reuters covers the human impacts of the spill, citing a 60% drop in oyster yields, rupturing family-run businesses.  Climate Progress carries comment from a BP spokesman urging the public “not to worry” about tar balls washing up on shore.

The Wall Street Journal looks at preventative measures, says that new rules and training can only go so far, and the biggest risk is “human error”.

The Independent examines another spill entirely – still in the Gulf of Mexico – that was caused by Hurricane Ivan knocking over a platform in 2004 and has had its (much smaller) leak rate underestimated.

And the Telegraph suggests that a “zombie” BP won’t recover from the spill, which sent the company into a “death spiral”.

Then again, it is a very different oil market these days: An Iranian sanctions deal could send prices to $5-$15 a barrel, writes one analyst on Reuters.  Bloomberg covers what they call a “fracklog” in the US, which is being described as a swing producer. US producers gather in Texas this week, to “plan their survival”, says the WSJ. The FT has an interesting piece on how offshore oil platforms use energy sent from land, and the Independent covers a report that says energy companies fuel reserves worldwide hold five times the amount of CO2 we should let into the atmosphere. It’s a risky business.

2) UK politics: Labour’s (late) green manifesto, and an anti-fracking front

Labour has launched its green manifesto – nine years after Cameron hugged a husky – is the big UK news. It’s ambitious on zero carbon targets and energy efficiency.

(We have a collection of all the energy bits of each party manifesto, including Labour’s, in our series – with the SNP’s coming up shortly)

Everyone in sustainablility wants the Green Investment Bank to have borrowing powers, writes Business Green.

And in Wales, a united front against fracking in being built (not least to save the real ale industry) – echoing what’s happening in communities in Germany and Australia(who are fighting coal seam gas extraction).

And over in France, problems in construction the Flamanville nuclear plant could throw the future of Hinkley Point into doubt.

3) India: Speaking out on climate – but upping coal production and imports

While G7 ministers are agreeing that climate change poses “among the most serious” security threats to the world, India is suggesting that the developed world needs to “walk the talk” in talks in Washington DC yesterday and today with the world’s major 17 emitters. Perhaps because extreme weather conditions such as drought threaten 100 districts.

This week also sees a high-profile trade and investment mission from Houston, TX to India. They are expected to focus on energy (oil, gas, nuclear), aviations and transportation.

India’s coal imports could be higher than China’s by 2017, making it the biggest coal importer – and this adds to Coal India’s doubling output ambition. None of this would be good for iconic monuments, as Quartz suggests (the Taj Mahal is already turning brownish-yellow).

Other news

US: Obama reiterates that there is “no greater threat” to the planet than climate change (and is spending Earth Day in the Floridan Everglades), where Marco Rubio – the Florida Republican Senator, is still a total sceptic.

China: Adds Francelike-sized chunk of solar power in Q1.

Renewables: Prices fall and spending jumps. China is hopeful that global cooperation can herald in a low-carbon future.

Climate impacts: California considers energy-intensive desalination as solution to drought.