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1) Oil: Shell close to Arctic drilling approval, oil price drops, global shale

The US government has conditionally approved a plan by Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska this summer. The conditions are permits from regulators and compliance with rules protecting endangered species.  The company wants to drill six wells about 40 metres deep, reports the BBC. Exploration stopped more than two years ago after an oil rig fires and safety failures. Environmental groups warn of disaster.

In other oil news, Quartz reports that oil prices have been soaring, but we’re probably heading for another rout. Reuters has the latest, covering the impacts of US shale predominantly.

Colombia will see at lest two shale projects starting development this year, with interest from Shell and Exxon Mobil despite the declining prices, reports Bloomberg.  Also on Bloomberg – a look at the failure of Cuadrilla, the UK company, to drill a single shale gas well in Poland despite setting up an office there in 2009.  The reason? “The costs of drilling in Europe are much, much higher than in the U.S. and there are so many regulations every step of the way”, says Cuadrilla’s Poland country director of well services.

2) UK Election: New energy secretary – demands from industry and praise from greens

In the UK, the appointment of Amber Rudd as the new secretary of state for energy and climate change has surprised the energy industry, writes the FT. The Times covers the same, and also reports that the oil and gas industry has demanded that the new energy and business ministers protect the industry, including 450,000 jobs in the sector, from the escalating costs of climate change policies and unfair foreign competition.

Greens welcome the appointment, writes the Telegraph. And the WSJ notes that other nations will be watching her decisions on nuclear and hydraulic fracturing.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat minister Ed Davey, the former energy and climate secretary, is the first cabinet minister to lose his seat since 1997.

3) Climate: Siberia carbon time-bomb, cities’ climate fight, climate threatens wheat

Carbon time-bomb in Siberia threatens catastrophic climate change, reports the Express.

Cities are central to climate and sustainable development, reports RTCC, which is partnering with the World Urban Campaign in the lead up to Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, next year.

A new study in PNAS has suggested that global warming will cut wheat yields. The research is described as “troubling” because by 2050 wheat demands are expected to increase by 60% to feed a global population of 9 billion.

In other news:

India: How tribal Indians beat big coal firms

Australia: Alcoa to close Anglesea coal mine, power station

UK: The rise of green gas: Turning crops into energy

Coal: Coal set to dominate as Myanmar mulls energy strategy

Solar: World’s first solar road producing more than expected