Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Shale Oil Company, addresses the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Shale Oil Company, addresses the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Top stories

Donald Trump considers fracking boss for top energy post

Donald Trump is considering tapping Oklahoma fracking mogul Harold Hamm to be his energy secretary if he wins the Presidential election, according to Reuters.

Hamm, who has been advising the Trump campaign informally for months, is chief executive of Continental Resources and would be something of a history maker if he was hired. No energy secretary has been hired directly from the oil industry since the post was created in 1977.

Reuters state that multiple sources have confirmed to them that Trump is considering nominating Hamm for the post.

The move would infuriate environmental activists and demonstrates the wide gap between the Democrats and Republicans on the issue of energy and climate change.

Hillary Clinton launched a series of bold climate policies in the Democrats’ draft platform earlier this month, including limits on fracking and a commitment to a carbon tax.

Senior Republican’s, including Trump and his VP Mike Pence, have repeatedly denied the existence of global warming, while the party’s platform for 2016 described coal as “clean” energy.

Elon Musk unveils Tesla Motors ‘master plan’

Elon Musk, billionaire head of Tesla, has delivered his much-vaunted master plan for the future of the company.

According to Bloomberg, the company is looking to develop an integrated solar and battery product, while adding trucks to its electric vehicles line-up and starting a ride-sharing service.

The company aims to deliver 500,000 cars by 2018, though it delivered just 10% of that figure last year. Tesla is also burdened by $2.5bn in long-term debt, which exceeds its $1.4bn in cash and equivalents.

Some analysts are sceptical about Tesla’s ability to match Musk’s bold plans for the future.
Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Autotrader, said: “As is typical, Elon Musk has laid out a grandiose plan for the future with no time frames and few specifics, and no mention of how and when Tesla will be profitable.”

Writing for Reuters, Rob Cox worries that Musk may have spread himself too thinly by trying to run multiple businesses simultaneously.

In addition to Tesla, Musk also oversees aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and renewables giant Solar City.

Scotland’s offshore wind plans ‘pretty much dead’ – former energy minister

A former energy minister has described offshore wind in Scotland as “pretty much dead”, with four major projects beset by legal challenges.

The BBC reports that Brian Wilson, an energy minister in the last Labour government, made the comments after RSPB Scotland began a legal challenge against four projects in the country – Inch Cape, Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen Alpha and Bravo – which were approved Scottish government ministers in October 2014.

The charity fears that the turbines could have “serious implications” for wildlife, and that the Scottish government had failed to give proper legal consideration to this when announcing the projects.
Judge Lord Stewart, who oversaw the case, ruled in favour of the RSPB, meaning the government will now have to reconsider planning decisions regarding the four projects.

Wilson was critical of the SNP-led Scottish government’s decision to cluster the four projects together, which he said opened the door for a legal challenge. He said: “What they have to decide is if they want to kill all four schemes or prepare to take a more balanced view, but the ball is in the RSPB’s court without a doubt.”

The projects would power an estimated 1.4 million homes.

The SNP reaffirmed its commitment to renewable energy after the judge’s ruling.

In other news

Climate change: Warning of devastating impact on world’s forests

Forests: FAO says deforestation not necessary to ensure food security

UK: BP looks to sell-off UK oil terminals

UN: Ban Ki-moon warns that benefits of Iran nuclear deal need to be felt by the Iranian people