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Vietnam fuel price hike cranks up inflationary pressure

Thanh Xuan, Mai Phuong, Than Nien
The latest petrol price hike in Vietnam has triggered off a hike in the prices of other consumer and essential goods in southern hub Ho Chi Minh City.

Following last month’s 9-10 percent rise in fuel rates, prices of major food items, vegetables, and fruits had risen by 10 to 20 percent, the city’s market watch committee said. Seafood and pork prices went up by 5-10 percent. Some fishing companies forecast an increase of 10-15 percent in wholesale prices this month.

Analysts expected the consumer price index, which measures inflation, to rise by about 0.6 percent this month. Vo Van Duc Bay, deputy director of the Cho Lon Plastics Company, said his company would raise prices soon. It had tried to hold them down this year despite a 30 percent rise in imported raw material costs but after the fuel prices skyrocketed it was no longer possible, he said. ..
(X Aug 2006)
“Thanh Nien is the flagship daily newspaper of the Vietnam National Youth Federation”, and links the ruling Communist Party of VIetnam on its homepage.

United States faces bigger worries than ‘hot’ fuel

Robert Anderson, Kansas City Star
Instead of getting hot under the collar about the dubious issue of “hot” fuel, it’s imperative to focus and react to the more substantial dire fuel and energy issues at hand.

This country shouldn’t and won’t retrofit all retail gasoline dispensers for temperature compensation to the detriment of the entire northern half of the country, where fuel temperatures average less than 60 degrees. We’d be fiddling with a net fuel pittance while our Romanesque energy policy burns.

We’ve been lulled into energy policy complacency by a faith in free market economics while unfolding Mideast oil wars, basic geologic depletion and a dearth of recent substantial oil discoveries are signaling dire consequences ahead. In the past, our bountiful lifestyle has been predicated on cheap energy, which then contributed to the unprecedented post-World War II economic growth. But there are too many indications that this is changing.
(1 Sept 2006)

Reporters discuss discuss Prudhoe Bay; energy and elections

OnPoint, E&E TV
With Democrats and Republicans battling it out for leadership of the Senate and House, energy issues are likely to play a major role in the outcome of the midterm elections. During today’s OnPoint E&E Daily reporters Mary O’Driscoll, Ben Geman and Alex Kaplun weigh in on the congressional reaction to BP’s Prudhoe Bay oilfield shutdown. They talk about the future of offshore drilling legislation and also discuss which issues will be the most important to voters come Election Day.
(5 Sept 2006)
It’s surprising how energy issues are moving into center stage for the coming elections – still little discussion of deeper issues like peak oil.

Klein rejects environmental concerns over oilsands boom

CBC (Canada)
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has scorned a call from an environment group to slow down the pace of the province’s oilsands development.

The Pembina Institute and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society released a report on Tuesday calling for a moratorium on oilsands development until a plan to protect the boreal forest in northeastern Alberta is developed.

“The Pembina Institute should keep their noses out of anyone’s business, especially businesses that want to take risks,” Klein said Thursday.

“To have a long-range plan would be an interventionist kind of policy which says you either allow them or you don’t allow them [to proceed]. The last thing we want to be is an interventionist government.”

Klein said if oil companies want to risk their investments by developing oilsands projects and their plans meet environmental, social and economic requirements, he won’t stand in their way.

NDP critic David Eggen, who supported the report’s call for a comprehensive environmental plan, reacted strongly to Klein’s comments.

“It seems pretty irresponsible for him to say that,” Eggen said. “If the Tories don’t want to make decisions about the future, maybe they should step aside and let the New Democrats take a shot at it.”
(4 Aug 2006)

States rights row over Western Australia’s natural gas reserves

ABC TV (transcript)
A row has erupted between Canberra and Perth over Western Australia’s natural gas reserves. The Premier, Alan Carpenter, has declared that he wants to keep up to 20 per cent of his state’s gas in WA to provide the state with cheap fuel.
(31 Aug 2006)