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Australian Election: Peak Oil Policy Responses

Phil Hart, The Oil Drum: ANZ
This is the third article in relation to the Australian Federal Election, coming up next Saturday 24th November, 2007.

… In September, I sent a policy survey to the four main parties (Coalition, Labour, Greens, Democrats) seeking their official view on peak oil and details of relevant policies. I received the first response from the Greens and second from the Coalition (Liberal/National Parties), but no response from Labor (which is especially disappointing) nor the Democrats.

The complete survey responses are here:
(21 November 2007)

Has Brown finally become a bright-green revolutionary?

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
These environmental targets mean change on an epic scale – and will require the state to take a lead on painful decisions

So here is Gordon Brown’s greatest change yet – from brown Gordon to bright-green Gordon. Yesterday’s speech heralded a seismic change of attitude. If Britain hits these targets for renewable energy and CO2 emissions, it will be a near miracle.

“This time he really gets it,” said Greenpeace executive director John Sauven, who was there to hear the speech. “But can he deliver?” Others, too, ask if he understands that a new dirigiste industrial strategy needs to match his high rhetoric about a “fourth technological revolution”. Brown promised change on an epic scale, to match the Marshall plan that rebuilt Europe after the second world war. The Stern report warned the economic impact of climate change would be like world war and the Depression rolled into one. Does Brown realise this can’t be done by consulting committees or just by markets and trading systems? He promised thousands of green jobs and environmental apprenticeships to upskill the workforce, but Germany only achieved 10 times our windpower and 300 times our solar power by direct intervention, including guaranteeing electricity prices for secure investment in new technologies. Brown resists intervention in markets, but industry needs a kickstart.

So far Labour’s record has been dismal, letting carbon emissions rise by 2%. Renewable energy reached just a pathetic 2%: in the EU, only Malta has less. Imminent planet meltdown never seemed to excite Tony Blair as much as reorganising schools out of local authorities or hospitals out of the NHS.
(20 November 2007)

Will OPEC Dump the Dollar?

Stanley Reed, Business Week
The fall of the U.S. dollar-and the domestic unhappiness this creates-is causing oil-producing nations to reassess links to the greenback

The dominant theme that emerged from the cacophonous OPEC summit that concluded in Riyadh on Nov. 18 was countries that have amassed huge piles of dollars from selling oil don’t like seeing the value of their currency reserves eroded. While the host Saudis urged restraint lest the dollar fall even more, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad scorned the greenback as a “worthless piece of paper.”

Iran is pushing OPEC to shift away from pricing oil in dollars and instead to a basket of currencies that could include the euro. The Islamic Republic is already requiring its customers to pay in euros or yen, partly to avoid a tightening financial squeeze orchestrated by the U.S. But this is largely a symbolic gesture because the price of its oil is still based on dollar benchmarks.
(20 November 2007)