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United States - Nov 27

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Kucinich, Clinton, and Edwards on climate and energy

David Roberts, Gristmill

Grist presidential climate forum: full transcript and video

Last week, I offered my impressions of the candidates at our presidential forum on climate. Now the complete transcript (PDF) and full video are available. Make your own judgments and share your own impressions in comments. (This video will be permanently available here.)
(26 November 2007)


Why is Dick Cheney smiling?

Nina Easton, Fortune Magazine)
... if there's anything about the economy that keeps Dick Cheney up at night, it's the prospect of sabotage aimed at disrupting the oil market, he told FORTUNE.

"Clearly the world depends on a global supply of oil, and that will continue to be true for some considerable period of time. Efforts to shut down the flow of oil could conceivably have a significant impact."

So when President Bush's 2008 budget was coming together, with the goal of balancing the budget in five years, Cheney nevertheless insisted on a $947 million line item: a speedup of the flow of crude into the Texas and Louisiana salt caverns housing the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The budget guys pushed back: Can't we wait until crude prices level off? No, the word came back from Cheney, this was urgent. That was all it took. "He doesn't weigh in on a ton of issues," said a person close to those negotiations. "But when he does . . ."

... A trademark concern of Cheney's is the surprise high-impact event that leads to chaos. Preserving a sufficient national oil supply in the event of a terrorist attack fits right into that portfolio.

"He's a big supporter of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," and would like to see an even faster flow of oil into the system, says Lazear.

The discussions between Cheney and other officials center less on what an attack might look like than on what a disruption to world markets would do, he adds. "He believes it pays to buy insurance," Lazear says. "And oil is 'liquid' - in both senses of the word. Holding some of the U.S.'s wealth in the form of oil," Lazear notes, is also a financial safety net.

Critics on Capitol Hill and in the energy industry have accused the administration of exacerbating high oil prices with its current plan of squirreling away crude - let alone pursuing Cheney's more ambitious desires for the Reserve.
(25 November 2007)
Long article based on an interview. The rest of the article is about Cheney's thoughts on the economy and national security. -BA


The Falling Dollar and Prestige
(Audio)
All Things Considered, National Public Radio (NPR)
With soaring oil prices and a weakening dollar, the prestige of the American currency seems to be fading. At a recent OPEC summit, Iranian and Venezuelan leaders suggested pegging the price of oil to the Euro instead of the U.S. dollar.

Daniel Yergin of Cambridge Energy Research Associates discusses high oil prices and a weak dollar with Andrea Seabrook.
(24 November 2007)

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