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ODAC Newsletter - June 18

Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

"For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked—not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor." These were the words of President Obama during his national address on the Gulf oil disaster from the Oval Office on Tuesday. Is the President accepting that we have reached peak oil? Perhaps—if so however the rest of the speech was rather disappointing and lacking in specificity on how to effect the change which he deemed necessary. Where the President is being more specific, and where he is feeling the most political pressure at home, is in ensuring that BP is made to pay for the disaster.

This week saw BP executives called to the White House for a crisis meeting at which the company agreed to freeze dividend payments for the rest of the year, and to hand over $20 billion for an independently run compensation fund. This will however by no means be the full extent of the company's liability, and as the damage increases along with the estimate of the amount of oil leaking into the ocean, the future prospects for BP are looking uncertain.

Thursday saw the spectacle of CEO Tony Hayward giving evidence to the Congressional Committee—a session which, while high in drama, shed little new light on the situation. The quest to determine the causes of the disaster is both understandable and necessary. There are however many in who's interest it is to categorise this as a one off caused only by BP's negligence, while ignoring the broader energy security issues and undermining political efforts for change.

While President Obama waits for ideas from either party on how to break Americans fossil fuel addiction he might take a moment to read the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report released this week by the Centre for Alternative Technology. The report takes a holistic approach to making an urgent and rapid energy transition which addresses carbon reduction, peak oil and social equity. The plan requires significant change in personal transportation, diet, and employment, but peak oil and climate change assure that change is coming anyway. The Gulf Oil Disaster might just be one of the first visible manifestations of that change.

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Oil

In Oval Office Speech, Obama Calls for New Focus on Energy Policy

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Congress tells Hayward BP ignored oil well dangers

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BP bows to Obama and cancels its dividends

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Obama vows to 'make BP pay' for oil spill damage

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Sharp increase in BP spill estimate

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BP credit rating slashed as oil spill costs mount

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Oil spill: David Cameron confronts Barack Obama in battle to protect BP

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BP searches for escape route from oil slick that threatens to envelop it

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Exxon Distances Itself From BP's 'Dramatic Departure' in Gulf

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Oil Falls a Second Day on Doubts Over Pace of Recovery in U.S.

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Was geology already a problem for deepwater Gulf oil?

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BP Gulf Spill Fuels Australian Opponents to Drilling

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Brazil set to face deepwater oil challenge

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Electricity

Kuwait parliament to debate power cuts amid record heat

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Nuclear

Nuclear sector loan set to be axed

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Nuclear reactors could see closure deferred to help bridge funding gap

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Renewables

Built on the wings of the super jumbo

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Ministers urged to extend wind subsidies

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Food

Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade, UN report warns

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UK

Zero-carbon vision sees UK as cleaner, greener and leaner within 20 years

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Fiscal watchdog downgrades UK growth forecast

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Geopolitics

Worries mount over China's 'rare earth' export ban

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Value of Afghanistan's mineral discovery needs to be dealt with cautiously

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Taleban zone's mineral riches may rival Saudi Arabia, says Pentagon

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Editorial Notes: The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) is an independent, UK-registered educational charity working to raise international public awareness and promote better understanding of the world's oil-depletion problem.

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