US data indicates power sector CO2 emissions down 15.6% since 2007

As it prepares for the November 30 start-up of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris, the US Department of Energy has been generating data that shows total US carbon dioxide emissions have declined and then flattened out in the past eight years, with emissions specifically from the US power sector part of the same trend.

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The Keystone XL saga: missed chances, shifting sands — Fuel for Thought

If Bill O’Reilly, author of such books as “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” were to turn his attention to pipelines, his next book might be entitled “Killing Keystone.”

It would be a tale full of twists and turns, conspiracy theories, missed opportunities, miscalculations and bad timing surrounding TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It would not, however, be a book about whether the now-notorious project would have been good simply on its merits.

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Caltex Australia reaps rewards from parenting package

Three years ago I blogged on The Barrel how Caltex Australia was breaking the mold in the traditionally male-dominated refining industry by launching the nation’s most generous workplace support package for new parents.

In 2015, Caltex’s willingness to show its feminine side through its “BabyCare” scheme appears to have paid dividends. Not only has the program helped Caltex win a gender equality citation from the Australian government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the company is now reporting a 25% increase in the number of women transitioning back to work and developing their careers after having a baby.

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The ‘M’ word in fuel marketing is not ‘mileage.’ It’s ‘millennials’

Millennials are today’s low-hanging fruit for a joke. I’m guilty. A few weeks ago at a party, discussion turned to their sense of entitlement. The office gets pizza. The millennial gets a salad. The office gets the local donut chain. The millennial wants Krispy Kreme. A friend who, like me, is about 20 years older than the people we were unfairly criticizing behind their backs noted, “It’s all the trophies.” I laughed. We all did.

The reality is that millennials are very much no joke to US marketers, who so desperately want to separate them from their cash.

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Iron pellet market set to fall before Samarco accident

Brazilian iron ore miner Samarco’s tragic accident and environmental disaster has left a hole in the pellet market, but buyers may not be scrambling for alternatives. The effect on pellet premiums, however, may be helping buttress a sagging market.

Premiums will fall next year, but perhaps not by the same degree on account of Samarco’s accident, echoed two pellet buyers.

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What a difference a year makes for European ethanol

The European ethanol community gathered in Budapest over the first week of November to look at the current challenges and opportunities facing the ethanol, and wider biofuels, markets. As the dust settles and the excitement wanes, we take a look at the overarching messages and opinions coming from the biofuels, and in particular, ethanol industry.

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The Eastern Mediterranean Basin showing promise for oil, gas: Fuel for Thought

Ask an oceanographer about the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, and he might mention a sea-floor dotted with mud volcanoes spewing gas and sometimes oil into the benthic environment.

Ask a geologist, and she may wax lyrical about sediment columns up to 12 km thick, generously capped by “evaporite,” i.e. dirty rock salt.

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Twice as nice: Could London gold groups join forces for the greater good?

The possibility of the London Bullion Market Association and World Gold Council collaborating more closely to promote the development of London gold trading seemed less of an alien concept this week than before, with some saying it would be in the best interests of London’s financial sector for the two to join forces.

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Is a ‘black box’ agency hindering the outlook on US crude, condensate exports?

When the Obama administration gave legal backing to exports of processed condensate exports last year, it fueled speculation that a more significant shift in US crude export policy was looming and that US producers may have found a new global export market to conquer.

Much of that speculation has, thus far, fallen flat.

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Steel seems poised to keep on runnin’, keep on hidin’

So say the lyrics immortalized by Spencer Davis, which to some degree show what is wrong with the global steel market — it keeps on running and hiding from its overcapacity.

For global producers to return to 85% utilization rates, 170 million mt of global capacity has to disappear, according to Macquarie Research. To reach headier rates of 90% utilization rates, at which mills can make decent money, the equivalent of Western European and Japanese production (275 million mt) needs to exit the market.

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