Evening markets: 'red hot' export market lifts wheat vs corn
20:43 GMT, Tuesday, 24th Sept 2013, by Agrimoney
Wheat, which in the last session ventured a toe beyond the $2-a-bushel line in its premium over corn, got the whole foot over this time.
Sure, wheat hardly raced ahead in Chicago, adding 0.7% to $6.58 ¼ a bushel for December delivery.
But that was enough to expand its premium over December corn futures to $2.09 ½ a bushel.
It earned Chicago wheat another technical feat too, with the December lot closing above its 50-day moving average for the first time in more than three months.
Furthermore, the represented outperformance of commodities as a whole, with the CRB index dropping 0.4%, depressed by fears of a looming stand-off in Washington over the US budget and debt ceiling.
'Export market red hot'
Wheat's support continued to come from a drip feed of supply disappointments at a time of firm demand, as highlighted by the strong starts by US and European Union exports to 2013-14, and with Russia expected soon to begin purchases for intervention stocks.
"December wheat is up only $0.16 a bushel from summer lows despite a 31% increase in Chinese wheat imports since June 1, and larger 2013-14 US wheat export inspections since June," Richard Feltes at RJ O'Brien said.
US Commodities said: "The wheat market has improved fundamentals. This is the reason December wheat is now $2 a bushel over December corn.
"The US export market remains red hot."
Tuesday's main supply scare was of frost in Argentina, adding to the pressure on a crop already being tested by dryness.
Temperatures last night fell as low #$%$ Celsius in parts of Buenos Aires, the main grain-growing province, besides in Cordoba and parts of Santa Fe.
However, early quality data on Canada's spring wheat harvest showed a decline in protein levels there, to 12.4-13.1%. Last year's spread was 13.1-14.2%.
That added to the concerns that quality wheat, at least, may prove in
Canada's pipeline boom brings message change
Oil and gas pipelines are a hot-button issue again
By Margo McDiarmid Environment Unit, CBC News Posted: Sep 23, 2013 6:32 PM ET| Last Updated: Sep 24, 2013 9:12 AM ET
After decades of being out of sight and out of mind, pipelines are booming again in Canada with proposals for 14 new or expanded oil and gas pipeline projects.
Compare that to five years ago, when there was only one project before the National Energy Board (NEB), which regulates interprovincial and international pipelines.
That boom has made pipelines a hot-button issue — and that is changing the way companies try to get public support for their projects.
"Ten years ago pipelines were not a page-20 article, let alone page one article, in the newspaper," said Carl Kirst, managing director of North American pipelines for BMO Capital Markets.
Kirst said the boom is due to a huge increase in supply across North America. More oil and shale gas is being discovered and companies need pipelines to bring it to customers, and that has brought increased public attention because of safety worries.
"It's not just because of demand, it's not just because of politics, but also because of some of these public integrity issues that have happened," Kirst told CBC News in an interview from Houston, Texas.
■Read more about Ottawa's push for B.C. pipelines
■Read more about Wall Street's advice to Joe Oliver
■See an interactive map of Canada's main pipeline network
He added companies are doing "a good job" improving safety, pointing to energy giant Enbridge, which has ramped up spending on maintenance after its disastrous 2010 oil spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River.
Environmental groups say people are focusing on pipelines for another reason: because they tap into concerns over climate change that are hard to articulate.
"Pipelines are very tangible," said Clare Demerse, director of federal policy for the Pembina Institute. "It's much easier to
Obama and Clintons to Share Stage to Talk Health Care
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
Published: September 24, 2013
After delivering a much-anticipated speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning and meeting with world leaders in the afternoon, President Obama turned to health care this evening, sharing center stage with the Clinton family at an event to highlight the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Mr. Obama joined former President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, at the Clinton family foundation’s annual convention just blocks away from United Nations Plaza. White House officials said the rare, hourlong appearance by the two presidents was an attempt to bring attention to next week’s opening of enrollment in health insurance exchanges that are at the center of the Affordable Care Act.
In fact, the conversation turned out to be a kind of wonky, policy-heavy discussion about the financial realities of America’s health care system and what Mr. Obama’s health care law will do about it. Mr. Clinton -- famous for being long winded -- was technically the interviewer and Mr. Obama the subject. But both men took long turns with the microphone.
“In the last three years, just since we started doing this, inflation in health care costs has dropped to 4 percent for three years in a row for the first time in 50 years -- 50 years,” Mr. Clinton said. “So before that, the costs were going up at three times the rate of inflation, for a decade.”
Later, Mr. Clinton noted that before the health care law went into effect, “eighty percent of the American states had only one or two companies providing health insurance who had more than 80 percent of the market. So there was in effect no price competition.”
Under the new law, he said, “it’s actually led to the establishment of more companies doing more bidding.”
Mr. Obama spent much of his time responding to critics of his hea
Hillary Clinton: Government Shutdown 'Wouldn't Be The Worst Thing For Democrats'
By KEN THOMAS 09/24/13 03:20 PM ET EDT AP
NEW YORK -- NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning congressional Republicans that they would be hurt by a government shutdown, saying such a move "wouldn't be the worst thing for Democrats."
The former first lady was asked about the possibility of a government shutdown amid Republican opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law.
She said during a Clinton Global Initiative panel that Republicans should remember the public's opposition to government shutdowns during her husband's first term.
Mrs. Clinton says, "We've seen this movie before."
The former New York senator and secretary of State defended Obama's health care law, saying there are "a lot of really good things" in the new system.
Obama planned to discuss the implementation of his health care law with President Bill Clinton at the meeting later in the day.
Obama Calls for Open Dialogue in U.S., Iran Talks (VIDEO)
HuffPost Live | By Erin McDonough Posted: 09/24/2013 5:58 pm EDT | Updated: 09/24/2013 5:58 pm EDT
As President Obama delivered an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, he vowed to pursue stronger relations with Iran in an effort to alleviate longstanding tension between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic. HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin spoke with Ali Gharib, former Senior Editor at The Daily Beast, and Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at The Atlantic, to discuss the remarks.
Obama’s calls for renewed openness with Iran were cautious, acknowledging the fraught history between the two countries. He emphasized the importance of settling the ongoing debate surrounding Iran’s nuclear future.
“I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship,” Obama said, “one based on mutual interests and respect.”
Both Gharib and Clemons expressed optimism about the conciliatory nature of the address.
“There was an acknowledgment of Iran’s grievances and even a nod to Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy…. ” said Gharib, "I think that [the remarks] will be welcome in diplomatic halls ranging from Turtle Bay to Tehran."
Obama insisted that his remarks were more than high-minded rhetoric, as he promised to direct John Kerry to aggressively pursue diplomatic talks with Iran.
Touching on this point, Clemons pointed out the primacy of U.S.-Iran relations to the United States' broader foreign policy goals.
“Right now the prospect of a normalization course with Iran ranks above every other potential strategic objective of the United States," he told Shihab-Eldin.
Obama vows to protect ‘free flow’ of Middle East oil
Ben Geman - 09/24/13 11:30 AM ET
President Obama vowed Tuesday to protect the flow of oil from the Middle East and North Africa even as U.S. reliance on petroleum imports declines.
“We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world. Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends upon the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy,” Obama said in a speech to the United Nations.
U.S. imports are dropping amid the domestic oil-and-gas production boom, improved auto efficiency and other factors.
A senior State Department official similarly said in March that declining U.S. import reliance “in no way change
U.S. senator asks CFTC to look into biofuel credit pricing
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:17 a.m. EDT
By Charles Abbott
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the Senate Agriculture Committee asked the regulator of U.S. futures markets on Tuesday to probe whether traders manipulated the price of biofuel credits that soared over the summer and were blamed for raising gasoline prices.
In a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said she was concerned about "possible manipulation of the markets for Renewable Identification Numbers," the formal name for RINs.
Petroleum fuel blenders can buy RINs, from other refiners or from third parties who acquired RINs, to satisfy their obligations under U.S. law to use a certain amount of biofuels. A RIN is assigned to each gallon of biofuel produced.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the biofuels standard.
Prices of RINs have been high and volatile for months - soaring from a few cents each in January to almost $1.50 in July to about 50-70 cents this month - in the face of stagnant demand for gasoline and U.S. law that dictates the rising volumes of renewable fuels.
"I would like the CFTC to help determine whether factors other than supply and demand have been causing extraordinary volatility in the price of RINs and to what extent fraud and manipulation have been affecting the price of RINs," Stabenow wrote in a letter to CFTC chairman Gary Gensler.
"I am concerned that a lack of transparency in these markets has made them more susceptible to manipulation. If this is the case, it is a problem that must be identified and fixed."
The CFTC had no immediate comment.
The refiner Tesoro Corp blamed RIN volatility on the "blend wall," the limit of how many gallons of renewable fuel, mostly corn-based ethanol, can be blended into gasoline at the standard blend rate of 10 percent biofuel.
"This is like asking to investigate what the horse did after it escaped from the barn inst
Ethanol Tumbles Versus Gasoline as Producers See Cheaper Costs
By Mario Parker September 24, 2013
Ethanol tumbled versus gasoline on speculation that producers of the biofuel are seeing lower corn costs as the harvest begins.
The spread, or price difference, widened 5.31 cents to 79.01 cents a gallon at 11:45 a.m. New York time as ethanol dropped with corn, the primary feedstock for ethanol in the U.S. The harvest is usually from September to November.
“We see producers out here really pushing it down, they’re selling,” said Jim Damask, a manager at StarFuels Inc., in Jupiter, Florida. “Corn must be showing up. They must be getting their hands on some cheap corn.”
Denatured ethanol for October delivery sank 3.9 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $1.847 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures have declined 16 percent this year.
Gasoline for October delivery gained 1.41 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.6371 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.
One bushel of corn makes at least 2.75 gallons of ethanol. Farmers responded to last summer’s drought that devastated yields by planting record acres of the grain.
Corn for December delivery slumped 1.5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $4.5175 a bushel in Chicago. The December crush spread of corn to ethanol was minus 2 cents, down from break-even yesterday. All other crush spreads through 2015 were negative.
In cash market trading, ethanol dropped 60 cents to $2.375 a gallon in Chicago, 25 cents to $2.20 in New York, 5 cents to $2.275 on the West Coast and 0.5 cent to $2.325 on the West Coast, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Chicago’s premium to New York Harbor contracted 35 cents to 17.5 cents, while the West Coast’s discount to the Gulf widened 4.5 cents to 5 cents.
EIA is scheduled to release the latest ethanol production, supply and import figures tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
Mitch McConnell: Government Shutdown Will Fail To Defund Obamacare VIDEO
Posted: 09/24/2013 11:11 am EDT | Updated: 09/24/2013 11:33 am EDT
WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, argued Tuesday that Sen. Ted Cruz's plan to defund Obamacare by taking government spending hostage will fail, even as McConnell tried to shift the focus in the fight onto Democrats.
The Senate is weighing a continuing resolution, passed last week by the House, that will keep the government open after this month only if Democrats accept riders that defund the Affordable Care Act and make it more likely that the United States will default on its debt next month.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to strip those provisions from the spending bill once the Senate starts debating it on Wednesday. Cruz (R-Texas) -- who advocated for the House bill -- has vowed to prevent Reid from doing so by trying to filibuster the spending measure, which, if he were successful, would cause a government shutdown.
McConnell (R-Ky.) argued Tuesday that such a move was poorly considered.
“I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare," McConnell said. “All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded. And none of us want that."
Instead, McConnell said, Republicans should let the legislative process move forward and try to block Reid's expected amendment stripping the Obamacare provision.
“Once we invoke cloture, the focus will then turn to the Senate Democrats the majority leader is counting on to amend it," McConnell said. "He can only afford to lose four Democrats if he wants to restore funding for Obamacare. So, if five Senate Democrats vote against the majority leader, Obamacare will be defunded. That’s a vote we should want to have."
However, Democrats -- including those up for reelection in Republican-leaning states next year -- have adamantly op
Benefits of more renewable power offset burdens, study finds
September 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm by Zain Shauk
A high level of wind and solar use would not increase costs or emissions from power plants that have to start and stop frequently to balance the grid, according to a study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The study was based on simulations of power generation along the west coast. It was prompted by concerns that intermittent wind and solar energy could cause higher maintenance costs and emissions for coal and natural gas plants that have to fluctuate their loads to make up for drops in renewable energy production.
But the study’s simulations showed that while the frequent cycling of fossil fuel plants would cause higher maintenance costs, they would be used far less because of high levels of solar and wind generation.
Solar: Texas claims cheapest solar installations, as prices drop nationwide
With one-third of the grid along the west coast running on wind or solar energy, fossil fuel costs would drop $7 billion annually in that region, the study said.
Maintenance costs at fossil fuel power plants would jump as much as $157 million annually, but those costs would be far less than the savings resulting from higher renewable energy usage, the report said.
At the same time, using solar and wind to make up 33 percent of the grid on the west coast would cut carbon dioxide emissions at least 29 percent, while reducing nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by at least 16 percent and 14 percent, the report said.
A prior phase of the study found that there would be no technical barriers to integrating as much as 35 percent solar and wind energy into the grid on the west coast.
New E15 Stations Give Dakota Drivers More Choice
September 24, 2013 by John Davis
Six new E15 stations will give North Dakota drivers more choices at the pump. The Renewable Fuels Association welcomed the move at the six Petro Serve USA locations in Bismarck, Mandan, West Fargo, and Fargo, as North Dakota becomes the ninth state to offer E15 to consumers with vehicles 2001 and newer.
“We are committed to offering our customers choice at the pump,” says Kent Satrang, CEO of Petro Serve USA. “Ethanol blends are the perfect partnership between North Dakota’s corn fields and oil fields. E15 provides a very cost-effective option for our consumers.”
E15 is EPA tested and approved for all vehicles 2001 and newer. It has been offered for over 14 months and has been driven over 40 million miles. E15 is shown to save drivers an average of 10-15 cents per gallon compared to gasoline without ethanol. With the addition of the six North Dakota Petro Serve USA locations, E15 is now available in more than 40 stations in nine states.
“North Dakota drivers now have additional, cost-saving options at the pump,” said Robert White, Renewable Fuels Association’s director of market development. “A recent Fuels America poll showed that 82% of Americans want E15 to be available at the gas station. It is tremendous to see stations in state after state begin to offer E15 and I hope this trend will continue in North Dakota as other stations see the success of the six Petro Serve USA stations. The spread of E15 is only beginning and I am proud that North Dakota is helping lead the way in E15 implementation.”
E15 is a natural fit for the state, as the North Dakota Ethanol Council points out ethanol plants in the state contribute approximately $640 million/year to the economy, and they directly create nearly 200 in-state jobs and indirectly support 10,000 more. Plus, ethanol is made from local grain and creates a high protein feedstock, dried distiller grains (DDGS) for local farms.
Green groups warn Obama against any ‘deal-making’ on Keystone pipeline
Lawmaker urges probe of possible energy market manipulation
Ben Goad - 09/24/13 10:38 AM ET
The chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee called Tuesday upon regulators to launch an investigation into possible manipulation of the market for ethanol credits.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) is asking the Commodities Future Trading Commission CFTC) to look into reports of suspicious activity involving Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which are assigned to ethanol-blended fuels that meet the Renewable Fuels Standard and traded in the financial sector.
The unregulated RINs market has experienced volatility and dramatic price spikes in recent months.
“I would like the CFTC to help determine whether factors other than supply and demand have been causing extraordinary volatility in the price of RINs and to what extent fraud and manipulation have been affecting the price of RINs,” Stabenow wrote in a letter to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.
She questioned whether increased regulation is needed in the renewable energy market.
“I am concerned that a lack of transparency in these markets has made them more susceptible to manipulation,” she wrote. “If this is the case, it is a problem that must be identified and fixed.”
Earlier this month, Scott Mixon, the CFTC’s acting chief economist told The New York Times that the issue was agency’s radar, and regulators were considering expanding scrutiny of the market for ethanol credits.
Four Ways The Solar Boom Has Rattled Utilities
9/23/2013 @ 4:12PM |2,237 views
The U.S. boom in solar installations has disrupted revenue, workflow, and forecasting at large utilities, according to utility consultants, partners and affiliates who gathered this morning in Chicago.
Solar power installations grew by 76 percent in 2012, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the U.S. is expected to add as much #$%$ gigawatts to its 10 GW of solar capacity this year.
“The solar market is growing year over year at a pretty incredible clip,” said Bradley Klein, an attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. ”At the same time the cost of solar—both panels and installations—is falling rapidly.”
Solar power is becoming much more cost effective because of technology improvements, growth in manufacturing capacity, greater experience in the industry, and more competition, Klein told about 60 people gathered at the Illinois Institute of Technology for the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy.
“This represents kind of a game changing scenario from the utilities’ perspective,” added Jeff Smith of West Monroe Partners, a consulting firm that serves utilities.
Utilites are grappling with the following major disruptions, according to the symposium panelists:
1. Lost revenue: “Large utilites are seeing erosion in their revenues due to a couple of things: distributed generation (in which) customers have decided to put in generation at their own locations; and also in deregulated markets, a lot of their revenues are flowing out the door to retail energy suppliers,” said Jeremy Jones, the chief technology officer for SoCore, a commercial solar installation company.
Utilities have responded largely in two ways, Jones said: by beginning to shift from variable electricity rates to fixed rates that will cover their cost for delivering electricity. And by buying up the solar companies that are eating into their revenu
Google’s $168 Million Solar Gamble Gets Green Light
We’ve been following the progress of the massive Ivanpah solar thermal power plant ever since Google put up a cool $168 million to help build it, so we’re happy to report that the plant has passed the critical “first sync” milestone. Built on public land in the Mohave desert and billed as the world’s largest solar thermal plant at 392 megawatts, Ivanpah alone will nearly double the existing commercial solar thermal energy capacity of the US when it starts delivering electricity later this year.
Big Milestone For Ivanpah
CleanTechnica first took note of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) back in 2011, when Google jumped in as an investor, joining a noteworthy list of partners including the utility giant NRG, the global engineering firm Bechtel, and plant developer BrightSource Energy.
With a lineup like that it’s not exactly a surprise that construction has moved along according to schedule, reaching a halfway point last summer.
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System passes first sync milestone.
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System collage courtesy of Ivanpah.
Earlier this year, Ivanpah passed its “first flux” milestone, in which its thousands of heliostats (a three-dollar word for adjustable mirrors) were focused onto the boiler, slowly raising its temperature to just under the point of generating steam.
That was followed by the critical “steam blows” phase, which basically shakes down the steam path:
The goal of the steam blows is to clear out any mill scale or debris inside the pipes so it does not damage the steam turbine and other balance of plant equipment once operational. Steam is then distributed to each of the predetermined blow paths, or routes of piping, and released. Targets located inside the pipes are checked to determine the cleanliness factor. The process is repeated until the targets validate that the particulates have been removed.
Now, with “first sync” under it
India To Set Up Ultra Mega Solar Power Plant — 4,000 MW Capacity
The Indian government, in partnership with state-owned companies, is planning to set up the largest solar power plant in the world. The planned power project will have an installed capacity of 4,000 MW and will be located in the western state of Rajasthan.
The solar power project will be set up by a joint venture of five government-owned companies – BHEL, Powergrid Corporation, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Hindustan Salts, and Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited. The first phase of the project will comprise of 1,000 MW and is expected to be commissioned in 2016. At 1,000 MW capacity the project will be about 10 times the largest solar power project currently under construction in India.
The capacity of 4,000 MW is very significant in the Indian context. Earlier this year a private utility, Tata Power, commissioned the first coal-fired Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) of installed capacity 4,000 MW. Another three such projects of capacity 3,960 MW each are at various stages of construction.
Interestingly, all these projects are facing critical problems of fuel availability and, as a result, financial viability. These four UMPPs have been awarded to two companies – Tata Power and Reliance Power. These companies have filed petitions with the concerned authorities to allow them to increase the tariff of the electricity sold as they are struggling to access low-cost coal.
While the tariff at which the coal-fired UMPPs are expected to sell the electricity is considerably lower than the lowest tariff being offered by solar photovoltaic (PV) power project developers, the conventional power plants have several disadvantages apart from being environmentally unsustainable.
These power plants are almost completely dependent on imported fuel. Since these power plants have been built with a goal to generate electricity at a lower carbon intensity than other coal-based power plants, they cannot use I
First U.S. Nuclear Power Closures in 15 Years Signal Wider Problems for Industry
As the economics of building plants and maintaining old ones erode, some experts see little hope for an industry being touted by some as a climate savior.
By Elizabeth Douglass, InsideClimate News
Sep 24, 2013
A string of plant closures, project cancellations and other setbacks has raised new doubts about the future of nuclear power in the United States, but there's disagreement about whether the retrenchment will be limited and temporary or the beginning of a broad and permanent decline.
Renewed safety concerns and reinvigorated local opposition have played a role in the industry's recent troubles. But the most potent foe—and the primary force behind the spate of closures and abandoned projects—is economic.
The industry's run of bad news includes:
► The early closure of four nuclear power plants. Two of the plants, the Vermont Yankee reactor and Wisconsin's Kewaunee reactor, were felled by stiff competition. One plant, San Onofre in California, was shuttered amid safety concerns and severely damaged steam generators. And the other, Florida's Crystal River, was done in by structural damage.
► An announcement that Électricité de France SA, the world's largest nuclear plant operator, would withdraw from its joint venture with Exelon Corp. The venture's three nuclear plants—Calvert Cliffs in Maryland and New York's R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point—will be run by Exelon. The French company had invested billions of dollars to expand into the United States.
► Duke Energy Corp.'s decision to shelve plans for two reactors in Levy County, Fla. (in addition to permanently closing Crystal River).
► A June 2012 court ruling that blocked the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission from issuing new reactor licenses or renewals until it sufficiently assesses the risks of storing spent radioactive fuel at nuclear plant sites.
► The cancellation this year of at least five projects that w
Obama meeting with Hill leaders now unlikely
Justin Sink - 09/24/13 08:46 AM ET
A planned meeting between President Obama and congressional leaders on the federal budget is not likely to happen in the next week, according to an aide to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, said Tuesday that he did not expect a meeting between the president and congressional leadership "in the next week." If lawmakers are unable to strike a deal on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded before October 1, the federal government will shut down for all nonessential services.
On Monday, the White House described a meeting with Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as "likely."
“I think it’s likely that the president will meet with leaders,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I don't have a time for that or a day for that. But here’s the bottom line: Congress needs to act responsibly in order to ensure that the government does not shut down.”
The window for a potential meeting is already tight. The president is in New York City through Tuesday for events surrounding the U.N. General Assembly. On Thursday, he'll travel to Maryland for an event touting his signature healthcare law. On Friday, Obama is hosting the prime minister of India at the White House.
So is the window for passing a budget deal. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has vowed to do everything he can to prevent Senate Democrats from stripping out a provision of a House-passed continuing resolution that would defund the president's signature health care law.
His procedural hurdles could leave leaders in the House less than 48 hours to respond to a so-called "clean" continuing resolution coming from the Senate.
On Friday, the president called Boehner, though it appeared that little headway was made toward a budget dea
Loans challenge big money's leasing model for U.S. rooftop solar
By Nichola Groom
Sept 24 | Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:59am EDT
(Reuters) - Falling prices and growing acceptance of home solar power is sparking a challenge to major financiers who have anchored the U.S. industry using leases, as smaller banks and other lenders rush to offer homeowners loans to buy systems.
Loans offer homeowners a path to solar system ownership and the opportunity to capture for themselves federal tax credits worth 30 percent of the value.
Well over 60 percent of residential systems in top solar states like California and Arizona today are owned by investors or companies which lease systems to homeowners for a monthly fee.
Investors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc, U.S. Bancorp , Google Inc, lured in large part by the tax credits, have helped propel the rapid growth of leasing companies like SolarCity Corp, Sunrun Inc, Sungevity Inc and Clean Power Finance Inc.
But prices of systems have fallen to $20,000-$30,000 for a typical home, equivalent to the price of a car. This has made ownership more feasible and reduced the number of years it can take for a system to pay for itself through lower power bills.
"It became glaringly obvious that someone needed to provide a path to ownership for these systems. It's not a $40,000 or $50,000 expense anymore," said Jim Petersen, founder of Fremont, California-based PetersenDean, one of the biggest U.S. installers. "And why would you give up your tax credit? Anybody that has a job has a tax appetite."
The leasing pioneers are mixed when it comes to their response to the loan trend.
SolarCity, for example, does not offer a loan, but customers can secure their own loans to finance the purchase of a SolarCity system.
Sunrun said it is focused on solar leases and a similar product called power purchase agreements. It does not offer a loan product.
Sungevity has partnered with Boston-based Admirals Bank on a loan, and Clean Power Fina
Airlines Face Carbon Verdict on $708 Billion Industry
By Ewa Krukowska - Sep 24, 2013 3:54 AM MT
Nations from the U.S. to Russia and the European Union are set for the final showdown over the first-ever global commitment to designing an emissions-reduction market tool for the $708 billion airline industry.
Negotiators from more than 190 countries in the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization will decide at a Montreal meeting starting today whether to back a pledge on a market-based measure for the sector, which is responsible for about 2 percent of greenhouse gases globally. Details of the program, a precedent for a single industry worldwide would be decided in 2016 and the market would start by 2020.
In exchange, the EU would narrow down the scope of the world’s biggest emissions-trading system, limiting carbon curbs on carriers to its own airspace and cutting compliance costs for airlines including Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) and OAO Aeroflot. That would help avoid tensions with non-EU nations and a trade war with China, where Airbus SAS said orders for its jetliners remain in limbo as part of a government campaign against the EU’s unilateral emissions measure.
“If approved, it’ll be the first signal for airlines and investors that industry accepts the need for market solutions,” said Bill Hemmings, manager at the Transport and Environment lobby in Brussels. “Whether a global deal can be effective in reducing emissions depends entirely on the details yet to be worked out. The deal on the table is far from ideal; the question is to make sure it doesn’t get worse.”
Support for the draft ICAO agreement “should not be taken for granted” as some countries are seeking to weaken the deal, according to a note sent by the EU’s regulatory arm to governments. A potential debate about linking the continuation of the EU carbon program in its own airspace with exemptions for some developing nations, a solution sought by the African st