Syria 'Welcomes' Russian Proposal
By Dow Jones Business News, September 09, 2013, 07:15:00 AM EDT
Russia backed a demand by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Syria put its chemical weapons under international control and then destroy them-- a proposal that, according to Russian media reports, Syria said it welcomed, without saying whether it would comply.
Mr. Kerry said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government could prevent U.S. military action in response to what the U.S. said was a chemical-weapons attack on Aug. 21 by handing over its chemical weapons to the international community. Syria has denied using chemical weapons and blamed Syrian rebels for the attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed that narrative on Friday, saying the attack was a provocation by the opposition to win international military aid.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, one of the strongest supporters of the Assad regime, urged Syria to comply with Mr. Kerry's call.
"We are calling on the Syrian leadership not just to agree to put chemical-weapons stores under international control, but also to their subsequent destruction, as well as fully fledged accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention," Mr. Lavrov said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem didn't provide any specifics, other than to say that Syria welcomed the Russian proposal.
"The Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the concerns of the Russian leadership for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country," Mr. Moallem told reporters in Moscow, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.
He said Syria's position on the proposal was motivated "out of our faith in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is striving to prevent American aggression against our people."
Mr. Moallem didn't provide any further details of how soon Syria might agree to the Russian proposal or whether Damascus supported both turning over its chemica
US Navy Triples Funding For Clean Energy In Hawaii
The US Navy has just pumped $30 million into the Energy Excelerator, a funding agency for renewable energy start-ups in Hawaii. That triples the agency’s operating funding over the past three years, and it gives the ol’ Bronx cheer to certain legislators in Congress who have tried to cut funding for the Navy’s ambitious alternative fuel initiatives. Even at the relatively modest initial funding level, the program has already raised follow-on investments from the private sector totaling more than $38 million.
The Energy Excelerator, which also receives funding from the Department of Energy and other partners, has 17 success stories under its belt, and with this new round of funding the ripple effect could be huge. In addition to potential application elsewhere in the US, companies that get under way with help from the Energy Excelerator have the whole Asia Pacific island nation market at their feet.
Hawaii, The US Navy And Clean Energy
Hawaii has a twofold, urgent motive for weaning itself from fossil fuel dependency: extremely high prices (quadruple the national average) and long supply lines. Both are intertwined with the state’s importance to the US Navy, most famously in the form of Pearl Harbor, which also explains why the Department of Defense has been adopting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Hawaii hand over fist.
US Navy invests $30 more in Hawaii clean energy startups.
USS Carl Vinson (cropped) courtesy of US Navy.
Aside from major solar installations, which have become ubiquitous at DoD facilities throughout the US, the DoD’s energy and conservation projects in Hawaii include a first-of-its-kind military collaboration between the Army and GM on a fuel cell vehicle fleet (which is part of a larger fuel cell infrastructure project), a full scale rainwater harvesting system at an Army barracks, an experimental renewable energy microgrid system, and a grid-connected wave
Report: Bloomberg, Steyer to launch big climate push
Ben Geman - 09/09/13 07:45 AM ET
Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will launch a “major bipartisan initiative on climate change” in October with billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer and George W. Bush-era Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, according to a published report.
The plan is mentioned in a new profile of Steyer and his work against the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in The New Yorker.
Bloomberg has made climate a priority with efforts including a major grant to the Sierra Club’s anti-coal plant work and plans to strengthen New York City’s defenses against powerful storms.
The scope and focus of the new initiative isn’t immediately clear. Aides to Steyer and Bloomberg could not be reached early Monday.
Another tidbit from The New Yorker story: It notes that two advisers of the new bipartisan climate effort – Clinton-era Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz – don’t see eye to eye with Steyer on Keystone.
From the story:
Some of Steyer’s allies on the climate issue also remain unconvinced that Keystone is the right battle. Rubin, who will be an adviser to the climate initiative being launched by Steyer, Paulson, and Bloomberg, says he doesn’t oppose the pipeline, and Shultz, another adviser to the new effort, favors approving Keystone. “This is oil that’s going to be produced whether or not there’s a Keystone pipeline,” Shultz said. “Get over it!”
Check out the whole story here.
U.S. gasoline rises to $3.58 a gallon in Lundberg Survey
September 9, 2013 at 6:47 am by Bloomberg
The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 2.61 cents in the past two weeks to $3.5847 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended Sept. 6 and is based on information obtained from about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.
The average, which reached a year-to-date peak of $3.795 in the period ended Feb. 22, is about 25 cents below the year-earlier price of $3.8376 a gallon.
“The issue of U.S. monetary policy combined with Syria jitters added strength to prices,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview. “Gasoline prices will not necessarily continue rising from here. It will depend mostly on what crude-oil prices do.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Chicago, where the average price was $3.92 a gallon, Lundberg said.
The lowest price was in Tucson, Arizona, where customers paid an average of $3.27 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.83 a gallon on Long Island, New York, and $3.85 in Los Angeles.
Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 15.35 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $2.8537 a gallon in the two weeks to Sept. 6.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles slid 1.83 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 30 to 216 million, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.
The front-month West Texas Intermediate crude contract settled at $110.53 a barrel on the Nymex on Sept. 6, the highest price since May 2011. The contract rose $4.11, or 3.9 percent, in two weeks.
Crude inventories slipped 1.84 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 30 to 360.2 million. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI, fell 1.83 million barrels to 34.8 million, the lowest level since February 2012.
WTI will prob