In the Pipeline: 3/9/11

Memo to Geithner: The U.S. is one of those major developed economies with substantial oil reserves. Oh, and don’t forget to pay your taxes this year. Bloomberg (3/8/11) reports: Major oil producers and consumers are well-placed to respond to any shortfall in supplies resulting from the crisis in Libya, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stressed Tuesday…Oil prices have spiked higher recently as a result of the Libyan uprising and fears of unrest elsewhere in the region. They retreated somewhat on Tuesday as OPEC ministers discussed whether to ramp up production but remain near 30-month highs…”It’s important to recognize that the major producers of oil and the major developed economies do have substantial reserves, resources available that they could mobilize if necessary to respond to any supply disruption,” Geithner said after talks with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble…He added that “even in the face of these uncertainties,” there are “encouraging signs of gradually strengthening recovery” across major global economies.

The writing is on the smoke stacks — China is buying and developing affordable and reliable energy and exporting the stuff that doesn’t work very well to the West. Wall Street Journal (3/9/11) reports: Two clean-energy businesses—Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Co. and the solar-glass unit of Xinyi Glass Holding Ltd. —plan to raise a total of roughly US$1.1 billion from Hong Kong initial public offerings this year, highlighting the rapid growth of demand for renewable energy in China…Chinese property developer Top Spring International Holdings Ltd. also plans to raise as much as US$260 million in initial public offering ahead of its listing in Hong Kong on March 23, according to a term sheet seen by Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday…The first Chinese clean-energy company aiming to list in Hong Kong since China Datang Corp. Renewable Power Co’s US$682 million IPO in December, state-owned Beijing Jingneng plans to raise about US$500 million in an IPO in the second quarter, people familiar with the situation said Wednesday….As at the end of December, Beijing Jingneng, a clean-energy unit of the Beijing municipal government, had a total installed capacity of 1.19 gigawatt of gas-fired power. It accounted for 70% of Beijing’s total gas-fired power capacity, according to the website of its parent, Beijing Energy Investment Holdings Co.

Big Sun, meet King Corn. Having mastered the art of funneling massive federal subsidies for ethanol, Iowa wants in on the solar racket, too. Des Moines Register (3/9/11) reports: A solar-powered tent was pitched on the state Capitol grounds on a cloudy Tuesday as part of an effort to get lawmakers thinking about creating a solar energy policy for Iowa…An added enticement was a new report showing that solar energy could create nearly 5,000 jobs if Iowa adds 300 megawatts of solar power during the next five years…That may sound like a lot of energy, but it’s only 8 percent of the 3,675 megawatts that wind power already produces in Iowa…Iowa needs a solar energy goal, said David Osterberg of the Iowa Policy Project. The Iowa City think tank was a co-sponsor of solar activities at the Capitol. The event included an appearance by former University of Iowa and NFL star Tim Dwight, who is now a co-owner of a California solar development company.

Meet Ed Markey. A man who never met an energy project he didn’t hold up. This time he is confused that a proposed nuclear plan will actually produce power. New York Times (3/9/11) reports: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is moving toward approval of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor and its strikingly different containment design, which has far fewer pumps and valves plus a safety system that relies mostly on foolproof forces, like water flowing downhill or heat rising. But complaints over the design persist…In a notice on Feb. 24 in the Federal Register, the commission invited public comment on its intention to approve the design; the comment period runs until May 10…The notice quickly drew comment from Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. In a letter sent on Tuesday to the chairman of the regulatory commission, Gregory Jaczko, Mr. Markey asked that the commission hold off until it has resolved a dispute with one of its staff members, John S. Ma, a senior structural engineer, over whether a shield building in the new design could withstand an earthquake or the impact of an airplane crash…“Taxpayer dollars should not be spent on reactors that could be at risk of suffering a catastrophic core meltdown in the event of an aircraft strike or a major earthquake,’’ Mr. Markey wrote.

Coincidence? Tesla has a showroom in downtown DC. Washington takes your tax dollars and hands rich greenies a tax break on Tesla’s $58,000 sedan. CNN (3/8/11) reports:  Tesla Motors, best known for the plug-in electric Tesla Roadster, plans to begin delivering its new Model S sedan around the middle of next year, the automaker announced Monday…Prices for the plug-in electric Model S sedan will start at $57,400 but the vehicle will be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit. The base model will have a driving range of 160 miles, Tesla said, but buyers will be able to pay more for versions with larger battery packs and longer driving ranges… In fact, the first 1,000 cars off Tesla production line — housed in a California factory that had produced cars for General Motors and Toyota — will be the Model S Signature Series, a version capable of driving 300 miles on a charge…These cars are expected to cost about $20,000 more than the base model, Tesla said on its website. For $10,000 over the base price, customers will be offered a car with a 230 mile driving range…Tesla expects to produce only 5,000 of the cars in 2012 but hopes to expand production capacity to 20,000 cars by 2013.


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