Daily Digest

Daily Digest - May 29

Saturday, May 29, 2010, 8:43 AM
  • Effort to Plug Well Faces Another Setback
  • Owners Bet on Raising the Rent, and Lost
  • Fuel Cell In New Haven Is World's Largest In Residential Building
  • President Obama says Gulf Disaster "Should Serve as a Wake-up Call that it’s Time to Move Forward" on Energy and Climate Bill
  • Internet helps Americans save more energy every year


Effort to Plug Well Faces Another Setback

HOUSTON — BP engineers failed again to plug the gushing oil well on Saturday, a technician working on the project said, representing yet another setback in a series of unsuccessful procedures the company has tried a mile under the sea to stem the flow spreading into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP made a third attempt Friday night at what is termed the “junk shot,” a procedure that involves pumping odds and ends like plastic cubes, knotted rope, and golf balls into the blowout preventer, the five-story safety device atop the well. The maneuver is complementary to the heavily scrutinized effort known as a “top kill,”which began four days ago and involves pumping heavy mud into the well to counteract the push of the escaping oil. If the well is sealed, the company plans to then fill it with cement.

The technician working on the project said Saturday pumping had again been halted and a review of the data so farwas under way. “Right now, I would not be optimistic,” the technician, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the effort. But he added, that if another attempt at the junk shot were to succeed, “that would turn things around.”

Owners Bet on Raising the Rent, and Lost

Now a third complex built by Metropolitan Life in the 1940s for veterans and middle-class families has run into financial distress after being purchased by speculators during the recent real estate boom. The owners of the sprawling Parkmerced apartment complex in San Francisco announced this week that they would default on their $550 million mortgage, which comes due in October.

“The landscape has changed dramatically,” P. J. Johnston, a spokesman for the owners, said in an interview. “The economy has taken a major hit. Many properties are facing default.”


Fuel Cell In New Haven Is World's Largest In Residential Building (joemanc)

The most ambitious apartment building in this city's history won't need much from the local electric utility, United Illuminating: 360 State Street will generate most of its own power.

The 32-story tower — still under construction but expected to open Aug. 1 — on Friday installed a 400-kilowatt stationary fuel cell that at times will supply 100 percent of the mixed-use project's electric power.

Developer Bruce Becker called it the "world's largest fuel cell in any residential building," reflecting the novelty of a fuel cell in an apartment building as much as the scale of 360 State. Fuel cells are expensive — this one cost $2.4 million – and do not yet have a mass market.

President Obama says Gulf Disaster "Should Serve as a Wake-up Call that it’s Time to Move Forward" on Energy and Climate Bill (dps)

…we should be pretty modest in understanding that the easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground.

And as we are moving forward, the technology gets more complicated, the oil sources are more remote, and that means that there’s probably going to end up being more risk. And we as a society are going to have to make some very serious determinations in terms of what risks are we willing to accept...

… yes, we’re going to still need oil production, but you know what, we can see what’s out there on the horizon, and it’s a problem if we don't start changing how we operate."

Internet helps Americans save more energy every year

That conclusion – from a groundbreaking study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) last week – stands in sharp contrast to recent concerns that the computer backbone of the Internet was gobbling up huge amounts of energy.

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1 Comment

rjs's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Re: Daily Digest - May 29

The "financialization" of commodities - (WSJ) A couple of weeks ago in Mobile, Ala., this correspondent watched a shipyard auction where spools of copper cable were fetching prices that had some participants shaking their heads. In a bidding frenzy, one buyer won every single spool, spending about $1,000,000 in total. Then he bundled them onto a ship headed for China where they’ll be stripped, ground up and melted into new metal. Right as that was happening, financial market prices for copper — along with a host of other commodities — were slumping as traders fretted that Europe’s financial crisis could swamp global demand.So, who was right, the buyer in Mobile or the financial markets? The Baltic Dry Index suggests the former.The index, which measures global shipping costs for bulk commodities, has risen 22% in May, putting it at its highest levels in six months. Since it’s very sensitive to demand for moving goods around the world, it tends to be a good measure of whether the global economy is heating up or cooling down.

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