The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

Break-Even Points for U.S. Shale Oil

Oil Is Cheap. But Not So Cheap That Americans Won’t Profit From

Oil profits are being tested. Crude prices have face-planted to their cheapest level since 2010, threatening the balance sheets of companies and the budgets of nations.

Take Canada’s controversial oil sands. With crude prices teasing $80 a barrel for the first time in years, about 25 percent of the synthetic crude produced from the sands is no longer profitable, according to the International Energy Agency.

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Louisiana Wetlands

If acting on climate change hurts the economy, as the American Coal Council's talking points suggest, it’s a lesson lost on some of the world’s most successful companies.

Stocks of companies that take climate change seriously beat the wider market by almost 10 percent over the last five years, according to a report released this week by a U.K. nonprofit. The group, CDP, encourages companies to disclose their climate change work publicly, on behalf of hundreds of institutional investors.

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Americans Can Save More Money by Not Burning It: Study

Greenhouse Gas

Climate change policy is often assumed to be a lose-lose proposition. Nations can pay now for expensive carbon-reduction policies, or they can pay later -- potentially a lot more -- through destructive climate-related events like storms, droughts and flooding.

In the U.S., however, that take may not be correct, according to a new study by the environmental group World Resources Institute. It says that improving buildings' energy efficiency, boosting the fuel-economy of automobiles and cutting leaks from the production and transport of natural gas can save money now and cut climate change later.

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Tesla D

Telsa CEO Elon Musk has unleashed the “D” -- a dual-motor version of the Model S sedan that can go zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. That’s not just fast for an electric car. It’s fast for any car. It solidifies its place among the top tier of high-performance sports cars.

But it’s not the coolest thing.

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Three Things to Know About Obama's Newest Climate Plan

Coal Emissions

It's complicated.

Even by the standards of impenetrable 645-page environmental regulatory proposals, President Barack Obama's plan to to cut carbon emissions from power plants is a handful. Released in June, the proposal uses an intricate formula to set the emissions reductions each state must achieve by 2030.

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Bloomberg BNA -- Non-hydropower renewable power generation is expected to surpass hydropower on an annual basis in 2014 for the first time, the Energy Information Administration said.

Conventional hydropower generation is projected to fall by 4.2 percent, while non-hydropower renewables rise by 5.6 percent for this year, EIA said in its short-term energy outlook released Oct. 7.

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Raining Drones: Today's Top Reads

Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:

  • Keystone be darned: Canada finds oil route around Obama (Bloomberg)
  • SolarCity joins rivals in lending to clients (NY Times)
  • US East Coast cities face frequent flooding due to climate change (Guardian)
  • Crazy as it sounds, solar could be the world's most important energy source by 2050 (Fast Company)
  • Study: Renewables as green as you'd expect (Climate Central)
  • Shale boom tested as sub-$90 oil threatens U.S. drillers (Bloomberg)
  • Can California make it rain with drones? (National Journal)
  • Americans can now expect to live longer than ever (Time)
  • Mystery of ocean heat deepens as climate changes (Scientific American)
  • High in Yellowstone, a foundational tree falters (Daily Climate)

Visit for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business

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The Keystone Killer the Enviros Didn't See Coming


When it comes to oil, U.S. is king. Discoveries in North Dakota and Texas have pushed American oil production past Saudi Arabia and Russia this year. The new supplies have boosted the economy and dialed down the price of oil everywhere -- gasoline at $3 a gallon anyone?

The price of oil has fallen so low it’s threatening the feasibility of controversial and expensive drilling projects proposed in the Canadian Oil Sands and the Arctic. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for crude, is going for less than $90 a barrel. That’s approaching the break-even point for profitability at many of the very wells driving the American oil boom.

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Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • By seeking payment reversals, BP may reignite damages fight (Bloomberg)
  • Antibiotics in livestock: FDA finds use is rising (NY Times)
  • NASA explains how climate change is like the flu (National Journal)
  • Think twice about wild animal tourism, visitors told (Guardian)
  • Japan's tragic wake-up call (Bloomberg)
  • Oceans getting hotter than anybody realized (Climate Central)
  • Gaming carbon must end to solve global warming (Scientific American)
  • Institutional investors to reveal portfolio carbon footprints (GreenBiz)
  • North America's first electric garbage truck is silently driving Chicago streets (Fast Company)
  • Drought is making California shrink in mass (CityLab)

Visit for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business

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Bad American Ideas Are Worse in India

Shopping Mall in New Delhi

Great minds in business and government assembled in Washington this week to explore every way -- financial, technological, legal, political -- to meet U.S. and Indian energy challenges.

And to complain about shopping malls.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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