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We Want to Hear From You: Is U.S. Offshore Oil Drilling Going to Disappear?

News of the Gulf Coast oil spill was only hours old when Money Morning readers first weighed in on the tragedy. The comments and the e-mails haven't stopped since. The chief concern: U.S. taxpayers will yet again be stuck with the tab for a problem caused by corporate malfeasance and lax governmental oversight. Stricter government […]

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Full Cost of Gulf Oil Spill Just Beginning to Surface

As oil soiled the shores of Louisiana over the weekend, the costs of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are just beginning to surface.

The effects of the spill, which may prove to be bigger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, are proving to be widespread--and costly.

The oil threatens one of the world's richest fisheries, and could decimate entire species of wildlife and their habitat, while convincing the millions of tourists they attract to take their vacation dollars elsewhere.

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By Failing to Lock Up Canadian Oil Supplies, U.S. Exposes National Energy Plan Flaws

Under new U.S. President Barack Obama, it was all supposed to be different. The new administration had vowed to deliver a national energy plan that would guarantee this country's future energy security. The rich and geographically nearby Canadian oil sands should have been part of that plan.

At the end of the day, the United States dropped the ball on the oil sands, meaning Americans are stuck with yet another pieced-together national energy plan that has more sizzle than steak.

Unfortunately, the cost of this misstep will be higher than ever.



For a detailed look at America's latest energy miscues, please read on...

The Winners and Losers in the 'Commodities New World Order'

In the "commodities new world order," commodity producers will be king.

Investors who need proof need only consider recent events. Iron ore prices are at record levels, and the annual-price-setting arrangement has broken down. Venezuela President Hugo Chávez has signed "dark side" agreements with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for Russian companies to develop Venezuela's oil-and-mineral resources. China may have invested $1 trillion or so in U.S. Treasuries, but the Asian giant's only truly successful investment so far has been the 17% stake it took in Canadian-resources player Teck Resources Ltd. (NYSE: TCK).

Welcome to the commodities new world order. These events serve notice that - as we put the global financial crisis behind us - the commodity "haves" will set the agenda ... while the commodity "have nots" will fall farther and farther behind.

To discover the identities of the new-world-order winners – and losers – please read on...

SPECIAL REPORT: An Unusual Short-Term Profit Opportunity In Oil

You don't always need to pump, transport, or sell oil to make a profit. Sometimes you just need to hold it. What follows should be good news to the commodities side of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS-A). Unfortunately, this has not been a good two weeks for the company. First a fraud charge. Then the […]

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FREE REPORT: The "Mini Energy" Revolution

How to Profit from the Rapidly Emerging Market for Nuclear Batteries Mini nuclear reactors have been in service for decades in the military, especially on naval vessels. And now their commercial application is officially here. Several smart companies are introducing these "nuclear batteries" to the energy market. They're designed to deliver power to smaller communities […]

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China Deepens Ties with Iran and Venezuela In Spite of U.S. Consternation

Just as the United States makes an impassioned push for tougher economic sanctions on Iran, China is reportedly increasing its gas exports to the volatile Middle East nation.

Chinaoil- the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp's (CNPC) trading unit- shipped two cargoes totaling 600,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran in exchange for $55 million, according to Reuters. The cargoes were Chinaoil's first direct sales to Iran since at least January 2009, according to Reuters data.

Additionally, Unipec- the trading arm of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) (NYSE ADR: SNP)- agreed to sell 250,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran.

The sales couldn't come at a worse time for the United States. Washington has spent months lobbying the international community to tighten sanctions on Iran, which is openly expanding its uranium enrichment capacity.

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How to Profit from the New Iranian Sanction

Growing up in Massachusetts, my mother used to say, "Live long enough, and you'll see just about anything happen in politics."

And she was right.

A wrestler, a standup comic, several movie actors, and former sports figures have been elected to office; tea parties are back as a way of challenging leadership; even a disgraced former governor makes it onto "Celebrity Apprentice."

But she never saw this one coming - a U.S. sanctions move against Iran that may actually work... and make you some money in the process.

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Oil Prices On a Tear and Headed Higher

Oil prices are at their highest level in more than a year and a half and are likely to head even higher as the global economy bounces back from recession.

Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.75 to settle at $86.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Monday. That followed gains of $1.11 a barrel on Thursday and $1.39 a barrel last Wednesday.

In all, prices are up over 5% since last week and over 70% since April 2009. And right now oil is trading at its highest level since Oct. 8, 2008, when crude settled at $88.95.

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SandRidge Energy Buys Oil Developer to Reduce Its Reliance on Suffering Natural Gas

SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SD) on Sunday announced it would pay $1.6 billion for Arena Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ARD) to develop a more oil-focused business, as natural gas prices remain low.

SandRidge will pay $2.50 in cash and 4.78 SandRidge shares for each Arena share - a 17% premium to Arena's $34.26 Thursday closing price. The combined company will be valued at around $6.2 billion.

This purchase makes SandRidge one of the largest producers of conventional oil and gas in West Texas. It's the second acquisition for the company since November, when it paid $800 million for Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) properties.

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China, Europe Lapping the United States in the Clean Energy Race

If the United States doesn't take drastic measures to engineer new clean energy policies and investment initiatives, it will continue to take a back seat to China and Europe, which are driving the clean energy market toward a profitable future.

Both clean energy companies and a skilled workforce are heading overseas, where government policies are creating a more welcoming and promising market for clean energy products.

Take Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar, Inc (Nasdaq: ESLR). In 2008, it used $58 million in government aid to open a new Massachusetts factory to build silicon wafers and cells and assemble solar panels. But in November 2009, it announced the assembly of solar panels would be moved to Wuhan, China, where solar panel manufacturing will cost far less than in the United States.

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What's Really Driving Obama's Sudden Interest in Oil

U.S. President Barack Obama generated a lot of hubbub with his decision to open up parts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling.
We've all heard the criticisms that some of the geological surveys are as much as 30 years old, and the arguments that the ecological impact of drilling off the U.S. East Coast isn't worth the accessible oil, which some critics estimate could play out in as little as six months at current demand levels.

But even after more than a day of debate over the motivations for - and possible results from - President Obama's apparent energy policy about-face, one thing is very clear: This announcement has nothing to do with oil.

It's all about the U.S. dollar.

To find out why President Barack Obama really lifted the moratorium on oil drilling, please read on...

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United States Lifts Oil Drilling Ban to Reduce Foreign Energy Dependence

President Barack Obama announced will lift a 20-year ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling and exploration, hoping to create jobs, generate revenue and reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil.

Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released a detailed plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic coast, eastern Gulf of Mexico and north coast of Alaska, provided coastlines are protected. Environmental concerns about the possibility of oil spills initially caused the drilling ban. Drilling would still be prohibited from New Jersey northward, on the Pacific Coast and in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

The plan aims to bolster the United States' ability to supply its own energy, but also acknowledges the need to move toward clean energy policies and protect natural resources.

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Indonesia Catching China's Eye

It's an open secret that Indonesia's economy is on the rise. In the spirit of March Madness, it's something of a sleeper.  That's why China, which is always looking for promising new investments, is looking to make inroads there.

Indeed, China's appetite for commodities makes Indonesia - with its close proximity and abundance of natural resources - an ideal partner.

PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE ADR: PTR), Sinopec, Sinosteel, Minmetals and China Investment Corp (CIC) - Beijing's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund - are all aggressively scouring South East Asia's largest economy for takeover targets and joint venture partners, the Live Trading News reported.

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How the Little Guy Will Fix Oil Futures and Get In on the Profits

Sometimes big things come from small meetings.

As an example, consider one particularly contentious 1927 session at the Royal Institute of International Affairs that took place at Chatham House in the center of London's Westminster. It originated an idea now used worldwide - the famous Chatham House Rule. Under its most recent revision (2002), the Rule allows the participants of a meeting to use the information received there, but prohibits them from revealing the identity or affiliation of anyone else present.

The Chatham Rule also governed the meetings I attended at Windsor Castle outside London from a recent Friday through to the early-morning hours of the following Monday. These meetings were the annual consultations of the Queen's Windsor Energy Group, which were meant to be private, high-level, discretionary advisories. This is one of the few "old boys" clubs left in the world where talk can translate directly into action.

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