Hu Jintao

China Looks To Stephen Harper For Lessons In Dirty Energy Exploitation

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in China this week to meet with Chinese leaders about how both countries can profit big by exploiting China’s shale gas reserves, as well as by importing Canadian tar sands oil. Harper is scheduled to meet with both Chinese officials, as well as heads of oil and gas companies during his four-day visit to the country.

More on the specifics of who will be attending these meetings, from Reuters Canada:

During his trip Harper will meet President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao as well as two important regional players - Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai and Wang Yang, the chief of Guangdong province.

The Canadian mission, which will arrive in Beijing on Tuesday, is the largest of its kind since 1998. Guests include top executives from Shell Canada, Enbridge and Canadian Oil Sands as well as uranium producer Cameco Corp and mining firm Teck Resources Ltd.

Other firms include plane and train maker Bombardier Inc, Air Canada, Eldorado Gold Corp, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, Canfor Corp and West Fraser Timber Co Ltd.

After the United States’ rejection last month of the Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian officials are hoping to reap a profit in the world’s largest emerging market. But any energy trade deals would certainly benefit both sides, as just last week PetroChina, parent of China’s largest oil producer, purchased a 20% stake in a Canadian shale gas project being run by Royal Dutch Shell.

Chinese oil companies are hoping that their cooperation with Shell and the Canadian government will help them use these valuable resources to teach officials more about the process of extracting shale gas, mostly through fracking.

Just last year, with some financing through other Chinese oil companies, Shell invested more than $400 million in Chinese shale gas projects, which included the drilling of at least 15 different shale extraction wells.

UN Climate Summit: Flickers of Hope, but the Building is Still Burning

Heard on the street: “I hate it when the president comes to town”

New York is in disarray. Almost every mid-town street corner east of Broadway is choked with flatfoots, guns and radios tugging at their belts. As you get closer to First Avenue - closer to the United Nations Building - the barricades start appearing on the sidewalks and the traffic ebbs and flows depending on whether a presidental cavalcade is currently in motion.

In the last block, traffic disappears altogether. The constant thrum of this boundless city gives over to the quiet clatter of helicopters high overhead. Small clusters of UN delegates, bureaucrats, activists and journalists wait for permission to move to the next choke point - wait for the passing of the next parade.

As it turns out, there is not just one president in town. There are probably 60 - among almost 100 heads of state here today for the UN Climate Summit. You can judge the perceived importance of these various world leaders by how many police cars and high-security SUVs are in each individuals convoy - and by the tension on the faces of the soldiers riding in those SUV’s, their M16s at the ready.

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