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Duke Energy boosts capital spending to fight climate change By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo and ticker for Duke Energy Corp. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Ross Kerber

BOSTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. utility Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:) plans billions of dollars of new spending this decade as it ramps up efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, executives told Reuters.

The move comes amid growing pressure from Democratic politicians and activist investors for power producers to reduce their hefty contribution to climate change.

“If you’re going to pursue the more aggressive carbon-reduction targets, you’re going to retire coal earlier, you’re going to be replacing it earlier with renewables, batteries, storage etcetera,” said Duke Chief Financial Officer Steve Young in an interview.

“That pushes up the capital profile.”

According to Young and an investor presentation made on Friday, Duke will boost projected capital spending by $2 billion to $58 billion for the period from 2020 to 2024, and projects a capital plan “in the range of $65 billion to $75 billion” for the following five years.

Neither the near-term spending increase, nor the longer-term projection have been previously reported.

Duke said the increased spending will cover efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by retiring old coal plants and replacing them with more solar and wind facilities, with the exact targets tied to forthcoming regulatory decisions.

Other power utilities have embraced similar strategies as the cost of renewable generation falls. But the outlook from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke, the largest regulated U.S. utility, also stands out because it has given public officials and other stakeholders a large say on how quickly to move away from fossil fuels.

Duke has outlined various fuel-mix scenarios in recent “integrated resource plans” filed to regulators in North and South Carolina, but did not make a recommendation on which to pursue.

The omission was unusual for a large utility since a faster move will require more spending, but Young said the approach should help build public support. Duke will make a similar filing in Indiana, he said.

Shares in Duke were up less than 1% at $93.61 at midday.

Chief Executive Lynn Good told investors on a webcast that Duke will add a climate goal to its executive compensation plan in 2021 “just to ensure that we are making the progress that we need to make” in areas like advocacy and public policy.

Asked about reports that Duke had rebuffed acquisition interest from NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:), the world’s largest generator of renewable energy, Young said “we can’t comment on rumors.”

In August Duke took a $1.6 billion charge for the cancellation of a pipeline.

Young said the move did not affect Duke’s broader strategy but will probably lead to changes in the locations of new plants.

Duke has set a target of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Faster technical advances would be required to meet the 2035 timeframe proposed by U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, Young said.

For the period through 2024, Duke’s efforts should allow earnings per share to grow “at the upper end” of its current forecast of 4% to 6%, the company said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Biden presidency could cut slow path to resumed Iran, Venezuela oil exports By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attends a Voter Mobilization Event in Cincinnati

2/3

By Timothy Gardner, Marianna Parraga and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY/LONDON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s promised return to diplomacy with OPEC-members Iran and Venezuela could cut a path for a return of their oil exports should he win, but not before many months at least of verifications, talks and deal-making.

The timing of a potential resumption of shipments is crucial to world oil markets: U.S. President Donald Trump’s unilateral sanctions on the two countries since taking office in 2017 have blocked up to 3 million barrels per day (bpd), or 3% of world supply. Iran has taken the biggest hit, with exports shrinking by around 2 million bpd to around 500,000 bpd.

The sanctions fit squarely with Trump’s policy of energy dominance to boost oil exports from the United States, which in 2018 became the world’s largest producer of crude.

A broad change in Iran policy would likely come first, but the soonest that full, sustainable oil exports could return from that country is about a year from now, said Richard Nephew, the lead sanctions expert on the U.S. team that helped land a deal with five other world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program in 2015.

Trump withdrew the United States from that deal in 2018 over the objections of European and Asian counterparts. He argued the deal did not address Iran’s ballistic missiles program and militancy across the Middle East.

Biden, who was vice president under President Barack Obama when the 2015 deal was struck, has said he wants to offer Tehran a path back to diplomacy. If Iran commits to not acquiring a nuclear weapon, he would rejoin the deal and strengthen it.

Nephew, now a research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, said the requirement that Iran return to compliance with the 2015 deal would probably create implementation delays regardless of political agreements.

For example, Iran would need to downgrade its supplies of enriched uranium, which have built up during the Trump administration. Down-blending takes time, and verification by U.N. inspectors could take months.

As for negotiating a follow-on deal, that would take longer. A Biden administration would first be busy with the basic work of finalizing leadership teams and prioritizing policies, he said. Moreover, organizing multilateral negotiations on a new Iran deal would take additional time.

“This is going to wait,” Nephew said.

Bob McNally, a national security council energy expert under former President George W. Bush and president of the Rapidan Energy Group, predicted a return of Iran’s oil exports in the second half of next year.

European officials are eager for a renewed relationship with Iran if Biden wins, but have not attempted to engage with his campaign on the issue ahead of the election, fearing blowback from the Trump administration should Trump win, three EU diplomats said.

The Biden campaign did not comment on Iran about this story, but pointed to a Biden piece https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/13/opinions/smarter-way-to-be-tough-on-iran-joe-biden/index.html on CNN.com in September that said he would make an “unshakable commitment” to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Iran is not anticipating quick relief from sanctions that have slammed its economy, said the head of an oil trading firm in Tehran. A presidential election scheduled in Iran for June 18 would almost certainly delay talks on the issue.

“It will take a long time,” the source said.

Once the politics are resolved, large shipments could return quickly. Iran has accumulated about 100 million barrels of oil in floating storage and offshore tanks in countries like China, according to Iman Nasseri, managing director for the Middle East with consultancy FGE.

“Iranian oil can reach markets overnight,” he said. “Iran can rely on this export for months, while working to bring its production to previous levels.”

In the meantime, a Biden administration could be more lax in enforcing sanctions and award a new round of waivers, allowing a few countries to buy limited amounts of Iranian oil, said Ed Crooks, vice chairman, Americas for Wood Mackenzie. Trump axed the waiver program in 2019.

MURKIER PATH ON MADURO

Biden shares Trump’s desire to see the replacement of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a socialist whose 2018 election was widely seen as fraudulent.

Biden would likely retain sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA in the near-term, according to Leopoldo Martinez, a strategist for Biden’s campaign on the Latino vote.

But the strategy would probably shift substantially under Biden, with more input from allies and trading partners on a path forward.

“We are not seeking to dismantle the sanction policy, but to apply sanctions in an intelligent way, helped by a multilateral effort and with specific goals to be achieved, mainly free, fair and credible elections,” Martinez said.

Sanctions could theoretically be lifted once those goals are achieved.

Meanwhile, a Biden administration would also push for humanitarian relief in Venezuela, where much of the population has suffered under sanctions on oil, the lifeblood of its economy, Martinez said.

Rapidan, McNally’s group, said in a note that humanitarian relief could include an easing of U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan imports of fuels like gasoline, but not a break on sanctions on petroleum exports.

Even in the event of a change of leadership that resulted in a lifting of sanctions, a quick return of Venezuela’s exports beyond about 1 million bpd, up from about 500,000 bpd currently, is unlikely for six months to a year, Rapidan said.

A lack of investment has left equipment and fields in Venezuela, which holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in a state of disrepair.

“That one is a much more distant scenario than Iran,” Columbia’s Nephew said about Venezuela. “I’m not sure we have the same ability to call the shots there.”





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Monsanto loses final appeal over French farmer’s weedkiller accident By Reuters

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© Reuters. The logo of Monsanto is seen at the Monsanto factory in Peyrehorade

PARIS (Reuters) – Bayer’s (DE:) Monsanto (NYSE:) division on Wednesday lost a final appeal in a long-running French legal battle in which the crop chemical maker has been held liable for the accidental inhalation of a weedkiller by a crop farmer.

Monsanto had been trying to overturn a decision by an appeals court in 2019 that had found the company’s product safety information to have been inadequate in relation to the accident involving farmer Paul Francois in 2004.

France’s highest court rejected Monsanto’s latest appeal in a ruling published on Wednesday, opening the way for another court to decide on what damages should be awarded to Francois.

The farmer has argued that the fumes he inhaled from the weedkiller Lasso, a product that was subsequently withdrawn from the French market, caused neurological problems, including memory loss, fainting and headaches.

Bayer said in an emailed statement that it was reviewing the court ruling. Bayer also said in the statement that court-appointed medical experts had found previously that the incident did not cause the illnesses cited by Francois.

Crop protection products “do not present a risk to human health if they are used under the conditions of use defined in the context of their marketing authorisation,” Bayer said.

Anti-pesticide group Generations Futures, which has supported Francois in his court case, said it welcomed “this historic decision in which an agro-chemical multinational is at last found liable for the harm caused to this courageous farmer.”

Francois has previously sought damages of around 1 million euros ($1.2 million).

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, has been facing a wave of litigation in the United States over allegations that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup causes cancer.

Bayer, which argues Roundup is safe, is trying to settle the litigation through a proposed $11 billion payment.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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How High Are Copper Prices Going ? – Growing Your Money

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How High Are Copper Prices Going ?

Copper Futures—Copper futures in the December contract is trading higher for the 3rd consecutive session up another 465 points at 3.1955 a pound hitting a 2 ½ year high continuing its bullish momentum as this trend is strong to the upside.

Copper prices are trading far above their 20 and 100 day moving average as this trend continues to accelerate on a weekly basis as the housing market in the United States is extremely strong therefore demand for copper at the present time remains high as I still do not believe a top has been formed.

At the current time I’m not involved, however I do believe the entire precious metal sector is headed higher as I am keeping a close eye on gold and silver as I see no reason to be short copper and if you are long a futures contract continue to place the stop loss under the 10-day low which stands at the 3.03 level as an exit strategy.

The next major level of resistance is between the 3.30 / 3.50 level as there is still room to run to the upside as the volatility could even increase exponentially as historically speaking copper can have crazy price swings on a daily basis.

TREND:HIGHER

CHART STRUCTURE: POOR

VOLATILITY: HIGH

 

If you are looking to contact Michael Seery (CTA—COMMODITY TRADING ADVISOR) at 1-630-408-3325 I will be more than happy to help you with your trading or visit www.seeryfutures.com 

 

TWITTER—@seeryfutures 

 

 Email: mseery@seeryfutures.com

If you’re looking to open a Trading Account click on this link www.admis.com 

 

There is a substantial risk of loss in futures and futures options. Furthermore, Seery Futures is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained on linked sites. Trading futures and options is Not appropriate for every investor.

 



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