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SNCF to pay record dividends to French State for 2011

World See News, 21 December 2011

French transport minister Thierry Mariani confirmed today that national railway operator will pay record dividends to the French State for 2011 estimated at some EUR 230 million (USD $301m).

http://world.seenews.com/news/SNCF_to_pay_record_dividends_to_French_State_for_2011_169351

Living down the Rann approach to city planning

Adelaide, 21 December 2011

AS THE year of Mike Rann's exit from the political scene draws to a close, it is fitting to take stock of his administration's legacy in the field of urban planning and development. The purpose? To flag some lessons for the new ministries.

At gas pump, 2011 was the year of the big squeeze

MSNBC, 19 December 2011

It's been 30 years since gasoline took such a big bite out of the family budget. When the gifts from Grandma are unloaded and holiday travel is over, the typical American household will have spent $4,155 filling up this year, a record. That is 8.4 percent of what the median family takes in, the highest share since 1981.

New York Plans Greener Zoning Rules

New York Times, 20 December 2011

Next month community boards around New York City will ring in the year by holding hearings on a proposal that city officials say will give buildings more freedom to increase their energy efficiency and produce their own power.

Airlines Lose Challenge to EU Expansion of Carbon Cap-and-Trade System

Bloomberg, 22 December 2011

International airlines must comply with the European Union’s carbon-emission limits, the region’s highest court said in a final ruling that may inflame trade tensions between Europe and the U.S.

Are electric cars losing their spark?

USA Today, 22 December 2011

Rather than electrifying auto buyers, the plug-in car revolution is feeling more
like a fizzle.

A Monster from the Deep

The Oil Drum, 21 December 2011

With relatively little fanfare on the international stage, Lundin Petroleum and Statoil (and partners) have just recently jointly discovered one of the largest oil fields ever found in the North Sea. The Aldous Major South – Avaldsnes discovery on the Utsira High structure is currently estimated to contain 1.7 to 3.3

Top 10 peak oil books of 2011

Energy Bulletin, 16 December 2011

Lots of books came out on energy, climate and the economy this year. Here are the best ones that integrate all three areas. Welcome to our second annual list of the top ten peak oil books. Most of them are explicitly about peak oil, while others deal with energy depletion as a significant factor in the economy or the environment. A couple titles focus on responses to the myriad conundrums that

Congress Blocks Enforcement of Incandescent Light Bulbӳ Phaseout in U.S.

Bloomberg, 18 December 2011

Congress spared the 100-watt incandescent light bulb from a government-enforced phaseout in a win for Tea Party activists over manufacturers who said they are already switching to more energy-efficient products.

A Paradise for Car Thieves in Ukraine

Der Spiegel, 15 December 2011

In Ukraine, the government is allowed to sell or use cars that have been stolen in other countries. The law creates the perfect conditions for organized gangs who steal luxury cars to order in Western Europe. There are even allegations that the Ukrainian justice minister's official car was illegally appropriated in Germany.

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