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Energy Roundup: Google Buys Carbon Credits, Ba-bye to Oil and Gas Tax Breaks, Biofuels Subsidies Hit $400 Billion, and More

Google scoops up carbon credits in effort to offset emissions -- Google's effort "to do no evil" took a little longer than expected in the carbon credits arena. The search engine giant bought enough carbon credits to offset all of its emissions from 2007 and some from 2008. The company's Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl describes why it had trouble finding carbon certificates that actually reduced greenhouse gases. [Source: Greentech Media, Google Blog]

Obama budget cuts oil and gas tax breaks -- President Obama released his 1,374-page proposed 2010 budget document today, which calls for program cuts of $17 billion and includes the elimination of tax breaks for oil and gas companies. Obama left out a plan to raise $5 billion through a new excise tax on oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The excise tax may still appear next week, according to a White House representative. [Source: Bloomberg, WSJ]

Report documents $400 billion in federal subsidies for biofuels -- Friends of the Earthreleased a report today describing how the biofuels industry is expected to receive $400 billion in subsidies through federal tax credits and a renewable fuels mandate through 2022. The environmental advocacy group criticized the amount of federal support for what they deem "harmful" biofuels such as corn ethanol. [Source: Friends of the Earth]

Heritage Oil hits pay in Kurdish Iraq -- London-based oil explorer Heritage Oilhas discovered reserves of between 2.3 billion and 4.2 billion barrels of oil in Kurdish Iraq. The announcement will likely place more pressure on the Iraqi government in Baghdad to issue permits for exports of crude oil from the region. Other companies including Norwegian DNO and Addax Petroleum have found oil, but are unable to export the crude as negotiations between the Kurds and Baghdad continue to falter. [Source: Times]

Total still searching for Canadian oil sands assets -- Total lost out on its hostile takeover attempt of UTS Energy, the 20 percent stakeholder of the Fort Hills oil sands project. But don't count the French energy giant out quite yet. Total is eyeing other oil sands assets and wants production from Canada to reach about 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2020. [Source: Financial Post]

Sierra Club recreates coal promotion with youtube video -- The Sierra Club couldn't be out done by the West Virginia Coal Association'srelease of a series of cellphone ringtone songs promoting coal. The organization launched a counter promotion that takes the coal songs and plays it alongside real video images of the mountaintop removal in West Virginia as part of its Beyond Coal Campaign. [Source: The Grist]

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