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Mercy Corps helps develop
efficient wood-burning stoves in
the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Natural Gas Card in Ukraine

GRN Microblog of Conflict News

Global Resources News examines the conflict over commodities and resources such as oil, water, land and minerals. We cover the competing interests of trade, local society and environmental concerns.

Our coverage is based on well-documented data about these issues, drawing on authoritative sources, describing these conflicts over commodities in a neutral tone.

We hope you will use this information to assess risks about the conflicts over commodities and use that assessment to guide your decisions in the fields of oil, gas, shale, land, food and other commodities.

Labor Day Gasoline Cheapest in Years

Gasoline prices are low for Labor Day 2014
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Aug. 29, 2014 - As US motorists take to the highways for the Labor Day weekend they will be paying an average of about $3.44 per gallon for gasoline, the cheapest gas has been for the holiday since 2010.

Mid-week national prices averaged $3.43 per gallon, but climbed slightly as vacationers began traveling for the long weekend holiday. According to the US Department of Energy, prices are down about 9 cents per gallon from Labor Day 2013.

Crude Oil Prices Inching Back Up

Gasoline and other motor fuels have fallen in concert with crude oil. Nymex oil traded at $94.37 per barrel mid-day Thursday and climbed to $95.17 Friday morning; Brent crude rose from $102.62 to $102.85 in the same period. Although these prices reflect a slight uptick from earlier in August, they are significantly lower than earlier in the summer.

The benchmark prices for oil had been much higher earlier this year with turmoil in Ukraine, Syria and Libya. Nymex oil traded above $105 in late June as fighting in Libya and conflict in Ukraine roiled international markets.

However increased North American production has led to ample supplies of crude for current conditions.

Track gasoline costs through the GlobalResourcesNews special page on gasoline prices.

News about Commodities, Conflict and Sustainability

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Ukrainian and Russian Energy at Crossroads
Ukraine must decide its energy future,
but Russia's energy trades also face challenges.

Renewables to Top Gas: IEA
Renewable energy will surpass
natural gas in developed countries

Smog Spreads in Southeast Asia
Wildfires in Indonesia spread
unhealthy smoke across region

Air Quality Improvements Uneven
Some air quality measures have improved, but many still suffer from pollution.

Spotlight: Middle East Conflict

Influx of Syrian refugees stretches Jordan's water resources - The Washington Post

Syrian refugees use 35 liters per day, six times as much water as Jordanians an official says.

The Ecology of Economics

Open Data Tracks Environmental Work
Read the full story at
With $700 billion planned for climate change investments, a way is needed to monitor the environment and related projects. Mapping, satellite imagery and open data are being used to provide information, this PBS report says.

See other summaries in our archive

InfoChannels: Key Facts about Key Issues

Conflict over Oil

Map of oil producing countries that export to the United States and their political, peace and stability status rankings.
The US gets 60% of its imported oil from countries
which are not free nor stable. Click on map for more details.
The world economy pumped 87 million barrels of oil a day in 2011, up from 84 mlllion in 2007. With emerging economies demanding more petroleum to fuel their growth, oil producers are turning to more difficult conditions and hostile territories for their exploration and production.

The increasing difficulties in maintaining high production rates is the key metric in this conflict. Although the earth may contain billions of barrels of oil or similar hydrocarbons, it is only the amount that can be extracted in a timely fashion that is use to economies and societies. There have been many examples of this extraction rate going into decline after a high point, a phenomenon called "Peak Oil." The United States experience Peak Oil in the early 1970's. As other countries, and ultimately the world as a whole, go into Peak Oil phases, competition is expected to become more intense.

The map to the right shows the political status of countries which export oil to the United States. The green countries are assessed as 'free' by the think tank Freedom House. The yellow countries are 'partly free' and the purple are 'not free.' The United States gets 60 percent of its foreign oil from countries which are neither free, peaceful nor stable. Click on the map to enlarge it and for a table and its accompanying story.

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather includes drought, which deprives plants of water necessary for life, and tornadoes which destroy homes. Climate Change is among the factors driving extreme weather.
The first years of the 21st Century have seen unusual hurricanes, tornado swarms, floods and droughts descending upon natural areas, croplands and cities.

Some say it is a largely a manifestation of man-made climate change; others attribute it to natural variability and periodic trends of the earth. And there is the argument that it is some of both.

Whatever the cause, extreme weather is causing thousands of deaths and destroying billions of dollars of property and crops. Coastlines are impacted by sea level rise, even at the rate of a few millimeters a year.

This channel helps you stay informed about the issues and ramifications of extreme weather.