Tonight at the European Parliament there will be a vote on whether Miguel Arias Canete, nicknamed "Senor Petrolhead" by the Sunday Times, will be accepted as the new EU commissioner for Climate and Energy. To cut a long story short, Canete has long embedded family ties with the oil industry so if common sense were to prevail, he would not be appointed.
I, for one, cannot wait for this debate to be over in September. Once, we finally get over this issue, we can finally focus on the real issues - housing, social security, schooling, the NHS, pensions etc. Only when the referendum has concluded we will turn back to these issues and deal with them as a united nation.
The Kurds of Iraq cannot be accused of impatience over exploiting their energy riches. Oil has been underground for millennia and as it bubbled to the surface was used in traditional medical treatments. But those who ruled Iraq neglected it, apart from the Kirkuk region which was forcibly taken from the Kurds...
The announcement this week by the gas company Cuadrilla that it wants to drill and frack up to eight new wells in Lancashire has alarmed local people and green campaigners alike; they are worried about the impact of hydraulic fracturing - the controversial technique which involves injecting, at high pressure, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the earth to release shale gas - on the area's countryside and wider environment.
The latest civil conflict within newly-independent South Sudan is a depressing, avoidable tragedy. This is a part of Africa that has already fought two 'civil' wars in pursuit of independence. It is chronically poor and suffers the worlds highest infant and maternal mortality - and female illiteracy.
By the standards of the grandiose mansions of Abuja, the planned city that became Nigeria's capital just two decades ago, Edwin Kiagbodo Clark's villa in a quiet, narrow, street is modest. The living room is dark and poky, and although large, portraits of Chief Clark, as he is known, are visible, most have yet to be hung up...
When I began visiting the Kurdistan Region in 2006, one big issue was how best to deal with its awkward neighbour, Turkey. We heard stories of people finding it difficult to cross the border. One trade union delegation, delivering a fire engine to Erbil, was delayed for a day at the border without food or water. It was all pretty petty stuff but more serious dangers simmered. Just five years ago, 100,000 Turkish troops were poised on the border with the Kurdistan Region.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's laughably naïve announcement that, if elected, he would freeze energy prices for twenty months from the date of his election makes you wonder if these seat-of-the-pants, counter-punch 'policies' have been properly considered or professionally researched and analysed.