Brazil tries to rebuild relations with U.S. after NSA spying scandal

Jackie Northam – NPR, 6/30/2015

It’s rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that’s what happened two years ago when Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S. had been spying on her and her top aides.

The Brazilian leader is now trying to let bygones be bygones, and is in Washington, D.C., to visit with President Obama.

Rousseff’s decision to cancel the state visit — with its formal dinners and high-profile meetings — threw a strong and robust bilateral relationship into disarray, says Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.

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Brazil’s Petrobras unveils details of debentures issue

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 5/27/2015

Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, unveiled details of its debentures issue on the local debt market, which could total up to 4.05 billion reais ($1.28 billion).

The company will issue the debentures in five series, with different maturity dates of five-, seven- and 10 years. The company will sell a total of 3 billion reais in debentures and it can increase the offer by 1.05 billion reais to accommodate potential strong demand from investors.

The company said that the debentures of the first and second series will pay an annual yield of up to 2.15 percentage points over the interbank rate, called DI, which is 11.4% a year.

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Soiled by oil scandal, Brazil’s model is primed for makeover

Juan Pablo Spinetto, Anna Edgerton, Sabrina Valle – Bloomberg Business, 05/27/2015

Oil was to be the elixir of Brazil’s dreams to build a formidable economy, promote industrial development and fund a more generous welfare state even as it attracted billions in private global investment.

Instead, crisis and disappointment in the oil sector are beckoning Brazil’s leadership to move — if grudgingly — toward more deregulated industries and to temper the government’s hand in using state-run companies to forge broader economic policy.

Which helps explain why, as her second term takes shape, some of President Dilma Rousseff’s ministers have jettisoned the statist language of her first four years in office and those of her popular predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Instead, they are floating some liberal notions more in keeping with the pre-Lula years.

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As Petrobras cuts back, Brazil turns to U.S. for Atlantic drilling help

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes Magazine, 5/3/2015

Call it the shock doctrine, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…well, you get the picture.

Wracked by the biggest corporate scandal in Brazilian history, oil major Petrobras is reducing costs. While it says it is not reducing costs on exploration and production, the state-owned Petrobras is turning to Texas this week to meet with companies that want to help it drill in one of the most lucrative oil finds in the world — Brazil’s deep water, pre-salt oil fields off the coasts of Rio and Sao Paulo states.

As some would have it, this is all part of the plan. Petrobras is in dire straights. Petrobras has too much control over the mega oil fields under rock and sand. And foreign firms want a piece of it without having to give up so much to Petrobras.

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Amazonian tribes unite to demand Brazil stop hydroelectric dams

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 4/30/2015

Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world’s biggest forest.

The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa released a joint statement on Thursday demanding the halt of construction on a cascade of four dams on the Teles Pires – a tributary of the Tapajós.

They say the work at the main area of concern – the São Manoel dam – threatens water quality and fish stocks. The site has already reportedly expanded almost to the edge of a nearby village, although the local communities say they have not been consulted as they obliged to be under national laws and international standards.

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Brazil’s Petrobras sets domestic well-depth record

EFE – Fox News Latino, 4/30/2015

Petrobras has set a new Brazilian record for exploratory drilling by reaching a water depth of nearly 3,000 meters (9,836 feet), the state-controlled oil giant said.

The 3-BRSA-1296-SES well was drilled to a water depth of 2,988 meters – eight meters more than the 3-SES-184 well Petrobras drilled in February in that same basin – and a total depth of 6,060 meters (19,868 feet).

Only six wells in the world exceed the depth of 3-BRSA-1296-SES, three of which were drilled by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in that South Asian nation and three by U.S. energy companies Murphy Oil and Chevron Corp. in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Petrobras said.

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Brazil to Present Ambitious Climate Plan With More Renewables

Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg Business, 4/16/2015

Brazil will increase the use of renewable energy, target zero net deforestation and push for low-carbon agriculture as part of its climate proposal, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said in an interview.

In its proposal to the United Nations climate conference in Paris this year, Latin America’s largest nation will propose ambitious new targets to reduce destruction of the Amazon rainforest, boost reforestation and increase solar, hydro and wind energy. To do so, it will require more foreign capital and technology, Teixeira said in her office in Brasilia.

Over the past decade Brazil has been one of the world’s protagonists in combating climate change, slashing its greenhouse emissions by 41 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to official data. Making further cuts may be more difficult. Emissions from energy generation during the same period rose 36 percent, while the reduction of Amazon deforestation, a major source of carbon emissions, is slowing.

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