Oil Production and Oil Demand

In the second quarter of this year, oil production exceeded demand by 3 million barrels a day. It seems that Saudi Arabia is choosing to defend its market share rather than reduce production and stiffen prices. It seems that excessive oil will continue to be produced for the next twelve months. Continue reading

Who Should You Believe about Shale Gas

You cannot believe two different statements when each purport to be the absolute truth and those statements contradict each other. That means you have to chose. I offer some choices.  Continue reading

House of Lords: help yourself to the Pottage

In what is still for the moment the United Kingdom the unelected House of Lords has pronounced (through one of its committees served by the great and the good) that shale gas will bring substantial benefits to the nation and that risks of harm and environmental damage is low, while demanding at the same time a reduction in regulation of fracking enterprises. Continue reading

When it comes to the environment humanity has always implemented imperfect solutions.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has said that fracking will boost the United Kingdom’s economy. He thinks that the gas discovered will prove a cheap form of energy which will encourage businesses that need to use large amounts of energy to establish themselves or move to the United Kingdom. Continue reading

Fracking: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

Across the world governments across the world are looking to get energy as cheaply as possible. Their electorates demand it and their industries require it. Of course, there is always a trade-off between getting something cheaply and getting something with plenty of unintended consequences in terms of damage. Continue reading

The Process of Lobbying for Fracking

The present discussions about fracking for shale gas shows the processes which occur when private enterprises undertakes tasks that are supposed to benefit the common weal. The same processes occurred when energy was privatised. There are four stages Continue reading

Shale Gas: is it worth it?

George Osborne is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom. This grand title (the British love grand titles) translates into the Finance Minister in most nations. Mr Osborne is not renowned as an environmentalist, but does. Like all politicians, love grand schemes and big projects. It is as though big projects – like holding the Olympic Games or building the Millennium Dome – are the only worthwhile projects that should catch the attention of the holder of a grand title. Continue reading

Keeping the Gas On

As I write these words, on the second day of Spring after a long hard cold and wet winter in London, it is now snowing and the snow is settling on the roof tops and on the cars. Spring snow is rare, not quite as scarce as hen’s teeth, but an event to be noted. Continue reading

a budget that will harm the environment and those who need to live in it

George Osborne made his annual budget statement in the House of Commons yesterday on the equinox. Days will get longer from now on but following the budget i doubt if they will get brighter.  These are difficult economic times, but they are also difficult times for the environment. While trying to remedy the difficult economy Mr Osborne has taken the opportunity to completely ignore that part of the economy which centres on renewable energy.

While there is less tax to pay for petrol and diesel and various subsidies for fracking shale gas and for EDF’s proposed nuclear power plant at Hinckley (these subsidies being disguised as incentives or contracts) there was nothing for the environment; Mr Osborne’s comment that he would continue to support the Carbon Capture and Storage experimentation was just more of the same, pretending to be a new measure.

The most worrying comment was that “I want Britain to tap into new sources of low cost energy like shale gas. Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”

He will be rudely awoken in due course. In Britain shale gas will not be a source of low cost energy. It will be a source of high cost energy, notwithstanding that the shale gas companies will get very generous tax breaks which those in renewable energy can only dream of.

Once again short term takes precedence over the long term, and our descendants will be left to clear up the mess, if they can. It is a budget that will harm the environment and those who need to live in it.

Update on Energy

Readers of these pages will know that for years I have been arguing that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is little more than a collection of words and ideas, rather than a real policy. It has tended to revolve around the generation of electricity, rather than understanding that heat is at least as important as electricity. We tend to worry that the lights will go out, rather than the fire going out. Today there are rumours that energy policy is going to be put on a more rational basis, but I am not too excited about the rumours. Continue reading