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Energy

Did the banks kill the North Sea?

Falling oil prices

The North Sea oil and gas industry is a mere shadow of its former self.  Once the cash cow for successive UK governments, the industry is now a basket case that requires government grants and tax breaks just to keep it operating.  Even with these props, the industry predicts a …

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Bankrupt coal company bankrolled climate change denial

Peabody

Peabody Energy – once the world’s largest coal company – funded at least 24 campaign groups and several scientists who denied the existence of climate change.  The “astroturfing” (where artificial grass roots movements are created) activities came to light when the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. According to …

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Public on the hook for failing energy companies

Hieronymus_Bosch_051

Energy regulator Ofgem has floated plans to make bill-payers pick up some of the costs of failing energy suppliers. According to Emily Gosden at the Telegraph, the regulator is seeking a means of protecting customers in credit with energy companies in the event of their running into financial difficulties: “The …

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Scientist sued over fraudulent fracking methane tests

Methane Testing

NC WARN, a US environmental campaign group has lodged federal allegations of scientific fraud against a Texas engineering professor who led key studies into methane leakage at shale gas drilling sites around the USA. The tests were used by the Environmental Protection Agency to give fracking the green light.  But …

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When the golden goose stops laying

Golden Egg - Cheryl Lindo Jones

Cut through all of the political and economic nonsense that passes for theory, and you find that the history of the UK economy over the last 40 years boils down to just two little words – oil and gas.  The so-called Thatcher Revolution and the consolidation under Blair and Brown was …

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Big oil laughs in the face of green investor concerns

Rex Tillerson

The growing “shareholder revolt” against Big Oil’s failure to deal with the likely result of the Paris Climate Agreement has been met by derision from oil company CEOs according to Jillian Ambrose at the Telegraph: “The words of Exxon’s Mr [Rex] Tillerson may have seemed strident in the face of …

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Decommissioning – the next disaster in the North Sea?

North Sea oil platform

A combination of low oil prices and rapidly depleting oil fields resulted in the North Sea losing money for the first time in 2015/6.  Last year, 10 oil and gas fields ceased production.  This year industry insiders predict that a further 50 will be abandoned – a collapse on a …

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Death by Jevons paradox

Electric cars

English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that the introduction of the steam engine resulted in a proliferation of steam technology rather than a decline in coal consumption due to improved efficiency.  This became known as the “Jevons Paradox” – which says that energy efficiency leads to a greater use of …

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How smart meters could save money and help cut emissions

Direct energy report

In Britain, next to the banks the ‘Big Six’ energy companies are the only ones to make large profits since the 2008 crash.  This has largely been achieved by capturing the market in energy supply.  So far, the cartel has avoided serious disruption from new energy companies – largely because …

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