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UK energy strategy on the edge

Failed energy strategy

Yesterday the UK government were at pains to point out just how important the digital economy is.  According to Gordon Corera at the BBC: “The UK is one of the most digitally dependent economies, with the digital sector estimated to be worth over £118bn per year – which means the …

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Oil and gas discoveries hit rock bottom

Oil Exploration

New oil and gas discoveries have fallen to levels not seen since the 1950s according to Ed Crooks and Andrew Ward in the Financial Times: “There were only 174 oil and gas discoveries worldwide last year, compared to an average of 400-500 per year up until 2013… “The slowdown in …

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What the death of Goldilocks looks like in practice

Modern Economics: Goldilocks is dead

In the Goldilocks children’s story, there is a bowl of porridge that is just right.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Central to modern economics is a similar idea about price.  The law (sic) of supply and demand says that there is always a Goldilocks price point where supply and …

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Fracking is cheap… as long as we don’t actually do it

High-tech fracking rig

Falling oil prices since 2014 devastated the US fracking industry, causing widespread bankruptcies and leaving a trail of ghost towns in their wake.  But according to the companies that are still standing, technological improvements have brought the cost of fracking down to the point that they can turn a profit …

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Ineos threatens National Trust over fracking access

Ineos threatens National Trust

Fracking and chemicals giant Ineos has threatened to sue the National Trust to gain access to the charity’s land for fracking.  According to David Leask at Herald Scotland: “Greenpeace, which campaigns against fracking, yesterday revealed documents showing Ineos Shale, a subsidiary of the Ineos group, has threatened the trust with …

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US Energy companies in retreat

Energy in retreat

Nine out of the top ten bankruptcies in the USA in 2016 were energy companies, with fracking companies accounting for five out of the ten, according to Jones Day: “With one exception, the Top 10 List of ‘public company’ (defined as a company with publicly traded stock or debt) bankruptcies …

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No, Russia isn’t funding anti-fracking groups

Russian funding

News that Vladimir Putin provides the funding of anti-fracking campaigns will have come as a big surprise to the thousands of volunteers who donate and campaign to prevent what is widely seen as an environmentally and economically destructive industry. In fact, the story says more about the neo-McCarthyism in the USA …

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Exxon laughs in the face of climate campaigners


Oil giant Exxon has broadly accepted the science behind climate change and global warming.  It does not, however, regard the Paris Climate Agreement or any future climate regulations as an impediment to its operations. The simple – and undoubtedly true – reason for this is fundamentally depressing: even concerned environmentalists …

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When “Green” energy is a bad thing

Fuel Poverty

Celebrating the deployment of just about any renewable energy technology is customary in left-/green-leaning circles… no matter how stupid.  But this speaks more to an uncritical tribal mentality equivalent to that on the climate change denial side of the argument.  It is more about a warm feeling of being on …

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Corporate welfare goes green

French solar road

Bailing out the banks is probably the most obvious form of corporate welfare today.  While millions of families are obliged to turn to foodbanks to feed themselves, the high priests of finance hold out their hands and our political “representatives” hand over billions of pounds, dollars and euros in the …

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