The UK’s Communities Secretary Sajid Javid recently approved plans for fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton in Lancashire in what the BBC has called a “landmark decision”. For the first time, after many years of regulatory struggle and public debate, fracking may really start in the UK. Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan argue that the plans if they go ahead will result in environmental and economic disaster. In the UK we are told that all will be “ok” and that we have learnt from the US experience and can formulate appropriate regulatory oversight. But if one takes time to reflect on UK environmental and health protection over the past 200 years, it soon becomes clear that it can take years, decades, and sometimes generations, for appropriate safeguards to be formulated and put in place. The activities of the fracking industry are no different and it is delusory to think otherwise.
The Energy Collective 21st Oct 2016 read more »
An unlikely resurgence in the price of coal could deliver an $18 billion boost to the four big mining groups listed in London. Despite falling foul of increasingly stringent environmental regulations around the world, the unfashionable fuel has rebounded spectacularly this year, making it one of the best-performing commodities. The leap in prices is on a similar scale to that after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011, which took place when China’s boom was in full flow. The rise in prices is down to the vagaries of Chinese policy. Beijing has ordered mines to cut back on production, which sent import prices soaring. Few, if any, mining executives saw the move coming, but the price rise since the start of the year could deliver an $18 billion boost to their revenue on the basis of the production forecasts for BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American.
Times 24th Oct 2016 read more »