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United Kingdom - Oct 5

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Alarm bells ring about North Sea output

Mark Williamson, The Herald (Scotland)
Output from the North Sea fell for the fifth month in a row in July, despite record oil prices, in a development that could increase concerns about the UK's growing reliance on imports from potentially volatile areas.

The latest Oil and Gas Index from Royal Bank of Scotland showed total production of oil and gas averaged 2,088,083 barrels oil equivalent daily. This was down 10.3% on June and 17.9% on July 2006.

The decline occurred in a month when operators traditionally take advantage of relatively good weather to complete maintenance work.
(5 October 2007)


Tories call for new industrial revolution to tackle climate change

Hélène Mulholland, Guardian
The UK needs a "new industrial revolution" to tackle climate change, shadow environment minister Greg Barker told Tory party delegates today.

Speaking at a "quality of life" debate on the closing day of conference, Mr Barker sought to frame environmental concerns as "core conservative values" in an attempt to quell unease among elements within the party over green tax proposals.

Mr Barker drew on the party's Thatcherist past to argue that the party had a long track record on spearheading the environmental challenge.

Margaret Thatcher, the former Conservative prime minister, was the first global leader to call for concerted action on climate change, he said.

Mr Barker contrasted her credentials with Gordon Brown's "backward" attitude to the environment.

Mr Barker said: "When it comes to climate change, Gordon Brown is the invisible man. Nothing better illustrates his rigid, 1980s mindset, his backward-looking programme, his lack of understanding of the new economy, than his total disinterest in the environment.
(3 October 2007)


Reader's Digest study: Britain near bottom of the table for energy efficiency

AFP
The poor ranking is a blow to the country, which prides itself on its role as world leader on climate change.

Britain came behind Ireland (7th), France (16th) and eve the United States (23rd) in the study carried out by US environmental economist Matthew Kahn using the UN 2006 Human Development Index and the 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index.

The carbon-footrprint rankings were of particular emabarrassment, revealing that Britain's 2004 per capita carbon dioxide emissions were more than double the worldwide average.
(5 October 2007)


World's largest offshore wind farm is given government approval for Kent

Terry Macalister, The Guardian
The world's largest offshore wind farm, which will occupy a site of 90 square miles off the coast of Kent, has been given the go-ahead by the government and should be ready to provide clean power for a quarter of London's homes by 2010.

But a sharp increase in costs for the scheme from the original estimate of £1.5bn to closer to £2bn could still push it off course. Costs have soared while the London Array project has been delayed 18 months because of local opposition to an electricity sub-station near Faversham.
(5 October 2007)


Poverty of Vision

Euan Mearns, The Oil Drum: Europe
During the final panel debate at ASPO 6 in Cork, former Minister of State for the Environment, Privy Counsellor and UK Member of Parliament Michael Meacher gave a rousing reply to a question from the floor.

The other thing which I think is very important is vested interests. Who wants to keep the world the way it is?
The oil industry; the chemical industry; the food industry; the car industry; the airline industry. These are very powerful. Who rules Britain? Not parliament.

Read the full text below the fold. Or download the 1 Mb wma audio file here. Thanks to Richard O'Rourke (ASPO Ireland) for sending me the audio file for this segment.
(5 October 2007)

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