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ODAC Newsletter - Dec 2

Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

Evidence that the oil price is killing the economy came by the tanker-load this week. The FT reported that the cost of oil imports to the EU has increased from $280bn in 2010 to $402bn this year. Meanwhile the newly created Office of Budget Responsibility for the UK named oil prices as a key factor in a drastic downward revision of its economic and fiscal outlook released this week. With the price of a barrel driven higher by geology and geopolitics, there is no prospect of meaningful relief until our oil dependency is radically reduced.

Chancellor George Osborne acknowledged the effect of the oil price in an interview on Radio 4's Today Programme, but his response has been depressingly short-termist. The most direct measure was a further postponement of the fuel duty escalator — there will now be no rise until August 2012 at the earliest. While this will play well with voters it does nothing to address the crux of the problem — the urgent need to reduce oil dependency. Other energy measures in the Autumn Statement included the postponement of government spending on carbon capture and storage, and rebates for energy intensive industries as the government moved further away from its green agenda towards an economic-growth-at-all-costs programme. A more positive move was a cap on rail fare increases - although they can still rise a sizeable 6%.

One area where the government does seem to be working hard is in its apparent efforts to derail a European move to designate oil from tar sands as higher emission fuels. Such a move would cause suppliers trying to meet transport fuel emission targets to avoid such fuels. The Guardian revealed that UK ministers are working closely with Canada, BP and Shell to avoid that outcome. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne restated Britain's commitment to meeting emissions targets before joining other leaders at the Durban Climate Change Conference, but he looks increasingly isolated in the government. We are moving towards both an economic and environmental crash.

Oil

EU oil import costs soar above $400bn

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More Fuel for the Euro Zone's Fire

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Oil Rises to Two-Week High After Central Banks Boost Liquidity

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UK secretly helping Canada push its oil sands project

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Oil sands opponents turn focus to Enbridge project

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Cairn finds no oil off Greenland

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Uganda's Oil Could Be Gift That Becomes a Curse

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Gas

New York City fracking hearing draws opposition

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Renewables

EU prepares for 80 per cent increase in renewables capacity

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Wind power to make up half of Danish energy use in 2020

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UK's faith in nuclear power threatens renewables, says German energy expert

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Geothermal heat may be accessible via old oil and gas wells, scientists say

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UK

George Osborne delays fuel duty rise and caps rail fare increases

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Autumn statement: George Osborne slams 'costly' green policies

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North Sea oil revenue report 'stark reading'

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Greg Barker slams 'bonkers' proposals to delay solar incentive cuts

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Largest carbon capture plant in UK opens in Yorkshire

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Climate

The Texas solution: save water and reduce CO2 emissions

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Geopolitics

European Refiners Wary of Potential Iran Oil Ban

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Britain to announce new Iran sanctions

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Transport

American Airlines forced to seek shelter from economic storm

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