Posts under ‘Environment’

The great high speed white elephant

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

High Speed Rail 2 is a massive white elephant, a £50bn boondoggle of a project as out of time as it is over priced. Yet, despite this I am a little sore that the bid Stoke-on-Trent put forward for a station got dismissed out of hand. Were it on the basis of a competition in […]

Save UK Rail

by Grahame Morris.

The North East has a long and proud connection to the railways. In 1825, George Stephenson’s engine – locomotion, became the world’s first steam locomotive to carry passengers, and the public railway was born. In the years following thousands of miles of rail track were laid connecting every part of the UK, as the industrial […]

Why energy policy should be devolved

by Dave Watson.

Devolving energy policy would tidy up the often conflicting mix of devolved and reserved powers and enable Scotland to develop new approaches to energy policy. At present energy is a largely reserved matter to Westminster. Specific reservations in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 include the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; the […]

Falling oil prices could scupper UK shale production

by Michael Meacher.

Last Tuesday the share price of Chesapeake Energy, one of the leading US shale oil producers, fell 29% in a single day. With internationally traded Brent Crude now trading at below $88 a barrel, a 4-year low and down from $100 only a few weeks ago, and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate at below […]

Is fracking the new poll tax?

by Michael Meacher.

Just as Thatcher ploughed ahead with her ideological totem, the poll tax, in the face of clear evidence that it was deeply unpopular, so her modern-day acolytes around Cameron seem determined to do exactly the same thing over fracking, with very likely the same results. Despite the intense resistance demonstrated against Cuadrilla’s plans to set […]

Privatised railways have failed passengers and taxpayers

by Grahame Morris.

This week began with protests at Northern Rail stations, including Seaham, campaigning against the introduction of higher fares, threats to rail services, and job cuts on the rail network. Northern Rail has been pressed by the Department for Transport to raise extra revenues as sixty nine percent of their costs are covered by subsidies they receive […]

The ‘Black’ Route: a black day for Wales

by Nick Davies.

In July 2014, the Welsh Government, which claims that sustainability is the central organising principle of everything it does, decided to build a motorway relief-road across a wetland containing four Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Anyone who cares about sustainability, who regards it as more than a pious aspiration or just something one says – […]

Out of thin air – the (alleged) economic case for a third Heathrow runway

by Jeremy Smith.

When I last twice travelled directly to Guangzhou, by China Southern Airline out of Heathrow, the flight was nearly full. But not – by visual impression at least – full of thrusting British entrepreneurs keen to visit the most vibrant economic region of China, thanks to this direct link from Britain’s hub airport. More like […]

Time for Labour to lay out how it will re-set energy markets in 2015-7: here’s how

by Michael Meacher.

Current UK energy policy is a colossal failure. It is supposed to (1) deliver cheap and affordable energy to consumers, (2) provide security of supply, and (3) shift from carbon fuels to renewable energy as a key part of tackling climate change. But under the current privatised regime the UK is monumentally failing on all […]

Osborne’s fracking oasis will rapidly turn into a wilderness

by Michael Meacher.

The American story about fracked gas since 2007 and fracked oil since 2011 is that it will continue to surge for years, turning the US into a blissful energy Eden – and Osborne wants a slice of the action. But research undertaken by US experts in the field independent of the big oil and gas […]

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