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  • Canada and UK push for coal phase-out against opposition from USA and Germany

    08 December 2017

    Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her UK counterpart, Claire Perry, launched an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the Bonn UN climate summit in mid-November, signalling a sharp contrast with US President Donald Trump's promotion of coal as a key global energy source and Germany's continued reliance on the fuel source for electricity generation....

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  • Honesty about potential high hazard plant risk may be wiser than dissimulation

    05 October 2017

    The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey highlights some of the problems facing high hazard industry regulation in Texas and the USA. Arkema, which owns the plant on the outskirts of Houston where a number of explosions and fires broke out after flooding caused by the hurricane, is now at the centre of a legal maelstrom centred on the company's refusal to give details of the hazardous chemicals it held on site....

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  • UK Government faces difficult decision over departure from Euratom

    11 July 2017

    The UK’s participation in the European atomic energy community, Euratom, is under threat from the Article 50 legislation that triggered the start of the two-year Brexit process in March. Now, some Conservative parliamentarians are saying they will vote against the Government if the UK decides to leave the organisation....

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  • US withdrawal from Paris accord unlikely to benefit coal, but could damage renewables

    02 June 2017

    President Donald Trump says the decision on June 1 to pull his country out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will boost American employment, particularly in the coal sector. The number employed in coal mining dropped from about 89,000 at the start of 2012 to around 50,500 in April, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA). ...

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  • Trump budget would eliminate US Chemical Safety Board

    20 March 2017

    The Trump administration's budget blueprint would scrap the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent federal agency that investigates major chemical and oil industry incidents. The CSB has no regulatory power but is influential because its recommendations are often adopted by industry and government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)....

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Checks and balances 27 January 2017

A few weeks after his inauguration, it is clear President Trump has no intention of backpedalling on the pronouncements he made during his election campaign with regard to the energy and environment sectors. As an example, the new administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the main climate change page from its website....

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Evidence, the friend of the reputable NGO 06 January 2017

NGOs and charities play an important role in our society as watchdogs and lobbyists for the causes they seek to defend and promote. Sometimes, however, they can get carried away with the righteousness of their cause and make claims or organise interventions that can bring them into disrepute....

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After a strange 2016, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 22 December 2016

After the extraordinary political developments of 2016, principally the British vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump in the US, 2017 is shaping up to be an equally transformative year in Europe. Italian political developments will continue to resonate across the EU in the early part of the year, to be followed by the campaigns by populist insurgents in the Dutch General Election in March and in the French Presidential Election in April and May...

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The scourge of pipeline theft 20 October 2016

Around the world, the deliberate theft of product from pipelines is a growing concern. Even with depressed oil prices, the lure of a quick profit that can be derived from illegally tapping into pipelines to remove product is driving many billions of dollars of losses around the world every year. ...

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Does cost cutting increase risk in Norway's offshore industry? 20 September 2016

Following warnings from Norwegian offshore regulator PSA, risk management research agency Preventor also claims that safety trends are now going in the wrong direction. In this piece, Preventor director Professor Jan Erik Vinnem of the University of Stavanger highlights the negative effects of cost cutting on the sector’s HSE outcomes....

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