Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

UK Forcing Oil Companies to Internalize their Externalities

without comments

It looks like the UK will force energy companies wishing to drill for oil off its coasts to be responsible for potential indirect costs of their operations. Such a strategy, which economists would call internalizing their external costs, is what I and many others consider the most efficient way to preserve both economic and environmental health.

I think this is great news.

  • JANUARY 6, 2011, 5:33 A.M. ET

UPDATE: UK Lawmakers Question Deep Water Drilling Safety

   By James Herron
   Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

LONDON (Dow Jones)–U.K. lawmakers Thursday raised serious doubts about whether the oil industry is prepared to tackle an oil spill similar to the Deepwater Horizon blowout should it occur in the North Sea, but they stopped short of recommending a moratorium on drilling similar to that imposed in the U.S.

Instead, the U.K. Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee called on the government and regulators to compel companies to improve their spill response plans, install extra failsafe equipment on rigs, and increase financial provisions for spill costs.

Major changes to drilling regulations could have a significant impact on the U.K. because its main deep water area, west of the Shetland Islands, is thought to be home to the bulk of the country’s undeveloped oil and gas resources. For this reason, “a moratorium on deep water drilling off the west coast of Shetland would undermine the U.K.’s energy security and isn’t necessary,” said Tim Yeo, the Conservative member of Parliament who is chair of the committee.

Read the entire article here.