Brent crude oil, coal and carbon prices returned to downward trends in March, impacting GB commercial electricity and gas contracts. Oil prices dropped 2% to average $57.4/bl as concerns increased that US storage levels were reaching full capacity.
The falls fed into coal prices, which dropped 4.9% over March and hit a five-year low of $56.9/t. The coal market was also affected by falling global demand levels, which have increased oversupply in the market.
The carbon market was also bearish, with priced dropping 7% to average €6.8/t as talks on proposed market reforms slowed. Prices hit a five-month low of €6.3/t in the month.
A UK law has quietly passed through Parliament which allows for radioactive waste dumps to bypass the planning system, local authorities or public opinion. The new legislation is opposed by anti-nuclear activists.
Under the new law, Britain’s radioactive waste from medical use, weapons and power stations which has been stockpiled for 50 years may be dumped, circumventing local requirements.
Sites will be chosen by the secretary of state for energy and climate change. As of last week they are considered “nationally significant infrastructure projects.” While the planning inspectorate could recommend sites for the nuclear waste piles, the secretary does not necessarily need to follow the advice. Local communities and councils can dispute the details, but can’t stop the process.
The law was passed in the Parliament’s last working hours before it was prorogued for the general election and was noticed only by anti-nuclear activists and local opponents.