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GLOBAL TRANSITION IN ACTION -- | The Observer -- Contingency Plans?

  • The Observer, Sunday 22 August 2010
  • Article history

Forecasts that crude oil production will reach 150m barrels a day by 2030 have been described as 'unrealistic'. Photograph: Tatan Syuflana/AP

Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about "peak oil".

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about "peak oil" – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits "secrecy around the topic is probably not good".

Experts say they have received a letter from David Mackay, chief scientific adviser to the DECC, asking for information and advice on peak oil amid a growing campaign from industrialists such as Sir Richard Branson for the government to put contingency plans in place to deal with any future crisis.

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