Experts call for energy review

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The Independent Online
LEADING energy experts have called for an independent energy commission to carry out a review of the energy industries. They accuse the Government of 'gross short-termism of the worst kind', writes Mary Fagan.

Professor Ian Fells of the University of Newcastle and Professor Nigel Lucas of Imperial College said the planned review of the pit closures should not be left to the Trade and Industry Select Committee and should not be regarded as a one-off exercise.

Professor Fells said that while electricity companies appeared to be 'intransigent' in negotiating contracts which could save British Coal, they are acting within the rules set when privatised. 'It is because of the rules set by the Government that we find ourselves in this pickle over gas and coal.'

Professor Lucas attacked the Government's method of regulating the gas and electricity as piecemeal and fragmented. He said any review of the coal closures must also look at the whole question of regulation and parliamentary control. Too many different regulators acted in an un-coordinated way.

In a report, Moving Forward, the professors call for a flexible energy policy taking into account natural resources, security of supply and environmental concerns.