In a great case of irony, US Senate Budget Committee has passed a bill that includes a provision to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling, just days after the region suffered its worst oil spill.

BP's huge spill on the North Slope is now said to be an estimated 267,000 gallons of oil, that has polluted over two acres of tundra.

It has now been revealed that the spill went undetected for five days, until a worker smelt the fumes by accident. The mayor for the North Slope, Edward Itta has also criticed the companies for not having state-of-the-art leak detection equipement.

You would think, given the huge profits that BP and others have been making, that they could spend some on up-to-date pollution prevention equipement. Maybe that is too much to ask.

Britain is in danger of running out of gas. Yesterday, the National Grid that is responsible for Britain's gas and electricity network, issued an unprecedented warning – called a “gas balancing alert” – warning that there was not enough gas to meet demand. Gas supplies to some businesses might have to be reduced. Not surprisingly, the move sent wholesale prices spiralling up fourfold.