By Ray Fleming
NEXT month the British government was due to publish a White Paper on energy resources which would include proposals for a new generation of nuclear power stations. However, after yesterday's High Court judgement that the government's consultation on energy policy last year was “seriously flawed” and “procedurally unfair”, it seems unlikely to be published. Such a setback has come about as a result of the challenge mounted by the environmental group Greenpeace which claimed that the government's so-called consultation with outside interests had been “a sham”. Mr Justice Jeremy Sullivan agreed and ruled that the review was “not merely inadequate but also misleading”. The nub of Greenpeace's case was that when the government published its review in July last year it had already decided to go ahead with nuclear power and, left insufficient time for proper consultation with other parties. Yesterday the Department of Trade and Industry claimed that the judgement was about process not the principle of nuclear power. But if the process was faulty, so may have been the principle. Tony Blair has driven forward the case for nuclear generated energy and warned that without it Britain will become dangerously dependent on imported gas. But the problem is of his own making; he promised to consult but then arrogantly tried to pre-empt the outcome by limiting the opportunity for others to express their views.

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