HC Deb 21 July 2000 vol 354 cc349-50W
Mr. Brake

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of the relative costs of and levels of taxation on fuel products transported by(a) pipeline, (b) rail and (c) road; and if he will make a statement. [130716]

Mr. Hill

The Government have not undertaken a specific assessment of the environmental impacts or cost implications of the transportation of fuel products by different modes of transport. All fuel products are distributed from the refinery to the final consumer in the UK through a combination of pipeline, rail, road or ship, although the exact modes of transport used vary depending on where the fuel is refined and consumed.

Lifecycle environmental analysis indicates that, regardless of the mode of transportation, the distribution of fuel products is only a small element of the overall lifecycle environmental impacts from fuel products, and the extraction, production and especially consumption of the fuel causes far greater environmental damage. The cost of distributing fuel products is also relatively low in comparison with underlying fuel prices, although the cost of distribution increases the further the consumer if away from a major fuel terminal which can be supplied by ship or pipeline.