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Booker On Amber Rudd’s Energy Suicide

January 18, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




As David Cameron’s Cabinet colleagues fan out across the media to tell us how catastrophic it would be for Britain to leave the EU, one minister is in a class of her own. It may not be surprising that Amber Rudd, as the sister of Roland Rudd – one of the leading lobbyists for Britain to stay in the EU – is a keen Europhile. But when our Energy and Climate Change Secretary claims, in a Daily Telegraph interview, that it would be bad for Britain’s energy security and costs to be excluded from our leading role in the EU’s “energy market”, we have to ask what game she is playing.

She obviously hopes we will not notice that the only thing which gives Britain a “leading role” in this respect is that we already have an energy policy quite different from anyone else’s. We are the only country committed (by the Climate Change Act) to cutting our “CO2 emissions” by a staggering 80 per cent within 34 years.

It is all very well her calling on our energy suppliers to cut their bills at a time when oil prices are continuing to fall. But everything she is doing to meet that target is destined to push those bills ever higher.

"The only way we play that leading role in the EU’s ‘energy market’ that Ms Rudd boasts of is that we have committed ourselves to a policy entirely of our own making, the only results of which can be both to raise our costs and to threaten our energy security."

We are aware, of course, that ever more of our energy is to come from grotesquely subsidised “renewables” (or “unreliables”, as a friend calls them), which are themselves likely to add ever more billions to our energy bills. Plus, of course, there is the hope that the French and Chinese might one day build us a single nuclear power station, to produce the most costly nuclear electricity in the world.

But at the same time Ms Rudd is hell-bent on eliminating what remains of by far our cheapest source of electricity, those coal-fired power stations which still supply nearly a third of our power.

A similar shadow hangs over those gas-fired power stations which alone could provide the back-up to keep our lights on when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Perhaps not so widely appreciated is that we are also subjecting those much cheaper fossil fuel energy sources to a double-whammy. They not only, unlike their renewable competitors, receive no subsidies. They are also having to pay a hefty tax on every ton of CO2 they emit, four times as high as that charged in the rest of Europe – which has already had a devastating effect on our energy-intensive manufacturing industries, such as steel, aluminium, cement and ceramics.

So the only way we play that leading role in the EU’s “energy market” that Ms Rudd boasts of is that we have committed ourselves to a policy entirely of our own making, the only results of which can be both to raise our costs and to threaten our energy security.

Yet another bizarre consequence of this has followed December’s Paris “deal” on climate change. When the EU signed up collectively to reduce its “carbon emissions”, it took Peter Lilley MP to notice that Germany and France are now insisting that, since Britain is already committed to making such a disproportionately generous contribution to the EU’s collective target, this will reduce the amount others will need to cut.

The more Britain “takes the lead” in committing energy suicide, the less other countries need to follow. Nice one.

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    January 18, 2016 11:25 am

    It’s all incredibly sad, not least for UK taxpayers. However, I must admit to breaking out into huge laughter at the ridiculous Rudd stating last week that we HAVE to stay in the EU else we would lose all influence over EU energy policy. What influence would that be and who cares anyway when we have idiots like her and Ed Davey making Britain’s own loony policies up? Whatever planet she is on, it isn’t ours and, clearly, it ain’t worth saving.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 18, 2016 12:54 pm

      “It’s all incredibly sad, not least for UK taxpayers.”

      Rather – It’s all incredibly sad, not least for UK electricity-bill payers.

      And the BBC, MSN & government spokes-bods are deliberately disingenuous by reporting the effects upon household ‘power bills’ rather than upon ‘household costs’, because the latter includes the extra costs households bear due to rises in costs of goods & services they have to buy from British industry whose costs have similarly been increased.

      • roger permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:50 pm

        A business electricity bill has a climate change levy of 0.554p per KWh.
        The levy is inserted into the bill before the application of VAT at the rate of 20%.
        What percentage of the KWh rate relates to climate change Grid renewal and other climate change levies cannot be deciphered, but all such hidden levies are subject to the same 20% VAT.
        It follows that climate change levies on vatable goods and services are a nice little earner for HM Treasury and not just there to benefit landowners and subsidy farmers.
        Not a lot of people know that!

  2. January 18, 2016 11:59 am

    ““renewables” (or “unreliables”, as a friend calls them)”

    … personally I use ‘ruinables’, kind of sums them up.

  3. January 18, 2016 12:00 pm

    The policy is totally un-understandable unless it means that a small group of Tory and Tory supporters are making big bucks from it or that those running things have some sort of anal retentive self flagellating desire to see wide spread misery due to energy poverty.

    • David Richardson permalink
      January 18, 2016 1:34 pm

      Well I feel your pain Dave, but if it was only Tories who were this stupid I would be with you, but Amber Rudd is the first Tory heading this lunacy since 1997. The whole mess stems from the Climate Change act.

      Worth remembering that Cameron’s daddy-in-law was getting his reputed £1000 per day off his windmills from a Labour Government.

      You really do have to be partial to see it as a Tory plot – they are all in it.

  4. David Richardson permalink
    January 18, 2016 1:38 pm

    Madness – sheer madness but as long as that planet gets saved – it must be a price worth paying! /sarc off

  5. catweazle666 permalink
    January 18, 2016 3:36 pm

    Good for Christopher Booker.

    The usual fine crop of abusive low-information trolls is infesting CB’s blog, I notice. The frothing, screeching, waving of little arms and impotent stamping of tiny feet is most amusing.

    He really strikes hard at all the most deserving lowlife on the DT forums, long may his column thrice and prosper.

  6. January 18, 2016 4:30 pm

    The liberal left’s ideology is that everyone wants to play fair, abide by the rules and act in a way that the others see them nicer and more willing than the others. Not even Greenpeace operates this way. But – when liberal ideologies are involved – the general rule does not apply to individuals, so all is well.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 18, 2016 5:53 pm

      “The liberal left’s ideology is that everyone wants to play fair, abide by the rules and act in a way that the others see them nicer and more willing than the others. “

      Not quite.

      The “Liberal” Left expect everyone else to act like that, but excuse themselves because when they lie, cheat, steal, misrepresent and just plain act in a thoroughly reprehensible, dishonest fashion, that’s perfectly excusable because it’s for our own good, and of course, they know best because they’re the “Liberal” Left.

  7. January 18, 2016 10:15 pm

    The reason that the govt. will remove gas from our energy supply base is that it cannot be safely controlled(switched off) by the smart meter ration card.And as total control of our lives is required by the E.U.,which is just the European arm of the U.N. World waiting,attaining ultimate control of how we live is paramount,and to do that the intention is to control our electricity usage.
    Oh dear,my lights are on,and I think that I can hear jackboots on the street outside!!!!

    • David Richardson permalink
      January 18, 2016 10:37 pm

      Anyone who thinks this is a wild view of reality that avro607 paints should read “The Age of Global Warming” by Rupert Darwall. It tells you very little about global warming scientifically, but documents the history of environmentalism as a tool for control of the world. Essential reading.

      The other reason that government likes electricity is their plan to con our masters in EU that it is “renewable” – can’t do that with gas.

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