|The relevant part of Osborne’s budget speech today:
“But I also want Britain to tap into new sources of low cost energy like shale gas. So I am introducing a generous new tax regime, including a shale gas field allowance, to promote early investment. And by the summer, new planning guidance will be available alongside specific proposals to allow local communities to benefit. Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”
Where to start!! The sheer stubborn stupidity of the man is staggering.
“Low cost energy like shale gas” – who on earth is he trying to kid?
If renewables received similar tax breaks and subsidies as those dished out to the fossil fuel industries and nuclear, the need for these dangerous and expensive technologies would soon disappear. Even as things stand, renewables will beat shale gas to lower power prices in the UK, according to an analysis from bank Citigroup and other moe credible sources than the Oil & Gas industries.
We could and should be following the example of countries like Germany. The share of electricity produced from renewable energy in Germany has increased from 6.3 percent of the national total in 2000 to about 25 percent in the first half of 2012. In 2010, investments totaling 26 billion euros were made in Germanys renewable energies sector. According to official figures, some 370,000 people in Germany were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2010, especially in small and medium sized companies. This is well over twice the number of jobs in 2004 (160,500). Germany has been called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy”. In 2011 20.5% of Germany’s electricity supply was produced from renewable energy sources, more than the 2010 contribution of gas-fired power plants.
And what about Denmark? It is already the world leader in wind power, getting a fifth of its power from wind turbines. They are committed to “an historical effort to become even better at saving energy and create an even more competitive and energy-effective company culture in Denmark, also for households,” Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard has said. The portion of Denmark’s electricity from renewables would rise to 52 percent by 2020 under their plan.
WOULDN’T IT BE REFRESHING TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH LIDEGAARD’S VISION AND COMMONSENSE IN OUR GOVERNMENT?
“Generous new tax regime” – for all the wrong people doing all the wrong things!
Public subsidies for the development of wind power in the UK are dwarfed by the tax breaks enjoyed by fossil fuels, a new Guardian analysis has revealed. Financial support for fledgling renewable energy industries has increasingly come under attack in recent months, but the new data shows that the older industries benefit to a far greater extent. Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development , whereas offshore and onshore wind received £0.7bn in the year from April 2010. All renewables in the UK benefited from just £1.4bn over the same period, according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/wind-power-subsidy-fossil-fuels
The boss of a company set to build two nuclear reactors in Somerset has been demanding cuts to renewable energy subsidies and to help for people in fuel poverty while quietly lobbying the European Commission for financial help for new nuclear power stations. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nuclear-boss-wants-to-cut-family-fuel-aid-8537553.html . The coalition promised no subsidies fro nuclear power, but the following forms of support for the nuclear industry have been recorded in
“New planning guidance” – this is likely to mean that the largest projects could have the option to apply for the go-ahead through a central Government process rather than via local authorities. They thereby hope to bypass any possibility of grassroots local groups of concerned residents (like the Vale Says NO! and Frack-Free Wales) having any real say over the decimation of their futures. As Neil Sinden, The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s director of policy, said today: “We will make sure communities are not sidelined in the decision-making process.” We will take to the streets and ensure our voices are heard and the frackers are held to account every step of the way!
As for “Allow local communities to benefit” – perhaps Osborne would like to explain how they will benefit from:
These are amongst the certain impacts everywhere the frackers pitch up. On top of this is the absolute lottery of when and where things will go wrong. Not if, but when and where there will be:
Finally, the sheer arrogance of “we will make it happen” – quite simply, not if I have anything to do with it, George!. Me and whose army? The ever growing legions of fractivists around the country, indeed around the globe, who will not stand by and watch the rape of the countryside and the destruction of our futures.