Britain needs to cripple itself urgently by spending millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on an expensive, unproven and potentially dangerous technology to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, says a high-level government inquiry on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) headed by Lord Oxburgh.
All right, so that’s not quite how this utter waste of space has been reported in the Guardian, by the BBC’s in-house environmental activist Roger Harrabin, or indeed by the Telegraph‘s ludicrous Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
But this, in essence, is what their painfully undiscriminating reporting is arguing for: that Britain should rush to adopt carbon and capture storage – despite the fact that it was recently rejected by David Cameron and George Osborne for being far too expensive.
The report’s chairman, the geologist and former Shell chairman Lord Oxburgh, told BBC News: “There are some things that are best left to the private sector – but CCS on industry isn’t one of them.
“The network of pipes taking CO2 from industrial plant into the North Sea would be far beyond the commercial reach of individual companies. This needs government action.”
What Lord Oxburgh is tacitly admitting here is that no one in the private sector will touch this technology with a bargepole. This tells you a lot about the risks of CCS: if any company were to find a way of making it work the rewards would be enormous. That’s because the fossil fuel energy industry would dearly love it to be the magic bullet which means they never again have to worry about government CO2 restrictions because – hey presto – all that CO2 would be sucked out and fed through pipes and safely stored in holes in the ground where it can never contribute to global warming.
So much for the fantasy. The reality is that storing vast quantities of CO2 underground carries huge risks, if it is even possible – which no one has yet demonstrated on a commercial scale. That’s why the private sector remains unenthused by CCS. It’s one of those pie-in-the-sky fantasies which is only ever likely to get funding from some government stupid enough to buy it from a snake-oil salesman promising it as the magical cure-all for the world’s global warming ‘problem.’
Lord Oxburgh, of course, has form in this regard. Despite his former Shell connections, he is in fact a committed and notorious climate alarmist who is a director of the SMERSH-like green activist group Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), and who holds paid directorships for several renewable energy businesses. That’s why, when he was appointed to chair one of the Climategate inquiries, it was described as “like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”