As many as 73% of manufacturers want to see legislative reform of the UK’s current environmental and climate change policies, according to a new survey by the manufacturers organisation EEF. Respondents claimed that existing regulations are harming their international competitiveness. Earlier this year, EEF’s senior climate and environment policy adviser warned that large UK manufacturers could be forced to move their operations overseas if countries cannot agree a unilateral cap on emissions at the Paris climate talks, thanks to the burden of environmental regulation. –Brad Allen, Edie News, 27 August 2015
The UK Government must do more to curb energy prices which are “seriously disadvantaging” Welsh industry, according to Carwyn Jones. The First Minister was reacting to news that 250 jobs are under threat at Llanwern steel works as Tata Steel prepares to mothball its hot strip mill there. Unions have warned that “communities will be destroyed” as a result. Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Mr Jones said Tata, which is one of South Wales’ biggest employers is just one example of businesses in Wales struggling with the cost of energy prices in Britain, which are must lower across the rest of Europe. –Sion Morgan, Wales Online, 27 August 2015
As the government grapples with how to continue to drive down its deficit, abolishing DECC should be a key priority: it would both provide vital savings and encourage a new emphasis on cost-effective policy-making. Unlike other cuts across government, splitting up the department would have absolutely no material impact on the public. Moreover, the current political climate is favourable for such action. With green opposition deeply divided and ineffective, it is an ideal opportunity for the government to abolish this unnecessary arm of the state without much fuss (although, in practice, it is likely to happen after the Paris conference). Such a move would be good for cost-effective energy policy, good for consumers and good for the Exchequer. –Benny Peiser & Daniel Mahoney, City A.M., 27 August 2015
I thought it might be interesting to see how the DECC fossil fuel price forecast – you know, the one that is said to justify all those subsidies, feed-in-tariffs and renewables obligations. The comparison is startling – I’ve added a dot with today’s Brent crude price. The claim that decarbonisation would only cost a few percentage points off GDP seems to have been a fairy story. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 27 August 2015
Lord Stern has mounted his high horse, ready to slay the dragon of opposition to anything he deems a good idea at the time. The problem is that Lord Stern’s views seem fluid to say the least. Back in 2009 he was telling the world that rich nations would have to forgo growth in order to stop climate change. Now he is telling us that portraying economic growth and climate change action as being in conflict is “diversionary” and a “misunderstanding of economic development”. The question readers want answered is “Does Lord Stern ever actually mean anything he says?” –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 27 August 2015
America’s natural gas boom has been a rare economic bright spot, and even President Obama likes to take credit for it. But as his term winds down, the Administration is waging a war of regulatory attrition to raise drilling costs and reduce its competitive advantage over wind and solar power. Our guess is that this is the real political purpose behind the wave of new drilling rules. The Administration has made coal its main fossil-fuel target, but the green lobby also has natural gas in its sights. A frontal assault is too politically risky, which is why regulatory attrition is the preferred approach. —The Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2015
Environmental groups are threatening to sue the US environmental regulator, alleging it is failing in its duty to tackle a surge in earthquakes that they blame on the American shale revolution. The groups on Wednesday said they were preparing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for not curbing the disposal of wastewater by oil companies, a practice that scientists say has triggered a spike in seismic activity. –Barney Jopson, Financial Times, 27 August 2015
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