Blame green subsidies and Brussels for high energy prices
UKIP Press Release
•UKIP has demanded that Britain should break with Brussels to deliver affordable energy. UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP says that both our eye-watering green taxes and subsidies, and our dependence on the most expensive fossil fuels, are driven by the EU’s climate policies which are increasingly open to question. Even EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has said that “Europe can’t afford a unilateral climate policy”.
Our green taxes and subsidies are directly driven by Brussels, although our UK government has chosen to gold-plate them and go even further than the EU demands, adding 10% to household bills today and an estimated 30% by 2020, says Helmer. Meantime Ministers blame increases on global prices of fuel, especially gas. They choose to ignore coal, which is abundant and cheap, because they’ve been intimidated by the green lobby. Yet Germany is building or refurbishing dozens of coal-fired power stations.
And the UK continues to rely on expensive imported gas from Russia and elsewhere, with a huge penalty in cost, balance of payments, and security of supply. Our Prime Minister talks positively about shale gas, and yet has failed to take decisive action to promote exploratory drilling in the UK.
UKIP proposes an urgent four-point plan to deliver affordable prices and energy security, and to promote economic recovery:
1 Immediately abandon green taxes, and all subsidies on new renewables projects (regrettably we cannot withdraw from current contractual obligations on green subsidies)
2 Start an urgent programme of new-build coal-fired power stations, ideally setting aside Brussels’ draconian environmental rules
3 Give the highest priority to shale gas exploration and development in the UK
4 Continue to press ahead urgently with new nuclear capacity
We must also move to end the current regulatory uncertainty which stands in the way of energy investment, by committing ourselves to end the constant interference by government in pricing and tax policies which have created huge regulatory uncertainty in the industry.
Even in Brussels, says Helmer, realisation is dawning that we cannot go on with the EU’s irrational and damaging green policies, which are driving up costs and undermining energy security. EU industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani has said that energy prices in the EU threaten “an industrial massacre”. UKIP says it’s time for common sense and a practical approach to our energy crisis.