•David Cameron plans to mitigate energy bills to counter Labour’s price freeze initiative by cutting green levies and fostering competition.
But UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP describes the Prime Minister’s proposal as “fiddling at the margin”. He particularly criticises Cameron’s statement that “there is nothing we can do about wholesale prices”.
Roger Helmer said: “UKIP point out that we could do a great deal about wholesale prices. Because of the government’s green obsession, and because of EU rules from Brussels, the UK has turned its back on competitively-priced coal, and turned instead to expensive imported gas from Russia and elsewhere. As a result of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, we have been closing perfectly good coal-fired power stations, which delivered reliable and affordable energy, and relying on gas and intermittent renewables instead.
“Meantime Germany is building or refurbishing a couple of dozen new coal-fired power stations, and taking advantage of cheap American coal, which has become available as America switches from coal to shale gas.
“The Prime Minister has talked a good story on indigenous British shale gas, which could potentially transform Britain’s energy situation, but has failed to deliver the necessary leadership to allay public concern and to counter the black propaganda from Green NGOs (many of which are funded with taxpayers’ money through the European Commission). He should be taking urgent action to facilitate exploratory drilling.
“UKIP argues that we are wasting many billions of pounds on green infrastructure - wind turbines, solar panels and grid adaptations to accommodate distributed generation. We are wasting money on expensive imported fuels and ignoring cheaper alternatives. The government is downright dishonest in blaming power companies and wholesale prices when their own policies are doing the damage”, says Helmer. “UKIP advocates an energy policy based on coal, gas and nuclear, and calls for the careful and environmentally responsible exploitation of domestic shale gas opportunities.”