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Britain Sleep-Walking Into New Energy Crisis

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Steve Hawkes, The Daily Telegraph

Britain is sleep walking its way into a new energy crisis that will see millions of motorists hit by petrol “super spikes”, the AA warned tonight, as talks to resolve the bitter dispute at Grangemouth oil refinery collapsed.

The AA's attack came as forecourts in Scotland were urged to build up stocks in the event Grangemouth remains shutdown beyond Tuesday.

The AA’s attack came as forecourts in Scotland were urged to build up stocks in the event Grangemouth remains shutdown beyond Tuesday.  Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The AA’s attack came as forecourts in Scotland were urged to build up stocks in the event Grangemouth remains shutdown beyond Tuesday.

Motoring chiefs warned that the uncertainty over the future of Grangemouth reflected the growing concerns over the rest of the refining industry in the UK following the closure of Coryton in Essex last year.

The AA said it feared that without an urgent action plan from Ministers, the country would soon be as reliant on imported fuel as it is on imported gas and electricity to keep the lights on. This could lead to “super spikes” similar to the one at the start of 2012, when speculators were blamed for pushing unleaded to a record of more than 140p per litre.

The AA’s attack came as forecourts in Scotland were urged to build up stocks in the event Grangemouth remains shutdown beyond Tuesday.

Luke Bosdet, AA public affairs spokesman, said: “Grangemouth is a symptom of a bigger threat. There is a lot of talk of European refineries needing to close because of over capacity and because they are old.

“But our concern is that this echoes what has happened with the domestic energy generators – ageing plants being closed down and a greater reliance on imports.

“The country could be sleep-walking into the same consumer nightmare that we have with gas and electricity.”

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