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Britain’s Politicians Running Back Green Policies

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Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia

Britain’s leading politicians are racing to jump ship from the country’s green energy policies as electricity prices continue to rise.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband sparred during the PM’s questions in the House of Commons today. The exchange was as heated as one expects at these events, but was striking in that they were arguing over who could most swiftly undo disastrous green policies. The FT reports:

Mr Cameron, who once declared “vote blue, go green,” has found himself on the back foot amid double-digit-percentage rises in household energy bills and a renewed political focus on the “cost of living”.

Mr Cameron has now gone public on that process, blaming the Labour leader Ed Miliband for his role in introducing some green taxes when he was energy secretary in 2009. “We need to roll back costs imposed on energy bills, part of which he was responsible for,” he told the House of Commons.

Back in September, Miliband’s Labour party outlined a plan tofreeze energy prices if elected in 2015. That’s a daft idea—manhandling markets to pander to populist thinking usually is—but it revealed the extent to which British households and businesses are suffering under rising electricity costs. Like the rest of Europe, the UK embarked on a mission to prop up green energy, and like the rest of Europe, its consumers are paying the price.

This issue is only going to get more attention in Britain as the Northern hemisphere heads into winter. Amid the fight to define the problem’s scapegoat, however, there’s still no long-term plan to shore up the country’s energy security. Moving ahead with exploratory drilling of the country’s 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of shale gas should be a part of such a plan.

Via Meadia, 24 October 2013