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Christopher Booker: Energy Rationing Or Energy Abundance?

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Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph

Who could doubt that the Almighty has a sense of humour when, on the very day headlines were filled with warnings that our electricity system is now in such a parlous state that we can soon expect power cuts and electricity “rationing”, we were also told that Britain is now sitting on what has been called “by far the biggest shale gas basin in the world”.

MATT cartoon

There may have been some journalistic licence in how the two reports from which these claims derived were written. Even so, the cautious predictions of the British Geological Survey confirmed that Britain has a potential shale-gas resource as significant as the oil and gas we found in the North Sea, and enough to meet all the UK’s energy needs for many decades to come.

The point about these two contrasting announcements is that they highlight more starkly than ever the barely credible shambles successive governments have made of our national energy policy, how ludicrously skewed it has become by their obsession with global warming and the delusion that, by cutting down our “carbon emissions”, we can somehow change the Earth’s climate.

The Government’s current policy, as I have repeatedly explored here, is twofold.

On one hand, it is based on building tens of thousands of useless and ludicrously expensive wind turbines, made possible only by forcing us to pay double or treble the normal cost of the pitiful amount of electricity they so unreliably produce. On the other, by taxes and regulations designed to make “renewables” seem competitive, they plan to double the cost of any power from other sources, whether fossil fuels or nuclear. In short, they want to make our electricity more expensive than anywhere else in the world.

Then, just as they have cobbled this crazy joke of a policy together, we discover that we are sitting on what is potentially the world’s largest resource of a fuel so cheap that it has halved the price of gas across the Atlantic in just five years.

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