The criminal neglect of our energy security has left Britain in danger - by Philip Johnston

Short-termism has been the curse of Britain's governing class for as long as anyone can remember, and nowhere have its effects been more devastating than in its failure to plan for the UK's long-term future energy needs.


In a devastating critique Philip Johnston outlines the events and decisions which have led us to this present crisis, compounded by the twisting contortions of our own Prime Minister who in his 'Hermit the Frog' speech to the UN, now argues against the very policy solutions he advocated as a newspaper columnist. Small wonder the country is at sixes and sevens:


"Ten years ago, we found one [plentiful energy source] in the vast quantities of shale beneath our feet. One commentator excited by this prospect was Boris Johnson, who as London mayor in 2012 wrote an article in this newspaper under the headline: “Ignore the doom merchants – Britain should get fracking.”


He added: “Wave power, solar power, biomass – their collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding … We are increasingly and humiliatingly dependent on Vladimir Putin’s gas or on the atomic power of the French state … By offering the hope of cheap electricity, fracking would make Britain once again competitive in sectors of industry where we have lost hope … What, as they say, is not to like?”


Yet Mr Johnson’s administration has scrapped the fracking programme because of the probability of tremors associated with the process. If such geological impact tests had been applied to coal mining we would never have had an industrial revolution.


Back then, Mr Johnson denounced the “mad denunciations of fracking” by a Green movement that he recently championed before the entire world in his Kermit the Frog speech to the UN. He was right then and wrong now. Shale gas, while not carbon-free, reduces emissions and replaces imports which are more damaging to the environment. The US is now an exporter of gas, energy costs have been cut and thousands of jobs created. The Americans met their obligations under the Kyoto protocol on climate change without even signing up for it."


Who's to say what our energy policy-mix will be come COP26? The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:


Article for the Telegraph by Philip Johnston - The criminal neglect of our energy security
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