Archive for the ‘government’ Category

From New Scientist:

As sanctions deepen, just how crucial is Russian gas?
17:00 24 July 2014 by Jon Excell

Russian-bear-cartoonEurope gets around 30 per cent of its gas from Russia, but some countries are more dependent on it than others: the Czech Republic and Finland, for example, import at least 80 per cent of their gas from the country, while Germany, which has been treading particularly carefully in its dealings with Putin, imports around 36 per cent of its natural gas and 39 per cent of its oil from Russian suppliers.

The situation in the UK is less clear. Gas imports account for around 70 per cent of supply, but because of the complex European network of pipelines and interconnectors that we rely on, it’s difficult to say exactly how much of that imported gas is Russian. Some reports claim that Russia supplies around 15 per cent of that total and others put this figure much lower. Russian energy giant Gazprom estimates that it sends 11 to 12 billion cubic metres to the UK each year, out of an overall UK consumption of around 84 billion cubic metres.

(more…)

Matt Ridley article for the Times, reposted from the GWPF, because as many people as possible need to read it and think. Then act by using your vote sensibly.

ANOTHER RENEWABLE MYTH GOES UP IN SMOKE
Date: 28/07/14 Matt Ridley, The Times

wind-costsIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong
On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.

(more…)

H/T to Oldbrew for this story via GWPF from the Sunday Times. I hope this haste doesn’t mean we’ll lose a lot of the benefit of developing a home grown shale gas extraction industry, with the benefits of boosting UK engineering and providing much needed indigenous employment and training in worthwhile skills.

FAST-TRACK FRACK LICENCES ‘VITAL TO PROTECT BRITAIN’
Date: 27/07/14 Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times

Blackpools-Shale-Gas-Dril-007Fracking for shale gas is to be fast-tracked because it will give Britain greater energy security and protect it from Russian aggression, the new Tory energy minister has revealed.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Matthew Hancock said the government would make it “much quicker” for companies to get approval to drill for shale gas.

At present firms that want to frack have to wait about six months for permission through a 15-stage process. Hancock hopes to slash that in half. Calling shale the “holy grail” of energy policy, he said:

I want to speed up shale. It takes too long at the moment. We have to ensure that instead of an array of complicated permissions we have very firm but very clear rules.

(more…)

A letter has been sent to the president elect of the EU by Sense about Science, urging him to reject the call of anti-scientific NGO’s such as Greenpeace to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. You can add your name by clicking on the link at the bottom.

Scientific scrutiny in Europe is essential

We and many organisations across Europe have written to President elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to ask him not to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. Our letter is in response to a call from environmental NGOs to “scrap this position.” We strongly object to this proposal and to any attempt to undermine the integrity and independence of scientific advice received at the highest level of the European Commission. We wanted to respond quickly so we have sent the letter. If you want to add your name your name you can do that here. If organisations feel strongly about this, please write to Mr Juncker yourselves.

Many other organisations are sending their own letters including nine European medical research organisations and the European Plant Science Organisation representing 227 public research institutions across Europe.

(more…)

tallbloke:

.
Another step towards tyranny in the US (and no doubt the UK too): Secret guidelines about adding people to ‘the little list’ (not so little these days).

Originally posted on Stop Making Sense:

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux report for The Intercept:

‘The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto…

View original 207 more words

eu-justiceFrom a memo put out by the unelected EU commissars, compelling evidence for why we should demand an EU referendum before our remaining industries are forced to flee to less oppressive regimes.

What is the Energy Efficiency Communication?

The Communication on “Energy Efficiency and its contribution to energy security and the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policy” (onwards, the Energy Efficiency Communication) does two things:

  1. It assesses whether the EU is on track to reach its 2020 target to increase energy efficiency by 20% and outlines what is necessary to ensure that the target is achieved.

  2. It proposes a new energy saving target of 30% by 2030. This completes the 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy which was adopted by the European Commission on 22 January 2014. The Framework called for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels and for a renewable energy share of at least 27% of energy consumption, and indicated that the cost-effective delivery of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target requires increased energy savings (http://ec.europa.eu/energy/2030_en.htm). That is what today’s communication is delivering on. When setting the target, the Commission aims to strike the right balance between expected benefits and costs.

(more…)

Reblogged from Euan’s excellent site, Energy Matters.

“The Scottish Government’s targets are for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.” What will the consequences be for the Scottish People?

This post models Scottish electricity production and consumption in 2020 and compares this with 2012. It is assumed that Scotland’s two nuclear power stations remain operational in 2020. The reader is asked to always recall that the numbers are based on models and the conclusions therefore carry uncertainty. The consequences of this energy policy may be:

  • A large electricity surplus of about 15 TWh may be produced in 2020, worth about £2.5 billion at 17p / KWh.
  • There are currently many ideas but no certainty about where this surplus might go. It seems possible that a large part may simply be wasted.
  • Assuming that marine renewables remain negligible and hydro output remains unchanged in 2020 then the bulk of the expansion in renewables to meet the target will most likely be met by wind that will require a 5 fold increase relative to 2012.
  • In an independent Scotland the subsidy payments currently made to renewables companies by 63 million UK citizens would fall pro rata on the shoulders of 5.3 million Scottish citizens. This, combined with the 5 fold increase in wind capacity may mean a 25 fold increase in the level of renewable subsidy born by Scottish electricity consumers. Electricity bills may double.

In summary, the Scottish Government energy plan may result in a large electricity surplus that at present has nowhere to go, the number of wind turbines may increase 5 fold and electricity bills may double.

(more…)

imageOwen Patterson was, until last week, the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (UK). He lost his job in the reshuffle, apparently for a number of reasons, which will not be gone into here and now.

He has now written an article for the Telegraph newspaper. The GWPF to which Mr Paterson is to deliver the Annual Lecture, has produced a slightly abbreviated version Read Here. His article is directed, not at the Prime Minister and those within the Government that lobbied for his removal. The target is what he calls “The Green Blob”.

It is not very often that a Policy Maker expresses an opinion of their own, as they are bound by the rules of the Cabinet “Tent”. To express such strong opinion so soon is rarer still. It seems unlikely that Mr Paterson go quietly and even (pure speculation on my part) opens the possibility that he may eventually replace Nigel Lawson.

“You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies” said Oscar Wilde. They cannot resist gloating at his downfall. Friends of the Earth & George Monbiot, amongst many others were quick to react. While Greenpeace did not openly celebrate, a Press release earlier this year, shows how much they wanted to have him removed.

 

image

From the Guardian

Pipes and pylons operator says failure to invest more in local gas production would leave country 90% dependent on imports

The price of electricity could double over the next two decades, according to forecasts published on Thursday by the National Grid, the company responsible for keeping Britain’s lights on.

The current price of wholesale electricity is below £50 per megawatt hour but could soar to over £100 by 2035 under a “high case” example used in the Grid’s UK Future Energy Scenarios report.

(more…)

Science minister replaced in UK cabinet reshuffle

Greg Clark, MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells, has been appointed minister for science and universities in the UK government’s latest cabinet reshuffle, following his predecessor David Willetts’ resignation.

Born in Middlesbrough, Clark studied economics at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and spent time working for a consultancy firm before entering politics. He was director of policy for the Conservatives for three successive party leaders: William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, before being elected as an MP in 2005. In opposition he spent two years as the shadow secretary for energy and climate change.

Chemistry World, Royal Society of Chemistry

My bold.

Giggle at RSC bothering with Royal in Tunbridge Wells.

(more…)

Drax powerstation, generating 7% of Britains needs, is being forced to convert to imported woodchips.

Drax powerstation, generating 7% of Britains needs.

(Reuters) – British power producer Drax won a legal case against the government on Monday as the High Court overruled a decision to drop one of the company’s coal-to-biomass conversion projects from a new renewable energy subsidy scheme.

The court decided the utility had fulfilled all of the key criteria set out by the government at the time of making its application to seek early investment contracts under the new scheme for two of its projects to convert coal units to biomass.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/14/uk-draxgroup-brief-idUKKBN0FJ1NM20140714

(more…)

banksy-spies

Following the EU court ruling that retention of phone email and internet use records for 18months is no longer required, a new law is to be rushed through within a week to force telco and ISP’s to keep old records and continue to retain citizens data. To try to head off criticism they are incorporating some measures to ‘reassure’ the population that the snooping powers won’t be abused.

(more…)

The Daily Mail is having fun provided you can take the celebrity boobs and bottoms …

batman-covers

That’s right, exploding manhole covers. The Health and Safety Executive has warned pedestrians to be on the alert after a series of manhole cover explosions in London’s West End.

(more…)

Guest post from Ed Hoskins MAarch (Cantab)  BDS (Lond).

The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions:  1965 -2013

The following calculations and graphics are based on information on national CO2 emission levels worldwide published by BP[1]in June 2014 for the period from 1965 up until 2013.  The data is well corroborated by previous similar datasets published by the CDIAC, Guardian [2] and Google up until 2009 [3].  These notes and figures provide a short commentary on that CO2 emissions history.
The contrast between the developed and developing worlds is stark in terms of their history of CO2 emissions and the likely prognosis for their future CO2 output.

fig1

Figure 1

Since 1980 CO2 emissions from the developed world have shown virtually no increase, whereas the developing world has had a fourfold increase since 1980:  that increase is accelerating.

(more…)

From Benny Peiser by email:

Europe’s Energy Security At Risk From Green & Russian Lobbies

Russian-bear-cartoonHow far will Russian President Vladimir Putin go to stop fracking in Europe? Tint his thinning hair an eco-friendly color? According to NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen, Russia’s myriad intelligence agencies are working directly with European environmental groups to fund anti-fracking campaigns. Putin is doing this to slow the spread of the U.S. shale revolution across the Atlantic so Russia can hold on to its monopoly of the European natural gas market. Europe’s energy insecurity – its dependence on Russian gas – has proven to be Putin’s favorite tool of geopolitical blackmail. Putin can continue to funnel rubles to Europe’s environmental activist groups and hope to slow the spread of the shale revolution. But Russian dominance of the European gas market is on borrowed time. –William F. Shughart II, Forbes, 4 July 2014

(more…)

Oh noes! H/T to Oldbrew for spotting this GWPF story culled from the Times:

josh-hammer-of-the-scots

Don’t forget to visit cartoonsbyjosh.com and buy something

EU COURT ENDS SALMOND’S HOPES FOR GREEN SUBSIDIES
Date: 04/07/14 Peter Jones, The Times

Alex Salmond’s hopes that the economy of an independent Scotland could rely on expanding renewable energy generation have been crippled by a European Court of Justice ruling.

The court has said that no government must pay subsidies to renewable generators in another country. The ruling removes any legal foundation for the first minister’s claim that the rest of Britain would continue to pay a subsidy — more than £500 million a year — to Scottish renewable generators for their green energy.

Pro-Union sources said that the ruling could mean higher energy bills after a “yes” vote. It also leaves the future of the industry, if there is a “yes” vote, resting on the hope of a negotiated agreement between the Scottish and British governments, which Westminster has said is unlikely.

(more…)

Updated by co-mod, see end

H/T to Marc Facer for this from Australia:
clive-palmer

The Federal Government says it “is happy” to lock in a legal requirement that power companies pass on savings arising from the abolition of the carbon tax.
The move, which would satisfy the only condition laid down by the Palmer United Party for its crucial support to the repeal bill, follows talks between PUP leader Clive Palmer and Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has told Parliament it will add to the Government’s efforts to monitor power pricing through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“The ACCC will be on the job but we are happy to take the considerations of members of this House and to go even further and to enshrine in legislation guarantees over and above what we already have, so prices will be lower than they would otherwise have been,” he said.

Late yesterday Mr Palmer revealed his party’s position that it would vote with the Coalition in the Senate to repeal the carbon pricing scheme, but only if lower power prices were locked in.
(more…)

This is a followup to a post about the issue of sovereignty and Britain’s membership of the EU I put up a while back. These are weighty issues the public needs to consider. Needless to say, the BBC won’t be promoting in depth debate about the matter, so it’s up to bloggers and journalists to do the job. Actually, not many journo’s seem to want to raise their heads above the parapet either. I know it’s dull stuff, but please read and think about this. It’s up to us to let the political class know we don’t take kindly to having our liberties, fought for since Magna Carta, signed away to an unelected foreign commissariat which subjects us to summary extradition through European arrest warrants, dictates how we (dis)organise flood defences, and forces us to put the ‘human rights’ of criminals before those of their victims.

edward-heath-treason

Was Ted Heath committing treason when he signed Britain into the EU?

Was Britain Taken Into The EU Illegally?
by Vernon Coleman – 2011

Many constitutional experts believe that Britain isn’t actually a member of the European Union since our apparent entry was in violation of British law and was, therefore invalid.

In enacting the European Communities Bill through an ordinary vote in the House of Commons, Ted Heath’s Government breached the constitutional convention which requires a prior consultation of the people (either by a general election or a referendum) on any measure involving constitutional change. The general election or referendum must take place before any related parliamentary debate. (Britain has no straightforward written constitution. But, the signing of the Common Market entrance documents was, without a doubt, a breach of the spirit of our constitution.)

(more…)

There is a new cross party committee on the Arctic, to report in March 2015

Ron Oxburgh is a member of this new House of Lords committee in the Arctic.

Yes, that Ron Oxburgh.

 

His interests declaration makes interesting reading.

(more…)

Climate-sceptical German political party AfD has been trying to get a seat at the ECR EU-reform grouping table in order to gain domestic influence. But much as it would benefit David Cameron in numerical terms to welcome them in, Frau Merkel says ‘Nein!’, and Cameron needs Merkel onside to get a less federalist leaning EU president elected. Doubling his discomfort, if AfD is excluded, they will probably align with UKIP, increasing the likelihood of Nigel Farage’s grouping gaining enough support for a front-row seat in the European Parliament. This from The Irish Times:

ecr-euWith David Cameron in Sweden to haggle with other European Union leaders over Jean-Claude Juncker’s fate, his Tory MEPs face another difficult choice in Brussels.

After final talks today, they decide tomorrow whether or not to accept Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) as Euro-critical allies in the new European parliament.

Welcoming the seven German MEPs would be a shot in the arm to the Tory’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) grouping, making it the third largest in the new parliament and giving a strong voice to the Tory Eurocritical reform agenda.

But they also know that opening the door to the AfD, which polled 7 per cent on May 25th in Germany, would unleash the wrath of Angela Merkel.

Cold shoulder

For two weeks, the German leader has been urging Tory leader Cameron to show the AfD the cold shoulder. She worries that having the AfD in an established political grouping would give them greater credibility and visibility as rivals to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) ahead of state elections later in the summer.

 

With the AfD rising in the polls, the German leader is facing growing pressure from inside her party to present a clear political strategy to challenge – rather than ignore – the AfD threat.

Read the rest here