An Open letter to Chris Huhne

At the Jaguar factory at Castle Bromwich. Huhne’s green policies will make international companies like Tata/Jaguar question further investment in the UK

Dear Mr Huhne,

I am sure you will have seen the article in the Sunday Telegraph of July 17th by Andrew Gilligan entitled “Jobs gone with the wind”.  He raises some important points on which I should be grateful to have your views.

With your panoply of green initiatives — the EU ETS, a carbon floor price, Renewable Obligation Certificates, feed-in tariffs — plus the exorbitant cost of electricity from wind turbines, you are set to give Britain the most expensive electricity in Europe, and thus probably the most expensive electricity in the world.  This will devastate the competitiveness of our economy, and will drive jobs, industry, production, and investment out of the UK (and maybe out of the EU altogether).  This is gesture politics on a grand scale.  It will impoverish our children while doing nothing for the climate.  We may claim to lead, but no one will follow.

In all probability companies will relocate to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, and may thus produce more emissions, not less.  Already the chlorine plant in Runcorn and the Lynemouth aluminium plant have been mentioned.  In my East Midlands constituency, the cement industry will be affected.  All energy intensive industries will face similar problems, including metals, chemicals, glass, paper and wood processing, and so on.  I have just made a visit to the Jaguar plant at Castle Bromwich, and although Jaguar personnel scrupulously declined to comment on the location of Tata/Jaguar’s proposed new engine plant, you have given them a huge incentive to choose India over the UK.

You will have noted that the EU’s ETS gave Tata Steel a massive incentive to close their Teesside plant, rather than any overseas plant, since this gave them a windfall of ETS carbon credits.

It is estimated that 225,000 jobs are under threat from your green policies, and all the evidence from many countries is that the creation of “green jobs” actually destroys far more real jobs in the real economy than are created in “green” industries.

Last year, says Gilligan, a further 700,000 UK homes were driven into fuel poverty, and on some estimates half of all UK homes will be fuel-poor by 2020.  As a politician, I cannot support policies leading to such an outcome.

New research by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that if all the costs of wind energy are accounted for (including the essential conventional back-up, and the hugely expensive adjustments to the National Grid to accommodate distributed generation) then on-shore wind will be three times the cost of nuclear electricity, and off-shore wind four times as expensive.

Stan Higgins, Chief Executive of the Northeast Process Industry Cluster, describes these new costs as “suicidal”.  Industry analysts have pointed out that as a method of reducing emissions, wind turbines are just about the least cost-effective approach — yet you have made wind your primary strategy.

I appeal to you to reconsider this disastrous course of action before more damage is done, more pensioners die of cold, more jobs are lost, more businesses relocate off-shore, and more inward investment is lost to the UK.

ROGER HELMER MEP

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9 Responses to An Open letter to Chris Huhne

  1. Mike Spilligan says:

    Huhne’s proposals are nothing less than an evil and malicious oppression aimed at ordinary middle-class people who, despite recent experiences, still want to make a living in a formerly prosperous nation. It is people like Huhne who are partly responsible for destroying that prosperity – and they neither know nor care how in the past our interwoven lives ran smoothly in mutual viability.
    Ignore all talk about “green jobs”. Most of those would be in taxpayer-funded boondoggles – of which we already have too many – not in truly gainful employment.

  2. Hugh Davis says:

    It’s called corruption in high places.

    Samantha Cameron’s daddy, Sir Reginald Sheffield, trousers a cool million pounds a year in ‘subsidies’ from what you and I pay through our electricity bills for him to cover his land with useless wind turbines.

    And Miriam Gonzalez (don’t call me Mrs Clegg) Durantez is a £500,000 a year company director of Acciona , the Spanish Wind Turbine and Solar company.

    No wonder the lunatic schemes of the scientifically pig-ignorant Huhne go unchallenged by his bosses

  3. Malcolm Edward says:

    I am gutted that our country is under such economic attack from within. It is bad enough we have to compete with the rest of the world whilst sustaining economic attack from the EU.

    It is so galling that such crazed people get elected and appointed to high office.

    What mental deficiency do such people have that they act as if they live in dreamworld and they have a pathological aversion to reality.

  4. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    Huhne’s policy is not – as he claims – “the need to supply secure reliable, clean electricity for the future”. It is to meet EU renewables and emissions targets.

    His policy relies on four things: 1. an effective ban on coal as a fuel; 2. the provision of base load from nuclear; 3. the use of renewables (mainly wind) for variable load; 4. the provision of gas plants to provide back-up for when his renewables fail to deliver (most of the time).

    Such a huge and far reaching change should have been challenged and debated in Parliament. Instead it was passed ‘on the nod’. Once again, our so called ‘elected representatives’ are ‘asleep at the wheel’, showing us how really useless they are. They certainly do not act in the interests of their electors.

    Have a read of this paper which describes our situation well and why the investment needed by Huhne’s policy is unlikely to materialise…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-coming-uk-energy-meltdown-2011-7

    PS. If you haven’t time to read it all, scroll down to “Tipping Point” near the bottom.

    • Peter, You’re right of course. But it’s a pity Huhne hasn’t realised that there’s no point in relying on wind for variable load — because unlike gas, you can’t control it!

  5. The current government seem to want it both ways, higher economic growth and higher levels of prohibitive measures against British industry. With our economy in a dire state, this is not what we need. And, blatantly, it is the most vulnerable in our society, who are likely to suffer the most (from so-called “fuel proverty”). Another brilliant post, Roger.

  6. George Stewart says:

    After the Bomrdiar fiasco, I am mnore worried where those turbines will be built?

    Not only will the increased energy costs drive business away but I fear more that the jobs created in green energy will be jobs in countries other than the UK!!!

  7. Pingback: The Fairfacts Media Show » Blog Archive » BBC joins the leftist eco-loons in suppressing the issue

  8. Pingback: Fine Book Binding in Finedon, Northants « Roger Helmer MEP

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