Amber Rudd MP
I received today a letter from Amber Rudd MP, who appears to be “Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change”. As energy prices are through the roof, and blackouts are threatened for the winter, and there hasn’t been any climate change for eighteen years, I found myself speculating as to what Ms. Rudd has been doing with her time.
But now we know. She tells me that her top priority in Europe is the MSR. This is Market Stability Reserve, the Commission’s latest gimmick to address the fact that their EU Emissions Trading Scheme has never worked properly, nor is likely to. One of the problems of the European project is that no matter how dramatic is the failure of any initiative, the institutions never have the courage to say “OK guys. We got that one wrong. We’ll scrap it and go back to the drawing board”. Oh no. They press on regardless, with tweak following tweak; temporary fix replacing temporary fix, chasing the dream long after it’s become a nightmare. Or as we say, flogging a dead horse. We see it with the ETS. We see it with the €uro. Their hubris will never allow them to admit failure, no matter how self-evident that failure has become to the voter.
And so it is with Amber. I have replied to her as follows:
Thank you for your letter on the proposed Market Stability Reserve as it applies to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. But I cannot support sticking plasters of this kind. The ETS has comprehensively failed in its objectives – which were themselves questionable. It has imposed a vast layer of unnecessary bureaucracy on a major industry. It has spawned a totally non-productive activity in emissions trading. It was sold to us as a market mechanism. But if a market mechanism requires constant regulatory intervention to maintain a credible price, then it is not a market mechanism at all. It is an administrative device – and a hugely inefficient and damaging administrative device.
If you must have a mechanism to reduce CO2 emissions, then a straightforward carbon tax would be more efficient, more predictable, and less damaging. Better still, you should abandon your futile efforts to control emissions. They are undermining industrial competitiveness, and driving energy intensive industries off-shore, taking their jobs and their investment with them. Often they go to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, arguably increasing emissions. They are also forcing households and pensioners into fuel poverty.
UKIP’s twenty-four MEPs will vote against the ETS/MSR proposals.
ROGER HELMER MEP
UKIP Energy Spokesman