Our power policy is stranger than fiction
There is a saying that truth is stranger than fiction. That is certainly true with Tory energy policy. You just couldn’t make it up.
Last week, the last remaining deep coal miners in Britain received their Christmas present – redundancy notices. Kellingly pit in North Yorkshire closed for the last time.
The Government proudly says it is the first to phase out coal-fired power stations. That would appear to be the (ir)rationale for scrapping its £1bn carbon capture and storage programme which could have given coal, which we have in abundance, a future, as well as provide fantastic business opportunities for Britain.
But it gets worse. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd favours gas to replace coal by 2025, saying that to rely on “polluting” fuel was perverse. Her department boasts that “we are the first country to set out an end date for unabated coal as part of our plans for a cleaner energy future,set on a secure base of gas and nuclear”.
This is just breathtaking rubbish. Has she any concept of the meaning of ‘perverse’? The Government is hell bent on bringing shale gas on stream at fast as it possibly can. It has manipulated the political process to permit drilling under National Parks from rigs situated on the edge. And folk complain that wind turbines are unsightly!
Despite the technology being available to make the huge flares we see offshore unnecessary, there are no signs of that technology being used. The environmental fallout from the products of combustion of those flares (and any unburnt gas within them) is unknown.
Lord Smith’s industry funded report waxes eloquent about the extent of regulation, citing the number of government agencies involved. Actually, that is exactly the reason why the enforcement of regulation is inherently dysfunctional.
But setting all that to one side, we have NOT invested in the large scale gas generation plants needed to feed the grid, which has caused National Grid to warn that it may have switch off heavy industrial users at peak times.
Instead, National Grid has published the results of this year’s subsidy auction. This system is truly ‘perverse’ in that it favours highly polluting small scale gas and diesel generators over the kind of plant we need.
A junior minister in Rudd’s department, Andrea Leadsom, welcomed the auction results. saying they had driven down costs for consumers.
That’s why the latest nuclear deal with EDF and China guarantees electricity prices to the producers of at least twice the current wholesale price. Let’s not go there if you want to retain the will to live.
Secretary Fylde Liberal Democrats
London link is an unreliable service
I write regarding the article on the anniversary of the direct rail link to London (Gazette, December 15).
I went to use this service on Monday, November 30 and arrived at Poulton station in good time, but the train did not come.
Having to change trains, and arriving at Euston later than I intended, Virgin staff there were unable to to say why the service had not run.
The direct return service in the afternoon did run, although it was late arriving back. On enquiring next day at North Station, the outward service had been withdrawn for the whole week and it seems this has happened on previous occasions.
An unreliable service is not the best way to encourage passengers to use it. A direct enquiry to Virgin Trains has not so far resulted in any reply.
Remember a time of war and suffering
Although it’s a festive time, spare a thought for our Blackpool boys in 1941.
The ‘Blackpool Regiment’ was literally fighting for its life in Malaya over Christmasthat year, when Japanese forces swept through the Malay Peninsula. The Regiment withdrew to Singapore, in time for the surrender of the island in February of 1942.
It survived just 80 days since landing in Singapore in late November 1941.
The Regiment was never reformed. They lost about a third of their number through combat, and at the hands of the Japanese as PoWs. Many local families were affected.
The altar screen, memorials and Roll of Honour in St John’s Church are testament to their loss.
Please help the cats this Christmas
We want to thank Gazette readers for their donations of food and money over this past year, which have enabled us to feed the cats at Rainbow Bridge Sanctuary.
What we really need now is wet food – tins and pouches of cat food. We also need donations of money to buy worm and flea treatments. We do not need any more papers or dry food, as the cats only eat GoCat.
We wish you a beautiful Christmas.
Rainbow Bridge Sanctuary Grosvenor House, Blackpool
Make 2016 a year to protect rainforests
The start of the industrial revolution was the real beginning of global warming.
Man’s insatiable demand for timber the main culprit.
Since then, rainforests have been decimated. Trees are the lungs of the planet. It takes at least four trees to combat the damage a single car causes.
We must curtail further destruction of the rainforests.