Thursday, October 9, 2014

Big Oil Freebie for Conflicted Energy Committee Baronet

Regular readers will remember Sir Robert Smith’s attempts to follow in the sleazy footsteps of Tim Yeo, namely the conflict of interest between the LibDem baronet’s position on the Energy select committee and his registrable shareholdings in Shell, Rio Tinto and Glaxosmithkline. Financial interest, tick! What next for Sir Bob at the Yeo School of Milking Your Cushy Energy Job for Personal Gain?

Well, Smith has just declared to the parliamentary authorities that BP generously paid for him and his wife to go to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. No expense spared, natch. Freebie from big oil, tick! Robert will be be back scrutinising the laws that regulate BP next week…

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Davey’s New Green Projects to Cost Taxpayer £1.4 Billion a Year

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today unveiled eight new major renewables projects which he says will be funded by £12 billion of private sector investment to “boost green growth and green jobs“. Renewable projects are guaranteed a price for the power they produce, meaning that the difference between the guaranteed price and the price on the market is subsidised by the taxpayer. Guido has been crunching the numbers to work out how much the subsidy for these new projects will cost taxpayers overall.

Wind

The wholesale price for power for winter 2015 is £53 per MWh. There are 5 offshore wind projects totalling 3,184MW, each guaranteed £140 per MWh if completed in 2017-18. That’s a subsidy of £87 per MWh.

If wind farms generate 35% of the time, that’s 3,066 hours per year. At £87 per hour on 3,184MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £849 million.

Biomass CHP

There is 1 Biomass CHP project providing just 299MW. This is guaranteed £125 per MWh. A subsidy of £72 per MWh.

If this generates 85% of the time, that’s 7,446 hours per year. At £72 per hour on 299MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £160million.

Biomass Conversions

Then there are 2 Biomass Conversions totalling 1,065MW. These are guaranteed £105 per MWh. A subsidy of £52 per MWh.

If these generate 85% of the time, that’s 7,446 hours per year. At £52 per hour on 1,065MW of capacity that’s a subsidy of £412 million.

Overall, that is a total subsidy of £1.4 billion per year.

Davey said today that the new contracts for renewable projects will support 8,500 green jobs. At £1.4 billion, that amounts to £167,000 per green job. Or green crap as the PM likes to call it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Peter Lilley Fails to Declare Little List of Energy Interests

Number 10 policy board adviser Peter Lilley regularly bigs up big oil in speeches to parliament, bemoaning climate change laws that “require us to replace cheap fossil fuels with energy sources that are at least twice as expensive and less reliable” last September and then going after vested interests in November:

“Politicians and environmental campaigners have a vested interest in fanning that suspicion to divert attention from the increases in the cost of energy that the political elite are planning in the move to increasingly costly renewables, with the added costs that they impose on the transmission network.”

What Lilley didn’t mention on either occasion was his own vested interest as the £47,000-a-year non-executive director of Tethys Petroleum Limited, an oil and gas exploration company based in Central Asia. He is also a director of Facor Energy Limited, a new shell company which is yet to begin trading. Considering he’s been an MP for nearly 31 years, he should probably know better than to breach the members’ code of conduct by failing to declare an interest…

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gove Outrider Attacks Osborne’s Budget

Henry de Zoete, the former DfE SpAd who was Michael Gove’s media man, has founded and runs an energy switching campaign called The Big Deal. It’s pretty clever – essentially a mass lobby organisation for lower energy prices. Interestingly Osborne had barely sat down by the time The Big Deal had sent out a press release “respond[-ing] sceptically” to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that he would freeze the Carbon Floor Price, saying it “won’t help consumers” because of the Big Six and their nefarious ways. Gove wasn’t on the frontbench today, but lurked behind the Speaker’s chair instead…

Monday, March 17, 2014

Government Trade Envoy’s £60,000 Conflict of Interest
Charles Hendry’s Oil Job Linked to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Tory MP Charles Hendry has been a busy coining it since he was sacked as Energy minister, landing a £48,000 windfall from wind energy giants Forewind and hobnobbing with Hanover lobbyists and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. On top of that, Hendry has now bagged another outside job as a consultant at oil giants Vitol. He will be paid £60,000-a-year for eighteen days’ work, taking his outside earnings over £100,000.

Vitol is a $300 billion energy trading company which runs oil exploration projects in corrupt, authoritarian countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Guido is sure it is nothing more than coincidence, but Hendry is also the president of the advisory board of the Russo-British chamber of commerce and is the Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Hendry is standing down in 2015, but not before he trousers one last big payday…

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Last Person to Leave Venezuela Please Turn Out the Lights

Over in free and prosperous Venezuela last night, moderate and reasonable President Maduro addressed the nation on television. As he laid out his socialist vision of glorious revolution and the bright red future, large swathes of the country were plunged into darkness as crippling power cuts took out its oil refineries.

No doubt Owen Jones is standing by to observe how everything is fine.

Price caps work then, do they?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Davey Pockets Private Jet Cash as Holiday Tax Soars

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey recently encountered some turbulence when his department were exposed as hypocrites for making air travel more expensive for holiday goers while charging two domestic flights a day to the taxpayer. Now Guido can reveal Davey has even more baggage.

The Lib Dem has just landed £14,000 worth of personal donations from Air Charter Services Plc and its chairman Chris Leach, who describe themselves as “one of the largest charter companies in the world”, providing 50,000 private jets to globetrotting celebs and businessmen. Whatever could have attracted to them to the Minister who is so keen on punishingly high air passenger duty taxes?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SKETCH: Energy Committee Lacking Energy, Power, Illumination

You’d pay quite a levy or premium on your fuel bill to wipe the smirk off their management faces.

It wasn’t a grilling. Parliament couldn’t afford the fuel. It was a little light poaching. It was coddling.

Wither-ringing quote of the day from Labour’s Ian Lavery: “How can the profits be fair if people can’t afford to pay them!”

Faced with such a confused and under-informed committee (Energy and Climate Change) the energy bosses realised they could say anything they liked.

Transparency. Trust. Fairness. Profoundly regretting putting up any prices at any time. Our passionate people working their fingers to the bone to keep the lights on by investing, yes and re-investing everything they made back into this sceptre’d isle so that the poor, the disabled, the elderly, young people, differently-sexed people, women with skin issues, fish – wouldn’t have to choose between eating and heating.

(more…)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cam and Clegg’s Own Energy Con

Dave is aiming to halve green levies, so says the Times splash this morning. Delve a little deeper though and this may not be the good news it seems. In order to satisfy Clegg, Cameron is considering simply shifting the money raised from green taxes on energy bills into general taxation. Which means the taxpayer is still stumping up to subsidise green projects, just in a less noticeable way. It is not actually a cut at all. If Ed is a conman, what does that make Cameron and Clegg?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mad Al’s Scottish Power Trip

Guido was wondering how long it would take for Alastair Campbell’s outside interests to crop up now he is back helping out Miliband. Turns out just a few hours. Labour have wasted no time sticking the boot into Scottish Power after they put up energy prices by 8.6% this afternoon. Who does Scottish Power’s PR? That would be Mad Al’s very own Portland Communications. Cosy…


Seen Elsewhere

Apple’s Tim Cook: iGay | Techno Guido
Insurgent Parties Plunge Labour Into Crisis | Alex Wickham
Mind-Bending Politics of Drugs | Mark Wallace
PC Worries Prevent Police Protecting Young Girls | Jill Kirby
Miliband Should Win Rochester | Martin Kettle
Thatcher Minister Sir John Nott ‘Voted for UKIP’ | Times
Time to Listen to Drugs Experts | Guardian
Drug Laws Don’t Work | Times
Our Moral Duty to Cut Taxes | David Cameron
Greens Ahead of LibDems | Guardian
Channel 4 to Spoof UKIP Election Win | Guardian


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“Politicians attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by posturing with tough policies and calling for crackdown after crackdown. Drugs policy has been failing for decades.”



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