Surging Oil Adds to Sunak’s Election Timing Woes

Slow economic growth with inflation – stagflation – could result from the surging price of oil. Markets are mesmerised by the thought that as we go into winter in the Northern hemisphere oil is heading towards $100-a-barrel. The chart above shows Brent crude is in the mid-nineties as the Saudis are determined to push prices higher. The US is now insulated by domestic fracked shale oil supplies and the dollar has become a petro-currency as a result. Campaigners today again won permission for yet another hearing to challenge and delay the go-ahead to build the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station. Thanks to anti-frackers, anti-nuclear campaigners, and Net Zero zombies, Britain’s energy insecurity has increased. 

Oil prices will add to the political miseries facing Sunak as he decides whether to go for a May election before things get worse, or play it long in the hope that things get better. He’s caught between an unfracked rock and a hard place…

mdi-timer 18 September 2023 @ 15:28 18 Sep 2023 @ 15:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Pessimistic Dom Said to Be Prepping for Nuclear War

Since stepping back from front-line politics, Dominic Cummings has had time to get on with the important things in life. Like worrying about the possibility of thermo-nuclear war breaking out as a consequence of an escalation of the Ukraine conflict. Something he is concerned enough to tweet about frequently. Dom’s detractors point out this is also a Kremlin talking point.

Guido doesn’t think Dom is a patsy for Putin, he’s just genuinely worried about the risk of a nuclear war. As a result, Guido hears Dom has told friends he has bought an island retreat on Lindisfarne – chosen for its prime location in the context of a nuclear apocalypse, in the sense that it is far outside the likely fallout zone following an atomic blast over London.  Always look on the bright side…

Guido’s own calculations back up Dom’s. Although nuclear fallout is difficult to predict – and often dependent on a range of factors – going by the radius from the Bikini Atoll test, which spread around 450 kilometres, Dom’s Holy Island retreat would be well clear of any burn zones and just about free from fallout. Guido prefers to stay on his own Insula Sacra…

Hat-tip: Nukemap by Alex Wellerstein

mdi-timer 20 March 2023 @ 16:09 20 Mar 2023 @ 16:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government’s Mixed Messaging on Major Energy Announcement

Guido is giving the government the benefit of the doubt over its planned “review” of Sizewell C. According to the BBC, a spokesperson said they are “reviewing every major project”, including the new nuclear power plant, as Jeremy hunts for £25 billion in spending cuts. Scrapping a route to energy independence shouldn’t be on the menu…

BEIS, however, suggest this is overblown, and “one large-scale” plant is still likely to go ahead:

“HS2 is under way, within budget, and supporting 28,000 jobs, we are also seeking to approve at least one large-scale nuclear project in the next few years and aim to speed up the delivery of around 100 major infrastructure projects across the UK.”

As Jim Pickard points out, this is obviously a reference to Sizewell, although it’s not clear on the timings. The government also indicate that Sizewell is likely safe because scrapping it would undermine decarbonisation plans. Either way, pulling the plug because it will “take years to build” would be straight out of the Nick Clegg playbook. Go nuclear, go large

UPDATE: Government spokesperson confirms Sizewell C is NOT being scrapped.

mdi-timer 4 November 2022 @ 10:33 4 Nov 2022 @ 10:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Confirms £700 Million for Sizewell C Nuclear Plant

In one of his last speeches as PM, Boris has just announced the government will cough up £700 million for the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk. Confirming the sum trailed in the Sun last night, Boris insisted he was “absolutely confident it will get over the line” with the new investment:

“No more national myopia, no more short-termism, let’s think about the future, let’s think about our kids and our grandchildren, about the next generation. I say to you with the prophetic candour and clarity with one who is about to hand over the torch of office, I say: Go nuclear, go large and go with Sizewell C.”

He also took one last swipe at Blair and Brown for inaction on energy security: “Gee thanks, Tony. Thanks, Gordon”. He also attacked those “who think hydrocarbons are the only answer” – something that could be interpreted as a side swipe at his pro-fracking potential successors. Go nuclear, go large…

mdi-timer 1 September 2022 @ 12:45 1 Sep 2022 @ 12:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Germany U-Turns on Nuclear Power

In 2009, nuclear power supplied 25% of Germany’s electricity. As a result of the December 2021 election, which produced an Olaf Scholz-led traffic light coalition of the SPD, FDP, and Greens, the federal government announced they would shut down the last three functioning modern nuclear power plants this year. Yet in a belated outburst of rationality, the German government has decided to keep them open – for now. The Green Party, which has delivered Germany into reliance on the kindness of Vladimir Putin, is reluctantly going along with the “temporary” policy reversal.

With energy prices rising almost exponentially, German industrial production was suffering badly. Business logic was always likely to prevail over politics. Whatever German industry wants, German industry tends to get…

mdi-timer 17 August 2022 @ 11:21 17 Aug 2022 @ 11:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Scottish Government Minister Wants to Leave NATO, Unknowingly Defends Nukes as a Deterrent

Yesterday, Scottish Government minister Lorna Slater had the sort of loony media showing Guido almost misses from the Corbyn era of Labour. The minister for “Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity” went on TV to argue that the party in coalition with the SNP still back pulling out of NATO, in spite of the Ukraine war, because of the organisation’s “first strike nuclear attack” policy. While calling for withdrawal from NATO, Slater argued she wants Scotland to go independent so they can be more internationalist…

Slater also put in an incredible showing on the issue of getting rid of nuclear weapons, during which she made a prime argument why nuclear weapons are a military deterrence without realising it. So just to recap, the Scottish government is currently made up of a first minister who wants to spark WW3 and ministers who want to leave NATO. Keeping up?

mdi-timer 14 March 2022 @ 10:26 14 Mar 2022 @ 10:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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