The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Monday, October 17, 2005
On the absence of an energy policy
This story on the impact of rising gas prices on British firms is rather depressing confirmation that NuLab has neglected energy issues. Depletion of UK supplies is having the worst possible impact on British firms.

On Saturday, OFGEM had grim news for business:

"We are not hiding from the fact that if you have that 'one in 50' winter, its going to be tough - really tough," he (Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan) says. "But its going to be tougher on industry and commerce than on the consumer."

The solution is that large businesses will be forced by the high gas prices to stop production, and sell on the excess power to the domestic suppliers.

"As a large business, I will have a choice," explains Buchanan. "Do I smash my aluminium or steel and sell my widgets, or do I sell gas? Many have decided that there is a point at which they would sell their gas back in the market." Ineos Chlor, manufacturer of a wide range of industrial chemicals and one of the top-three industrial users of gas in the UK, has already signalled it is willing to do this - helping to reduce the likelihood of business, and especially consumers, being cut off from essential power.

Elsewhere the ITEM Club accuse Gordon Brown of "dressing up" the economy before the election, and say that it is now up "up to the business sector to take up the slack".

This is a tough call, given the energy situation.
posted by Peter Pigeon @ 9:29 am  
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.


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