George Osborne

Government Renewable Energy Subsidy Cuts Leave Industry ‘in Limbo’ and Send ‘Worrying Signal’ About UK Climate Commitment

The government’s cuts to renewable energy subsidies will leave the industry “in limbo” and send a “worrying signal” about the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change ahead of the Paris climate conference, warns Angus Macneil, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has seen an intense backlash from industry, analysts, and politicians as it works to cut the “green crap” in what it claims to be an effort to keep down household bills – the latest being yesterday’s announcement by Amber Rudd, head of DECC, to cut solar subsidies.

Reacting to the news, Macneil said: “The measures announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change today raise more alarming questions for investors in low carbon, renewable technologies who are already struggling to finance projects after a series of sudden policy changes.”

Tories Go It Alone On Shale Gas As Opposition Calls For Fracking Ban

Could the Conservative Party be the last man standing when it comes to promoting fracking in the UK? This week, Chancellor George Osborne reaffirmed the party’s pro-shale agenda, urging Britain not to “turn its back” on shale gas and to “get on with” fracking.

Osborne’s statement during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions' comes a week ahead of a crucial vote by councillors in Lancashire on whether to allow Cuadrilla to frack for the first time in the UK since 2011.

But the opinion amongst the opposition parties appears to be shifting, as Tim Farron and Andy Burnham – both favoured to win leadership of the Liberal Democrats and Labour, respectively – have called for shale gas drilling to be stopped.

Osborne Dines Former Chancellors, See the Menu They Fought to Keep Secret for Half a Decade

Just before Christmas, back in December 2010, the chancellor George Osborne (pictured) sat down to a sumptuous lunch with his predecessors, including Lord Lawson of the climate denial charity the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

At the time, Lawson was telling anyone who would listen that he advised Osborne to make savage cuts to public services as part of the Tory austerity drive designed to drag Britain out of recession following the 2008 banking crisis.

It seems very likely that Lawson would have regaled his luncheon companions with this latest obsession: climate change. The world, he would have inevitably argued, simply cannot afford to make the sacrifices needed to reduce our profligate use of fossil fuels.

Frack The Public: UK Shale Gets US Style PR Makeover


Fracking is an incendiary issue: fractious campaigners are terrified drilling for shale gas will cause earthquakes and contaminate our water supplies. But the chancellor George Osborne and the industry both tell us fracking could fuel an economic recovery and protect the environment.

Lord Chris Smith (pictured) has now stepped into the breach, promising to bring harmony, truth and hope where there has only been discord about the real economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing, apparent errors spread about the environmental risks and doubts about the claims from vested interests.

He has also just been selected by The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee to give evidence on an inquiry into the environmental risks of fracking next week.

Cameron, Climate Chameleon: A Tory Conference Special

David Cameron was the champion of climate change action during the 2009 Tory conference as the party appealed to concerned voters ahead of the general election. “If we don't act now, and act quickly, we could face disaster.”

But five years into a coaltion government with a Liberal Democrat party genuinely committed to climate change mitigation his promise to deliver “the greenest government ever” rings hollow. At this year's conference he all but ignored the issue of our age, saying only Britain is “leading and not following on climate change”.

Fracking Making Its Way Toward the UK

To date, opposition to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for unconventional oil and gas in the United Kingdom (UK) has been fierce. The opposition, though, seems to be meeting deaf ears in England, according to recent news reports. 

Bloomberg reported on Dec. 4 that England's Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, wants to lift the country's currently exisiting moratorium on fracking. The halt was put in place after drilling sites owned by Cuadrilla Resources caused two minor earthquakes in northwestern England in November 2011.

England's Chancellor of the Exchequer (a position equivalent to the Secretary of the Treasury in the United States), George Osborne, is set to release Britain's new energy plan on Dec. 5 and told Bloomberg he wants to ensure “Britain is not left behind” in the unconventional oil and gas boom.  

“Cuadrilla estimates that the area it is exploring in Lancashire, in northwestern England, could contain 200 trillion cubic feet of gas—more gas than all of Iraq,” explained Bloomberg. John Browne, the scandal-ridden former CEO of BP, sits as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cuadrilla. 

Osborne, The Independent recently reported, will also offer tax breaks to oil and gas corporations hungry to profit from England's shale gas prize. 

“Mr. Osborne hopes that tax breaks for shale gas extraction will encourage investors and help economic growth,” The Indepedent wrote. “Oil and gas are currently taxed at between 62 per cent and 81 per cent. Shale gas would be taxed at lower rates.”

An astounding 64-percent of the English countryside could soon be subject to fracking, which is over 34,000 square miles, according to The Independent

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