The Government today announced that there would be no more public subsidies for new onshore windfarm developments.
It was also announced that future planning approvals for proposed wind energy developments would be placed in the hands of communities and their locally elected representatives and not dictated by Central Government.
Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy and is zero carbon in operation.
This week the Government also announced a proposal to grant additional rights to companies carrying out fracking for shale gas to extend their operations horizontally beneath the property of neighbouring landowners without the need for consent, thus appropriating the private property rights of these neighbours whose ownership is traditionally in English law seen as extending from the centre of the Earth below to the heavens above their allotted portion of England’s Green and Pleasant Land.
Licences to explore for oil and gas, including by fracking, are granted by Central Government and not the Local Planning Authority.
With the enthusiastic backing of the Prime Minister and Chancellor, a generous tax allowance (subsidy) regime has been put in place for shale gas exploration.
Shale gas, whilst less carbon intensive a fuel than coal, is still a fossil fuel, a non-renewable resource the burning of which adds to the CO2 emissions that are fuelling climate change. In the United States, fracking has been linked with environmental damage, pollution of groundwater, methane emissions, seismic events and adverse human health impacts. In the UK there is widespread public opposition to the prospect of fracking, significant protests in potential shale exploration sites such as Balcombe and Barton Moss which have led to the arrest of a Member of Parliament – Green MP and former Party Leader Caroline Lucas – who was recently cleared of all charges.
How can any sane individual claim that the Government’s blatantly contradictory stances on onshore wind and shale gas add up to a coherent energy or environmental policy?
Of course…there is an election looming and UKIP are in town and spreading panic in the Tory heartlands. Sanity has been ditched along with all the “green crap”.