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« DEFRA science advisors | Main | Stitching up the electricity market »
Wednesday
Feb092011

Stitching up the gas market

Also in the House of Commons today, an inquiry into shale gas, again under the auspices of Mr Huhne's Energy and Climate Change COmmittee.

Who will give evidence?

At 9.45 am

  • Nigel Smith, Geologist, British Geological Survey, and
  • Professor Richard Selley, Petroleum Geologist, Imperial College London

At 10.45 am

  • Jenny Banks, Energy and Climate Change Policy Officer, WWF, and
  • Professor Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester

I wonder if Chris Huhne has an environmentalist to tell him which pair of underpants to put on in the morning?

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Reader Comments (41)

My God - the World Wildlife Fund really have got their feet under the table at the Department of Energy and Climate Cobblers, haven't they..?

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

"I wonder if Chris Huhne has an environmentalist to tell him which pair of underpants to put on in the morning?"

Yep - else he's not allowed to leave his house ...

Btw, can someone tell me when we elected the WWF to represent our interests in regard to gas and electricity?

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Nobody from the exploration companies.
Nobody from British Gas.
Nobody from National Grid.
Nobody from the energy companies.
Is this the way Call me Dave's coalition government manages 'inquiries'..?

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I think I just spotted the outcome of this inquiry, lurking quietly in the shrubbery around the agenda:

"Is there a case for calling a moratorium on shale gas exploration until the local-pollution and global-envrionmental impacts are better understood?"

A bent farthing says that the main conclusion will be a call for a moratorium.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

How can we get rid of Mr Hoo of Hoo-Stick fame?

I know from experience that writing to one's MP is utterly futile.
Perhaps we could point out to Osborne what Hoo means for the economy?
Or write to IDS how Hoo's shenanigans will affect the vulnerable he's supposedly looking after?

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

The pants of course are green on the outside, red on the inside and made for easy removal by ladies who are not his wife.

Any organisation that sings along with the government's mood music on the environment and climate change gets a seat at the top table. That is why the Met Office is covered in teflon when it comes to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAutonomous Mind

As an exercise, it might be amusing to see how many forecasts of doom and gloom would be inconsistent with there having been a thriving shale oil industry in West Lothian in the 19th century.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Higher fuel prices, higher electricty prices, higher gas prices, higher food costs, higher employment - cuts to public services, cutbacks in education, primary health care, social provision, transport provision, etc.

We have the makings of a revolution here - and the environmental movement are on the wrong side.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

CORRECTION

Higher fuel prices, higher electricty prices, higher gas prices, higher food costs, higher (un)employment - cuts to public services, cutbacks in education, primary health care, social provision, transport provision, etc.

We have the makings of a revolution here - and the environmental movement are on the wrong side.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

My Lord Bishop has only posted those giving evidence today. Most inquiries have several oral evidence sessions as well as receiving shedloads of paper submissions. I suspect other interests will be well represented (although to be fair some evidence is listened to with more resopect than others)

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Arthur Dent - true - but its a lot harder to sit eyeball-to-eyeball with someone from (say) the World Wildlife Fund, and say: 'We don't consider that your views on this matter carry any weight'.
Easier to write to someone who has submitted written evidence along the lines of: 'Thank you for your input. Your views will be taken into account'.

Feb 9, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Which underpants? The bamboo ones of course.

"Piado, based in Atlanta, GA, uses sustainable bamboo for their men’s 'Colors of Life' underwear line. As stated on the company’s web site, they prefer bamboo because it 'helps reduce the carbon dioxide gases that contribute to global warming and does not require the use of pesticides for its growth'.”

http://ctgreenscene.typepad.com/ct_green_scene/2009/07/green-underpants.html

(Repost. Sorry, got my threads crossed.)

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Most countries are drooling in anticipation of lots of shale gas. Not Britain where they regard gas deposits as an obstacle to a green future. So, if gas prices fall worldwide, will the UK turn its back on cheap energy and go for the green expensive option justifying this on moral grounds in the expectation that the rest of the world will see the error of its ways? History tells us that great empires fall for all sorts of reasons. The British Empire has had its day and it looks like the mother country might well collapse also unless we wake up and realise that the environment can look after itself for a while. These are dark days.

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterWilson Flood

Meanwhile, the madness continues...

'Giant Humber Gateway offshore wind farm gets green light'

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2025094/giant-humber-gateway-offshore-wind-farm-green-light

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaulH from Scotland

OT, but have you seen this (saw it on Lubos)

http://www.co2science.org/education/truthalerts/v14/TruthAboutClimateChangeOpenLetter.php

(sorry if this has already been posted)

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterpax

Your grace - this is the "Commons Select Committee". This committee is supposed to represent us vis-a-vis Huhne and oversee the DECC (as more or less explained here http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/committees/select/ ). It is not supposed to be "Huhne's committee" although since the committee and the department sing from the same hymn book you can see what a crock "parliamentary oversight" has become.

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterUmbongo

pax - Yes, it's been a topic over at Judith's also - http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/08/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-part-x-alarmists-vs-deniers/ - 199 comments but only managed to get through the first 30 or so...

Feb 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

@pax: yeh. its up at wuwt. i'm finding the refernced co2 science report to be disengenuous in my limited look into it.

Feb 9, 2011 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermark

O/T

A rational interview with an environmentalist...

Greenpeace co-founder talks biotech, nuclear and climate

“We're a tropical species – we haven't adapted to cold and ice. When people say temperature is going to go up 2°C and we're going to die, I just laugh.”

Feb 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Huhne will first ask the geologist and gas specialist about shale gas impact on pandas and then the WWF guy about shale gas impact on environment. A fair and balanced assessment à la BBC.

Feb 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJean Rochefort

I read the submission from The Cooperative Society calling for a moratorium on shale gas - what on earth is their interest. Don't they understand that much of the food they sell which is UK produced uses processes powered by natural gas? It is in their interest to maintain UK supplies of cheap gas & not be at the beck & call of dubious countries & states. Have alook at
http://nohotair.typepad.co.uk/no_hot_air/
description of the Blackpool shale gas drill site.

The Cooperative Good with Food
F@@~#g SH??E with Gas

Feb 9, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEmpeef

Viv Evans reasonably asks

Btw, can someone tell me when we elected the WWF to represent our interests in regard to gas and electricity?

Funny that. I was left trying to remember what the first two letters of 'NGO' stand for.

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

As Umbongo has pointed out this is not Huhne's committee but an HoC Select Committee with oversight responsibility for DECC. It is following a perfectly normal process in taking evidence, it asked for written submissions (too late now closing date was in January) and following receipt of those it will have asked to receive oral supporting evidence from thos submissions that it wished to debate in greater depth. This will normally, as in this case, include a range of stakeholders including NGOs but also including industry, goverment and academics.

The degree of snark and ridicule on this thread is unworthy of the usually high standards that are found here.

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Arthur

Perhaps. Do we think that select committees dance to the tune of the whips or do we think that they represent independent oversight of the executive?

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I recall as a working engineer for a large company attending a fairly technical electricity supply conference. The day fee for attending was steep and the recommended hotels were dear, so I was allowed to attend for only for the one most relevant day and without accommodation.

To my surprise I found there were no less than three delegates from WWF all fully funded in the most expensive of the delegate hotels. Until then I had not appreciated that there was a linkage between electricity and pandas.

WWF is a pretty scary organisation and sadly it would appear are the main source of what passes for thinking coming from our Mr Huhne.

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave W

I recall as a working engineer for a large company attending a fairly technical electricity supply conference. The day fee for attending was steep and the recommended hotels were dear, so I was allowed to attend for only for the one most relevant day and without accommodation.

To my surprise I found there were no less than three delegates from WWF all fully funded in the most expensive of the delegate hotels. Until then I had not appreciated that there was a linkage between electricity and pandas.

WWF is a pretty scary organisation and sadly it would appear are the main source of what passes for thinking coming from our Mr Huhne.

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave W

I recall as a working engineer for a large company attending a fairly technical electricity supply conference. The day fee for attending was steep and the recommended hotels were dear, so I was allowed to attend for only for the one most relevant day and without accommodation.

To my surprise I found there were no less than three delegates from WWF all fully funded in the most expensive of the delegate hotels. Until then I had not appreciated that there was a linkage between electricity and pandas.

WWF is a pretty scary organisation and sadly it would appear are the main source of what passes for thinking coming from our Mr Huhne.

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave W

My Lord, of course some of the select committee members dance to the tune of the whips, although in recent years there have been some signs of independence. My point was about the fact that taking evidence from a NGO is neither unusual nor reprehensible. Remember that the IoD and the CBI are also NGOs

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Arthur

I agree that there is nothing wrong with taking evidence from NGOs per se. But I thought it was interesting to see them both inquiries taking evidence from green NGOs on the same day (but not with consumer groups), and particularly when we know that Huhne has monthly meetings with green NGOs (but not with consumer groups).

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

It makes me weep.
A post on the governance of WWF and Greenpeace would be very interesting. Perhaps one of your clever and informed regular readers might oblige.

Feb 9, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterG. Watkins

Sarah Palin has coined a phrase which she attributes to the policies of the Obama Administration: "The Road to Ruin." Seems like your politicians in the UK are cast in the same mold. Perhaps it is a neurological disorder caused by a "pollutant" in the air?

Feb 9, 2011 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrCrinum

The coincidence of NGO evidence is not that surprising, evidence sessions frequently group like minded takeholders together so that the CIA and CBI might be expected to be on the same morning. Also the clerk will usually be accomodating as to when the organisation appears and thus if two commitees are meeting on the same day that both need evidence from the same group then that would normally be facilitated. Don't look for conspiracies where they don't exist after all this is all in public.

Now the regular private briefing of Ministers by NGOs, which began during the last labour government with Michael Meacher is a different can of worms entirely and one should be very very suspicious about such unaccountable lobbying at such a senior level

Feb 9, 2011 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Arthur Dent

As I contributed my own little bit to the snark in this thread, I feel I should explain. I freely admit to ignorance about the proper form for setting up these meetings, and may be in error to be sarky about the presence of WWF etc.

I was incensed when I learned - on this blog IIRC - that Huhne was taking monthly meetings with reps from FOE, WWF etc. From what you say above we are in agreement about the essentials: environmental lobbyists have a frightening degree of access to Huhne. Access which he appears to facilitate, and so presumably welcomes.

This is profoundly disturbing.

Feb 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Hopefully they all read this report: https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/upstream/licensing/shalegas.pdf

There is a short rudimentary summary with a couple of video clips here:
http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/shalegas.html

As usual, the only thing preventing the UK developing is politics and initiative, both of which are being manipulated by the green agenda.

Feb 9, 2011 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

Dave W:
All over the UK digital channels are what must amount to hundreds of WWF adverts per week, all heart-string pulling pleas to help the WWF save the cuddly polar bear, the majestic tiger or the doe-eyed furry something or other. I have nothing against animals (although I might have a different perspective if there were ruddy great big ones living nearby who might tear out my entrails) but the ads really are puke-makingly saccharine emotional blackmail.

I am sure that all the little old ladies who pledge a few pounds a month to each campaign would be comforted though to know how careful the WWF are with their donations, as exemplified in your post.

I await the day that the WWF run ads begging for money to help keep their delegates in their natural five star hotel luxury habitat rather than have them suffer relocation to a Holiday Inn.

Feb 9, 2011 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

On the reach - and wealth - of the WWF:

http://www.climate-resistance.org/2010/01/wwf-wtf.html

Sobering.

Feb 9, 2011 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"Is there a case for calling a moratorium on shale gas exploration until the local-pollution and global-envrionmental impacts are better understood?"

But nobody suggests calling a moratorium on CO2-limiting measures until its environmental impacts are better understood...

Feb 9, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Don't forget that Huhne thought he had zero chance of government and could sign up to any loony-tunes ideas: his aim was to keep his Parliamentary seat in Eastleigh. The fact that he is now Energy and Climate Change Secretary is happenstance for him. He didn't work for it and now we see that he didn't prepare for it. And the only chance he has of staying in the job is to keep the Mutual Admiration Society of Greenpeace, WWF, Guardian and RSPB happy. A travesty of democracy with enormous implications for us all.

Feb 9, 2011 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

BBD

Very. The Animal Rights activists funded themselves by rattling tins 'for the animals'. For WWF, living off immoral earnings springs to mind.

Feb 9, 2011 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

@Jiminy Cricket

That's a good read. Very informative interview.

The only disagreement I'd have is in relation to the nuclear power. If solar energy doesn't get cheaper and more practical, I prefer the continued use of coal-power over nuclear.

That article is definitely worth a post on BH, I'd say.

Feb 9, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Yep, Artwest - I've seen those sick-making WWF commercials.
What I don't understand is this: You are supposed to send £3 a month to 'save' the polar bears. So how does that work - does someone from the WWF sidle up to a polar bear and say: 'Here's three quid. Go and get yourself a nice fish supper..'..?

Feb 10, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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