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Cameron's ruddy duck

So David Cameron won himself a majority and the chance to return some sanity to the UK's energy policy after the disastrous tenures of Ed Davey and, before him, Ed Milliband. All it was going to take was the gumption to face down the green blob and put the consumer interest ahead of the vested interest.

Unfortunately, Mr Cameron may well have ducked this particular challenge, as it has now emerged that the DECC portfolio is being handed to Amber Rudd, formerly a junior minister in the department, who is seen as a green friendly appointment. In an interview last year she had this to say:

The main purpose for me [here] is to get up to speed with the relationships and the issues to do with delivering one of the most important things we're ever going to do, which is limiting global warming to under 2°C.

I don't think you could get a cigarette paper between me and Labour on our commitment to getting a deal in Paris.

Lucky old vested interests.

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Reader Comments (58)

Are you surprised?

Either Cameron is a hypocrite who only pretends to be Green to keep onside the only people who vote solely on Green issues (Deep Greens like the BBC)...

Or he means it.

May 11, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

This is deeply disappointing, but not surprising.

May 11, 2015 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Obviously the danger of SamCam withdrawing conjugal rights if he 'cut the green crap' was a risk he couldn't take.

May 11, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

How very depressing.

If her aim is to keep global warming below a 2C rise, has she considered that by doing absolutely nothing, she is well on her way to acheiving her most important role in life.

May 11, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Utterly predictable. She was one of Cameron's A list green supporters even back when in opposition in 2009 campaigning for the Copenhagen agreement.

May 11, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Let's hope George Osborne puts the boot in; he is, after all, looking for a lot of cuts.

May 11, 2015 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered Commentermitcheltj

Since 2 degrees of global warming is obviously catastrophic shouldn't we start admitting climate refugees from southern Europe now?

May 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Come back Nigel, all is forgiven.

May 11, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Looks like time for someone to start flooding her with some facts.
Paterson, Lilley, Lawson, for a start.
Somebody must be able to put together a proper briefing note pointing out where the Climateers are mistaken and where they are actually lying, with supporting evidence, and also explaining why she needs to stop listening to the eco-NGOs and the renewables industry though that may be a lost cause since the fossil fuel lobby and the renewables lobby are now virtually the same thing.
At least we should be able to force her into a position where she is getting a reasoned argument from the other side, especially on the subject of the pointlessness of wind and solar and the irrelevance of any attempt by the UK to cut its emissions by anything close to the planned figure.

May 11, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Perhaps those phone calls Cameron had with Brussels over the weekend were so they could dictate terms to him rather than the other way round…

May 11, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

Oh dear, he falls at the first hurdle, no surprise there then. So we have another green tottty promoted well above her ability, it's the quota system again. When will we get a Conservative in power....please, we need the energy!

May 11, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

I am going to go with the glass half full on this.

A junior and inexperienced Minister means that any idiocy that arises out of DECC can be headed off at Cabinet. So Cameron gets to sideline Alarmists, with the appointment of an Alarmist, but one that isn't a heavy enough hitter to force the policy hand.

May 11, 2015 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Then again, Cameron just goes where the votes go and couldn't really care if he covered the country with windmills and Britain was without electricity for extended periods, as long as he was still in Number 10, with more than enough emergency power back-up.

May 11, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

I wonder how she is going to deal with Cameron's promise of no more land based wind turbines? Only hope now is Osborne and his expected cuts to DECC departmental spending. Could mean less money to NGO's such as Greenpeace etc. One can only hope. Would hope she is only "window dressing" and green funding goes "down" and fracking "up". Hopefully non green industry heads will put pressure on Cameron & Co to evolve an energy policy that guarantees grid stability and competitive costs. Perhaps I am only dreaming.

May 11, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Peter

Given that the BBC Charter is up for renewal in 2016, perhaps we should all write complaints about the BBC, to John Whittingdale.

Who knows he might listen!

We would all save £145 of this Green tax!

May 11, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

According to Wikipedia, she has a degree in history, has worked in the banking and finance industry, and has campaigned for women's issues. So clearly she is ideally qualified in terms of the complex science and engineering understanding required for Energy and Climate Secretary.
On her own website I can see nothing about energy or climate.

May 11, 2015 at 11:22 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Australia used to have a TV licence fee to fund the ABC. It was scrapped more than 30 years ago as it was considered inefficient to levy separate tax on TV viewers once TV ownership became close to universal. The ABC is now funded out of general revenue.

May 11, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterGerard

If her aim is to keep global warming below a 2C rise, has she considered that by doing absolutely nothing, she is well on her way to acheiving her most important role in life.

May 11, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Well, it was said that George W. Bush's main talent was that he kept beating consistently low expectations...

I'll be briefly optimistic. If she is now up to speed with the last ~18 year's satellite data, then she can indeed go to Paris and say that the measures are clearly working, declare victory, and go home.

May 11, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I don't think we should underestimate the lack of clear understanding of where we are on both energy and climate. MPs on all sides bar UKIP (and probably some of them too) know almost nothing but the BBC greenwash. I would very much blame the utilities and even the oil producers for their attitude of keeping their heads down and hoping AGW hysteria would blow over. They've underestimated how much it appeals to the catastrophist in the human psyche. If the people who know best about the situation of UK energy supplies can't convince ministers of our precarious position then either we're not actually in the poo or energy companies are expecting to make a profit either way. There is a third alternative that their negotiating teams are closet greens and are sabotaging fossil fuel organisations from the inside. The result of inviting environmentalists in as a show of greenwash.

I wonder why there has never been a consumers lobby to fight for the bill payers? The obvious candidate should have been Age UK but they've convinced themselves that lower bills and windmills are not incompatible. They think the elderly will whisper 'thank god the grandchildren won't suffer heat stroke' as they freeze to death in front of a half burnt copy of The Merchants of Doubt.

May 11, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

You do get the feeling that DECC is a dead duck. Nobody except the OCD greens mentioned the environment in the campaign. It's slated for death by reorganisation I'd say.


May 11, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman


No such luck. Osborne is the author of the Carbon Floor Price, now wrecking the profitability of reliable power generators.

I note that Deben expects Rudd to be his lackey:

While Barker knows she'll sign up to anything Davey would have signed in Paris:

May 11, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Big numbers can frighten some people, and are used to create fear. If Rudd was in finance, I would hope she understands the basic concept.

A number, with lots of noughts after it, before the decimal point, is big. The use of £ m, is a way of indicating millions of pounds, and hence reduces the number of noughts that have to be typed.

A number, with lots of noughts before it, after the decimal point, is small. The use of ppm, parts per million, is a way of trying to make a very very small number, appear bigger, more important and significant.

Many greens do not understand sums, numbers and stuff. Those greens that do understand sums and numbers know this, and so use sums and numbers to confuse, and spread fear, amongst their gullible comrades.

If Rudd can get a grip on how greens use sums and numbers ...... Rudd should know how financiers use sums and numbers to explain to politicians, that they know best. Politicians always think they know best, when their bank account, Offshore or Inshore, remains above water.

May 11, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Insanity in Government is endemic.
One idiot replaced by another nincompoop

May 11, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

What about Cameron's father-in-law?
No more subsidies?

May 11, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

No doubt one of her first acts will be to approve the massive subsidies for the lunacy that is known as the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. If she does, we will know that there is no hope for the country's electricity supply and our bills.

May 11, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

So, the fragrant Amber Crudd. Wonderful!

Reinforces my view that Ruinable Energy will ultimately collapse when and not before a significant group of the population (OK, those North of Watford Gap) repeatedly shiver in the dark.

Just as we'll get out of the EU not thanks to Dave Boy's referendum or the workings of UKIP, but when the whole rotten edifice collapses.

Nothing to do with science. Precious little to do with mainstream politics.

May 11, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Climate alarmism is here for the long haul, so maybe they're playing the long game? As things stand a 'pro-Green' minister can sign up to time-lengthy but effectively meaningless, weak or non-binding pledges, thus keeping the Green blob at bay and Green industry engaged while actually allowing us enough political wriggle room to introduce shale and water down excessive renewable subsidies. Slowly slowly and all that.

If they'd reappointed Owen Paterson the cat would've been out of the bag and all hell would've broken loose.

I suspect they're very aware of the potential true costs of going Green, so are tippy-toeing around the edges offering just enough to keep alarmists onside.

In any event they'll surely be less nonsensical than the Lib Dems, which is progress of a kind.

May 11, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Amber Rudd was a director of a company called "The Green Journal" (company number 02341878) from 1 Feb 1991 to 27th July 2000.

I have found 2 web sites with that name. One of them is an Elsevier journal about Radiotherapy and Oncology so I don’t think it is that.

The other is this which is little more than a renewable energy PR site. Unfortunately, this site appears quite young whereas "The Green Journal" company is quite old so I have my doubts that it is this one.

It would be interesting to know exactly what ""The Green Journal" was.

May 11, 2015 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"Looks like time for someone to start flooding her with some facts. Paterson, Lilley, Lawson, for a start." Mike Jackson

Instead of which she will be handed over to Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and now the special representative for climate change.

"As the world’s governments gear up for the Paris talks, Sir David said the UK was “leading the world” in climate diplomacy, forming close associations with other governments and among officials as a key focus of the Foreign Office’s efforts. He said the foreign secretary had “protected” the budget for this diplomatic push against swingeing cuts that have affected other parts of the department.

At Paris, governments are hoping to forge a new global agreement on the climate that would set national targets for curbs on greenhouse gas emissions after 2020, when current targets run out.

Prof Qi and Sir David were speaking at an IPPR event in central London on Tuesday."

"IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK's leading progressive thinktank."

It is Labour's favourite think tank, David Miliband worked there as an intern in the early 90's.

May 11, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Cameron's first big mistake and missed opportunity.

Green comments from the Torygraph:-

If any businesses have cause to be nervous about the Conservative majority government it's surely the onshore wind farm industry. Shielded from Tory attacks by the former Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey, it's now facing the Tory threat to end subsidies for any new onshore wind farms that don't already have planning permission.

But the green industry may well be relieved to see it's Amber Rudd, the former climate change minister, stepping up to the Secretary of State role - rather than Matt Hancock, the former business and energy minister who had been the more vocal in his attacks on wind.

Wind industry body RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, says: "We wish Amber Rudd well as Energy Secretary. We are pleased to see continuity at the Department following her role as Energy Minister in the previous Government. We welcome the positive commitments which she has made on reducing carbon emissions, tackling climate change and protecting the environment. We are looking forward to working with her and showing how all the technologies we represent: onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy, can help achieve these aims, as well as providing energy security and financial growth for the UK."

Another green group, the Renewable Energy Association - which doesn't represent wind farm operators - is more forthright. Chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska says: "Amber Rudd has been a champion of renewables and the low-carbon economy in the past year, and her appointment will do much to allay the fears some may have after the general election. We look forward to continue working with her on some of the pressing challenges ahead, ensuring we meet our targets in the most efficient way, laying the foundations for post 2020 and making sure the UK is leading the way in green jobs and cost effective renewables."

Enough said.

May 11, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMardler

Although Amber Rudd is a poor selection for DECC, what we should be more concerned about is the team of Civil Servants she - nominally - has control over. They, and the NGO green lobbyists who will get instant access to her.

We must hope that Brillo gets to her a few more times...

May 11, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Phillip Bratby, I hate to say it but the tidal scheme is one of those things they have to experience first hand to get it out of their system. I'm pessimistic about how long it will take for the penny to drop given how few people in politics are yet to recognise the pyramid scheme nature of adding more immigrants at the bottom to pay for pensioners at the top.

May 11, 2015 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Not a U Turn, but hopefully the foot is off the Green gas, and is hovering over the shale.

Think tanks created by Labour are responding positively. Miliband listened to industry experts in formulating his election strategy. I think that is quite a positive message.

May 11, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The Secretary of State for Energy at DECC is a post which has been created as a placeholder for people with no obvious talent which could be used elsewhere. Miliband, Huhne (jailed), Davey, Rudd, the list goes on. None of them having any previous experience in the power business, nor any technical background which might help them with the complexities.

Without the basic skills as a defence, all of them are prey to government advisors, eager lobbysists, family connections, and the green soothsayers. The chances of a sensible and secure energy policy coming out of this are very slim.

May 11, 2015 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Whalley

May I say that the Bish is still on top form still with his headlines.

May 11, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

On the 'Indy' the Friends of the Earth are wailing that subsidies for onshore windfarms could go.
High time they did.
If we had got Owen Paterson at the DECC they really would have something to wail about.
With a history graduate, sometime worked in banking person, promoted well above her ability
in charge what more could they have wished for?
I was staggered yesterday at the lack of basic Engineering knowledge shown by Friends of the Earth.
"Wind power and some other renewable sources of electricity are variable; even with high levels of these
renewables sources, variability can be managed at acceptable cost using electricity storage, smart-grids,
some back-up capacity and interconnectors"
Does Amber Rudd know what an interconnector is and the electricity source?.

May 11, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

I seethe with frustrated amazement at the Tory claim to have fixed the economy, so blazingly untrue that in commercial advertising it would get them into serious trouble with the authorities.

Ailing GDP figures just before the election were barely mentioned in the media, but easily-obtained statistics on productivity, trade, manufacturing and construction, are all bad and the Tories have missed their own target (whether wise or not)on deficit reduction. In any case, the Tory record on the economy is dreadful.

Now we have a dangerous housing bubble, official money-printing and the organised theft from savers by the abolition of interest on deposits. I’m not actually saying Labour are much better, or any better, but to vote Tory because you think the economy is safe in their hands is actually daft.


As Peter Hitchens has so admirably pointed out, the economy is a train wreck. The balance of trade deficit is an abyss, ie we don't make enough stuff to sell anymore. That wizard of economic legerdemain one named George Osborne, he promised supply side reforms in 2010 - what happened - zilch is what happened. Ha, Ha, Ha, and oh yes George then proceeded to lumber UK business with the carbon floor tax for fooks sakes - not forgetting doubling and then some - the national debt to well north of £1.5 trillion [actually put at ±3.5] - genius!

So, what do they do, after a GE which God knows how produced some sort of working majority, at last I kidded myself without the yellow idiots something slightly more sound and purposeful - may just accrue. A forlorn hope, am I mental? Hitchens would surely say aye to that and really if I was honest - I didn't expect much either...........because I already knew that, Dave and his mate swinging on the chandeliers in the chancellery are clueless, 100% minted, ocean going numpties.

The bloated not fit for anything......... DECC WOW a perfect opportunity! Slash governmental departments? No not a bit of it, Dave imperiously sails on and spending your money.

Amber Rudd slotted in at the DECC just confirms it, we are going to be further s*at on and from a great height.

Of course, it would be worse under Millstone's stewardship but not by much and to be frank: that is of little ****ing consolation.

May 11, 2015 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Looks like it will have to come to power cuts before the political establishment even begins to grasp just how enormous and essential the UK's electricity consumption is....

May 11, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

What amazes me is the number of people who think Cameron's Conservatives are going to be ........ well, Conservative. I am sorry to say that the Tory media (Mail, Telegraph) in their fight against the statist alarmist media (BBC, Guardian, Mirror, Independent) vastly oversold Cameron's position. There are going to be an awful lot of disappointed Tory voters in the next few months.

May 11, 2015 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

Amber, Red, Green. Slow down, Stop, Go - business as usual with renewables and the climate change scam. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
Personally, I don't think Cameron has any intention of putting our insane energy policy into reverse and if the government is bright enough to appoint a greenie in charge of DECC to make the green blob only think that they're still committed to this nonsense, they're bright enough to play both sides and convince sceptics that they're playing a playing a smart game by making a patsy appointment. Smoke and mirrors is all I see.

May 11, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJaime Jessop

Though it seems gas is now more competitive with coal than previously.

May 11, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Green is less competitive with most, than previously.

That is just the electorate's consensus.

May 11, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The Green gang are already doing overtime in making sure Rudd keeps their gravy train on the tracks and you can expect the pressure to get worse on her over the next few weeks .

Sadly its going to take a right F up b before we see a real change on this front .

May 11, 2015 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr


All that has changed is that the tax on coal has been raised by much more than that on gas. Coal remains otherwise as cheap and competitive as it was before. API2 coal (GCV 7MWh/tonne) is under $60/tonne, which translates to a marginal cost of well under £20/MWh.

May 11, 2015 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

It could have been worse, it could have been Amber Gillard

May 11, 2015 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

EternalOptimist, the Cabinet is Green with Amber. How much support for her views will she receive from the rest of them?

May 11, 2015 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Some news reports on the BBC refer to Amber as the secretary for "Climate Change". Forget subliminal messaging, this is all out broadcast propaganda for Big Green.

May 11, 2015 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Bio says married to A A Gill. Gill is sometime mate of J Clarkson. Should get together sometime.

May 11, 2015 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Well Golf Charlie, the cabinet may be green with amber, but the air would be blue if she asked for support.

I am not overly concerned by the appointment, the possibility of hiving off the climate change part over to the environment portfolio is still there and Osborne has to find 18 billion from somewhere

May 11, 2015 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Green Amber Rudd

May 11, 2015 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterold grumpy

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