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Ex-minister attacks green obession at heart of Whitehall: Owen Paterson accuses ministers of raising energy prices for the poor

Author: Daniel Martin for the Daily Mail
Publication: Dailymail.co.uk
Date: October 15, 2014
URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2794803/ex-minister-attacks-green-obession-heart-whitehall-owen-paterson-accuses-ministers-raising-energy-prices-poor.html

* Former Environment Secretary said support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive

* He called on Whitehall to was to scrap the Climate Change Act

* Warned claims of impending environmental disaster were 'exaggerated'

The former Environment Secretary attacked a so-called ‘green blob’ at the heart of Government yesterday – accusing Whitehall officials and ministers of raising energy prices for the poor.

Owen Paterson said their support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive.

He said the ‘green blob’ included civil servants and quangos in thrall to the climate change and environmental lobby. He claimed it had blocked him from prioritising shale gas exploration as a more efficient way to secure energy for the future.

Mr Paterson, who was removed as Environment Secretary in July, said the only way to ‘keep the lights on’ was to scrap the Climate Change Act, which requires the UK to use more renewable energy and is backed by civil servants.

He warned claims of impending environmental disaster were ‘widely exaggerated’, and accused a series of energy secretaries – including the Lib Dem incumbent Ed Davey – of being ‘Sheriffs of Nottingham’ by taking from the poor.

He said: ‘It amazes me that our last three energy secretaries, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, have merrily presided over the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham: the coerced increase of electricity bills for people on low incomes to pay huge subsidies to wealthy landowners and rich investors.’

The former minister also said he was disgusted by rich film stars who fly to Africa to preach against the burning of fossil fuels there. His reference to the ‘green blob’ follows former Education Secretary Michael Gove’s description of the teaching establishment as the ‘blob’.

Speaking to the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, Mr Paterson claimed the effects of climate change had been ‘consistently and widely exaggerated’, and policies to encourage onshore wind farms will cost £1.3trillion by 2050.

He said wind turbines had ‘devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities, killed eagles, carpeted the countryside and the very wilderness that the “green blob” claims to love with new access tracks cut deep into peat, boosted production of carbon-intensive cement, and driven up fuel poverty – while richly rewarding landowners’.

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Paterson's hit list of power failures

In his speech yesterday, Owen Paterson described in detail the failings of all existing sources of green energy & warned that none were making any significant contribution to the power output Britain needed

Onshore wind - Turbines provide only 'paltry' amounts of power, yet have 'devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities...carpeted the very wilder communities...carpeted the very wilderness that the "green blob" claims to love... and driven up fuel poverty - while richly rewarding landowners'.

Offshore Wind - The reliability of turbines at sea is 'disappointing' and they are 'proving a failure. 'There is a reason why we are a world leader in this technology - no other country is quite so foolish as to plough so much public money in it.'

Hydro-Electric Power- 'The public does not want more flooded valleys. The plausible potential for extra hydro is an irrelevance for the heavy lifting needed to support demand for zero-carbon electricity.

Tidal & Wave power - This is 'still too expensive and impractical'. 'Even if the engineering problems could be overcome, tidal and wave power, like wind, will not always be there when you need it.'

Solar Power- 'It is a non-starter as a significant supplier to the UK grid today and will remain so for as long as our skies are cloudy and our winter nights long.'

Biomass- 'Biomass is not zero carbon. it generates more CO2 per unit of energy than coal. Wood produces twice as much as gas.

Waste to Energy - 'This is one renewable technology we should be investing more in. Its is a missed opportunity. We don't do enough anaerobic digestion o sewage.
 
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