.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tory failure leaves them with a substantial green deficit

It seems such a long way from David Cameron's hug-a-huskie phase, a Tory Government reverting to type and refusing to take bold and radical steps to advance the environmental agenda, whilst at the same time pouring £14 billion into expanding Heathrow and its polluting airplanes.

The old tired excuses are wheeled out. Tory Ministers argue that it is uneconomic to electrify the rail line between Swansea and Cardiff because it will only shave a few minutes off the journey. Instead we get diesel engines for the final leg of the London to Swansea train, pouring more emissions into the atmosphere at a time when the UK Government have pledged to phase out diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

Swansea has been condemned to become an add-on for the main line from London, and already businesses are making decisions based on that perception. For many we are now just a few stops too far from  Cardiff.

And then there is yesterday's decision to ditch the Swansea Bay lagoon after what seems like
endless prevarication and indecision. The Secretary of State for Wales dismisses the case for providing a revolutionary and clean source of energy by stating that it would only have created 28 permanent jobs. When was he last at the end of a dole queue?

The fact is that the price the UK Government would have paid for electricity from this lagoon was equivalent to that they are prepared to pay for nuclear power. And the lagoon has a life twice that of a nuclear power station.

But there is sleight of hand here as well. Nuclear power stations may not emit any greenhouse gasses but the process of building them generates huge amounts. And when the government carries out its calculation it never takes account of the cost of decommissioning, which would send the price of electricity through the roof if it were applied in that way.

Trawsfynydd has been in decommissioning mode since 1993. The final clearance of the site is scheduled to begin in 2071. By 2083 the area is expected to have been restored to its pre-nuclear state, 124 years after construction started and 92 years after its closure.

Taxpayers are picking up the tab for that work and you can rest assured that none of that cost was built into the strike price the government paid for the electricity. The UK Government are comparing apples with pears and getting bananas.

Once again the Tories, as with Labour Governments before them, have left Swansea and the surrounding area out of their investment plans. More seriously, their environmental credentials and those of the UK Government have disappeared without trace. This Government is more likely to cook and eat a huskie than hug it.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?