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Cue violence

The Telegraph is reporting that the cabinet are going to take planning decisions over shale gas developments out of the hands of councils. If correct, it means that planning officers will now be left to their own devices.

I think this probably means that the greens will resort to violence of one kind or another. 

In some ways it could be David Cameron's miners strike moment: the time when he is handed the opportunity to face down an anti-democratic and thuggish minority. I'm not sure DC is any kind of an iron lady though. A jelly gentleman or something like that.

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Reader Comments (249)

"that the cabinet are going to take planning decisions over shale gas developments out of the hands of councils."

They're going to do this by designating gas wells as "critical national infrastructure".

Then it will turn out that in the small print, windmills are also covered.

Cue the end of any semblance of democracy in such matters.

It is not good news, it is a beneficial crisis, and such always end up with more power being grabbed by the State.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

On a side issue you'd think that CCS would now be a viable option with the big drop in the price of coal. Those (invariably wrong) energy think tanks have been so busy working out how high to price CO2 to make CCS viable they neglected everything else. Even the steel costs are cheaper now.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Being given money from the public purse to prop your otherwise failing business up (is. Renewables) = a subsidy.

Being allowed to keep more of the money you generate as profit = not a subsidy.

Why is that so impossible to understand for cstastrophiliacs?


Feb 2, 2016 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Phil Clarke:

I oppose fracking mainly because developing that resource will make it even less likely we will hit our greenhouse emissions target.
What a truly gullible man you are Mr Clarke. We have seen what a coward you are ("I'm scared to read the HSI"), it seems we can add 'fool' to that assessment now.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

JamesG: afik CCS is still a wet dream with the Greens. It's actually more of a diversion. In any case, it costs up to a third of the power generated from coal to run it and the risks to the environment in injecting CO2 underground has yet to be fully assessed. If protestors think fracking is dangerous, wait until the first CCS well leaks.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:20 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Raff and Phil Clarke

I agree with you both that double standards are bad. I object to having wind turbines foisted on me when the majority of people in the neighbourhood don't want them. I don't see why a central decision to impose that on me and others, against our wishes, should be allowed. I endorse completely Athelstan's description of these wretched, ugly, unreliable, inefficient, subsidy-farming giants which blight our landscape. I personally object less to fracking, because its effect on our beautiful visual environment is much less, and the benefits potentially available to us are much greater. However, if a local community (as opposed to groups of protestors bussed in by Friends of the Earth and others) truly does not want fracking then again I don't think the decision should be foisted on it centrally either. Rules should be applied consistently. To date they haven't been, with locals' wishes largely ignored when it comes to wind turbines.

I disagree with you profoundly on your claims about externalities and the suggestion that fossil fuels are "subsidised". This is an old and tired debate now, so I won't go over old ground, but I endorse what has been said by the others against you in this regard.

Please do feel free to improve my knowledge where you can (I am genuinely grateful for the links you provided regarding adjustments to temperature data), but please don't think you will persuade me with bogus arguments about subsidies which don't exist. Stick to the facts, please.

As for Aila's "I have been laughed at enough" - priceless! I imagine you have.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"I live in a landscape where the remains of Neolithic, Bronze age, Iron age, Roman, Medieval and Victorian industrial archaeology exist in harmony. The only eyesores are the birdmashers and solar panels."


It is an area of fascination geologically speaking, archaeology, and some (a bit more) recent history, sad to report it is a part of England which I get to visit infrequently and when I do arrive - I am spoilt for choice, get information overload but it's all good because, I walk miles - in times past and in my imagination.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

I provided the WTO definition of a subsidy above, here is the IEA equivalent

There is enormous confusion about what is meant by an energy subsidy and limited information about the size of such subsidies. The narrowest and perhaps most commonly used definition is a direct cash payment by a government to an energy producer or consumer. But this is just one way in which governments can stimulate the production or use of a particular fuel or form of energy, including oil. Broader definitions attempt to capture other types of government interventions that affect prices or costs, either directly or indirectly. The IEA has defined energy subsidies as any government action that concerns primarily the energy sector that lowers the cost of energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers. This definition has been widely adopted.

Under that definition, state subsidies, mainly tax breaks and support for exploration are in the $billions. Semantics aside this is money that could go to social goods, such as schools and hospitals, at a time when the scientific advice is that most of the reserves in the ground need to stay there if we are to avoid dangerous change to the climate.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Harry P

The implication of putting words in quotes are that they were written or spoken by the person quoted, which is incorrect.

If I want a temperature reconstruction I turn to Mann et al 2008, or PAGES 2K, why I would be interested in a book about a distant ancestor of these is a puzzle, especially as the author's favoured style seems to be to build a tower of innuendo upon a small foundation of shaky facts.

Besides, it may have some cartoons by Josh and I only have so many ribs.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


The article you linked to (and you use it to make your case - it's your link) also contains this paragraph:

"In most countries, energy taxes are larger than subsidies. In the OECD, taxes on energy far exceed
subsidies. In the seven largest OECD countries, for example, revenues from special duties and taxes
on sales of oil products (not including value-added taxes) alone amounted to $223 billion in 2003 – at
least 7 times more than the total amount of energy subsidies for the OECD as a whole. Taxes were
highest in Germany, at close to $50 billion"

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of your argument, is it?

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Harry P.
"afik CCS is still a wet dream with the Greens. It's actually more of a diversion.
Actually CCS is not something that did not originate with greens; it is purely an engineering solution to the issue. Hardline greens actually want an end to economic growth and CO2 is just the currently fashionable method of achieving it. If you doubt that then look here:

"In any case, it costs up to a third of the power generated from coal to run it".
The relative cost is not important - only the overall system cost, and that is affected by the coal price. ie it is more viable now than before as long as everyone is forced to do it and coal-power--with-CCS is given priority in the merit order.

"and the risks to the environment in injecting CO2 underground has yet to be fully assessed."
This is overblown. a) it's already being done all the time for enhanced oil recovery for which oil companies have to purchase the CO2, and b) I'd say it's a sight less risky than underground gas storage, which will be more and more necessary if we abandon coal power.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Revenues are higher than subsidies in a mature industry. Quelle suprise!

Shows the assertion of zero subsidies on fossil fuels to be balony though.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oops; "CCS is something that did not originate with greens", was meant.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Does anyone know what an "unelected planning inspector" is? I don't recollect ever having the option of electing a planning inspector.

As for taking away the power to decide from the local councils, democratically, the government has the right to override local council deciaions on national issues. I don't know about riff or Clarkie but I thing the extraction of gas and coal for use in supplying the energy needs of our nation is, well, a national issue. Sure the idiot greens have every right to protest, peacefully I hope, but given the propensity of these people to pick on individuals whose decisions they don't like and harass them and their families, it is probably a wise choice to take the to take the decision making out of the hands of local people.

As for the faux concerns of democracy taken by raft and Clarkie, the government in Westminster is a democratic government, you, or I, may hold different opinions on whether there should be another party in power, but nontheless this is the elected government of the people of the Unitied Kingdom. As it is Lancashire County Council took 16 months so consider a request to drill eight wells before refusing permission, "...on the grounds of unacceptable visual impact and noise."

I don't in the least blame Lancashire CC, they're not experts in fracking, so needed advice. On top of that we are inundated with misinformation and lies from the enviros who have are powerful, ubiquitous and in the end will use intimidation to get their evil ends.

There are over a million fracked wells worldwide, fracking started in 1949, that's a million+ wells over a 66 year period, the hazards, such as they are, are well known (bit of a pun there), and the UK Govt. is aware of them and has regulated accordingly. They're not perfectly safe, but governments have to make decisions for the greater good. They have asked for reports from a variety of people including the Royal Geographical Society which said: "The Society’s view, which accords with the June 2012 report of the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, is that shale gas can be extracted safely provided that best practice is rigorously applied under an appropriate regulatory regime which addresses environmental and societal concerns."

There were 3400 deaths caused by road accidents in the year 2000. The government knew this, should that have been a reason to either ban driving on the road, stopping the building of new roads, or reducing private ownership of vehicles by taxing them off the market? Why not? That was the information the Govt. had at the time. The number of deaths reduced to 1700/annum in 2013.

I don't believe either Clarkie or raft have the remotest idea about the fracking process, nor about natural gas emissions, where their use in the USA reduced CO2 emissions by 10% between 2008 and 2013. Wind and solar can't provide reliable energy, the country is on the cusp of having energy cuts to factories in the winter and the enviros are bullying us into not exploring for new energy sources. That's not democracy.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:04 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

"only a fool or a knave" [or a staunch believer in free markets] "would oppose attempts to improve the UK's energy security". Clearly closing the UK coal mines fits that particular bill!

As for subsidies; it is quite clear to sensible people that a reduced tax is not a subsidy in any real sense regardless of who pretends otherwise. There are real energy subsidies but mainly in the developing world. It is a pointless argument for pointless people!

also interesting..
Do we need protected from ourselves?

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

JamesG: I've reread what I said about CCS and Greens. I didn't say, nor can it be inferred that it originated with Greens. I know it's a techie solution: I was saying that the Greens have jumped on this bandwagon as a way of beating to death coal-fired stations (and now, gas). It's the same tactic as using the LCPD to get plants like Drax closed/changed to woodchips: the plant owners find it too expensive to fit filters etc so close the plant down. The same will happen with CCS - if it ever comes. It will be enormously expensive and reduce the output of a plant by a third. That loss of power is not free. The user will have to pay

I know that oil wells are stimulated with CO2 injection but I believe the plans for CCS injection will involve many orders of magnitude as much CO2 than the oil industry uses (I admit, I need to look at figures for this).The thing is, if Greens are worried about fracking fluids contaminating water tables their argument, such as it is, must hold true for CCS injection.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:42 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Phil Clarke: You misquoted Mark Hodgson:

Revenues are higher than subsidies in a mature industry. Quelle suprise!
You left off the word 'Tax' at the beginning.

In any case, the true meaning of the phrase would - to the ordinary man - mean: Tax revenues more than pay for the tax breaks allowed in the industry in order to get companies to do the development of the oil fields.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:49 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Re: Phil Clarke

The IEA has defined energy subsidies as any government action that concerns primarily the energy sector that lowers the cost of energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers.

Lets see how stupid this definition is.

Standard corporation tax is 20% and this applies to all companies except oil and gas.

Their standard rate is 40% and, unlike other companies, this is ring fenced which means they cannot offset some costs on it. This is called Ring Fence Corporation Tax (RFCT) and it is this rate of tax that fracking companies will pay.

There is an additional tax called the Supplementary Charge (SC) which is set at 20%. This can be reduced for some production areas.

On top of that there is a per field tax called Petroleum Revenue Tax (PRT) which is 35%. Fortunately this is a deductible expense,

The result of all this is that the overall tax rate for oil and gas ranges from 50 to 67.5%

Now for the stupid part.

The supplementary charge is variable and if an Oil and Gas company isn't charged the full 20% then this is counted as a subsidy by the above definition. In last April's budget the Chancellor reduced the supplementary charge from 32% to 20%. The effect of this is that oil and gas companies that were paying less than 32% have had there "subsidies" cut.

So according to the above definition, cutting tax rates for oil and gas reduces the subsidy and conversely increasing the tax rates will increase the subsidy.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

As for the faux concerns of democracy taken by raft and Clarkie, the government in Westminster is a democratic government, you, or I, may hold different opinions on whether there should be another party in power, but nontheless this is the elected government of the people of the Unitied Kingdom. 

A government that passed the Climate Change Act by a huge, massive, overwhelming majority.:-)

I don't believe either Clarkie or raft have the remotest idea about the fracking process, nor about natural gas emissions, where their use in the USA reduced CO2 emissions by 10% between 2008 and 2013. 

The global financial crisis having no impact on economic activity in the USA then? LOL If you're going to be snooty, best to get your facts right, any CO2 reduction is nullified by methane leakage:

In conclusion, at the current methane loss rates, a net climate benefit on all time frames owing to tapping unconventional resources in the analyzed tight formations is unlikely.

See also

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, the electorate has never been asked to vote for, or against the Climate Change Act, or any of the ludicrous subsidies. That the Green Blob are now fighting a losing battle to whip up public hysteria, sums up where the so called 'settled science' has got to.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Talking of the price of oil without mentioning the credit process (which is the driver of the inflationary price )
is missing the big picture.

Its easy in Ireland to observe this.
The function of Ireland and other conduit countries of empire is to aid the connected profits of the oil majors. (BP seems to be in trouble this morning)
Irish car sales have again risen explosively in January .
Domestic demand remains flat to negative.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

GC - Nobody asked us if we want to pay income tax either. That’s kinda why we have a parliament.

And its an odd characterisation of 'a losing battle' when fewer people support fracking than oppose it, vice versa from to just a year or so ago. People are wising up.

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

I do not know if Bill Dudly of BP was talking his book ( to drive prices higher) but he has just said on bloomberg that American shale oil production will be down 1 mbd April to April.....

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...,
I'm still having trouble with your earlier statement that North Sea Oil had a direct and noticeable effect on prices at the pump in the UK.

During the time of peak production I recall often hearing that UK oil was sold on the open market at market prices (as well as being too high quality for fuel supplies). And that UK production was only ever a small fraction of global production, so I don't see how that translates directly into much cheaper petrol. Also, tax-take is a relatively large fraction of UK petrol prices (Phil Clarke please take note next time you start droning on and on about subsidies for for fossil fuels), and changes to it was always one of the significant highlights of a Chancellor's budget speech.

Is there something I'm missing?

Feb 2, 2016 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Phil Clarke, income tax is a red herring. No UK political party can avoid being questioned on their proposals for income tax. When any political party makes promises to spend more, they are immediately challenged on where the money will come from. If so much money had not been wasted on climate science, how many new hospitals that could have paid for.

Where do you get your evidence to show more people are anti-fracking from?

People are enjoying cheaper energy bills. A series of circumstances have undermined the price of oil, one of which is US fracking. Some companies involved with fracking have gone bust. The gas is still there.

It was long thought possible that oil and gas lay under the North Sea. But it was too expensive to drill it, in comparison to oil from elsewhere. The OPEC price hikes of 1973/4 changed that.

As and when the price of oil rises, fracking will again become urgent for the UK. The UK Govt is losing oil revenues/taxes as North Sea oil runs out. For the UK Govt, there is no panic rush for fracking in the UK, at this moment in time, Feb 2016. As and when we have power cuts, there will be.

The Green Blob have had an easy time through the Planning Process for Useless and Unreliable power generation, up until now. The Green Blob's use of Rent-a-Mob tactics to shout out opposition has worked, up until now.
Peak Green Blob is now.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

And its an odd characterisation of 'a losing battle' when fewer people support fracking than oppose it...

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

You do know, don't you, that many people with a house will even object to some other houses being built nearby?
It's called NIMBYism.

Building prisons, mental hospitals, universities, quarries, windmills, GMO-crops, telephone masts, shops, roads, bus-stops, and dog-faeces collection points can all elicit positive and negative opinions. Making the decisions is part of the job we elect politicians to do, and I don't always envy them when they have to strike a balance, and are genuinely trying to do so.

The majority are often ambivalent about many things, especially when they think nobody will take any notice. But the green blob has had hold of the megaphone for a long time and, to give them their due, has considerable expertise and experience at manipulating the media and politicians. As others have noted above, the relevant laws should apply equally to wind farms and gas-extraction sites.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart, the price of North Sea oil was always 'fixed' to the OPEC price. With the taxes imposed, when the price of oil went up, so did UK tax revenue. Simple. But not good for the SNP's financial policy.

All the more reason for any UK Govt to require UK fracking. The Green Blob, whether red, green or tartan can't seem to work this out. No fossil fuel revenue, equals no money.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

> No fossil fuel revenue, equals no money.

UK Revenue from Oil and Gas

2011/12: £11 billion.
2012/13: £6 billion
2013/14: £4.5 billion
2014/15: £2 billion

That's a £9 billion drop in revenue.
We need to get fracking.

Feb 2, 2016 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

@Terry S

First of all there is no we.
There is us and them.

Second, North Sea production is up substantially this year.
Income is obviously down because the price is down.
More supply will result in less revenue when all other factors are equal.

Consumption has crashed in some countries, notably Brazil.
It's electricity consumption is also down as less inputs are required for smelting in their car industry.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork


The only way to make economic sense of CCS is to use the CO2 for flooding an oil reservoir to produce more oil by restoring downhole pressure. As oil prices are currently on the low side, this secondary/tertiary recovery technique is not economic.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

The natural flow of economies is deflationary, the credit / car industry is the primary vehicle to introduce inflation.
Deflation is only bad when you have no income

The solution is to give each person a national dividend and observe the flow of purchasing power back into people's pockets.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork


BNOC tended to follow OPEC posted pricing, but OPEC pricing ceased to be of any importance by 1986, when they sold most of their volumes either on netback deals (linked to free market prices for refined products) or linked to the price of Brent (the idea was to try to undercut it by pricing relative to Brent, or to guarantee refiners a margin on using their crude: in both cases, the market offered better opportunities to those who fed refineries off the spot market as much as possible). OPEC has never had any meaningful control over price ever since - only over their own production, with price the resultant set in the market.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

TerryS, thanks for the statistics. The Green/Red Tartan Blob don't do sums like that.

They still think their campaigning money grows on trees. It is time the UK Govt stopped handing taxpayers money out to lost causes, that want everybody else to be losers too.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It doesn't add up....

Thank you for that correction and explanation. The bottom line for UK motorists has always been a price hike in the cost of petrol at the pumps, immediately there has been a rise in the cost of a barrel of oil.

Successive Govts of all parties have shrugged at the cost to everyone, but benefitted from the extra revenue. Pump prices in the US have never been as high, or sensitive. No one forecast the drop in oil price, everyone just assumed it, along with dwindling supply.

Supply and demand economic theory works! There is a surplus of suppliers, needing to sell.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"No one forecast the drop in oil price"


Steve from Virgina has been blogging about this for years.
He understood the power of credit and it effects on price.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Chris Cook is another name that comes to mind.

Bill Dudly hinted he knew what was coming since 2013 in this morning interview.
I reckon it was much earlier, say 2010

These companies and the money monopolies behind them are much more then profit making entities.

They have a much bigger agenda, to shape the world in the image they desire.

Feb 2, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork


I forecast the $50 barrel and the $30 barrel right here on BH.

You wrote:
"First of all there is no we.
There is us and them."

We all know that but that is not what we are discussing right now. The problem with most of your posts is that they are totally irrelevant to the thread you have joined.

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"Steve, from Virginia", "Chris Cook".....are they mates of Derek Trotter and Trigger? Dare one ask for a citation......(what have I done?? [cringe])

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

CCS is the most ridiculous suggestion I have heard so far as to how we can solve our non existent problem.

Filling up large underground voids with CO2 is a joke.
The planet already does CCS and it does it better! The planet actually produces something useful when it does CCS; it produces fossil fuels and when people realise that fact they may rethink CCS.
The amount of CO2 emissions from human activities will soon prove inadequate to counter the amount of CO2 that the planet quite naturally removes from the atmosphere, the levels will not keep rising.

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I don't in the least blame Lancashire CC, they're not experts in fracking, so needed advice.
And the advice they got from their officials was "there is no justification on planning grounds for refusing this application."
The point, which other posters have made in the course of the day, is that if local authorities are going to act irresponsibly then government sooner or later will have to step in and overrule them. It's as simple as that.
The green blob hates all fossil fuels and it therefore hates fracking. It also lies about or at best exaggerates the dangers of that method of gas/oil extraction. Since nimbyism is to some extent a human trait as is fear of the unknown the anti-fracking activists all too often get their own way.
Local councils, like governments, are elected to take decisions, including unpopular ones, in the interests of the community and that doesn't just mean the community of this little corner of Lancashire, especially when it comes to mineral (in the broadest sense) extraction. Oddly enough you can only extract gas, oil, coal, gravel, sand, limestone from where these things actually are!
Housing and economic development are a different matter and the planning system generally works out well enough where precise locations are not critical but essential national natural resources either rely on the LA having the guts to do what it is supposed to do or the government will have to do the job instead.

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

They are not irrelevant .
Oil prices crashes because Brazil goes belly up .
I.e. its credit / debt production / consumption method of sustaining growth predictably goes south.

The new surplus gets eaten by other waste based economies such as Europe and the States (notice the rise of car consumption in these jurisdictions)

But local production / consumption no longer exists.

I disagree with these authors on many things but the internet is great for looking into past blog archives.
You should do it.

Feb 2, 2016 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork


You just proved my point.

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Mike Jackson, I think you know this but for the benefit of others ....!

A planning application is viewed by employees of the Local Authority, Planning Officers, for compliance with local, county and national law, policies etc. They write a report, with a recommendation. The Planning Committee, made up of elected Councillors, have a vote, and either approve, or refuse Planning Permission.

Elected Councillors normally vote in accordance with what their local party decides, especially on 'contentious' issues. Yes it does get political, local and national, and confrontational. At a local level, the opinion of local town newspapers is influential.

The Green Blob have long known this, and spend a lot of time, and other people's money, on culturing local opinion, and whipping up hate campaigns, against those they don't like.

It also explains the behaviour of some on this blog.

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Pump prices do indeed tend to move up fairly rapidly in response to a rising oil price, as supplies have to be bought at market prices. Price competition tends to work more via gradual erosion thereafter, but much faster than in utility supplied energy markets, because fuel consumers tend to be highly price sensitive - price slightly out of line, and the effect on sales volumes can be very dramatic at an individual filling station. People often drive far further than makes sense to save 1 ppl on a fill-up - half a litre is only good for a 5 mile round trip. We're still a long way behind on gas pricing with little drops of 5% here and there while the wholesale price has more than halved. Fuel retailing is mostly a very low margin business - many supermarkets sell at or even below cost as a loss leader, setting prices in their neighbourhoods. To a small degree they compensate by attracting very large sales volumes which dilute fixed costs.

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

At some point folk are surely going to notice that coal is the fuel of choice for the developing world. So if they worry about CO2 as per the Paris agreement then they will have to be moving towards CCS whether greens or skeptics like it or not. The alternative is for these countries to look again at the climate science and conclude that it isn't really going to be that bad. I wonder which of these will happen...

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Dung, he does it in spades.
The Bish is a lenient man, but the D'o'C isn't taking the hint about a very few of his very, very many posts being deleted as OT.

The posts are neither angry nor insulting nor rude nor intolerant. Just tediously repetitive, at least to several other people who comment here. A bit like like Oliver K. Manuel at Judith Curry's place, or Peeves at Hogwarts.

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


I disagree with these authors on many things
What, you disagree with the great Derek Trotter and his good friend Trigger?

Feb 2, 2016 at 6:33 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

GC: Where do you get your evidence to show more people are anti-fracking from?

A Yougov survey for the Sunday Times last May found 43% opposed versus only 32% in favour, a reversal from the previous poll, even a ten million quid bung to locals being insufficient to shift the opinion ratio in favour of the filthy fuel.

The DECC attitude survey in August recorded a similar shift,

Support for fracking appears to be linked to awareness. Amongst those that were only aware of fracking but did not really know what it was, and those that hadn’t heard of it, over 60% selected the neutral option and therefore didn’t give an opinion. There is more opposition than support amongst those who know a lot about it (54% vs. 32%), know a little about it (35% vs. 27%), and those who are aware of it but don’t really know what it is (23% vs. 13%). The only group to be more supportive are those that haven’t heard of fracking, of whom 12% support it and 7% oppose it.

Other surveys are available.
In other news :-

11% of the UK’s electricity was generated by wind last year – up from 9.5% in 2014.
Wind provided enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 8.25 million homes – more than 30% of UK households - up from 6.7 million homes last year.

December 2015 saw a fresh monthly record set, with wind suppling 17% of Britain’s electricity demand at a time of the year when it’s needed most. The previous monthly record of 14% was set in January 2015 – another cold period of the year.

A new weekly record was also set in December, with wind providing 20% of the nation’s needs in the last week of the month - Christmas week - up from 19% in the second week of November.

There is a 'losing battle' going on, just not the one in your head.

Feb 2, 2016 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


A planning application is viewed by employees of the Local Authority
And, just as in central government, I wounder how many GP/FoE are 'employees' in our local councils - and add their edge to the advice they give Councillors? Of course, they may not being getting the local typing pool pregnant...are they?

Feb 2, 2016 at 6:37 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Phil Clarke:

A Yougov survey for the Sunday Times last May found 43% opposed versus only 32% in favour, a reversal from the previous poll, even a ten million quid bung to locals being insufficient to shift the opinion ratio in favour of the filthy fuel.
These are the same pollsters who called the result of the last General Election - how accurate was that then?

Feb 2, 2016 at 6:39 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

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