Government ‘copy and paste’ UKIP Policy on Shale Gas

From Tim Aker, Nov 10 2014. UKIP

The Conservative policy announced over the weekend is a clear copy and paste of UKIP Energy Policy, sparking outrage from the party’s Head of Policy Tim Aker.

Plans to create a ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund’ from the profits of shale gas extraction were released by the UK’s Energy Ministry over the weekend.

“It’s astonishing that not only are they lifting our policy concepts straight out of our manifesto, but they are not even worried about using our wording. It’s basically a copy and paste!” said Tim Aker MEP, who helped from the policy last year.

“It’s been on the record for well over a year that UKIP wanted to look into exploiting our vast shale gas deposits and would use the profits to shore up a wealth fund for the general public.

“We formally announced this before our Annual Party Conference in London in September 2013.

“The Tories can try to dress up as us and sell our policies to the voter but they should also remind themselves that they cannot focus on shale gas as a fuel for the future while also signing up to the EU carbon targets for 2020.

“We have pushed the agenda on so many topics, from having an EU referendum, to controlling immigration, to blocking intervention in Syria and accepting their refugees, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are taking a leaf out of our book on energy too.

“Perhaps UKIP should stand for UK Innovators of Policy.

“They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. The poor old Conservative Party do not have an original thought in their head.

Tim Aker

The issue which comes out of this is as Tim Aker points out, how do the Conservatives square their green zeal for CO2 reductions with their apparent support for shale gas? The ultimate aim of the current policy is to reduce UK  CO2 emissions by 80%, which implies phasing out gas for power generation and for domestic use. We cannot power a 21st century nation on unreliable wind and solar to that extent. Also, phasing out gas for home heating and cooking, and phasing out oil fired heating for those not on mains gas, will not prove feasible.

The best solution would be to drop the EU inspired CO2 targets and to exploit low cost gas and coal. If UK gas is proven to have useful local reserves, we could even go better than using gas just for power. It would be possible to locate small gas fired electricity stations near to centres of population and to utilise the surplus heat for district hot water and heating schemes. Thus, we would have both low cost gas supplies and very efficient low cost hot water, for domestic and business use.

All it requires is a little imagination to see the possibilities.

Steven Whalley