In a surprise move, The Conservatives have placed the reform of energy policy at the heart of their manifesto launched today pledging to repeal the loathed 2008 Climate Change Act in the first session of the new parliament should they be elected.
At the launch Mr Cameron said:
….The 2008 Climate Change Act is Labour policy of the worst sort. It has enslaved the energy producers to the state with progressively complex regulation that is leading to bankruptcies and nationalisation. It has enslaved the UK government to unrepresentative Green NGOs and their continual whining about CO2 emissions and renewable energy. It is time for Britain to stand up for itself once again.
….Conservatives are in favour of small government and a fair society. Why should pensioners pay more for their electricity in order to line the pockets of wealthy land owners?
Mr Cameron added that Feed In Tariffs (FITs) and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) would be abolished immediately. There would be no more subsidising of inefficiency. Existing FITs and ROCs would be phased out over 5 years.
Mr Cameron also announced that Britain would build a new fleet of nuclear power stations announcing the formation of a new state owned and funded company to oversee the construction and commissioning phase.
David Cameron wants the UK to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations.
Whilst Conservatives believe that the private sector is best placed to deliver value for the public it is clear that in the case of building new nuclear it has failed to do so in Finland and in France. The State will build and commission twelve new power stations with 36 GW capacity.
The new company, to be called NUKE, was to be headquartered in Glasgow providing up to 5000 skilled engineering and administrative jobs. But the Scottish Nationalists immediately announced their opposition to this plan and the jobs will now go to Manchester instead. Mr Cameron also announced a new £2 billion research program into Thorium reactor technology:
We had hoped that this new world beating research and development facility would be located in Aberdeen to help build a bridge to the future for that city as the oil and gas industry winds down.
But the Scottish Nationalists immediately announced their opposition and the new research facility will now be built near Bristol that has a long tradition in nuclear engineering. When asked what brought about this apparent policy U-turn Mr Cameron said:
When I drove to Balmoral to visit The Queen last summer I was shocked to see once beautiful Scottish countryside now strewn with turbines. I could not believe that the Scottish Government had allowed Scotland to be trashed in this way. I made a pledge to myself then that we must never allow this to happen to England.
Ed Davey speaking on behalf of the Liberal Democrats said:
This is the best news for the Lib Dems for years. This is bound to be a vote loser for the Tories. We need more wind turbines, not less. We need more pylons, not less. We need to build interconnectors, wave farms, tidal barrages and pumped storage dams to protect our environment. That’s what the public wants and they don’t mind paying more for their electricity when they know that their selfless action today may save a polar bear tomorrow.
When asked to comment Nigel Farage said:
Well the Tories have basically photocopied our energy policy and are trying to make it their own.
When asked if he would form a coalition with the Tories now that they had common ground on energy policy Mr Farage replied:
Yes, UKIP would consider it so long as UKIP’s main election pledge to cut 50p from the price of a pint was honoured.
When asked if the Tories would join a coalition with UKIP Mr Cameron said that he expected to win an outright majority and firmly believed that this new approach to energy would be a vote winner.
The UK General Election takes place on 7th May.