Monday, February 06, 2012

Not what it seems

With remarkably prescient timing, says Melanie Phillips , "more than 100 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister demanding that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the onshore wind turbine industry should be 'dramatically cut'".  This is the letter paraded by Christopher Heaton Harris, which says in part:
As Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum, we have grown more and more concerned about the Government’s policy of support for on-shore wind energy production. In these financially straitened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies on-shore wind turbines.
But, if these 101 Dalmatians MPs are so concerned about consumers having to pay subsidies, why are they only talking about on-shore turbines, when off-shore windmills get twice the amount, and are set to take the greater proportion of the subsidy pot? Why even are they pursuing this campaign when the net effect, if successful, will be to increase the number of off-shore windmills, and thereby increase the amount of subsidy?

One also wonders why these MPs refer to "taxpayer subsidy". Don't they know that the subsidy is paid through the Renewables Obligation, introduced in 2001, with the money recovered through energy bills?

Nevertheless, our Melanie lays into the coalition. In Gulliver's Travels, she writes, Jonathan Swift mocked scientists by inventing a satirical wheeze for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers. If Swift were alive today, he'd be out of a job, for the Coalition’s green policies are simply beyond satire.

If that is the case, how does she characterise the grotesque behaviour of the MPs?