UK discusses ‘urgent’ plan to move away from oil

UK discusses ‘urgent’ plan to move away from oil

Who honestly believes that the home country for BP, Shell or Exxon has any serious sense of urgency to move beyond an oil-based economy? What’s so urgent now that wasn’t urgent one month ago, one year ago, ten years ago or thirty years ago? This is the classic knee-jerk behavior that we see in the US and UK and many other countries during oil price increases. To act surprised now is a joke. Of course it’s urgent and of course it makes sense but scrambling at the last minute only proves how out of touch politicians are from this problem.

China has been investing in alternative energy for years and their new plan makes much more sense than this panicked attempt to sound sympathetic. With oil prices over $100 it’s only a matter of time before US politicians jump on the “we need to do something urgently” bandwagon. Talking about it during a crisis is one thing but taking action is another.

Ministers will be ordered to adopt urgent measures to wean the country off oil, amid rising concern that the Libya crisis has left the economy exposed to a dramatic rise in fuel prices.

With fears growing that the cost of petrol could hit £2 a litre if instability in the Middle East persists and deepens, every government department will be told this week to comply with a new national “carbon plan” aimed specifically at “getting off the oil hook”.

The energy secretary, Chris Huhne, told the Observer that the UK had no option but to speed up efforts to move away from oil. “Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East. We cannot afford to go on relying on such a volatile source of energy when we can have clean, green and secure energy from low-carbon sources,” he said. “The carbon plan is about ensuring that the whole of government is engaged in a joined-up effort to lead us into a low-carbon world.”

 

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