Former Environment Secretary said support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive
He called on Whitehall to was to scrap the Climate Change Act
News from Grassroots conservatives
16 Oct 2014
Ex-minister attacks green obession at heart of Whitehall: Owen Paterson accuses ministers of raising energy prices for the poor
Owen Paterson said support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive
The former Environment Secretary attacked a so-called ‘green blob’ at the heart of Government yesterday – accusing Whitehall officials and ministers of raising energy prices for the poor.
Owen Paterson said their support for flawed wind and solar power cost billions and made electricity and gas needlessly expensive.
He said the ‘green blob’ included civil servants and quangos in thrall to the climate change and environmental lobby. He claimed it had blocked him from prioritising shale gas exploration as a more efficient way to secure energy for the future.
Mr Paterson, who was removed as Environment Secretary in July, said the only way to ‘keep the lights on’ was to scrap the Climate Change Act, which requires the UK to use more renewable energy and is backed by civil servants.
He warned claims of impending environmental disaster were ‘widely exaggerated’, and accused a series of energy secretaries – including the Lib Dem incumbent Ed Davey – of being ‘Sheriffs of Nottingham’ by taking from the poor.
He said: ‘It amazes me that our last three energy secretaries, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, have merrily presided over the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham: the coerced increase of electricity bills for people on low incomes to pay huge subsidies to wealthy landowners and rich investors.’
The former minister also said he was disgusted by rich film stars who fly to Africa to preach against the burning of fossil fuels there. His reference to the ‘green blob’ follows former Education Secretary Michael Gove’s description of the teaching establishment as the ‘blob’.
Speaking to the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, Mr Paterson claimed the effects of climate change had been ‘consistently and widely exaggerated’, and policies to encourage onshore wind farms will cost £1.3trillion by 2050.
He said wind turbines had ‘devastated landscapes, blighted views, divided communities, killed eagles, carpeted the countryside and the very wilderness that the “green blob” claims to love with new access tracks cut deep into peat, boosted production of carbon-intensive cement, and driven up fuel poverty – while richly rewarding landowners’.
Mr Paterson claimed the effects of climate change had been ‘consistently and widely exaggerated’, and policies to encourage onshore wind farms (pictured) will cost £1.3trillion by 2050
Current energy policy, he said, was a ‘slave to flawed climate action’, adding: ‘It neither reduces emissions sufficiently nor provides the energy we need as a country.’
Offshore wind farms were ‘proving a failure’, hydro-electric power was ‘maxed out’ and solar power was an ‘expensive red herring’. He condemned solar farms as a ‘futile eyesore, and a waste of land that could be used for other activities’.
He urged greater investment in shale gas – pointing out that 40 per cent of Britain’s coal was from Russia and adding: ‘It is better to burn Lancashire shale gas than Putin’s coal.
‘We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.’
÷Greenpeace was yesterday denounced as ‘evil’ by Dr Patrick Moore, who helped to found it 40 years ago.
The ecologist, 67, accused it of risking lives by opposing the development of genetically-modified ‘golden rice’ with added vitamin A, which could save malnourished children. He told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘They lost concern for humans. They have turned into basically an evil organisation.’
But Dr Doug Parr, of Greenpeace, said there were better alternatives to golden rice.
The group was condemned this year when it emerged that one executive was flying several times a month from Luxembourg to Amsterdam.