Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeKathy GyngellPipeline sabotage and a national energy emergency

Pipeline sabotage and a national energy emergency


IT’S three days since the first alarming reports of explosions of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines from Russia, and their cause – sabotage.

‘These are not earthquakes; they are not landslides under water,’ Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network at Uppsala University, told NPR in a phone interview. ‘It is very clear from the seismic record that these are blasts.’ 

In exactly whose interests such deranged warmongering action might be is as yet unclear and no doubt will be open to dispute for some time to come. (If a former Polish Defence Minister’s assertion is correct, the implications of such an escalation are immense.) 

But quite regardless of whoever it is who escalating this ‘war’ on the Nord Stream pipelines to Europe, the sabotage, plus Gazprom’s warning that the last remaining gas supply is at risk of shutdown, has brutally revealed how exposed Britain’s energy system and its entire economic and societal stability is to external threats.

This is why the director of Net Zero Watch, Dr Benny Peiser, has written so urgently to both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. He has called on them to declare an energy emergency on national security grounds, and to enact immediate policy changes that would give Britain energy security, switching fast to reliable sources of domestic energy – coal and gas. Most importantly it would enable them to finally abandon the the Climate Change Act – the constraints of which are the main obstacle to the country’s energy security and to a realistic energy policy.

Dr Peiser writes:

‘There is now a serious and growing risk to Britain’s national security due to the extreme vulnerability of the gas pipeline from Norway which provide a third of UK gas supplies.

‘It is vital that you understand that a similar attack on the Norwegian gas pipeline would, on its own, completely cripple the UK economy. This extreme vulnerability must be fixed as a matter of national priority, and must take precedence over all other considerations.

‘From a national security perspective, the urgent need is for immediate policy changes that significantly and swiftly increase reliable domestic sources of energy, which means gas and coal, without which the grid and the economy cannot function. I set out below key steps that must be taken.

‘It is also vital that you understand that no responsible government and opposition can accept this national security risk without taking swift and effective action.’

In his letter he set out the emergency agenda they need to follow:

All obstacles to the development of unconventional fossil fuel resources in the UK must be removed. In particular:

* Replace the current traffic light system, based on seismicity, with BS5228-2, the ground-acceleration standard applied to other industries.

* Fossil fuel extraction to be categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure under the terms of the Planning Act. This should include projects in Scotland.

* Planning applications for shale wells must cover drilling pads rather than individual wells.

* Get coalbed methane and coal seam gasification projects going again, overruling Holyrood if necessary.

Other essential actions to safeguard Britain’s economy:

* Suspend the Climate Change Act.

* Suspend pollution controls on thermal power, thus allowing dual-fuel use of gas-fired plant and the development of ultrasupercritical coal-fired power stations.

* Regarding the several coal and nuclear stations set to close in the next few years, these must be given long-term agreements to ensure they remain on the grid and are maintained.

You can read the full letter here.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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