Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fox in the henhouse

MP's are supposed to declare an interest if an issue crosses their path in which they have a financial interest or are involved in such a way that their judgement might be called into question. Sadly this doesn't appear to be the case with any green connections that they might have particularly when it comes down to ways of combating the now discredited (by everyone other than greens, the BBC and MP's) climate change and power requirements.
Tim Yeo faced growing pressure to quit as chairman of the Commons environment and climate change committee after it emerged the Tory MP reaped nearly £140,000 a year from green companies.
The former environment minister is facing a threat from colleagues to depose him from the chairmanship due to his outside interests.
Activists and MPs have said that he should be forced to choose between his leadership of the powerful select committee and his other jobs.
Mr Yeo sparked controversy over his cheerleading for the renewable energy industry, and has called for communities to be ‘bribed’ to accept windfarms.
He has also attacked the Government for cutting subsidies to the green energy industry. But he also pledged his support to anti-windfarm campaigners in his South Suffolk constituency in 2007.
Angela Kelly, of the anti-windfarm group Country Guardian, said Mr Yeo should ‘do the honourable thing’ and stand aside as there should be no appearance of a conflict of interest.
She said: ‘It is not tenable for the chairman of a select committee to draw income from the very industry he is seeking to hold to account.
Windfarms to put it bluntly simply don't work, yes under certain circumstances they can generate power, but not reliably or consistently. Nor are they cheap to run without massive subsidies and their maintenance cycle (particularly at sea) is diabolical, salt water and spray not being particularly conducive to anything electrical or metal. On land their massive concrete plinths are also not exactly environmentally friendly either, without ever getting to the eyesore factor. Yet some people including government ministers are making a small fortune off 'green' energy and it ill behoves the government ever to have someone who made £140,000 (at least) in charge of putting the damned things up.
Whilst I rather doubt Mr Yeo is breaking any rules, it does rather strike me that he is not the right man to be in charge of the UK's energy needs as his outlook (never mind his judgement) will be clouded by his beliefs that 'green' energy is the only path for the future. Ministers need to be flexible and pragmatic, sadly Mr. Yeo appears to be anything but...

4 annotations:

FrankC said...

Something that has been bugging me for time now.
Can a windmill generate enough power to cover the energy cost of its manufacture and erection?
How much cement is required to make the concrete base and how much power is required to make that concrete?
Similarly for all the other components; steel, aluminium, copper etc.

Barman said...

How much cement is required to make the concrete base and how much power is required to make that concrete?

I've been arguing this for some time...

I believe that concrete production is one of the largest sources of man-made CO2 - as much as 8% world-wide...?

When you see the vast amount of concrete that goes into these things, plus the steel, rare-earth magnets, their transportation, extending the grid, road networks, maintenance, etc. it is hard to believe that they could ever pay for themselves...

microdave said...

Some of the pro wind sites claim the energy needed in construction will be recouped within the first year. Whether that is based on nameplate output or reality is not mentioned...

I am now seeing reports of ground water pollution caused by chemicals leeching out of the huge concrete bases.

If you want to see some nice environmental vandalism pay this post at Pierre Gosselin's blog a visit, and follow some of the links to pictures of the construction works.

Edward Spalton said...

Don't forget that Samantha Caeron's dad trousers nearly £1000 a day from his wind/subsidy farm. That's added to all our electricity bills. Mrs Clegg has a senior position with a Spanish company that sells wind turbines . As an old song used to go "My gosh, how the money rolls in".

In local authorities, Councillors have to declare an interest and are then not usually allowed to speak or vote on a matter.

In the House of Lords, there are peers who receive lavish pensions from their employment with the EU and PAYMENT OF THESE PENSIONS IS CONDITIONAL ON GOOD BEHAVIOUR. They can be taken away if the recipient says or does anything which Brussels regards as "against the interests of the Union".

A group of peers took this matter to the members' interests committee (which included a former Lord Chief Justice). The committee decided that such pensions were an interest which should be declared before speaking on EU matters.

The bought-and-paid-for euro peers took the case to the Privileges Committee which decided that peers were such fine and honourable people that it was not necessary for them to do so.

The noble lord, who told me this at the time, was absolutely incandescent with fury.