Chris Huhne is a lying little toad

Overall, the government’s policies – backed until recently by three-party consensus – are forecast by Whitehall economists to cut energy bills, not increase them. They will save consumers about £166 a year (or 11%) by 2020 thanks to energy saving and diversification from fossil fuels.

Sigh. This is based on assuming that gas prices rise to 80 p a therm. Whereas if we go fracking then gas prices will stay around where they are, at 40 p a therm.

24 thoughts on “Chris Huhne is a lying little toad”

  1. The man is a brazen, proven liar. Even Goebbels would not have fielded this idiot on his lying team. Hopefully he will help to finish the green gang he is lying for.

  2. And that ‘consensus’ – two of them are ‘in consensus’ for the most blatant of political reasons – the Tories have to agree with the Lib Loonies to get their coalition, and Labour cannot admit to the price rises because they are THEIR taxes.

    Amazing that people still think that a consensus amongst our political class is a good thing.

  3. Rob,

    Only 3 Tories voted against Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act 2008 – nothing to do with coalition politics.

  4. I posted a comment on this CIF blog and the Guardian mods deleted it. It was something like

    “Why is a convicted liar allowed to write an article here?”

    What’s wrong with that???

  5. Short version: no.

    Gas markets are global and the UK, even under the most optimistic estimates made by the frackers, isn’t a swing producer.

    Transporting gas transatlantic or transpacific is difficult, so the US fracking boom has had a significant impact on the US price. But transporting gas from the UK to Europe or vice versa is not: all of these pipelines do it already.

    Whatever the merits or demerits of allowing fracking in the UK, anyone who claims it’ll significantly cut UK gas prices is lying. The market price will continue to be the European price.

  6. Interested: only if the amount of gas found in the UK is a major proportion of the amount of gas to be found in the rest of Europe (including ex-USSR). Which seems unlikely, when you compare the relative sizes of the UK and the rest of Europe.

  7. I don’t follow your logic, John. What happens if we frack the rest of Europe and they find billions of cubic feet of the stuff, too?

  8. To be clear – I don’t follow your logic if your argument is a way of saying that fracking cannot reduce (or maintain) the price of gas in the UK (and the rest of Europe).

  9. John B

    I am not sure that gas markets are global in the sense that crude oil markets are – there are major differences between spot prices in different countries and there do not appear to be the equivalents of the crude oil trading classifications, such as Brent Crude, West Texas Intermediate etc. So do you have a link that supports your assertion that UK shale gas will be traded at “global” rates rather than at the rate settled by the driller on a therm by therm basis?

  10. It’s a proven fact that fracking will make jets of flame emit from our sinks, cause earthquakes in Blackpool, poison the water table, cover the landscape in drilling rigs, and possibly awaken Chtuhlu from his dark slumber.

    Furthermore, fracking will create no jobs and will have no effect on gas prices, because although US gas prices may have halved over the last few years, European gas prices don’t obey the laws of supply and demand.

    I know this because Greenpeace and their allies in the media have told me so.

    We are better off sticking with our wonderful windfarms, which are clean and efficient at hoovering up subsidies. And, green jobs. And, if we were only to adopt the lifestyles of 17th century peasants, we would have no need for nasty electricity anyway.

  11. UK shale gas does not need to supply the whole of Europe to lower the price – it just needs to change the balance from demand exceeding supply to supply exceeding demand.

  12. “The market price will continue to be the European price.”
    NO,one thousand times no. The UK price will be west european price less transit costs instead of west european price plus transit costs. The west european price will be east european price less transit costs instead of east european price plus transit costs. The east european price will be set by competition between Gazprom and alternative suppliers instead of the price set by Gazprom with the other suppliers following suit.

  13. john77 – of course, if you believe in all that voodoo microeconomics stuff, any increase in supply of normal goods will tend to result in the market clearing price falling, all other things being equal.

    You wouldn’t actually reach a situation where supply exceeds demand or vice versa, unless the government does something very clever like institute price controls on electricity, because people will tend to demand more of something as it gets cheaper. Perhaps keep the heating on all winter instead of wearing jumpers indoors, for example. Perhaps opening up a new factory or datacentre that previously wouldn’t have been financially viable due to energy costs.

    Of course, all that Ricardian nonsense has been debunked. Fracking causes genital warts and cancers of the rectum.

  14. Not sure where you’re getting 40p a therm from, gas prices in the UK are around mid-sixties right now – low sixties for summer, high sixties for winter.

    Also, of all the pipelines on that picture of john b’s, only one (the Interconnector pipeline between the UK and Belgium) is capable of exporting gas from the UK, all other pipelines are import only. Gas could be diverted away from the UK, Norwegian gas, or LNG from the middle east etc, but these could still result in a larger price differential than just cost of transportation.

  15. So, assuming that Gazprom’s lobbying of the EU fails and that fracking isn’t banned in Western Europe, you guys really think that the Government ( whichever bunch of crooks is in power ) aren’t going to bugger the whole thing up with extra duty on gas and windfall taxes for the extracting companies ?


  16. John b

    “Gas markets are global”

    Not really. If they were then the price of gas would be uniform around the world and they are most certainly not. The world is. however, becoming more connected with LNG projects and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which is perhaps more significant to European gas prices than UK shale alone.

  17. Thanks John77 and David Moore

    John B generally says that anyone who disagrees with him is talking “bollocks” – his word. I am glad that you support my view of his amateur opinions in this case.

  18. If you’re going to mischaracterise what I say, you could at least have the wit to do it in a thread where *what I say isn’t directly shown above*.

    Gas prices are global plus transport costs. As I said above. The European pipeline network, the immense growth in LNG transportation programmes, and the various new pipelines connecting CEE with the Middle East and the Stans are all things that allow gas to be transported at low cost.

    None of these are relevant to the US, which is why fracking in the US has had such a major direct impact on US gas prices.

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