A quick Monday-morning post to start the ball rolling, as we find this encouraging headline in the Grauniad:
"EU could meet carbon targets more cheaply with gas than renewables, say gas firms"
Well they would, wouldn't they ? But it doesn't mean they are wrong: au contraire. And if any clearer sign were wanted that it's a buyer's market in gas just now, I don't know what more you could ask for than a bunch of desperate gas producers paying McKinsey to produce a report of that kind.
Crapper Huhne knows this, of course: as he said back in November -
"Left untouched, the electricity market would allow a new dash for gas"
And what would be wrong with 'allowing' that ? The first dash for gas called upon no public subsidy, was a resounding success, and reduced our CO2 emissions (and electricity prices!) by more than anything else we've done to date - unless you count the recession.
We know his answer. If you follow energy ministers' rhetoric of late, you'd imagine that everything they are doing is driven by security of supply considerations - the last refuge of a scoundrel. The second reason they offer is the unprovable claim to be reducing the price of electricity in the (very) long-term ("when we have decarbonised"); and they only mention decarbonisation as an objective in its right en passant. I wonder why.
Listen, Huhne, if you are so worried about security of supply you could rebuild the Navy several times over with the sort of money you are intending to raise for windfarms and experimental CCS projects on our electricity bills. And a damn' sight more useful it would be. Please, will Osborne intervene to put a stop to this needless inflation-boosting nonsense, soon, for all our sakes?