And so it came to pass as we foresaw back in January: Osborne has scrapped one of our few 'green taxes' the Fuel Duty Escalator (a move funded personally by CU in a noble & selfless gesture, via additional North Sea taxes to make good the reduction in Duty).
Proving once more that when push comes to shove, GDP trumps GHG. Come to that, public protests at the pump trump GHG as well. So what price the rest of the green agenda ?
Green fig-leaf, more like - just enough, perhaps to cover Clegg's shrunken manhood. The Green Investment Bank might just, one day, be allowed to issue debt. And the much-trumpeted 'Carbon Price Floor': which is in fact another tax, though it has the spin-off effect of being a windfall to existing nukes (= EDF) and wind-farms. (And no windfall tax - FFS !)
But does it satisfy the greedy greens ? Does it Hell.
'Ben Caldecott, head of policy at Climate Change Capital, said that although the carbon floor price would benefit investors in low-carbon generation, it did not give certainty because the level could be changed in future budgets. To give investors real certainty, he said, the level of tax should be guaranteed by long-term contracts.
"To highlight why low carbon investors might find it hard to trust this new tax based mechanism, just look at what else was announced today – scrapping the planned rise under the fuel duty escalator. The same could happen to planned rises in the carbon tax that sets the carbon price floor."'
Well spotted, Benny-boy: you've been reading C@W. He might have added last week's back-tracking on subsidies for solar farms. And Air Passenger Duty. GDP trumps GHG.
And the rest of Crapper Huhne's 'electricity market reforms' ? They will all go the same way as soon as the resulting electricity price-rises start hurting the government in the polls. It doesn't take long.
So: energy policy once more unraveling. The only thing that will keep the lights on is $150 oil followed by serious efforts at energy conservation, renewables that don't need subsidies at those prices - and demand reduced still further by another recession.
Switch off the light as you go, CU ...