DECC abolished: Leadsom to Environment, Javid gets Local Government, Clark to Business and Energy

DECC abolish

The government has announced it is abolishing the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which regulates some onshore oil and gas operations.

Most of the work will go to the renamed Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under a new Secretary of State, Greg Clark, the former Communities Secretary.

He has been replaced by the former Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, who will now make the decision on Cuadrilla’s fracking appeals in Lancashire.

The former Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, a supporter of fracking and Brexit, is the new Environment Secretary, replacing Liz Truss.

The only government statement on the abolition of DECC was this comment from Mr Clark:

“I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”

But Paul Waugh, executive editor for politics at the Huffington Post, quoted Downing as saying the UK government would continue to meet its international climate change commitments.

The Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, said he was astonished the decision to abolish DECC.

“DECC’s disappearance raises urgent questions. To whom falls the central statutory obligation, contained in the Climate Change Act 2008, to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 80% from their 1990 baseline? Which Department will take responsibility for the energy and climate aspects of negotiations to leave the EU? Who will champion decarbonisation in Cabinet? Who will drive innovation in the energy sector?”

The shadow energy secretary, Labour’s Barry Gardiner tweeted action from the new government was “overwhelmingly negative”, compared with its positive rhetoric.

Barry Gardner tweet

Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett, said:

“This is shocking news. Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new Prime Minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face.

“This week the government’s own advisors warned of ever growing risks to our businesses, homes and food if we don’t do more to cut fossil fuel pollution.

“If Theresa May supports strong action on climate change, as she’s previously said, it’s essential that this is made a top priority for the new business and energy department and across government.”

The former Labour leader and Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Milliband, said it was “just plain stupid”.

Ed Milliband

The Green MP Caroline Lucas described the abolition of DECC as a backward step.

Caroline Lucas

But Lee Petts, of the Onshore Energy Service Group, representing supply chain companies to the oil and gas industry, tweeted::

“Seems perfectly sensible to me – climate change doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s inextricably linked to energy and industry”

And  Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit wrote:

“Creating this new department opens up the exciting option of an innovation and industry strategy that enables companies in the clean energy supply chain, including steel, to expand and thrive together. But they’ll need a strong British market. Within the last few months, the National Infrastructure Commission and energy industry big cheeses, through Energy UK, have said that the UK should continue building a smart, flexible low-carbon grid – so there’s a clear pathway laid out for ministers, and the rationale for following it hasn’t changed a bit.”

DrillOrDrop always welcomes comments on posts. In order to keep the comments area safe and legal, DrillOrDrop has a new commenting policy which you can read here.

22 replies »

  1. Philip, my point was not about shale gas, it was about gas. The “exporting” of uk shale gas is a myth. Gas is a bit like electricity. Once it is in the grid it doesn’t have a source. Unless shale gas is piped to a specific export terminal it physically will not go overseas. In any case, we keep hearing that indigenous shale gas is too expensive. So why would anyone overseas buy it above market price?

    Your research into origins of our imported gas must need a second look? There is no LNG facility in Ghana and I doubt there is one in Yemen. And people on this board keep telling us we don’t import any gas from Russia. Although centric a have a forward contract.

    But your big mistake is thinking that only shale gas companies are in it for the money. The biggest profiteers I have come across are wind farm companies. What do you mean by renewables companies being fully funded? How much more public money do you want to throw at them? For something that can not meet more than 50% of our electricity and little of our heating requirements.

    Oil and gas, and shale gas if it happens, pay significantly more tax in the uk than all other industries, especially renewables. But that is not the point, renewables won’t displace gas anytime soon. Simple physics.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s