As gas prices rise, no one in government is talking about the obvious solution

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Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said energy security is “an absolute priority” as he prepared to hold talks with industry representatives. It comes amid concerns about a rise in wholesale gas prices. Despite this, there’s one solution which could help make energy more affordable that Kwarteng isn’t talking about – namely the re-nationalisation of energy.

Whistling in the wind

Kwarteng will speak to chief executives from energy suppliers and operators. He’ll be discussing the extent of the impact of surging prices. The rise has been blamed on high global demand, maintenance issues, and lower solar and wind energy output.

High gas and and electricity prices are “likely”

Dermot Nolan, former head of the regulator Ofgem, warned that Britain is likely to face high energy prices for the rest of 2021. Nolan is a former Ofgem chief executive. He said the increases were the result of depleted stocks following a cold winter in 2020, reduced supply from Russia, and increased demand for liquefied natural gas from East Asia.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

It is not obvious to me what can be done in the very short run. Britain does have secure relatively diverse sources of gas, so I think the lights will stay on. But I am afraid it is likely in my view that high gas and high electricity prices will be sustained for the next three to four months.

It is very difficult to see what the Government can do directly in this regard.

It’s understood Kwarteng has meetings on 18 September with senior executives from Ofgem, Centrica, National Grid, Energy UK, Octopus, Ovo, SSE, EDF, ScottishPower, Shell Energy, E.ON, Bulb, and SGN.

While Kwarteng meets the companies profiting from high energy prices, others are calling for a return to nationalisation:

The case for nationalisation

As We Own It has written:

Gas and electricity was privatised in the late ’80s, starting with British Gas. Since then, prices have increased astronomically, and customer satisfaction is down at 32%. Shareholders are paid huge dividends while customers are forced to accept constant price increases.

It added:

Public ownership of energy networks will save £3.7 billion a year – enough to buy 222 new offshore wind turbines.

Meat

Meanwhile, meat producers are urging the government to step in to protect the food supply chain. The sharp rise in gas prices has resulted in a cut in the supply of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the industry. Two large fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire produce CO2 as a by-product. But they have shut as a result of the sudden hike in wholesale gas prices.

British Meat Processors Association chief executive Nick Allen said CO2 is essential to both the ‘humane’ slaughter of livestock and extending the shelf-life of products. He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

If we haven’t got the CO2 supplies, on the packaging side that reduces the shelf-life of products going on the shelves at a time when we are really struggling because of all the transport problems.

This has come as a huge shock, it has happened so quickly. I think everyone is outraged in the industry that these fertiliser plants can shut down without any warning whatsoever and suddenly take something which is so essential to the food supply chain off-stream just like that.

We really need Government to step in now and actually do something.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Same solution for both This Government and their Support Party The Neolabour Party Parasite TORIES! Let the “Undeserving Poor” Pay! Who Else! It can’t be Expected those ‘Deserving Folk’ above the top 5% to Pay anything more than they feel like or don’t feel like! What would happen to all those “Donations” to the Neoliberal Charity Laundromats!?
      https://listurls.com/RXFoyAT

    2. The privatisation of our Gas Industry must be reversed, and brought back into the public domain. Such important elements to the fabric of our society must be Nationalised and run by the people, for the people, and not the private financial gain for the few.

    3. You know what we need? I know what we need. What we REALLY need, really really deep down, what we are very needy for is straightforward, and this Cabinet is undoubtedly preparing one already, one that will blow us and this problem away, and dominate corporate media headlines for weeks to come, something to tackle this severe problem head on, smack it to the ground, and give it a drubbing until it calls out for quarter. And I am 100% – ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! – certain, that any day now this Cabinet will indeed craft, from the stable and compassionate genuises that they are, a new Three. Part. Slogan.

      I have been reliably informed “by sources”, that an early frontrunner has now been scrapped, as selected focus groups had said it looked a bit mocking and condescending from the Govt… “Shoulda Voted Corbyn!”. They did, however, admit it was probably true.

      With all due credit to L&P.

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