Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cuckoos in the nest

Why does the UK's energy policy look like its being written by the fossil fuel industry? Because it is:

A major state subsidy scheme for the UK's gas-fired power stations is being designed by an employee of a gas company working on secondment to the government, according to a document released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

The list of industry secondees, released to Greenpeace under freedom of information (FOI) rules, shows that the head of capacity market design at Decc is an employee seconded for two years from the Irish energy company ESB, which owns three gas-fired power plants in the UK.

A separate industry document names the employee as Fergal McNamara and describes him as the head of capacity market design at the ministry as well as being a "government representative". However, the ESB and Decc declined to confirm his identity when contacted by the Guardian.

The document also reveals that several other employees of big gas companies are working at senior levels within Decc, prompting criticism that there is an unhealthy closeness between the government and the big fossil fuel companies.

This isn't the only case. There are almost two dozen "seconded" employees within the UK Department of Energy, all working for major energy firms. And as Green MP Caroline Lucas points out, "These corporations obviously don't lend out their employees without expecting something in return". What they clearly get is policy written to order by their minions.

This is simply corruption. But its how government is done in Britain now. And then politicians wonder at public "apathy"? Its because everyone can see that their government has been sold out from under them. Why would anybody give a shit about it once that has happened?