David McNarry MLA, Northern Ireland Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has said EU driven green and renewable energy policies are hampering economic recovery by overpricing energy.
The elected representative for Strangford in the Northern Ireland Assembly, argues that Northern Ireland in particular and the United Kingdom in general, could bring far more manufacturing jobs home and reduce energy prices, through the commencement of widespread fracking as soon as possible.
Mr. McNarry says, “Even Europe has now abandoned its insistence on mandatory green targets. The European Commission is to ditch legally-binding renewable energy targets after 2020 in a major U-turn and admission that the policy has failed industry and consumers by driving up electricity bills. This climbdown on setting mandatory national targets, enforced in the EU courts, is to be welcomed. It shows how the European bureaucracy is beginning to crumble in face of world economic realities. It is evidence that the EU model is on a fast-track to collapse.”
“Green energy, by pushing up energy prices far beyond what they should be, is unnecessarily punishing both the domestic consumer and business. The USA has been able to use cheap shale gas, based on fracking, as an engine for recovery. It is these low energy costs, which are enabling the United States to repatriate jobs from Asia. That is how they are able to deliver on bringing the jobs home.
“The UK is managing to bring a few manufacturing jobs home but not on the scale of the free market United States. So let us abandon green energy, especially wind farms, which disfigure our countryside, and give ourselves an economic break. The politically correct ‘luvvies’ behind green energy policies are taking money out of all our pockets and blocking our chance to bring the manufacturing jobs home on a widespread basis.”
Despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s commitment to fracking, responsibility for fracking in Northern Ireland rests with the province’s Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan MLA. Mr. Durkan has previously expressed his opposition to the immediate commencement of fracking in the province.
Northern Ireland has the highest rate of heating oil dependence in the UK, with almost two thirds of homes in the province currently using oil for domestic space and water heating.