British Prime Minister Liz Truss has been attempting to enhance oil and gas output, and environmental groups are mad about it. Truss has begun pushing for increased production of fossil fuels with the aim of being a net exporter of energy by 2040 as Europe struggles with skyrocketing energy prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of [Redacted.] The new Truss-led Conservative Party government halted plans to increase the corporation tax rate, reduced the standard income tax rate to 19%, and initiated talks about creating special economic zones in a number of different areas.
Over the weekend, Truss opined, “We will get Britain going by solidifying our standing as the best place in the world to do business. We are putting our money where our mouth is in encouraging businesses to invest, create jobs and grow.”
– lifting fracking ban
– cutting green levies
– encouraging more people on benefits to seek employment.
– not letting Biden dictate what we do re NI and EU
Good start from Liz truss, it’s nice to have a conservative PM again
— Sophie Corcoran (@sophielouisecc) September 22, 2022
However, environmentalists have voiced their alarm over the new economic plan, which includes weakening environmental protections in investment zones. Marine conservation lead for The Animal Trusts Joan Edwards said in a blog post that “reducing red tape” is really just an excuse for “polluters” to harm “our rivers and countryside” and that stronger wildlife protections are needed in the investment zones.
She argued that “as our landscape is progressively impacted by climate change, as evidenced by the wildfires, drought, and flooding of this summer, we cannot afford to not safeguard our wild places to the best of our ability. For the good of future generations, we must reject deregulation and enhance nature protection instead.”
While this was going on, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds took to social media to claim that the British government had “launched an attack on wildlife.”
“We are upset, and we are mobilizing against these proposed proposals,” the group declared. “Our most vulnerable waterways, wildlife, and green spaces across England are facing one of the greatest threats in decades.”
In addition to lifting her country’s moratorium on oil and gas production, Truss has introduced a new round of oil and gas lease agreements for the North Sea. Fracking, in which compressed liquid is injected into natural deposits to extract fuels, is a part of shale gas production. Concerns about earthquakes led to the ban’s inception in 2019.
“We are cutting off the toxic power and pipelines from authoritarian regimes and strengthening our energy resilience,” Truss said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “We will ensure we cannot be coerced or harmed by the reckless actions of rogue actors abroad. We will transition to a future based on renewable and nuclear energy while ensuring that the gas used during that transition is from reliable sources, including our own North Sea production.”
As a result of Russia cutting off natural gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, European Union member states (of which Britain is no longer a member) are struggling with energy shortages. Earlier this month, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, advocated for a redistribution of profits from fossil fuel producers.
For our social market economy, profits are a good thing. “But it is wrong to receive extraordinary record profits benefiting from war and on the backs of consumers,” she said in her most recent state of the union address.