The cost of producing gas has not increased by one penny recently. In fact, as production increases with extra demand, the cost per unit will have reduced. And similarly the cost of producing oil has not increased by one penny. And again, as production increases, the unit cost reduces.
The vast bulk of Britain’s gas comes from under the North Sea; similarly, the vast bulk of Britain’s oil comes from the North Sea. So why, oh why, are Britons paying more for our household energy? Why are we paying more for petrol and diesel for our cars? I’ll tell you why: it is because the Tory government in the 1980s privatised British Gas, and sold off BNOC – the British National Oil Corporation. Both British Gas and BNOC had been publicly owned by the British government.
By contrast, the Norwegian government still owns the majority of the Norwegian North Sea oil and gas production.
So what should happen now? In the first instance, the Government should levy a windfall tax on the North Sea gas and oil companies; and use that money to give substantial subsidies to the price of domestic gas and electricity (and to heating oil etc.).
They should also use some of it to cap the price of petrol and diesel, for individuals, hauliers, and bus companies. The next step? Take these industries back in to public ownership. But instead of, as in the past, the Government appointing the boards of directors of these companies; half of the directors should be elected by the workers in the industry; and the other half should be elected by we consumers.
A truly co-operative approach; to replace the present divisive, unfair and unjust system of massive profits for the gas and oil companies, funded by spiralling prices charged to us ordinary folk.
From: Peter Rickaby, West Park, Selby, North Yorkshire
When Scotland becomes an independent nation Nicola Sturgeon will have the right to determine what can and cannot happen off its shores.
Until then Britain has the right to drill for oil without her permission. In the meantime, she should save her breath to cool her porridge and be thankful it’s the English who continue to fund Scotland.
From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.
If Shell goes ahead with the new oilfields in the North Sea, the price of oil is affected by the price of the barrel by world markets not by what we can produce, so it is not any cheaper if it’s our own oil!