Green groups are worried that one casualty of the autumn spending review will be the “feed-in tariff” that allows anyone generating alternative energy to sell it back to the grid. It’s not that they believe the coalition would scrap it, given their various commitments to the agenda.
But they fear it could be delayed or watered down by Chris Huhne, Lib Dem energy secretary, under pressure from the Treasury. Ditto the Renewable Heat Incentive (a similar payment for producing alternative heat).
One figure from Friends of the Earth tells me that is is “absurd” for the Treasury to be reviewing the scheme given that it’s financed by public consumers rather than the government.
I’ve just received a note from Michael Hewson at CMC markets, summing up the day’s market activity. In it he says:
BP is up on the news that the Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico has finally been sealed thus hoping that another line can be drawn under this long running saga.
Makes sense. Except for the fact that, well, it’s not really the case. BP is currently up 1.7% while the FTSE as a whole is up… 1.7%. No outperformance there then.
Instead, the market seems to be, in my favourite recent Martin Wolf phrase, “screaming its lack of concern” about BP’s good news.
It’s a big milestone but it’s not the end of the story.
152 days after the accident on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico which killed 11 workers and led to the worst environmental disaster in US waters, BP on Sunday finally sealed its ruptured Macondo well.
The UK oil group has promised to restore the damage done to the waters off the gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people affected by the spill. But even once the clean-up effort is scaled back, BP faces challenges on numerous fronts: potential litigation – it could face civil fines of $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled and up to $4,300 per barrel if gross negligence is found – as well as a host of ongoing investigations into the causes of the accident on the Deepwater Horizon rig.