National Grid prefers to invest profits in USA

Underinvestment in the UK was blamed for recent blackouts …

“National Grid has ploughed a record of almost £2bn into its booming US-based business this year as increasing political pressure raises questions over the multinational’s future in the UK.

The energy network provider spent nearly £1.6bn growing its regulated US business over the first six months of the year, and also invested £200m into its US-based renewables company Geronimo.

Over the same period, National Grid spent less than £650m running the gas and electricity networks in the UK, where policymakers are squeezing energy company profits and proposals to renationalise utilities have won public support.

The London-listed company has built its US presence in recent years amid growing calls for UK utilities to be renationalised. It distributes gas and electricity to businesses and homes in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

John Pettigrew, National Grid’s chief executive, said the record spending was in response to strong demand from north-eastern US states to transform their energy system to run on renewables. There was also healthy investor appetite for infrastructure projects, he said.

The US business helped drive National Grid’s underlying operating profits to £1.3bn for the first half of the year. In the UK, profits from its electricity networks rose by 5% to £583m, while profits from its gas grid business fell by more than a quarter to £66m. In the US, underlying operating profits rose 16% from the year before to £525m. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/14/national-grid-us-uk-business-renationalise-utilities?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Climate Emergency debate with candidates for Tiverton & Honiton constituency, 7 pm 28th November, Honiton Community College”

Climate Emergency debate with candidates for Tiverton & Honiton constituency, 7 pm 28th November, Honiton Community College.

Climate Emergency debate with candidates for Tiverton & Honiton constituency, 7 pm 28th November, Honiton Community College

Maybe not a good idea to build on flood plains …

“Poor management of the rural landscape along with global heating and building on floodplains are the main factors that led to the floods that have engulfed towns in northern England, according to experts.

Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster are among the places flooded, 12 years after they were badly hit when the River Don burst its banks in 2007. Many affected areas, including Meadowhall shopping centre, where customers were stranded overnight, lie within the river’s floodplain – low-lying land next to the river that naturally floods during high flow.

“This is only a problem if you develop floodplains by building houses, businesses and factories on them, which is obviously what we have done over the years, so to some degree it’s a problem of our own making,” said Roy Mosley, the head of conservation and land management at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

The risk faced by floodplain communities is exacerbated by the management of land upstream of the city. Intensive animal grazing leads to short grass and compacted soil, which is less able to absorb and hold water. There are no longer enough trees and plants to absorb rain and stop it from running straight into the river, Mosley said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/12/flooding-caused-by-poor-management-and-floodplain-building?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Tory MPs five times more likely to vote against climate action”

Neil Parish scored 17%: was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 2

Hugo Swire scored 25%: Swire was present for 12 votes and voted positively in 3

Boris Johnson score 0% (yes, that’s right zero), Jacob Rees-Mogg scored 17%, Jeremy Corbyn 92%, Caroline Lucas 92%, Exeter’s Ben Bradshaw 75%, Jo Swinson 50%, Oliver Letwin 17%.

MORAL OF THIS TALE: If you believe in climate change and want to see something done about it, don’t vote Tory, be wary of Lib Dems and vote Labour or Green (or Independent in East Devon)!

“Conservative MPs are almost five times more likely to vote against climate action than legislators from other parties, a Guardian analysis of 16 indicative parliamentary divisions over the past decade has revealed.

The Tories also registered many more donations, shares, salaries, gifts and tickets to sporting events from fossil fuel companies, petrostates, aviation companies and climate sceptics, according to declarations made in the parliamentary record of MPs’ interests between 2008 and 2019.

The Guardian, in collaboration with the investigative environmental journalism group DeSmog UK, rated MPs from 0% to 100% based on 16 parliamentary votes since 2008. The selection sought to cover a range of measures that would affect the UK’s carbon emissions, with an emphasis on votes where MPs were willing to break ranks and put the climate before their party.

The analysis shows that although most politicians publicly express support for ambitious long-term climate targets, when it comes to short-term measures to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, those in power are less likely to make this a priority.

The scores are not intended to be a definitive evaluation of an MP’s green credentials – both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties complained they had been hard done by.

But experts said the scores were an important tool for voters to make a choice through a climate prism with a potential general election looming. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/11/tory-mps-five-times-more-likely-to-vote-against-climate-action?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions”

“The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

New data from world-renowned researchers reveals how this cohort of state-owned and multinational firms are driving the climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity, and details how they have continued to expand their operations despite being aware of the industry’s devastating impact on the planet….”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/revealed-20-firms-third-carbon-emissions?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other