One of Labour’s manifesto commitments is to nationalise energy supply. As a potential producer London Local Energy don’t have any skin in that game and remain neutral. But in the case of UK on- and off-shore oil and gas, the energy itself is already nationalised and has been since 1934- a policy success that some in Labour may not realise they had achieved.
All UK oil and gas is thus Crown property. The idea that greedy “frackers” simply want to make money is thus a little more nuanced. What we want is what you want: That the people’s resources are distributed fairly.
If LLE were allowed to explore, and then discover natural gas, the value of that gas would be taxed at roughly 50% via national and borough taxes and charges to the community.
Our conservative projection is that we could produce 1.2 billion cubic metres per year from one or two above ground locations. London currently uses 9 billion and with a combination of rising population and increasing efficiency, even the Zero Carbon London 2050 Plan says we’ll need 5 billion by mid-century.
At current prices, production of 1.2 billion cubic metres per year, LLE would contribute £90 million in tax. We currently pay £180 million for the same gas (albeit at far higher CO2 intensity) to international oil companies and tax authorities in various places including Norway, the Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Peru and soon Texas. We want what you want: to sustainably keep London’s wealth for London’s people.
LLE may find more and contribute more. LLE may find less. We may find none at all and discover it was only a quixotic, romantic dream. LLE can explore at no financial risk to anyone except our investors. It would be nice to get permission to try. Climate change is such a proximate threat we should try anything that might help. Efficiency is job one, increasing renewables is a given and if luck provides, the closest natural gas is the least carbon intensive gas.
But if we aren’t allowed to look at all, we predict we won’t contribute a penny.
Oil and gas resources under London belong to the many, not the few. The decision to explore for them -or not- belongs to the many, not the FoE (Friends of the Earth).