16 Sep 2013

UK urged to embrace nuclear power and fracking

5:55 am on 16 September 2013

London Mayor Boris Johnson says wind farms are a disease that blight the countryside and Britain should embrace nuclear power and fracking to meet its energy needs.

Mr Johnson says power companies have exploited a supply shortage. He says turning to a new generation of nuclear plants and fracking would cut energy bills and boost the economy.

In The Sun newspaper on Sunday, he wrote:

"It is a good 20 years since I last drove all the way to Scotland, and in the interim something unbelievable has been done - in our name - to our green, pleasant and precious countryside.

"I mean the windmills, the turbines - whatever they are called.

''I mean the things that look like some hideous Venusian invasion, marching over the moors and destroying the dales; the colossal seaside toys plonked erratically across our ancient landscape; the endless parade of waving white-armed old lunatics, gesticulating feebly at each other across the fields and the glens.

"They seemed to be everywhere, and I asked myself, when were we consulted? Was there a referendum?

''Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being?

"The answer is that no one warned us, because no one really took the decision to do it. It just sort of happened.

''We have contracted these mills like a disease, because of our pathetic apology for an energy policy."

Mr Johnson blamed the last Labour administration for failing to get to grips with the issue, leaving Britain facing an energy crisis.

"It is time to take the fight to the energy companies, who have been ruthlessly exploiting their position - and the best answer is an enormous increase in supply.

''We can do it, and we can do it in a way that is as clean and green as any technology on earth," he wrote.

"First we need to grow some collective cojones and launch the nuclear energy programme that this country has too long delayed.

''Do you know how much of their juice the French get from their nuclear programme? Almost 80%. They are laughing at us - us, the nation that split the atom!"

"Next, we must stop pussy-footing around, and get fracking. Even if we have 100s of fracking pads, they are nothing like as ugly as windmills, and they can be dismantled as soon as the gas is extracted."

Mr Johnson said shale was "clean and green" and would help Britain secure its own energy supply without relying on gas from countries such as Russia.