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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mandy Sets Date for Blocking Immoral Oil-consuming


Slaying two of those proverbial avians with one satirical blog post.

What if the government applied as much zeal to curbing fossil-fuel consumption as it does to curbing filesharing? Would we see news reports like this?

Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, warned fossil fuel consumers today that the days of "consequence-free" oil consumption are over as he unveiled the government's plan for cracking down on fossil fuel consumption.

Mandelson, speaking at the government's pompous politician strutting conference, confirmed that the petrol tanks of persistent offenders could be blocked - but only as a last resort from the summer of 2011.

He added that a "legislate and enforce" strategy was the only way to protect the planet. "Three strikes is a reasonable way of describing our approach," he said.

The strategy, which will be officially set out in the government's ecological economy bill in late November, will involve a staged process of warning notifications with fuel suspension as a last resort.

"It must become clear that the days of consequence-free widespread oil consumption are over," Mandelson said. "Technical measures will be a last resort and I have no expectation of mass suspensions resulting."

The legislation is expected to come into force in April next year.

The effectiveness of the warning letters to persistent immoral oil-users will be monitored for the first 12 months. If immoral oil consumption has not dropped by 70% by April 2011, then cutting off people's fuel supplies could be introduced three months later, from the summer of that year.

"If we reach the point of suspension for an individual, they will be informed in advance, having previously received two notifications – and will have the opportunity to appeal," Mandelson added. "The British government's view is that consuming the planet's fossil fuels is wrong and that, as an economy based on greed, we cannot sit back and do nothing as this happens."

Mandelson said that the strategy was a "proportionate measure that will give people ample awareness and opportunity to stop breaking the planet". "The threat for persistent individuals is, and has to be, real, or no effective deterrent to destroying the planet will be in place," he added.

There would be a "proper route of appeal" for those that do have their oil access suspended, Mandelson said. He added that he did not want to see oil companies "unfairly burdened" by the new system.

"Oil Companies and rights-holders will share the costs, on the basis of a flat fee that will allow both sides to budget and plan," he said.

The staged roll-out of the strategy will see OfOil assess the effectiveness of the warning notification system on cutting immoral oil-using, backed by the threat of legal action in about April 2011.

If the 70% reduction is not achieved the use of technical measures to cut off persistent offenders' fuel access will be introduced by about July 2011.

Should this system be introduced repeat offenders will be warned they are infringing and then, in a second letter, told that technical measures could be implemented. Further infringement will lead to the offenders' names being put on a "serious infringers list", with oil purveyors then "obliged to exercise technical measures".

No timetable was given by the government for the speed with which the process can go from a warning letter to fuel suspension.

When infringers are informed that they face having their fuel access suspended, they will have 20 working days to appeal to an independent body, to be established by OfOil. The suspension will not come into force until the appeal has been heard.

If the first appeal is unsuccessful the infringer can lodge a second appeal within 20 working days.

My apologies to Mark Sweney and The Grauniad for the shameless rip-off.


Posted by Phil at 11:35 AM
Edited on: Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:01 AM
Categories: Comment, Environment, Waffle