Benny Peiser is the director of Net Zero Watch, a London-based public charity that focuses on the “implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies.” In his second appearance on the podcast, (his first was on March 8, 2022) Peiser talks about Liz Truss’s resignation last week, why both Tory and Labour Party politicians are to blame for Britain’s energy crisis, why Britain must immediately begin drilling and fracking for natural gas, how soaring energy costs could lead to a financial crisis, and why three decades after Margaret Thatcher resigned, Britain is going “back to energy socialism.” (Recorded October 22, 2022).

Episode Transcript

Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talked about energy, power, innovation and politics. And I’m pleased to welcome back to the power hungry podcast my friend Benny Pizer. He is the head of net zero watch in Britain. Benny, welcome back to the power hungry podcast.

Benny Peiser 0:22
Hi, Robert. Thanks for having me again.

Robert Bryce 0:25
So, Benny, I’m going to have you introduce yourself briefly. I know that there’s a lot to talk about what’s happening in Britain, and particularly with Liz trusses resignation. But if you don’t mind, please introduce yourself briefly.

Benny Peiser 0:35
I am so I’m the director of netzero watch, which is a think tank concerned about the costs and implications of climate energy policies in Britain and around the world. And we monitor very carefully developments. And, you know, I have a lot of energy economists and analysts commenting on developments.

Robert Bryce 1:01
And you publish a newsletter which you can sign up for at Net Zero But Vinnie, I wanted to have you on today’s October 22. Because of the recent developments in Britain, which are really remarkable and very sobering. The Prime Minister Liz truss has resigned to give us an update on what’s going on in Britain and how what’s the seriousness of the energy situation in Britain today?

Benny Peiser 1:25
Right. So the political class in Britain is in deep trouble particular the Conservative government, which has been ruling this country roughly for 12 years. And during which time they have managed to cause a huge energy disaster by blowing up coal fired power plants and phasing down nuclear power, and essentially going primarily for renewable energy, which, as we know, requires a lot of backup, which is essentially natural gas. So we are very reliant on natural gas because of the renewables mainly and because we have shut down most of our nuclear and, and power and nuclear and coal. And so as the gas price has gone through the roof, we are paying the price for these completely failed policies in the past, whenever we had high gas prices, countries would simply shift to coal, that is no longer possible because coal has been essentially shut down. So there’s simply no alternatives. Well, so

Robert Bryce 2:38
what are the what triggered trusses resignation, she’s now the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history. She comes into power just after Boris Johnson was essentially tossed out when a no confidence what looked like a no confidence measure. But was how important was the explain? Explain to the people listening what happened with the Labour Party bill that was in Parliament, how they introduced as I understand it, and you wrote about this? And this is one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on you put out a news news piece or an email on your on net zero watch on Thursday talking about this. But what did labour do and why did they do it?

Benny Peiser 3:18
Okay, these are two different issues. Okay. First is why did Liz trust? Why did she essentially had to resign this trust in her new government, it completely messed up. In their so called mini budget, were they announced tax cuts. But and this is the big bot, which spooked the markets, while they announced tax cuts, they also announced a 60 billion handout to every single household and every single business in the country to keep the energy prices not from skyrocketing. So what you cannot do is cut taxes on the one hand, and then hand out 10s of billions. On the other hand, that doesn’t work that spooked the markets, the pound crashed, essentially. And the markets punished this new government and the rest is history. So what is happening is the ministers haven’t got a clue what is causing the current economic and energy crisis, they don’t understand it. And so therefore, they don’t understand how to rectify or intervene to minimize the damage and because they are swimming, they are sinking.

Robert Bryce 4:46
Well, so then you said they’re two different issues. Okay. So I think that’s a good explanation. I like how you frame that and it is remarkable to hear that the British Pound has been at close to parity to the US dollar, which there are a lot of things we can talk about. currency valuation but then talk about labor what? Why would labor as I read it learned and tell me if I’ve got this correct labour, the Labour Party, which is you say has been out of power now for a dozen years introduce a bill in parliament that forces a vote on the issue of hydraulic fracturing. One of the first things trust did when she got to 10 downing was to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing. But Labour introduces a bill to say, oh, no, we want to ban hydraulic fracturing. Let me let me just get what the hell I mean, amidst this labor would do what make this move why

Benny Peiser 5:34
they very shrewd. And they’re very shrewd, first of all, labour. Also, just like the Conservatives believes that that the whole country can be powered by renewables, and they think they can that could be do done within the next eight years, believe it or not, that’s what they’re saying. But they’re very shrewd. Why did they table this motion? Primarily because conservative, the conservative parliamentary party is split. There’s a very strong Green Wing within the Conservative Party, who announced that they will work with Labour to kill fracking, they said that quite openly. So the green tourists, the green conservatives have worked with Labour to kill fracking, and they’ve managed and no one is going to invest in Britain. No, no company is going to start fracking. So this is basically being killed off for years to come. The past,

Robert Bryce 6:32
the possibility of hydraulic fracturing is being killed off for years to come.

Benny Peiser 6:36
Yeah, because no one in their right mind is going to invest in Britain under these circumstances. I mean, if you’re a company wanting to get shale gas out of the ground, would you invest in Britain? Of course, you wouldn’t, knowing that the majority of the Parliament of parliament is against it. So there’s no chance? Well, this is very funny. Of course, the ironies, of course, is the reason why we have these, you know, astronomical gas prices is because we haven’t got enough supply. So the logical conclusion would be get some more out of the ground. No, that’s what parliamentary that’s why I’m saying our political elite hasn’t got a clue what is causing the economic and energy crisis, and therefore it will get much, much worse in years to come, it will get worse rather than better.

Robert Bryce 7:27
Oh, man, this is just hard to hear. Because I mean, the Financial Times just reported the other day that Britain now has the highest electricity prices in all of Europe. I mean, that used to be a distinction of held by Germany, but now it’s Britain. But let’s go back to that, because I think that that point about hydraulic fracturing is key. I just looked up these numbers. So in 2000, the Britain was producing about 10 billion cubic feet per day of gas domestic production. Today, it’s 3.1 BCF or it was in 2021. So now, and you’re using seven and a half, or 7.4 BCF so now you’re importing a majority of your natural gas. And your existing production is declining and declining very rapidly. And so the situation is really quite dire. And well, let me ask this question, because it’s one that I’ve heard from different people about, do you do you have any good estimates on if they if so, if their hydraulic fracturing is allowed, and Britain has substantial in shale gas resources, billions, or trillions of cubic feet potential? How long could it take for them to start producing significant quantities of gas? Do you have any idea about that?

Benny Peiser 8:36
Well, my understanding is that if the conditions were right, and the government were to give the green light, and wouldn’t put all these kinds of conditions, and regulatory hurdles, and so on, you could do it within 12 months, essentially. So basically,

Robert Bryce 8:54
you could start drilling, you could start drilling, but the production could be another year after that, or so. Or maybe that’s a pretty aggressive timeframe.

Benny Peiser 9:03
Well, it is. And as I said, it would require to right conditions but you’re purely technical point of view. i My understanding is that had had the government given the green light right away without any of these regulatory hurdles and local vetoes and so on. We could have had some shale gas initial shale gas out of the ground by next winter, which will, by the way, in all likelihood will be worse than this winter. Because now that the storage gas storage is fairly full around Europe, once we burn this in Europe, and the scramble is for new gas prices will go up because you know the demand will be very, very high. But the point here is that potentially we no one knows exactly how How much shale gas there is because you need to drill and find out. But remember, our shale basins in Britain are 10 times deeper than the ones in the US 10 times. So the average shale basin in the US about 1000 feet here, it’s 10,000 seats.

Robert Bryce 10:21
Okay. Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know those numbers. That sounds a little shallow for the US basins. But nevertheless, I mean, I know from experience and talking with people in the oil and gas industry, that the resources in Britain are sizable, but I want to dilute it. So you’re you made this point. And others have made this point that in fact that the winter of next winter, not this coming winter, but next winter could be worse. And you’re saying that’s because the gas resources, the gas reserves or storage, will from will be depleted this winter, and then won’t be replenished enough for next winter

Benny Peiser 10:52
will be replenished. But the gas, the most of the gas in the storage today in Europe is Russian gas, right?

Robert Bryce 11:00
So it was bought on the cheap, indeed,

Benny Peiser 11:04
any Russian gas, so it’s going to buy it from, you know, and as I said, the demand for LNG in particular will be very, very high. And so I expect next winter to be even worse than this winter. And that’s what a lot of analysts warn. Right? I mean, there might be one option, and that is that most of Europe will do what the Germans are doing and just reopening coal fired power plants.

Robert Bryce 11:34
But you can’t do that in Britain because you famously blew that they were dynamite it they were blown up. I mean, the and it was celebrated, oh, we’re gonna blow these up. And this is Oh, such a great thing, because we’re moving past coal. And I remember reading the articles in The Guardian saying that, celebrating the fact that it was the novices a few years ago that for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, or the beginning of the electric age, Bretton Woods had a full day where it didn’t burn any coal for power generation. This was, and this was this was celebrated. But now looking back, this seems like the worst possible kind of policy being implemented with no understanding of what the the risks were for the future.

Benny Peiser 12:15
Yeah, indeed. And as I said, Britain won’t be able to do it because there are no more coal power plants that you can reopen. But many other European countries still have coal power plants are mothballed. They didn’t blow them up. They have mothballed them. So they will reopen them like Germany, they’ll reopen them. And some countries will build new coal power plants, no doubt. The irony of all of this, of course, is that the Eco movement, the Green Movement, blocking or banning fracking, means that you will have to rely on more LNG, which is not only much more expensive, but also has a much higher carbon footprint. So you know, Europe, co2 emissions will go up quite significantly.

Robert Bryce 13:07
Well, but that Europe will have to rely on LNG more on LNG and coal, though I mean, you’ve just said that as well. Right? Isn’t that is a bitter I mean, it is a just a, an I watched this this stunt by these kids. I’m gonna say kids, because they are kids. These were these young women who threw tomato soup on the Van Gogh painting, and I was just completely offended.

Benny Peiser 13:31
I thought they are the ones who are causing all the co2 emissions, by the way, who What do you mean? Well, the Green Movement, the activists who fought against fracking, who fought against nuclear energy, who shut down coal who shut down nuclear, they’re the ones who are driving up co2 emissions, they are the problem that the US, let’s face it. In Britain 25 years ago, there was a clear shift to gas and nuclear. Had we continued with that, and never ever touched renewables, we would have less emissions today. We would have lower energy prices than today. We would not have this energy crisis.

Robert Bryce 14:23
So you’re putting all this at the feet of the of the climate activists that this is that they are the problem. You said,

Benny Peiser 14:29
well, and our politicians who listened to these teenagers and liberated them and said yeah, they otherwise we will do whatever Greta Thun Berg tells us. They know what to do. We will follow them. We will close down nuclear will close down coal. We will descend into incentivize our own gas production will go for Russian gas that they listened to the teenagers to the activists And the whole lot. There is no party in the whole of Europe. That isn’t on this stupid trip, I’m afraid.

Robert Bryce 15:11
Well, so then what happens after trust now? I mean, there have been even rumors. I’ve seen them in the US press anyway, the possibility that Boris Johnson makes a comeback? I mean, is this even plausible that this would happen?

Benny Peiser 15:22
No. Who would have thought that we are in this deep hole black hole? Who would have thought anything is possible nowadays?

Robert Bryce 15:32
That Britain Britain’s looks more like Italy, then Italy?

Benny Peiser 15:38
Without the nice weather and without the good foods? Yeah. We are the Banana Republic without the bananas. No, seriously?

Robert Bryce 15:48
No, it’s painful. I’m only laughing because it’s, look, I’m not celebrating your good for your misfortune. But I’ve just it the whole thing is seems so ridiculous that amidst the energy that admits the energy crisis of the of the biggest energy crisis since World War Two, that the labor would pull the move that it did, and that it would effectively contribute to the collapse of this new coalition government in such a short amount of time, indicating the instability of the entire system that has prided itself on stability for, you know, for decades. I mean, it’s just, it truly is breathtaking.

Benny Peiser 16:26
Absolutely. It’s also tragic. And it’s hugely expensive, which is why as a result of the energy cost crisis, in all likelihood, we will have a financial disaster to remember that, over the last six months, Europe has already spent 700 billion euros in handouts, to households and businesses not to go under. So 700 billion, just think about what you could have done with that money in terms of energy infrastructure or energy generation, just handouts, so that the industry doesn’t go under and that households don’t go under

Robert Bryce 17:11
repeated 700 billion in energy subsidies or energy handouts over the last six months. Yeah. Where did that from? I haven’t seen that figure from where is that? Figure Benny?

Benny Peiser 17:22
Read our newsletter today? Okay. Well, that’s to me, Britain itself has committed already 60 or 70 billion. And that’s without the 30 billion for for businesses. So we’re talking hundreds of billions. And that’s just in Germany has committed 200 billion, remember, just a week ago, right? So at the 100 billion in year in Britain, and 200 billion, and that’s just Britain and Germany. And the others haven’t been as generous because they know, if you print too much money, your basically financial system is destroyed. And that’s what we’re facing. We’re not only facing this ridiculous energy cost crisis, we’re facing a financial crisis as well. Because what’s the alternative? Look at this, you know, when this trust sector, Chancellor, right, yeah, was important. And new, we now have a new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, the first thing he did was to kill what is called the energy package, which was a kind of two year unlimited Garen guarantee to all households to make sure it was about somewhere between 100 and 200 billion pound guarantee to help households to heat their homes. Right. He killed that and said, This will stop in April. You know what happens in April, energy bills for the average household, for the average household will go up to 5000 pounds. That’s five times more than energy bills were a year ago, five times so most households won’t be able to pay that. So the energy suppliers will go bankrupt because most households will struggle to pay that kind of money. And one of the you asked, Why did labor table this fracking ban? Bill? Well, one of the reasons is, it’s almost certain that Labour will nationalize energy generation. So that

Robert Bryce 19:37
that is 3030 years after that 30 years after Thatcher goes that goes goes backward and in a privatization that began with Enron in the early 1990s with the Teesside power plant met using natural gas from the North Sea. And now suddenly, Britain is going to go back to the

Benny Peiser 20:00
Yeah, we’re going back to energy socialism. I have no doubt about that. Because also because the industry will not survive. As I said, given current price rises.

Robert Bryce 20:14
It also will so talk about that what is the situation? Do you know? Do you have acquaintances, friends, people you know of who are closing their businesses give me the give me the landscape. What is happening? You are you in London? I forgotten where do you live? And work in London, you work in London? So what’s the sitch? What’s the vibe, their businesses closing down? Are you seeing businesses shuttering?

Benny Peiser 20:36
Look, because of the 60 billion handout, right, I mean, energy prices have have doubled, essentially, over the last six months they have doubling is something which hurts but you can survive traveling, quadrupling or increasing by fivefold, you cannot survive. So this is why the government is handing out 60 billion to each individual household, then instead of your bill being 5000, it’s two and a half 1000. Right. 30 billion are going to businesses. But once that money stops, most of these businesses will struggle to survive, particularly pubs, restaurants, small, medium sized businesses, nevermind, energy in the little energy intensive industry that still exists in Britain is simply not sustainable won’t survive. And I very much doubt anyone is going to invest in any energy intensive industry. Remember, I don’t know whether you saw that story. But BMW who is who was going to build the electric cars in Oxford. They announced last week that they’re shifting their electric car production from Britain to guess where? China, right? So European companies are beginning already to announce a shift of the manufacturing from Europe to China. This way, China has cheap energy, cheap labor, what’s not to like? The same with giga factory building batteries. In the north of England, they have now delayed production, and are struggling to they need 200 million in investment, they are struggling to find that money, who in their right mind would invest in a country where the energy costs is going through the roof. That’s the reality. So 10s of 1000s of businesses. And that’s what the kind of association of small and medium sized businesses has announced 10s of 1000s of businesses are basically facing ruin.

Robert Bryce 22:53
But but your set, but if I’m understanding your right, you’re saying that the wave of closures hasn’t really happened yet hasn’t happened yet. So that that for if I were to come to London today or to see that it wouldn’t be as it wouldn’t be that evident. But but that but that’s just for stalling what will be a series of disasters, then next year then of widespread closures.

Benny Peiser 23:19
That is, you see, we published a paper telling MPs and ministers, you have only one option. If you want to make sure that this doesn’t completely damaged economies, you have to change policies to bring down the cost of energy. They’re not doing that, because they are the net zero and the green agenda is their main priority. So they they don’t want to change policy, what they are doing. They what they have two options, either print more money and hand out more 10s of billions to households and businesses so that they don’t go under that’s the current policy. That will stop in April. Once that stops, you will see 10s of 1000s of businesses going bankrupt and households unable to pay their bills. So that you see this is the dilemma. You either bring down the cost of energy or everything goes belly up. And the only

Robert Bryce 24:23
the only way to do that is to increase supply. Right. I mean, is that is that that’s the only option, correct? Well,

Benny Peiser 24:29
that’s one option. Obviously, that’s one option that doesn’t immediately reduce cost, okay. But there are policies, like the emissions trading scheme, the green subsidies, the kind of exports to the rest of Europe, there are a number of policies that you could radically change, which would bring down costs drastically, and immediately, but it would mean that you have to pause netzero and you have to say, all these netzero plans we had, they have to be delayed they we can’t do them right now we live in an energy crisis, we can’t go on business as usual, we have to make radical change, they are not willing to do that.

Robert Bryce 25:19
And they’re not willing, because they’re still under this delusion of the Britain is going to save the climate or I mean, I’m saving a saying it correctly how I mean, they’re still wired, where is the resistance to shifting given the magnitude of the crisis?

Benny Peiser 25:35
Because they are told that gas and fossil fuels is the problem and renewables is the solution.

Robert Bryce 25:43
And that’s what they’ve been told. And they believed it for all this time. And now there’s no way they’re going to change their mind on something they’ve been invested in for this long.

Benny Peiser 25:52
Yeah. Now, they think that the Renew UK and as I said, Labour wants to do this in the next eight years, they think the solution is renewable energy, that will solve the problem. And they seriously believe that,

Robert Bryce 26:05
even though it’s clear that you can’t expand renewable, the wind and solar capacity in Britain enough to meet demand, I mean, there’s just not enough land you’ve already seen as I observe it from here in the US, the backlash against wind and solar projects, the backlash against transmission projects are is so fierce that the hope of building the amount of capacity needed, it’s not going to happen. Am I miss reading this?

Benny Peiser 26:27
No, well, you’re not. But given that this is a matter of faith, and belief, and not a rational issue, it’s difficult for any politician to acknowledge that they got it wrong for the last 20 years. So it’s not going to happen, this generation of policymakers will not be able to turn this around, I’m afraid. They’re not willing to acknowledge that the last 20 years caused this crisis, and they’re not going to change. All I’m saying is there are there are solutions that you could introduce, and remedies you could introduce, which could reduce the overall cost of energy, but it would require radical reforms. And our current parties in parliament are not willing to do that. And the

Robert Bryce 27:17
labor and the labor bill on fracking is just the example of what would be the first example of this. Yeah, attachment to old ideas that have already proven to be wrong.

Benny Peiser 27:27
That’s right. That’s right. So therefore, I expect this to get much worse. As I said, I expect there to as the current thinking is either you continue with the handouts, which will essentially ruin your economy and the credibility of the international markets in the in the economic stability of the country, because you’re basically printing 100 billion per year. It’s basically like furlough forever. Right? It’s even more further was, I think, 70 billion a year. Here. We’re talking 10 100 billion per year in handouts,

Robert Bryce 28:10
fuel money and furlough. I’m sorry, forgive me. What was that?

Benny Peiser 28:13
Was the money that people got when they didn’t go to work during COVID? Oh, okay. Gotcha. Okay. So, and businesses would get the money just to shut down. I said 70 billion a year, but now we’re talking 100 billion per year,

Robert Bryce 28:28
that adds to that flood of cash that was already distributed during COVID and

Benny Peiser 28:33
mountain of debt. Right, what? And as interest goes up, the government has to pay more and more in interest to pay off.

Robert Bryce 28:47
So Billy, I can’t I have to observe you know, I’ve done a well, I don’t know how many podcasts now over 145 or 150. close to that. I pay attention a lot to people’s the tone in their voices. And it’s something in my personal relationships as well. It’s my dad used to say you know, it’s not what you say it’s how you say it I can hear and we’ve we’ve talked before and you came to Austin some months ago and we visited and you came over and we traveled around Austin a bit. But I hear an edge in your voice on anger and frustration that I haven’t heard before. What is it? Is it anger and frustration of having seen this coming and not being listened to? Is it anger at the the looming does at the ongoing disaster? What I’m asking this is kind of a TV journalist question, I guess but explain this. I mean, I hate to ask the question, how do you feel but that’s kind of where I’m going with this was what? Explain that anger and frustration to me.

Benny Peiser 29:48
It’s uttered this illusion man with a political class and the realization that no matter what we say No matter what the facts are, no matter even if they are potential solutions, there is no way out currently, because the political class is an unwilling and unable to acknowledge that they got it wrong. So they will stick to their agenda no matter what. Until it gets so bad that they will be kicked out left, right and center, which is going to happen. And a new generation of politicians will arise who will realize that we can’t go on like this.

Robert Bryce 30:39
It’s, so you’re saying this is about pride, then, I mean, ultimately, it’s about this overbearing pride of these politicians do not admit their error.

Benny Peiser 30:49
It’s not even pride, it’s a psychological inability to, you know, if you are almost religiously bound by a particular faith, that what you’ve been doing, saving the planet, you know, and going green and being on the right side of history, and being virtuous, and so on. If that is what drives you, it’s very, very difficult to acknowledge, we’ve made a mistake. And we’ve caused the biggest economic crisis in European history since World War Two. And remember, even after World War Two, when when you’re was destroyed, at least you’re still had energy in the ground, mind you, Europe still has energy in the ground. I think we published a paper recently showing there’s at least 300 years of coal still in Europe and least 50 years of gas. So, you know, if if, at one point politicians realize we have to start drilling, at least there’s something left but I am extremely concerned about the utter decline and degradation and relegation of Europe as a civilization as a result of which is yet another in our long history utopian pipe dream. Based on a millennial doomsday cult. That’s what it is. They followed the doomsday cult almost to the ultimate disaster

Robert Bryce 32:36
I you know, you said it very starkly. Benny. And I think that that’s about right. And that the by the doomsday cult brought about doomsday by their own prophecy, right or their own, their own misguided. You know, it’s interesting that your colleague, John Constable, and I talked about this, but I’ve talked with many other people about the inability of people just don’t fundamentally don’t understand energy, right. And so because they don’t understand it, it can be it’s the perfect thing to for demagogues, right that demagogues can demagogue about it all day long, because they don’t know squat. And oh, well, we’ll just change this. And it’s gonna be fine. And wind and solar are good. So we need more wind and solar, without any other discussion of the other impacts that that has. And this seems to be, I’m only reflecting back to you what I’ve heard you say, because the policymakers only think about the policy. They don’t think about the economics, they don’t think about the technology. They don’t think about the implementation or the land use or these other things that are part of the policy that the policy affects. And now they’re, you know, as you say, they’re not going to go backward, because this is what they’re the religious devotion to the policy that they’ve created without any understanding of what that means. And that’s my read back to what you said is that I’m coming close to this. But it’s this that there’s Richard Fineman said the energy is very hard to understand. I mean, it’s very subtle kind of thing that we’re talking about. And yet there’s endless political politicization and demagoguery around it, because nobody really gets nobody very few get it.

Benny Peiser 34:11
Absolutely. That is That is true. And because it’s a highly complex issue, and most people don’t get it, and most people are kind of wishful thinking about. We could do it if the political will, is there, right? Okay. Yes, wind and solar is intermittent, but we’ll have the batteries and the storage. We just need to spend a few more trillion. You know, we’ve heard this for the last 3040 years. And the evidence is quite obvious that you cannot run a country on your renewable says you can’t even run a single city on renewables. It doesn’t need it. If that were possible, we would have An example. You know, my good friend Francis menten makes the case. If renewables would work, show me a single place on Earth, where it works 24/7 Right exist doesn’t exist. Very good indication that it will never exist.

Robert Bryce 35:21
So I just want to read what the statement that you put out on Thursday, October 20. This is from net zero watch, and you can find more about Benny Pizer. In his work at Net Zero You wrote the evident failure to embrace fracking is destroying the most promising chances of enhancing Britain’s energy security while driving up energy costs. MPs members of parliament have been playing into the hands of Vladimir Putin as Britain will now be forced to rely more and more on costly gas imports rather than than its massive shale resources. If the Westminster bubble think the current economic and political crisis is bad, they’re in for a shock next year when energy bills go through the roof and businesses go under. I read that and I thought, Okay, I need to talk to Benny again. And I’m glad we were able to connect today’s October 22. So just the last couple of things, Benny, I told you I didn’t want to go an hour. I just want to keep it fairly short, because I want to put this podcast out early. What’s what’s next then trust is still in name as Prime Minister, how long would the process take to replace her? Is that Is there anything

Benny Peiser 36:31
that happened within a week? Okay, so by by by the next weekend, we should know if it is in my guess it will be between Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor and Boris Johnson. But if you ask me, it doesn’t really matter. Because no matter who is the next prime minister, in fact, no matter who’s the next government, unless you tackle the energy costs crisis, no government will survive for long. Because people can’t live with these astronomical energy prices. They can’t, no business and no household, in the long term can survive on energy costs that are five times higher than they used to be. It’s impossible. So that is the challenge. And the next prime minister will still be restrained by a conservative parliamentary party, which is deeply split between a green woke liberal wing, which is mainly social democratic, and a more conservative wing, many of whom also don’t understand energy. So you know, I don’t see a shortcut or any easy way out. My great concern is that it will get much much much worse before it gets better. Well,

Robert Bryce 38:04
let’s leave it there. You know, I usually ask my last question is what gives you hope, but I want to, I want to not ask that question today. But, Benny, I deeply appreciate your time. I know we’re talking on a Saturday morning here in Austin and afternoon in the UK. appreciate you making time to talk with us again on the power hungry podcast. Again, my guest has been Benny PEISER my friend Benny Pizer. He’s the director of net zero watch in the UK a public charity. You can find more about their work and I suggest you sign up for their newsletter. It comes out almost every day at Net Zero Benny, thanks again for coming on the power hungry podcast.

Benny Peiser 38:40
Well, thank you for having me. And I’m very very sorry for all the bad news from your

Robert Bryce 38:48
it’s not your fault. All right, my friend take care of well, we will be in touch soon. Thanks to all you in podcast land for tuning into this edition of the power hungry podcast. Make sure to tune in next time and if you have a chance, give us a good rating to 612 15 stars, whatever they allow you to do on those rating systems and until next time, see you


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