Europe has a problem. Dear energy makes European industry much less competitive, at a time when Asia is challenging and the USA has opted for cheap gas. Dear energy squeezes the budgets of individuals and families, at exactly the point where wage growth is also being cut by the rigours of the Euro and the pressures of global competition.
Politicians have assumd that most people in the EU agree with global warming theory. They have assumed that people will therefore buy into the “solution”, burning less fossil fuel. The politicians who believe that this crusade is the most important task modern humanity faces, have been altogether quieter about explaining that their policy means dear energy, which in turn means lower living standards.
Now the EU is seeing the consequences of its dearer energy policies, the political mood is turning against this approach. Far from people congratulating their politicians for the courage they have shown in pushing European energy prices up to new highs to get people to use less energy, there is now a poltical backlash. Dear energy means fewer jobs. Dearer energy means more inflation. Dearer energy means people are worse off. That is not what most voters had in mind.
The UK has got there first in wanting cheaper energy. The problem is the main forces leading to dear energy are in EU law. By EU law we have to generate more and more power from very expensive windfarms. By EU law we have to close our cheaper fossil fuel burning power stations. The battle of energy will have to become a battle within the EU. For Eurosceptics, it is one of the best reasons alongside the need to control our own borders and have our own system of justice, to require a big change to our relationship.