Yesterday even the BBC ran a piece explaining how the 6 million jobs in the EU chemical industry are at risk from dear gas feedstock for petrochemical production, and from dear energy prices generally. Though the interviewer could not resist trying to attack Ineos over Grangemouth, a plant which has so far been saved by US imported gas, nor resist trying to make it an interview about the Scottish referendum, he did allow his business guest to explain how three EU policies are deeply damaging to industry.
The first is the belief in green taxes. The second is the reliance on the dearest forms of electricity, especially wind. The third is the hostility to shale gas and the delays that has imposed in exploiting this new resource. As the representative of Ineos explained, US gas prices are now one third of the prices in the UK. The USA has embraced the shale revolution, whilst the EU has dithered and argued against it. The Middle East which has an abundance of cheap gas is also a large petro chemical centre. Its exports which have gone substantially to China may now divert to the EU as China is busily building her own petrochemical capacity.
If the EU and its so called single market are about retaining and increasing jobs, you would have thought the EU would draw up a plan to give the EU competitive energy and gas prices. Instead the EU spends its time drawing up regulations that ensure high and rising gas and electricity prices, the very opposite of what industry needs. Far from being a single market that can get our young people back to work and can enhance our general prosperity, the single market is becoming a regulatory conspiracy against enterprising Europe, designed to transfer more and more industrial jobs outside the EU altogether.
Germany’s BASF has recently stated they will placing most of their new investment outside the EU, as they no longer find Germany and the wider EU as competitive as non EU locations. When is the Commission, and the European Parliament, going to wake up to this job destroying reality? When will the BBC follow up an interview with the businessman with an interview putting the Commission on the spot, accusing them of taking away people’s livelihoods?