Utility Week

Utility Week 11th October 2019

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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Community rules phasing out incandescent light bulbs. Somewhat bizarrely, and prefaced with the claim that he "wasn't a vain man", he offered as part of his reasoning that he "looked much better" under incandescent lighting. Which, given that he famously looks permanently orange, must have le• a few of his compatriots stroking their chins. Anyhow, Trump isn't about to change his tune just because he runs against the tide. In fact, he thrives on it. In that same week he dou- bled down on criticism of Swed- ish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, retweeting an accusation that she was an actress. He's previ- ously referred to her sarcasti- cally as "a happy looking girl". His Trumpness seems oblivi- ous to the fact that the bookies have now placed Thunberg as the favourite for the next Nobel Peace Prize. Or perhaps he isn't – he has claimed several times (and without any discernible irony) that by rights he should be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Although he's been uncharac- teristically vague about what for. Let's hear it for the girls One of the few public figures to emerge with any credit – or dig- nity – in the never-ending Brexit, The Director's Cut, is the head judge of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale. Disconnector Publishing director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Content director: Jane Gray, janegray@fav-house.com, t: 01342 333004; Editor: Suzanne Heneghan, t: 01342 332106, e: suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com Digital editor: James Wallin, 01342 332015, jameswallin@fav-house.com; Intelligence editor: Denise Chevin, 01342 332087, denisechevin@fav-house.com Energy correspondent: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@ fav-house.com; Reporter: Adam John, t: 01342 332069, e: adamjohn@fav-house.com; Water correspondent: Ruth Williams, e: ruthwilliams@fav-house.com, t: 01342 332069 Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ben Hammond, e: benhammond@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332116; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, e: sarahwood@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332117 Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e: sophieabbott@fav-house.com; General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. 2,500 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2018 Membership subscriptions: UK £769+VAT per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the regulator of the UK's magazine and newspaper industry. We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint, please contact the Editor. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you want more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk. National Theatre said it wouldn't be taking any more dosh from Shell. This is despite the fact that the arts in Britain are continually struggling for money and any injections of funds from the public purse are met with similar shrieks of outrage – pos- sibly from the same people. It makes the great man wonder at the wisdom of Shell's move this year to drop the First Energy brand, a year a•er it bought the challenger company and gained an instant customer base of 700,000. At the same time it announced that the renamed Shell Retail Energy would be supplying only renew- able electricity. The aim was probably to try to make the brand "Shell" synonymous with renewable energy rather than fossil fuel, but given that its distinctive clam logo is plastered all over garage forecourts up and down the land, it rather feels like a cunning plan that has very little chance of success. Is he a friend of yours? Of course, Big Energy does have one very high-profile champion on its side, albeit one who's support it would probably do without. Yup, Donald Trump. The prez is so anti anything that might have environmental credentials that last month he announced plans to row back on Not such a cunning plan The public's attitude to large energy companies has always been at best ambivalent. Even in the pre-climate crisis days when we could just set fire to stuff for laughs, it was obvious that belching tonnes of pitch black smoke into the atmos- phere wasn't doing anyone any good. Today, with climate change a reality, the near universal consensus is that we need to decarbonise our energy system, followed in short order by transport and heating. Until we do, though, our civilisa- tion still relies on fossil fuel. If you think a no-deal Brexit is a frightening prospect, try going cold turkey on oil and see where that gets you. With this in mind, it seems to Disconnector pointless to cast upstream energy compa- nies as villains for carrying out work that is still essen- tial. BP and Shell are not Big Tobacco, yet howls of rage from environmental activists have compelled some of the country's biggest cultural play- ers to sever sponsorship links with them. Thus, a•er a long cam- paign, the Royal Shakespeare Company earlier this month said it was calling time on its eight-year association with BP. While only last week the UTILITY WEEK | 11TH - 17TH OCTOBER 2019 | 31 She it was who delivered the court's verdict on proro- gation – which in a nutshell was that prorogation for the purposes of stopping parlia- ment holding the government of the day to account was illegal. Hale's an impressive figure. Having been educated in a state school, she went to Cambridge, graduated first in her class and in 2003 became the first female law lord. Among the documents that Hale was called on to examine before deliberating on prorogation was a hand- written note from Johnson dismissively referring to "girly swot Cameron", leaked to Sky News. Given that the note ended up in front of the female head of the Supreme Court, it must serve as another gaffe from good-for-a-laugh Johnson. Hale certainly seems to have taken it on board. In a subse- quent address to the Associa- tion of State Girls' Schools, of which she's a patron, she pointedly told the leadership conference: "Let's hear it for the girly swots." Not everyone is a fan, of course. In one story the Daily Mail listed her CV simply as "ex-barmaid". Aptly, perhaps, Hale's key advice to young women hoping to come up through the ranks was: "Don't let the bastards get you down."

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