Utility Week

UTILITY Week 17th March 2017

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

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Community I've seen you in court Environmentalists around the world are waiting nervously to see which way Donald Trump will jump when it comes to fighting climate change. The signs are not good. Scott Pruitt is the incoming head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the body charged with leading the country's efforts to curb emis- sions. Last week he told cable network CNBC that he didn't think carbon dioxide was a primary contributor to global warming. He claimed there was "a tremendous amount of disagreement" about whether human activity was having any effect on the climate, although he didn't specify which parties disagreed. Certainly not NASA, or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administra- tion, or indeed the organisation he's about to lead. It should come as no sur- prise that Pruitt is willing to go on TV and contradict state- ments put forward by the EPA as fundamental truths. As attorney general for the state of Oklahoma, he joined forces with big business in more than a dozen lawsuits to try to block anti-pollution legis- lation aimed at cleaning up air and water. And who were these law- suits aimed at? Yup, the EPA. Trump has basically put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Dark symbolism In a perhaps perfect metaphor, the day aer Pruitt's comments, the Statue of Liberty was unex- pectedly plunged into darkness for several hours when a power cut le it without lights. Before Trump's team had a chance to point the finger at Obama or the CIA, the National Parks Service explained that the blackout was down to construction work nearby. The statue is deeply symbolic to Americans, being placed on Ellis Island where immigrants disembarked in the New World. If you believe in omens, its being plunged into darkness as Trump assembles his team to govern the country is, well, ominous. Chinese whispers China is oen held up as the easy fall guy by any populist politician in the West. It's easy to dismiss the country as sim- ply a huge factory where they assemble stuff on the cheap because it has such an ample supply of exploitable labour. There was undoubtedly some truth to this in years past, but it ignores the truly awesome rate at which China is turning itself into a modern industrial superpower by dint of education, willpower and staggering levels of capital investment. The caricature of China as essentially low-tech and underdeveloped is increas- ingly wide of the reality. Disconnector was struck – again – by the country's ambition when he learnt of plans being put forward to build a 1,000km-long pipeline between Siberia in Russia and the northern Chinese city of Lanzhou. What's striking about the project is that it is not for oil or gas, but water. The idea is to draw water from the tip of Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world, and pump it across the length of Mongolia to the capi- tal of Gansu province, which for years has suffered from chronic droughts. To get an idea of the scale of what's being proposed, that's like pumping water from Milan to London. The project is so far only on the drawing boards of city plan- ners in China, but it is evidence both of China's immense capa- bility and its need: the country has 20 per cent of the world's population but only 7 per cent of its fresh water. Disconnector Editor, Utility Week, and content director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Deputy editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: janegray@ fav-house.com; Insights editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathewbeech@fav-house. com; News editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080, e: loisvallely@fav-house.com; Deputy news editor: Jamie Hailstone, t: 01342 332050, e: jamiehailstone@fav-house.com; Senior reporter: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Nigel Searle, t: 01342 332009, e: nigelsearle@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amandabarnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham House Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 1UZ 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2015 Membership subscriptions: UK £669 per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates 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 that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact the editor, Ellen Bennett, at ellenbennett@fav-house.com. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk William Marchant @richonlyinname Despite Brexit clogging up Parliamentary time there's still a lot BEIS can do to help energy customers that doesn't require new legislation. Elon Musk @elonmusk Ironically, direct current is the right approach today, even though alternating was right in the past. Solar power & electronics both DC. DavidW2035 @DavidW2035 Australia is cooking. Enough coal. Enough lies about renewables. This is intergenera- tional crime! We need real climate action #Heatwave2017 Kiran Chada @moneybizines Internet giant @Google aims to be powered 100% by #renewableenergy in 2017. #sustainability EcoWife @Eco_Wife Storage for #renewableenergy should be our 1st concern, without it they are natgas plants #climatechange to the max @astralgeckos "The EPA is killing the coal/energy industry". Okay but guess what the current state of the energy industry is killing? All of us! Luis B. Aramburu @luisbaram How ironic that many that insist "the science is settled" are the same ones promoting irrational fear of #nuclear energy. The Big Deal @BigDealEnergy SSE raise prices but create "a fund providing targeted financial assistance to minimise the impact on vulnerable customers". Beyond parody. Angus B MacNeil MP @AngusMacNeilSNP Such excitement in Scotland with the good news of #indyref2 Angry Salmond @AngrySalmond I want someone to look at me the way Stur- geon looks at a second Scottish independence referendum. #ScotRef #IndyRef2 Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 17TH - 23RD MARCH 2017 | 31

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