Oil and gas companies need to be encouraged to go for more gas, the Prime Minister said.
Speaking in the House of Commons and responding to a suggestion by Labour party Leader Keir Starmer that the government should impose a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, Boris Johnson said: “What he (Mr Starmer) would be doing is hitting the energy companies at precisely when we need to encourage them to go for more gas because we need to transition now to cleaner fuels.”
During Prime Minister’s Questions he said: “What they would do, and you know, this is a global problem Mr Speaker caused by the spike in gas prices, but what they would do is clobber the oil and gas companies right now with a tax that would deter investment in gas just when this country needs gas as we transition to green fuel.
“It would be totally ridiculous and it would raise prices for consumers.”
A few days earlier, the Labour party called for a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers to reduce the average household bill by £200.
That follows reports that the government is to greenlight six new oil and gas fields in the North Sea.
A BEIS spokesperson told ELN: “There will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas over the coming years as we transition to cleaner, more secure forms of energy, generated in this country.
“As the Business Secretary has said, turning off our domestic source of gas overnight would put energy security, British jobs and industries at risk and we would be even more dependent on foreign imports.”
Reacting to Boris Johnson comments about a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, Dr Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace UK said: “The Prime Minister seems to have swallowed the oil and gas lobby’s bogus hype. He’s providing cover for big companies to pay out huge sums to shareholders from their massive profits whilst the public are left feeling the pinch.
“More oil and gas from the North Sea won’t change that – it will be sold to the highest bidder, may not even be used in UK, and will worsen the climate crisis already being felt around the world.”