Energy giant BP has announced profits of £6.9 billion ($8.45 billion) in just 3 months.
Commenting on the massive profits, Bernard Looney, BP’s chief executive officer said:
“Today’s results show that bp continues to perform while transforming. Our people have continued to work hard throughout the quarter helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy. We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time, investing to accelerate the energy transition.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Oil and Gas Campaigner Freya Aitchison has described the profits as ‘obscene’. They come as Scots are set to face a very hard winter with millions struggling to heat their homes as household Bills rocket in price. And not to forget that we are also in a climate emergency.
Freya Aitchison said:
“This announcement of yet another obscene profit for BP is a clear sign that our energy system is fundamentally broken.”
“Rising energy prices are a key driver of the cost of living crisis which is plunging millions of people in the UK into fuel poverty, yet bosses and shareholders at BP are getting even richer by exploiting one of our most basic needs.
“BP is also worsening climate breakdown and extreme weather by continuing to invest and lock us into new oil and gas projects for decades to come. Instead of allowing these companies to continue causing social and environmental devastation to boost their profits, we need to overhaul our energy system to rapidly phase out oil and gas.
“A fair and fast transition to renewables must ensure that everyone has access to affordable and clean renewable energy.”
Households across the UK will face huge rises in their energy Bills this winter and going forward into next year. It hits Scots particularly hard because tariffs are higher for Scotland. People in the Highlands and Islands will be the worse affected – and these are the areas already facing the highest rates of fuel poverty.
It has been estimated that household energy bills could reach over £3,600 per household. That figure is an average. The bills for those living in the Highlands and Islands will be more in the range of £4,000. Letters: ‘The UK energy system is broken’
Commenting last week on the predicted rise in home energy bills Orkney energy expert Robert Leslie said:
“This scale of increase is unsustainable and will push a massive number of additional Orkney households into #fuelpoverty – we need intervention now and a change to the broken UK energy system.
“If folk in Orkney already have annual bills of around £3000 after the 54% hike in April then a 77% hike will push them beyond £5000 if their usage stays the same. Given the carbon content of Orkney’s electricity this is an injustice and needs urgent action.” “The highest price this winter will be paid by those with the least.” UK Energy Price Hike
Energy is a power reserved to the UK Government. The Scottish Government can mitigate the effects of the rises in the cost of living by supporting the least off with a range of financial packages but its like using a tiny sticking plaster to cover a gushing arterial wound. The Scottish Government has a limited budget – it has zero borrowing powers and must always produce a balanced budget. This means that the money it uses to try and limit the appalling effects of these price rises on people’s standard of living, has to be taken away from something else they are supporting. For the Scottish Government it’s in a no win situation as the energy prices and food prices continue to rise. So far this year Scotland’s Government has allocated almost £3 billion to help families and households face the increased cost of living, including:
- £294.4 million for Scottish Child Payment and other family benefits, including Best Start Grants, Best Start Foods and Bridging Payments
- £64 million for universal provision of free school meals during term time for children in p4 and p5 and alternative holiday provision for eligible children
- £306 million for concessionary travel
- £437 million to help with household bills via Council Tax Reduction and Water Charge Reduction
Whilst the Tories continue with wrangling over who will be the next Prime Minister of the UK, elected by a handful of their own members, the UK is heading towards a winter public health disaster as millions are unable to heat their homes and eat healthy meals. With over 200,000 Covid related deaths and 2 million suffering from long Covid, the health implications of the double whammy of energy and food price increases is frightening.
Only the UK Government has it within their powers to prevent this public health disaster. Failure to do so is an admission that the UK Energy system is broken and the compliance of Scots continuing in the UK as equal members – is on a shaky peg.