High gas prices force UK government to finally take action

High gas prices force UK government to finally take action Its been a stunning year so far in Northern Africa with long standing dictators and despots being forced out of power by public uprisings. As the clashes in Libya continue many oil companies are having a hard time getting their products out of the region. While Americans may whine that $4.00 is a lot for a gallon of gas, drivers in the UK are paying about $8.00 for the same product. Angry drivers are forcing the British government to take a hard look on how they can back away from foreign oil while they keep their economic recovery on track.

The threat from high oil prices could certainly hamper their chances of a healthy economy since some reports speculate that inflated prices could cost the country about $72 billion in two years. Dubbed “The Carbon Plan,” the strategy will be backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy and Climate Change Secretary  Chris Huhne. The idea isn’t just about getting the general public to walk away from foreign oil, but also government services.

Reports have surfaced that every department in the government will have to comply with the plan so the country can start “getting off the oil hook.” To boost the UK’s electric vehicle infrastructure, the Department of Transport is expected to produce a national strategy for items like public charging stations by June. In addition, a green investment bank will be set up by 2012 and new guidelines for building greener homes will be issued. Other government offices will also be given the task of hitting green targets and if they miss them they will have to issue a written response to the Prime Minister on why they failed. Surprisingly, NGOs such as media-savvy Greenpeace will be called on to observe the government’s green transition.

While this is a positive step forward for Cameron’s coalition government, it seems like the current crisis in Libya was their only motivation to change their ways. Cameron claimed that his office would usher in an era of the “greenest government ever,” but he hasn’t delivered on the claim since he took office in May. In fact, it may only be the anger of motorists in the country that finally got the government to act. Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the UK’s Automobile Association said, “If you go out into the country, people are down on their knees asking for lower prices.” Perhaps their American cousins might take the move as an inspiration to bug their own leaders.