Energy Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 29th March 2004.

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Photo of Baroness Carnegy of Lour Baroness Carnegy of Lour Conservative 6:15 pm, 29th March 2004

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, knows a great deal about this matter. It would appear that we need the widest possible range of energy sources and we need to use our own coal in the best possible way. I can see the problems of timing, but the main point is that the Government must bear in mind the tremendous advantage that there has been to this country by exploring for oil in the deep sea. That technology has been sold to our enormous advantage across the world—to China and many other countries—because the oil industry had sufficient vision to see that, as the oil in the North Sea reduced, the industry's skill and technology could be sold. Surely we need to do that in the case of clean coal—and that is the noble Lord's most important point.

I hope that the Government will not just dismiss the amendment as a pipe dream—the matter should be attended to now regarding the export of expertise. We must ensure that we have that expertise to export.