Clause 29

Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 26 February 2008.

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Abandonment of installations

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry Shadow Minister (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

We are cantering through the Bill at such a pace that I wish I had the army of back-up support that the Minister has immediately available to him.

My questions on the clause relate particularly to the explanatory notes, which state that

“the operators of such installations may be required to decommission them in a timely manner after operations have permanently ceased.”

I am concerned that the explanatory notes say that operators

“may be required to decommission”,

rather than that they will be required to decommission. I cannot imagine in what circumstances they would not be required to get rid of the installation in the way described.

Will the Minister also give us some clarity on how such things will be paid for? Will it be from the fund that will be set up, or will there be other ways in which the Minister can ensure that funds are available for decommissioning work?

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

May I say that the hon. Gentleman would make a useful member of my proof-reading team? I am advised that he is right and that we should have been talking about “will be”.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry Shadow Minister (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

I have a range of children, aged 11 and nine, who do support work for me. Obviously, they could be seconded to the Department if that would be useful. I am grateful for the Minister’s clarification on that matter.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 29 ordered to stand part of the Bill.