The ‘Trump effect’ to hit UK fuel bills and science

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he expected President Trump's state visit to take place in June.  Picture: Getty Images
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he expected President Trump's state visit to take place in June. Picture: Getty Images
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Fossil fuel industries, energy research, renewables and household power bills in the UK are likely to feel the greatest impact of Donald Trump moving into the White House, according to new analysis.

Consumer services comparison website Gocompare.com Energy has highlighted four major areas that could feel the biggest hits from the new US president’s anti-green stance, with some benefiting and others losing out.

Mr Trump has said he wants to ramp up oil and gas production under an ‘America first’ energy plan.

This involves going after untapped shale, oil and natural gas and pressing ahead with fracking and drilling as environmental regulation is abolished.

An increase in production could spark a crash in global prices due to a glut of supply, which could hurt UK oil and gas firms operating in the North Sea.

Scottish oil and gas production accounted for 81 per cent of the UK total in the year 2015-16, with an approximate sales value of £13.4 billion.

The industry employs around 450,000 people across the UK and raises billions in taxes for Westminster.

Despite new innovations and improvements in efficiency, however, the industry is struggling against spiralling costs and falling investment and having to drill in more complex places. If prices drop, jobs could be lost and wages cut.

Consumers, on the other hand, could benefit from a fall in oil prices, which could bring lower household power bills. Although a strong dollar could result in higher energy prices.

Also in the firing line is energy research. Trump has claimed global warming is a hoax and vowed to scrap the US obligations to the Paris Climate Change Agreement and Nasa’s climate research.

This is bad news for the planet, but experts say it could be good for earth scientists in the UK as they pick up the slack.

Our renewables industry is likely to feel the pinch too, at a time when the sector is reeling from withdrawal of subsidies.

Ben Wilson, energy and home services product manager at Gocompare.com, said: “It’s really important for the British public to understand just how President Trump’s term in office could affect the UK energy market.”

He added: “All sorts of questions are being asked, but ultimately we’ll all have to wait to see what the Trump effect really means.”