David Cameron, 16 June 2008:
We’ll only get the big benefits of going green if we’re really ambitious and really change the way we do things. What I’m talking about is one of the most radical technological and social shifts for generations. I’m talking about reconfiguring our whole economy and overturning our whole hydrocarbon dependency...
So that’s why I can announce today that a Conservative Government will follow the Californian model, and implement an Emissions Performance Standard. This would mean the carbon emissions rate of all electricity generated in our country cannot be any higher than that generated in a modern gas plant. Such a standard would mean that a new generation of unabated coal power plants could not be built in this country.
That's clear, specific and unambiguous.
So, once elected, it was no surprise to see it in the main policy document The Coalition: Our Programme for Government, May 2010:
We will establish an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient carbon capture and storage to meet the emissions performance standard.
Again, that's clear, definite and unequivocal.
But three months on when it's time for action, we find out it's actually time to jettison the policy promise, 15 August 2010:
Now government sources confirm they will not be bringing forward legislation in the autumn and will instead spend the summer working on "the larger picture". They will open a consultation on the [Emissions Performance Standard] idea in the autumn with the results being presented to parliament as a white paper in the new year.
You can hear the beast of unabated coal stirring in its lair. See you in front of the bulldozers at Kingsnorth.