La ministre de la Transition énergétique Agnès Pannier-Runacher, à l'Elysée le 8 juin 2022 (AFP/Archives - Ludovic MARIN)

Purchasing Power: It is expected to vote for the first part of the Assembly – Teller Report

A vote on the first part of the National Assembly’s purchasing power measures is long overdue, with discussions still promising over energy and increased coal use to avoid shortages.

And MPs will have to, perhaps Thursday evening, pass an “emergency” law on purchasing power, before moving on to the amended budget for 2022 (PLFR), which provides funding and complements the arsenal in the face of inflation.

The National Assembly has already planned to convene on Saturday. Because the debates drag on, with LFI MPs mobilizing against most measures, except for the reassessment of pensions or social minimums, which they abstained from.

In a rare moment of harmony Wednesday night, the association voted almost unanimously to disengage the Adult Disabled Allowance (AAH), a calculation method that does not take into account a spouse’s income. The opposition and associations faced rejection from the executive for the previous five-year period, but Emmanuel Macron promised to “move” on the issue during the presidential campaign.

And in the debate program now, several articles on the “energy supremacy” of France, against the background of the war in Ukraine and the fear of closing the Russian gas tap.

After ten days of maintenance, Russia reopened the Nord Stream gas pipeline on Thursday, but Moscow still has its hands on the weapon on which EU energy security depends this winter.

The Purchasing Power Act includes several measures to try to adapt, through the increasing use of fossil fuels, stifling MPs and environmental NGOs.

Article 16 provides a legal framework for restarting the Saint-Avold (Moselle) coal-fired power plant next winter, which shut down in March. It makes it possible to raise greenhouse gas emissions ceilings, both in the case of “a threat to the security of the electricity supply” and in the case of balancing emissions.

Justifying the forced shutdown of part of the nuclear fleet, the use of the most polluting fuel makes a cough to the right, and the leader of MPs LR Olivier Marleix saw it as “absurd”.

– ‘Benefits from the crisis’ –

Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher, at the Elysee Palace on June 8, 2022 (AFP / Archive – Ludovic Marin)

“We are in a race against time to secure our energy supplies for the coming winter,” Minister of Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher justified.

Another divisive topic is the commissioning in September 2023 of a floating LNG terminal in the port of Le Havre, in order to diversify the sources of gas supply.

On the left, many MPs see it primarily as a way to import US shale gas, a fuel whose exploitation was banned in France in 2017 and whose extraction pollutes water. For now, the government has not said explicitly that the terminal will transport shale gas.

The socialist amendment adopted in the commission constituted a guarantee: the term of operation of this plant was set at five years and any renewal must go through “by law”.

The overall votes on this first part of the purchasing power package will be closely scrutinized, particularly within the Nupes coalition (LFI, Socialists, Environmentalists, Communists). The Insoumis group has already warned that it will vote against it, but PS may abstain from the vote and environmentalists are left in suspense.

Electrical discussions on the revised draft budget are then expected, with high stakes. For example on the abolition of the audiovisual license fee disputed by the Left. To reassure the channels, Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal said he is ready to allocate a tax dedicated to audiovisual media, with a “part” of the value-added tax.

Pressure will mount over taxing “big corporations” from large groups, oil and gas or transportation companies, an idea pushed by the left, the elected national bloc and even LR or certain LREM votes. Left-wing defenders such as Sacha Houllier say they are ready to “make the exploiters of the crisis pay the price”.

As for the price of gasoline, an agreement appears to be emerging between the Macronists and LR extending into the end of the year, with its increase, at a discount of 18 cents on a liter of fuel.

adc-parl / reb / ​​cs / bow

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