The second reason for our not having been able to benefit as much as we could from the shale gas revolution is that gas costs a lot to transport by sea, as my noble friend Lord Lawson said. Therefore, even if US gas prices fall, we will not see the full benefit over here—it is not like oil; it is not a fungible commodity with one world price. So we have to produce domestic gas to get the full benefit of lower gas prices. But we have twiddled our thumbs and listened to every discredited theory about environmental harm from shale, including fugitive emissions, flaming taps, aquifer pollution, damaging earthquakes, radioactivity and heavy water use. As the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, said, these have been greatly exaggerated.
TAP – After pages and pages hyping up the shale gas potential in Britain, Matt Ridley has only one short paragraph denying the downside even exists. Is this where Owen Paterson is getting it all from? Text is from Matt Ridley’s House Of Lords speeches in Hansard.
I wrote to the UKIP candidate in our Constituency, Suzanne Evans, who was also playing the scaremongering line about the threat from fracking. Here is my most recent email to her and her seemingly reasoned reply. I wouldn’t bother sending anything to Matt Ridley or Owen Paterson. They think they know it all already, and just want to tell you what you’re going to have to have whether you like it or not, Paterson even saying that the local people meeting at the Village Hall to discuss a proposed drill site were ‘not real people’, a meeting which he refused to attend. The Ridley/Paterson arrogance is beyond belief. At least Suzanne Evans, the UKIP deputy chair, agrees to look into it.
Scaremongering? Pointing out that water resources are disappearing and being poisoned is in fact helpful, unless you’re in favour of water becoming the new oil. Maybe you are.
As you probably know, UKIP is still very much in favour of using our coal reserves and building new coal fired power stations, as they are in other sensible countries word wide that have not been saddled with our former Labour Government’s preposterous Climate Change Act, which we would scrap. And I certainly agree that we need to do more on ensuring our homes are secure and warm in terms of energy efficiency.
So it seems we can agree on some things. I will look into the fracking issue in more detail.