Fracking will not get economy growing

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In response to the announcement the British Geological Survey on the quantity of shale gas underneath Lancashire on Thursday, June 27, 2013 Greenpeace said, and rightly so, that it could lead to a surge in exploration activity across the UK, bringing increased traffic, noise and flaring to communities, while threatening house prices.

According to Greenpeace research almost two thirds of England has been earmarked for potential fracking, and local opposition, particularly in Conservative constituencies, is expected to be fierce. Local hostility in Balcombe, West Sussex is already delaying the fracking process, with the Campaign to Protect Rural England warning of a massive backlash if large areas of countryside are 'transformed into industrial sites'.

Commenting on today’s announcement Lawrence Carter, energy campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “The idea that shale gas is going to get the economy moving again is groundless. There’s a huge difference between the amount of gas in the ground and how much fracking companies will be able to commercially extract. Even if they do manage to get some gas out, the fracking industry’s own research reveals that production wouldn’t reach meaningful levels until well into the next decade. If shale is the answer to Britain’s economic malaise then the Chancellor is asking the wrong question.”

He continued: “Analysts from energy regulator Ofgem, Deutsche Bank and Energy UK are lining up to say that UK shale gas won’t bring down bills for households or businesses. Even the company with the biggest stake in Lancashire shale gas, Cuadrilla, privately admits that it won’t reduce energy prices. It’s alarming that the Chancellor is staking his growth strategy on an industry that doesn’t buy his hype.”

Last month Greenpeace recorded a senior member of Cuadrilla, the company planning to drill in Lancashire, saying the impact of fracking on energy bills would be “basically insignificant”. Its spokesman also said locals in Lancashire were right to be concerned about “well integrity” and increased traffic.

Polling in the Chancellor’s Tatton constituency revealed a majority are opposed to fracking, with widespread concern about noise, disruption, falling house prices and earth tremors. Even more interestingly, 12% of those who voted Tory at the last election said they’d be less likely to do so again should fracking get the go ahead.

Responding to the government ‘s proposed financial package to communities affected by fracking, Lawrence Carter said: "Whilst communities should receive benefits from local energy development, a cash package won’t alleviate concerns about fracking's impact on water supply and house prices."

Once again we can see that this government is lying to the people to get its way and they will do so on any matter that will benefit them and their cronies.

On the same issue Friends of the Earth said that shale gas is not solution to UK's energy challenges.

Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “Shale gas is not the solution to the UK's energy challenges. Its potential has been hugely over-hyped and there's little evidence it will drive down fuel prices.

“Extracting shale gas will have a significant effect on local communities and our environment - the more that's extracted, the bigger those impacts will be.

“The North could be at the heart of Britain's green energy and economic transformation, but not by turning it into another 'gaslands'.

“We need a 21st century energy revolution based on efficiency and renewables, not more fossil fuels that will add to climate change.”

But we have also learned in the speech of the same day by Treasury Secretary Alexander that the government is going to be subsidizing the building of a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point rather than looking properly, following examples in countries such as Germany, at renewables – all kinds of renewables – to meet our energy needs and towards a target of reducing our energy consumption.

In Germany several communities and areas have gone – basically – off-grid, including areas with industry, and those communties have become net suppliers to the grid rather than consumers. Still, however, the UK government keeps telling us that the lights would go out would we put our money on the renewables card.

While nuclear may be considered a low carbon energy source it seems to be forgotten how much carbon is being generated in creating the plants in the first place. And also forgotten seems to be the environmental footprint of the production of the uranium to fuel those reactors. It is not a clean energy source; not by a long shot even, and that is without even considering the issue of nuclear waste. The brown envelope manufacturers are definitely having a field day with the amount of those things that seem to be needed presently in which to package the bribes that are being paid to politicians and government officials. From the tune being played we can see only too well as to who is paying the piper.

© 2013