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12.08.13

‘Get behind fracking’ call for support

Fracking will increase employment and cut energy costs without damaging the environment, the Prime Minister has said.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Cameron highlighted the benefits of shale gas drilling for communities as “essential” to make the UK more energy self-sufficient. The introduction of fracking could create up to 70,000 new jobs, he added. 

Environmental campaigners warn that fracking can lead to small earth tremors and water contamination, but Cameron said the process was safe if properly regulated: “The huge benefits of shale gas outweigh any very minor change to the landscape.” 

Fracking could be more likely in less densely populated areas, which could mean greater exploration in the North. 

But Cameron said: “It's been suggested in recent weeks that we want fracking to be confined to certain parts of Britain. This is wrong. I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits – north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together. 

“If neighbourhoods can really see the benefits – and get proper reassurance about the environment – then I don't see why fracking shouldn't get real public support. 

“It's simple – gas and electric bills can go down when our home grown energy supply goes up. We're not turning our back on low-carbon energy, but these sources aren't enough – we need a mix. 

“Just as with North Sea oil and gas, there could be a whole supply chain of new businesses, more investment and fresh expertise. 

“International evidence shows there is no reason why the process should cause contamination of water supplies or other environmental damage, if properly regulated. We want people to get behind fracking, and a transparent planning process is an important ingredient.” 

Energy firms will pay £100,000 to communities near exploratory wells, and if gas is extracted 1% of the revenue will go back to these areas. This could be used to cut council tax or invest in schools, he suggested.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Eunice   12/08/2013 at 14:04

Yes Please I would have it in my back garden, all the people that are against it should have there power cut off for a month and then they would have some idea what the future without basic fuel would be like. Remember the three day week, anyone?

Dr Ken Pollock   12/08/2013 at 15:41

I totally support the PM on this matter. We, as a society, seem to have lost any connection with economic reality in pursuit of a quiet life and an unrealistic expectation of success without effort or change. We must not let the environmental movement undermine confidence in our ability to develop fracking without unacceptable damage.

Mike Mcg   13/08/2013 at 13:13

I still have massive reservations about the environmental safety of fracking. Our water supplies have to be protected, as does our wildlife. There remains far too much doubt and suspicion about the potential environmental damage created by fracking, despite the promise of cheaper fuel. Where is the independent evidence that the process is safe? Where are the guarantees that the operators will place environmental safety above all other considerations? I'm a long way off from being convinced this is a safe or sane policy.

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