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Thursday, 16 June 2016

If you want Fracking, vote Leave

Letter published in the Daily Telegraph - 10 June 2016 - Fracts of Life

SIR – The four biggest economic drivers for the development of shale gas all have the potential for leaving the country and the average person in the street more financially secure.

These are: better energy security; improved balance of payments resulting from lower gas imports; tax revenue (to replace that which used to come from the North Sea and car fuel taxes) and, finally, economic growth, with new jobs, especially in northern areas where they are most needed.

The economic difficulties that experts from both sides of the debate seem to be predicting if Britain leaves the EU will make it almost impossible for the Government not to fast-track shale gas in order to bolster the economy. Consequently, a vote to leave the EU is a clear vote for shale gas.

Moreover, Britain’s excellent environmental regulations are to a large extent the result of sustained EU pressure. Take away that oversight, and any government with its back to the economic wall might reasonably exempt the shale gas industry from some of them, for the sake of the country, but not the countryside.

Everything is on hold until the EU referendum day. Only then will it be clear that Brexit equals Fraccess.

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