Lord Browne or Gideon: who’s telling the truth?
So which one is it? Fracking will either reduce energy bills or it won’t. Government seem to be a tad confused on the issue, with David Cameron and Gideon Osborne waxing lyrical about the drop in energy prices for UK customers, whereas Lord Browne, former chairman of Cuadrilla, says that fracking will not reduce the UK energy prices to customers.
The extraction technique is known to be expensive and with a global oil and natural gas glut contributing to the USA shale boom-bust scenario, pushing the UK into a similar collision path seems at best stupidly misguided and at worst, plain catastrophic.
It’s a little hard to take Mr Osborne sincerely, due to his family interests in the oil and gas industry. One might be hard-pressed to see his position as neutral and well-informed from an independent perspective.
We already know the employment prospects for the fracking industry have been heavily over-exaggerated, and minimal local jobs available. It’s short-term and short-sighted, all the while hacking into the UK’s essential renewable energy industry.
With former energy minister, Charles Hendry having previously flagged-up “weaknesses in Cuadrilla’s performance as a licensee” and a sizeable catalogue of errors and failures on their CV, it doesn’t provide anyone who will be subjected to this industry on their doorstep with confidence that the public’s health and safety will be put before industry and profiteering.