Facing increased energy costs, British Prime Minister David Cameron wants his country to get off the sidelines and take part in the shale gas revolution. In a recent Op-ed for the Daily Telegraph Cameron sets out the case for Great Britain to embark on a policy that will lower energy bills and deliver prosperity. For years the British government has kowtowed to the environmental left, letting them run roughshod over energy policy and as a result UK residents have seen their electricity prices rise steeply. In an attempt to derail Prime Minister Cameron, opponents are doing their best demonize the practice known as fracking, the method in which natural gas is extracted from the ground, that has been conclusively proven safe by experts.
The Prime Minister sets out 3 simple but compelling arguments for his energy policy:
“First , fracking has the real potential to drive energy price down…Latest estimates suggest that there’s about 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas lying underneath Britain at the moment – and that study only covers 11 counties. To put that in context, even if we extract just a tenth of that figure, that is still the equivalent of 51 years’ gas supply. This reservoir of untapped energy will help people across the country who work hard and want to get on: not just families but businesses, too, who are really struggling with the high costs of energy. Just look at the United States: they’ve got more than 10,000 fracking wells opening up each year and their gas prices are three-and-a-half times lower than here. Even if we only see a fraction of the impact shale gas has had in America, we can expect to see lower energy prices in this country”
“Secondly, fracking will create jobs in Britain. In fact, one recent study predicted that 74,000 posts could be supported by a thriving shale-gas industry in this country. It’s not just those involved in the drilling. Just as with North Sea oil and gas, there would be a whole supply chain of new businesses, more investment and fresh expertise.”
Money for Communities
“Thirdly, fracking will bring money to local neighbourhoods. Companies have agreed to pay £100,000 to every community situated near an exploratory well where they’re looking to see if shale gas exists. If gas is then extracted, 1 per cent of the revenue – perhaps as much as £10 million – will go straight back to residents who live nearby. This is money that could be used for a variety of purposes – from reductions in council-tax bills to investment in neighbourhood schools. It’s important that local people share in the wealth generated by fracking.”
As mainland Europe continues to pour endless sums of money into subsidized energy, Great Britain seems destined become the energy envy of western Europe if they follow through on the Prime Minister’s plan.