Green Party in Northern Ireland challenges PM over claims fracking will reduce UK gas prices and will not impact on the environment

The Green Party in Northern Ireland has challenged David Cameron’s claims that Fracking will see lower gas prices in the UK and it will not have a serious environmental impact.

Green Party European Candidate and Spokesperson on Fracking Ross Brown said: “I am astonished that David Cameron believes the process of Fracking will cause only ‘very minor changes to the landscape’ given the experience of other countries which have allowed this dirty process to go ahead.

“Fracking brings with it the large-scale industrialisation of the countryside with all the associated increased pollution and damage including water and air contamination and increased traffic of heavy vehicles trundling daily through rural communities.

“Mr Cameron simply has an eye on the bottom line when it comes to Fracking and I fear his fiscal judgement has been clouded by the UK government’s relentless and reckless ‘dash for gas’.

“This is perhaps understandable if not unforgiveable, given that there are so many senior figures from the gas industry sitting at the heart of Government and the Prime Minister seems shameless regarding these glaring conflicts of interests.

“The Prime Minister has said he cannot see anything wrong with fracking if it is properly regulated but experience has shown that Conservative ideology is to reduce regulation for industry at all costs.
“This is a recipe for disaster.

“In Mr Cameron’s world view, profits for big companies who in turn support the Conservative Party financially, far outweigh the degradation of the environment, the dangerous pollution of our water supplies, the social, environmental and health impacts on our communities and not least the impact on our key farming and tourism industries,

“It is also impossible to regulate to stop accidents happening as witnessed when early Fracking attempts near Blackpool in 2011 caused in earthquakes and industry standards show at least 5 per cent of well casings will fail in first year.

“And these are just two of a myriad of potential technical issues associated with this type of gas extraction.

“From an economic perspective, Mr Cameron’s opinion is out of step with thinking in the rest of Europe and he is wrong if he believes the economics will mimic the experience of Fracking in the US.

“The price of gas will be determined by the international market and given that Europe is not proceeding with shale gas production for good environmental and economic reasons, the price of gas in the UK will not fall as is being touted by the government.

“No serious energy policy analyst considers shale gas will reduce energy prices and yet this is the myth right at the heart of Tory party thinking.

“The shale gas industry itself admits that Fracking in the UK will do little to reduce gas prices.

“When directly asked about the impact that shale gas would have on prices, Mark Linder, PR Executive of Bell Pottinger who is responsible for shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla’s corporate development stated: ‘We’ve done an analysis and it’s a very small…at the most it’s a very small percentage…basically insignificant.’

“The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), a body made up of seven of the country’s top scientists which advises the German Government stated in May this year: ‘Shale gas is not essential for transforming the energy system. For the moment the fracking technology should not be used for commercial production of shale gas, in view of serious gaps in our knowledge about its environmental impacts.’

“David Cameron is at best misguided if he believes that our energy policy should be guided by the false promises of cheap gas provided by Fracking.
“It is a dirty and expensive source of energy which will bring little direct benefit to the people of the UK.

“However, it could provide profits for multinational energy companies, their executives and their lobbyists while communities living with Fracking pick up the very hefty price tag with little or no benefit to them.

“Mr Cameron is gambling with the future environmental and human health of the nation without being in full possession of the facts about Fracking and he is too reliant on industry hype rather than sound economic and scientific analysis.”

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