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British Prime Minister David Cameron has written an article in the Daily Telegraph in which he has called for all UK communities to show support for the fracking industry, and welcome the coming shale gas boom, stating that such a boom will lower energy bills and create jobs.
Despite the stiff competition that he has faced from small communities close to proposed fracking sites, and environmental campaigners, Cameron vowed to win the debate. Warning that “if we don't back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills and make our country more competitive. Without it, we could lose ground in the tough global race.”
Cameron remains bullish in his support of a fracking boom in the UK, adamant that it will help reduce energy costs, and therefore customer bills, despite constant warnings from industry analysts that the UK will never benefit from a shale boom in the say way as the US.
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Cameron wrote that “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. 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.”
Cameron also wanted to reiterate his determination to ensure that any communities local to fracking sites will receive £100,000, and then a further amount every month, proportionate to the revenues generated by the local wells; and that he has put in place a rigorous set of environmental regulations that will protect the environment from any possible pollution.
“The regulatory system in this country is one of the most stringent in the world. If any shale gas well were to pose a risk of pollution, then we have all the powers we need to close it down,” he said.
Cameron created an angry stir amongst Environmentalists last week when he stated that he would pursue a UK fracking boom, whilst at the same time slowing down the development of onshore wind farms.
Leila Deen, a campaigner with Greenpeace said that “the Prime Minister's claim that UK shale gas will reduce energy prices doesn't stack. Experts from Ofgem to Deutsche Bank to drilling company Cuadrilla itself agree UK shale will not bring down bills, because, unlike the US, the UK is part of a huge European gas market.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com