Many appreciate the global pressure that we all face regarding energy. The interrelated dilemmas of security of supply, linked to price linked to the effects of each source on our exhausted atmosphere and the consequences of not addressing that problem now.
It was Obama that said we need an ''all of the above'' approach to future supply sources for generation and this makes sense. Its no surprise that in the UK our Govt wish to make use of shale gas - but we cant overlook the fundamentals and all the work to date - Gas supplies in UK / Europe are suggested could max at 10-15% of supply but in many years to come not now. This gas, if extracted badly can have higher emissions than conventional fuel and it does use large amounts of water that is in danger of polluting. Not withstanding the potential earthquake threat, on the plus side, it does help security, balance of payments, create jobs and can potentially give a marginal environmental gain. But today's news does, as some press is suggesting appear to be rather a bribe to local decision makers.................
David Cameron is to declare that his government is "going all out for shale" as he announces that councils will be entitled to keep 100% of business rates raised from fracking sites in a deal expected to generate millions of pounds for local authorities. It could be worth up to £1.7m a year for a ''typical'' site (where does that number come from?).
The prime minister's announcement, likened to a bribe by environmentalists, comes on the day that the French energy group Total becomes the first global oil company to invest in a shale gas exploration project in Britain. The FT reported on Saturday that Total is to join a shale gas exploration licence in the Midlands operated by the US company Ecorp.
Tom Greatrex, the shadow energy minister, said: "Gas will remain an important part of our energy mix in the future, and if shale gas can replace our rapidly depleting North Sea reserves it could help improve our energy security. It is right that any communities that host nationally significant energy infrastructure are able to share in its rewards.
"But the government must get its priorities right. Only by fully addressing legitimate environmental and safety concerns about fracking with robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring will people have confidence that the exploration and possible extraction of shale gas is a safe and reliable source that can contribute to the UK's energy mix."