Conservative Peer Lord Howell's gaffe that fracking for natural gas should be pursued in the 'desolate North East' was shortly followed by a correction that he meant the North West - oh that's alright then! This was followed up by yet another gaffe by Tory Energy Minister Michael Fallon saying in a private meeting "It's from Dorset all the way along through Hampshire... perhaps into a bit of Surrey and even my own County of Kent.... All these people writing leaders saying 'Why don't they get on with shale?' We are going to see whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive." The truth is that most regions in England, including Yorkshire and the Humber, are potential targets for the fracking industry.
There are of course going to be comparisons with wind energy and already toff Tory boy MP William Rees Mogg has made comments along the lines of preferring fracking to wind energy, that according to his uniformed view doesn't produce significant amounts of electricity. Untrue, but then the truth isn't what this is all about, because this is about money and interests. There are strong Tory links to the petrochemical industry hence the tax breaks for this polluting form of energy and the warm reception to the prospect of wide scale fracking operations by many of them. Less explicable is the support from the Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP for fracking but then all their energy policies are in a complete mess. All support the expansion of cost spiralling dangerous nuclear energy at a huge potential public subsidy of the scale that the renewables sector could only dream of. All ignore the long term financial and environmental costs of both fracking and nuclear.
'Fracking' (and nuclear) are being pursued in the name of 'energy security' but real security will come from reducing our demand for all energy, no matter how it is produced. All the 3 large Westminster parties have no credible domestic energy conservation strategy relying instead on the public to take out Green Deal loans to improve their homes over 25 years at 7%+ interest rates. This is not surprisingly proving to be very unattractive to householders and DECC have now released £20million to encourage Councils to draw up plans to promote this failing scheme. As the product itself is no good no end of promotion is going to make this turkey fly. Contrast the underfunded ill conceived Green Deal with the use of £50billion of public money in HS2 which will end up being a private business rather than using it to improve the energy efficiency of the public's homes. Surely supporting the reduction in domestic energy demand is more important than simply accommodating it through provision of locally polluting and globally damaging fracking for gas but then what interest is there in the saving of energy when you're a Tory making money out of using it?