Shale: Britain's hidden treasure


The appointment of Owen Paterson to Environment Secretary has enraged Green lobby groups - who paint Mr Paterson as an enemy of renewables and all round climate-change sceptic.

They are right to detect a shift in policy; prompted by the financial collapse, Cameron has been forced to edge away from Green subsidies and turn instead to measures that will make energy cheaper for those struggling to make ends meet.

Perhaps the greatest single opportunity facing him, however, is shale gas exploitation. 200 million cubic tonnes was discovered in Lancashire  last year - enough to power Britain for over half a century. This is an economic godsend that Mr Paterson will be tasked with pursuing. It could leave Britain, and the world, "a better and greener place."