Britain must accept fracking for good of nation, says David Cameron


Tom Foot
Monday 12 August 2013 09:47
David Cameron says he cannot see anything wrong with fracking
David Cameron says he cannot see anything wrong with fracking

The Prime Minister has said he cannot see anything wrong with fracking if it is properly regulated.

David Cameron dismissed concerns about the controversial method of extracting gas that he believes can cause only “very minor changes to the landscape”.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Cameron said: “If neighbourhoods can really see the benefits - and get proper reassurance about the environment - then I don't see why fracking shouldn't get real public support.”

He added: “I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour.”

Environmentalists disagree, arguing that the process of extracting gas by the hydraulic fracturing of rock using high pressure liquid can cause irreparable damage to the countryside, cause small earth tremors and water contamination.

Former Government adviser Lord Howell of Guildford, the father-in-law of Chancellor George Osborne, recently suggested that fracking should be confined to “desolate” areas of northern England.

But the Prime Minister believes there is “no evidence” it would cause contamination of water supplies or other damage if properly regulated.

He said it has “real potential to drive energy bills down” and insisted that the Government was not “turning our back” on low carbon generation but needed to secure a mix of energy sources.

Fracking is credited with transforming the energy market in the United States and cutting costs for households and businesses.

In an effort to persuade communities of the benefits of fracking, firms will offer £100,000 of benefits for each exploratory well.

Mr Cameron said: “Companies have agreed to pay £100,000 to every community situated near an exploratory well... If shale gas is then extracted, 1 per cent - perhaps as much as £10 million - will go straight back to residents.”

Last week, Mr Cameron said Britain would be “making a big mistake” if it did not seriously consider fracking and the prospect of cheaper gas prices.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in