I have not seen why, in a Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy type of way you believe it is a “Good Thing”What I consider a Good Thing is the following:
- that private companies should be allowed to establish, at their own expense and risk, whether there are shale gas (and/or other 'unconventional') resources, in economically viable quantities in the UK and elsewhere
- that this should be done in a safe and environmentally responsible way, under Proper Regulations
- that bullshit on the subject from any party should be exposed to reasoned and factual analysis
- Rule of Law should prevail etc etc
And finally, of course, I think it would be a Great Thing if plentiful economically viable shale gas were to be found. By 'economically viable' I include bearing the full costs of producing the stuff in the safest and cleanest ways known to man - which isn't some utopian fantasy, it just means doing things properly.
I utterly disagree with you that anti arguments are mendaciousAnd I have never said that all of them are: there are several that have a grounding in fact, and need proper response. But many of the 'environmental' scare stories are indeed mendacious; along with other crazy statements like 'there isn't enough water', or 'the UK isn't big enough'. Space here doesn't permit.
"Shale will bring major benefits to the UK" [is] doubly mendaciousIt is absolutely fair to say that some purely speculative tripe is being talked. No-one even knows if any gas is there ! "74,000 jobs" is, of course, a finger-in-the-air exercise - I have no time for such stuff. BUT - if there is even a fraction of what is seen as the potential, there will indeed be huge benefits to the UK:
- gas prices will soften, if not fall significantly (big topic, for another time)
- to exactly the same extent the price doesn't fall (because of exports at the margin to continental Europe), tax revenues will increase
- there will be a boost to UK jobs, industry, expertise and GDP generally
- we gain greater security of supply in gas, a commodity we need in large quantities for the next several decades in all meaningful UK energy scenarios
- we demonstrate the fallacy of 'renewables being cheaper in the long run'
- plus a huge increase in PC Plod's overtime (whoops, sorry !)
My answer is - No ! OK ?