Tuesday 27 January 2015

Tories allow Labour to block Fracking - 100 days to election today

So last night in the House of Commons, the Tories agreed to Labour amendments to the Infrastructure Bill which means that 13 loopholes have to be closed in the environmental legislation before Fracking can go ahead.

Following planning rulings earlier this week, it has been a bad week for the future of Fracking in the UK. See below for how the IGAS share price has fared this year as a proxy to for how the prospects of fracking have fared:

It is down from a high of 148p to, er, 20p today.

It is not surprising with an election coming up that the Government will want to be seen to be giving into celebrity backed campaigns (Bianca Jagger says NO TO FRACKING, etc) with loony Green agendas as this helps bolster the Governments credentials on easy U-turns Green issues.

With the low oil price in any event, the strange turn of events is that this won't make much difference. Much like the last North Sea reserves, with oil below $50 none of the more expensive extraction ideas are going to be implemented. So the new North Sea fields and the Fracking are going to have to wait anyway for the recovery of the oil market; much as the rest of us don't want that to happen!

More worrying long-term is the nature of the complaints. For the first time in Parliament a key issue raised against fracking has been missing carbon targets. This is nonsense as Fracking is better than coal or oil. Guido wrote a super piece yesterday outlining how the anti-fracking lobby is full of hot air and waffle with hand-wringing communists as the centre of it, but has captured the Environmental committee. Even the Tory chair, Anne Macintosh, was a potential rebel last night.

Whilst I am in full agreement that unlike the US we should proceed with a safety first approach, we should indeed look to proceed. Modern Government seems paralysed by the intellectually incoherent green waffle and renewable subsidy-junkie lobbying.

With Labour, Greens and SNP on the march to winning an election between them, prospects for long-term cheap energy supply in the UK look to be in danger.


Anonymous said...

Vote NO! to cheap energy.

bemused said...

Indeed Anonymous, I agree. Fracking is expensive, short term and brings no benefit.

So it appears that iGas shareholders (and City half-wits) are squealing because they were too stupid to do due dilligence and believed the hype. Cry me a river.

Call this a free market supporting Capitalist site? If I had paid to come here I'd have you under Trade Descriptions Act.
Rent seekers, crony capitalists and statists on the make more like.

BE said...

I imagine that we have plenty of time to "get the framework right" - nobody is going to be doing much drilling under the current circs.

And you would hardly have expected a government in the early 80s to abandon the green belt. When we actually need cheaper energy, maybe the government of the day will get rid of some of the controls?

Electro-Kevin said...

Bemused - I was drinking with a geologist on Friday (expertise and living made in accessing ground water in arid countries) who would disagree with you.

According to him shale gas is both safe, bountiful and affordable in this country.

(What price for energy independence too ?)

You're not paying for C@W (which is provided by the kindness of the three amigo's hearts) so I'm not sure what your beef is - though I suspect you might be a cyclist cum vegetarian, maybe even a vegan - in which case I'm not sure what your nut cutlet is.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, C@W - the UK's green targets and carbon footprint...

... going to be missed if that pesky ageing population doesn't shuffle off pretty soon, eh ?

They're adding to the demand on schools, hospitals, energy, roads, housing, the environment... like no one's business.

CityUnslicker said...

bemused - please point out where we support subsidy or cronyism or statists? We don't support the Greens precisely because they are anti-capitalist.

I don't care for Igas- just a good indicator of where the market thinks Fracking is going in the UK in the near future. It was an example.

The Govt is wrong to give into obvious lobbying which will in the long-term increase energy costs.

Anonymous said...

You'd have thought the loons would have learned their lesson.
Fine, make energy incredibly happy expensive. But it's something you can't reverse in a few months.

If you keep on borrowing to fund expenditure (rather than investment) you won't be able to pay the subsidies required to get more energy.

And when the infrastructure falls apart, you fall with it.

Increasing taxes won't help, because the high rollers won't want to live in a third world country.
You can screw around with a lot of things - and politicians have - but if you eliminate energy production and run a debt of a couple of trillion, then we are all - ALL - in deep deep do doo.

Nick Drew said...

I think we will find that some very well-known oil&gas co will pick up IGAS for, errrr, 20cents on the dollar - with much crocodile tears and a big smirk

now that's capitalism

nobody owes small (and very greedy) guys a living

even if it's small greedy guys that drive innovation ... been there, done that!

Budgie said...

The greens have latched on to "fracking" as though it was a) new and b) always dangerous. The reality is that hydraulic fracturing has been undertaken for years with no problems if done properly. The very few occasions where there has been contamination of water has been because of faulty casing, not fracking.

tolkein said...

The Commons voted to ignore the wailings of the Environment Committee. Of course it should be regulated, but I'd be astonished if the hoops to be jumped through are overly difficult. After the election, unless the Greens are in power, I'd expect to see fracking given the go ahead.

Graeme said...

there is a history of very deep, very large and extensive holes in the ground in the UK, hacked out by men with picks and dynamite. A small diameter pipe drilled precisely to much lower depths than these coal mines is risky because....? Answers on a postcard, please.

andrew said...

This could be seen as one of Crosby's 'clearing the decks' thoughts in a negative sense:-
no-one is going to attack the Cons on fracking now.