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
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.