The results of last week’s General Election signal a vote of confidence in shale gas. Constituencies across Blackpool, Preston, and the Fylde returned MPs to parliament who are supportive of the responsible extraction of shale gas. Candidates who had signed Greenpeace’s ‘Frack Free Promise’ failed to make inroads. All of the main parties entered the election committed to the responsible development of shale gas resources. The election results are a vote of confidence in shale and send a message to Lancashire County Council that they need to seize upon the opportunities that shale offers the North West. —North West Energy Task Force, 13 May 2015
Mr Osborne wants to remodel the British economy and has put in place ministers whom he feels will help to deliver his writ across Whitehall. Amber Rudd, [the new energy secretary] is expected to prioritise the development of shale gas in Britain, following the chancellor’s request last year to ministers to reduce planning delays. “I would love fracking to get going in the UK and I am doing absolutely everything I can to encourage it,” Mr Osborne said in 2013. The chancellor’s allies say the Tories went quiet on fracking during the election campaign for fear of upsetting the shires but Mr Osborne now wants to “get on with it”. –George Parker, Financial Times, 13 May 2015
A few weeks back I noted that Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth may have done the UK shale industry a great favour by promoting their Frack Free Promise initiative. Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Sam Pearse said: “For the first time hundreds of candidates from all the main parties are saying a clear no to fracking rigs, trucks, and gas flaring turning up in their constituencies. This unprecedented display of opposition against fracking from our politicians is a sign that the tide is turning on this controversial industry.” Well, that didn’t work out too well did it? In short, we have a “social license to operate” the old fashioned way, by winning elections. –Nick Grealy, No Hot Air, 11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron named a vocal opponent of onshore wind farms to a junior post in the U.K. energy department, reinforcing his Conservative government’s effort to halt the spread of turbines in rural areas. Andrea Leadsom, who has campaigned against “intrusive wind farms” in South Northamptonshire constituency in central England, will report to Amber Rudd, who was named as the Cabinet minister in charge of energy on Monday. If Rudd’s appointment reassured the renewable energy industry about the continuity of government policy to cut carbon emissions, Leadsom’s elevation is a reminder of the manifesto promise Cameron’s party made to halt subsidies to wind developments on land. –Alex Morales, Bloomberg, 12 May 2015
The BBC’s relentless efforts to promote the need for that treaty to “decarbonise” the world’s economies they so desperately want to see agreed in December are getting way beyond a joke. On Monday’s Today programme, for instance, they yet again wheeled on that joke figure Lord Stern to tell us that renewable energy now enjoys “very little subsidy or none at all” (don’t tell the owners of offshore wind farms, who imagine they are getting subsidies of more than 200 per cent). Most energy from fossil fuels, Stern went on, is “heavily subsidised”, to the tune of “$500 billion a year”. Even John Humphrys sounded faintly disbelieving when Stern explained that most of this “subsidy” was the taxation not imposed on fossil-fuel companies for “polluting” the planet. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 10 May 2015
The future of the BBC’s licence fee is in doubt after David Cameron appointed one of the BBC’s biggest critics as Culture Secretary in a move that will be seen as an effective declaration of war on the corporation. John Whittingdale, who has been chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee since 2005, has previously said that the licence fee is “worse than a poll tax” and ultimately “unsustainable”. –Steven Swinford and Christopher Hope, The Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2015
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