For years, political gridlock and environmentalist opposition have prevented natural gas drilling to move forward in the UK, but the massive conservative victory in the country’s recent election could make Britain a world energy player. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and his new conservative government have made developing the UK’s vast shale gas reserves a major priority in their bid to create a “Northern Powerhouse” of the island nation. Chancellor George Osborne is a big supporter of the Northern Powerhouse plan, so shale could soon become a reality for the the British. –Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015
The news was welcomed by free market groups that favor energy production and more local control over economic affairs. “We welcome the government’s determination to develop shale gas as a key plank of their ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda,” Lord Nigel Lawson of Blaby, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), said in a statement. “The development of shale gas could in time create a whole new energy industry that would generate billions of much needed revenue,” Lawson said. –Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015
The UK’s reliance on gas for heating makes fracking a serious option for governments at both Holyrood and Westminster, according to a Church of Scotland report. In a detailed consideration of the contentious technology, the Kirk’s church and society council said it was inevitable that the country would soon be left with a choice of the development of fuel sources at home, such as shale gas, or a reliance on expensive imports. –Mike Wade, The Times, 12 May 2015
The appointment of Amber Rudd as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under the new Conservative government marks a critical moment for UK shale developers. Lancashire County Council’s planning committee is due to decide on 30 June whether to give independent UK energy company Cuadrilla the go ahead for what would be the first drilled and fracked shale wells in the UK. “The decision… will be the first test of Rudd’s commitment – or not – to UK shale,” Alastair Fraser, chair in Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College London, told Interfax. –Annemarie Botzki, Interfax, 13 May 2015
A study says fracking has the potential to unlock 140billion barrels of global oil supplies. The amount would be equivalent to Russia’s known reserves, according to analysis by IHS. According to the report, countries such as Iran, Mexico, China and Russia are likely to benefit most from exploiting techniques in the US shale revolution. It was also found that two thirds of the extra recoverable oil would come from the Middle East and Latin America. —Energy Voice, 14 May 2015
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), chaired by former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, has recently launched an inquiry into the reliability of global surface temperature records, with a group of international “eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians” set to probe current data. Dr Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF, has said he hopes the findings will address the lack of clarity and transparency he claims surrounds temperature records – while admitting his “growing concern” about the gathering of global warming statistics. –Levi Winchester, Daily Express, 15 May 2015
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