In the Independent yesterday Chancellor George Osborne is rumored to be planning to use his Autumn Statement this week to announce tax breaks for companies that carry out controversial fracking, arguing that boosting the shale gas industry is vital to economic growth.
"Despite fears from environmental groups and local communities, the Government will publish a gas strategy paper, which will give the green light to shale gas extraction, alongside the Chancellor's economic update. With the cost of fuel soaring, Mr Osborne is expected to say that giving the go-ahead to shale will cause gas prices to fall and in turn reduce household bills, as well as creating jobs.
Mr Osborne hopes that tax breaks for shale gas extraction will encourage investors and help economic growth. Oil and gas are currently taxed at between 62 per cent and 81 per cent. Shale gas would be taxed at lower rates"
This is the same Chancellor George Osborne who said just last month that the UK must take a global lead in developing a series of low carbon technologies, including energy efficient computing and energy storage. So this makes very little sense . It's interesting, isn't it, that Governments in times of extreme financial pressure still seek to subsidise the fossil fuels industries.
A former Conservative energy minister has warned that the Government still needed to make the case to the public after fracking trials were halted last year following earthquakes in Lancashire.
Charles Hendry, who was sacked as energy minister in the reshuffle earlier this year, said: "The decision must be taken on the scientific evidence, but ministers will also need to be aware of the need to reassure the public for whom this will be a new type of activity."