FRACKING AND ENERGY COSTS

The Labour Party has realised that the electorate is seriously concerned about escalating energy costs. It is promising to freeze supplier tariffs for a couple of years if voted back into government.

Apparently, one of the major contributory factors to price levels at present is the high cost of renewable energy required to be used under the Climate Change Act. However, the latest report of the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that global warming is nowhere near as threatening as its earlier predictions envisaged. In which case, a major downsizing of renewable energy targets should be set in motion now with a view to reducing the cost of energy to consumers as soon as possible.

More importantly, let’s deal with the hydraulic fracturing (fracking, shale gas) debate as a matter of urgency. At present, the vociferous anti lobby (and sections of the media) is shouting down all attempts to give the general public an opportunity to make a considered decision on whether to support fracking. The risks need to be honestly set out and understood and convincing assurances need to be provided to overcome any concerns the electorate may have. Equally, the tangible benefits for the average householder of exploiting this indigenous source of energy need to be clearly set out. Incidentally, a similar debate should be held in respect of rapidly increasing the UK’s use of nuclear power.

The answer to achieving lower energy costs isn’t to try and restrict the impact of price movements in the global markets; it won’t work. The way forward is to increase significantly the supply of cheaper sources of energy. The UK currently relies on imported gas and nuclear power to meet its energy needs – not having energy independence is potentially  much more risky than exploiting the nuclear and fracking alternatives and certainly more expensive.

Tell your MP we need some urgent common sense in formulating and implementing a competitive and effective energy supply strategy – and we want it before the risk of blackouts highlighted by the National Grid becomes a reality.

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