Farron’s Fracking Freak Out

Tim Farron

Lib Dem leadership shoo-in Tim Farron launched a one man anti-fracking campaign on his Huff-Po blog yesterday evening, attacking even his own party member for their “cautious support” of shale and tacitly calling for an outright ban on the whole industry. His main arguments against fracking in reverse order of nuttiness are:

“Back in March a number of doctors and health charities raised concerns over the likely increase in the incidence of cancer, birth defects and lung disease from air pollution and water contamination resulting from fracking.” Tim is referring to the MEDACT report,  revealed by Gaia to be nothing more than a front for green extremists…

“it’s reasonable to assume that any large-scale extraction of shale gas over here is a minimum of ten to fifteen years away (as the Environmental Audit Committee concluded in January). By then we should have phased out coal stations almost entirely in order to meet EU air quality and industrial emissions directives – so fracking will not contribute at all to replacing coal in power generation.” Good luck with that…

“Proponents of fracking argue that, since we use gas for heating as well as power, it’s better to use British gas than imported gas – more tax revenue, employment, and a lower carbon footprint than imported gas. But this ignores the adverse impacts on technological development… There’s a range of technologies currently available for low-carbon heat, including solar thermal panels, biomass boilers, heat pumps and feeding biogas into the gas grid. Currently, none of them are yet available at scale, and need more time for development and commercialisation.” Ignoring that it is not an either shale / or renewables situation, do we need to kneecap our energy industry in order to spur technological development?

Farron may calculate that knee-jerk Sandalistas will cheer his fracking ban stance – which even Ed Davey backed away from when he was the minister in charge – it signals that Farron wants to lead a party of protest rather than power…




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Quote of the Day

Logging company Resolute’s CEO Richard Garneau suing Greenpeace

“A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court. They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices “do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,” as they concede in their latest legal filings. Their accusations against Resolute were instead “hyperbole,” “heated rhetoric,” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that should not be taken “literally” or expose them to any legal liability. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks.”

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