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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Charles Moore on the aid charity’s sex scandal…

“Oxfam was the Harvey Weinstein of aid – arrogant, bullying, conspicuous in its faults, yet utterly immune until the balance of fear mysteriously changed overnight.”

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