Autumn statement: more reaction on shale plans

Sovereign wealth fund

Michael Bradshaw, professor of global energy at Warwick Business School, told the wealth fund was “laudable” but “premature in the extreme, as we do not yet know if we have a commercial opportunity’. also quoted Professor Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs, who said the fund was “misguided” and said “Any shale gas revenues should be used to reduce taxes or government debt”.

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Rachel Anderson, head of member relations at the North East Chamber of Commerce, told the Northern Echo: “A sovereign wealth fund for fracking represents a fantastic opportunity for our region and received the backing of members in the Tees Valley when it was discussed at our last area meeting in Redcar.

North-East Friends of the Earth campaigner, Simon Bowens, said the future of the North in becoming a “clean, resilient, low carbon, high quality of life economy. The Chancellor is taking us in the wrong direction if he wants to build a Northern powerhouse by burning more fossil fuels through fracking,” he said.

British Chambers of Commerce “The UK must maximise its shale gas resources to ensure future energy security, economic growth and create employment opportunities. The government is right to explore measures that help to ensure local communities benefit from shale gas extraction. Our Autumn Statement submission called for measures to ensure shale gas is part of a long term energy security strategy.

Institute of Directors  “Bringing home the benefits of shale with a ‘northern sovereign wealth fund’, as well as an independent shale exploration fund to inform the public directly on safety matters, is key to winning public acceptance. It’s right that the Chancellor supports the North Sea oil and gas industry while oil prices and production are falling, to incentivise investment and protect tax revenues.

Sub-surface test centres

Professor Andy Aplin, from Durham University’s earth sciences department, welcomed the decision to invest in test sites to gather data but said it was too early to say how shale gas would affect the economy.

General reaction

Greenpeace  “The Chancellor should have announced a nationwide programme to upgrade Britain’s draughty homes, making them fit for 21st century and creating jobs in every constituency. Instead we get a 1980s-style road building programme and subsidies/tax breaks for fossil fuel giants that will entrench the high carbon economy we should be moving away from.”

Friends of the Earth Polls show that people do not want shale gas exploration and fracking in their neighbourhoods, but the Chancellor has blown more air into the UK’s over-hyped fracking industry;

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