19 Jul 2013
Environmental groups have criticised the government on its plans to cut tax on the income generated from shale gas.
Figures show that there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the UK but Greenpeace said that communities will face immense disruption due to fracking – the technique used to extract the gas, and will receive little benefit in return. Water UK also has concerns on how the practice could affect the quality and quantity of water as well as the potential damage to water pipes.
Environmental groups argue that the government is concentrating investment in shale gas and diverting away from investing in must needed renewable sources of energy. Andrew Pendleton, from Friends of the Earth said: “Promising tax hand-outs to polluting energy firms that threaten our communities and environment, when everyone else is being told to tighten their belts, is a disgrace.”
Chancellor George Osborne said shale gas was a resource with “huge potential” for the UK’s energy mix. “We want to create the right conditions for industry to explore and unlock that potential in a way that allows communities to share in the benefits.” As an incentive, the government is offering those communities that host shale gas sites £100,000 per site, and up to 1% of all revenues from production.