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Britain needs shale gas now. For consumers and for national security

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Press Release

London, 14 February – As Britain and Europe face the worst energy and security crisis since World War II, a new paper published by Net Zero Watch reviews the arguments for and against shale gas drilling in the UK, and attempts to correct disinformation about the possible effect that it would have on energy prices in the UK.

The paper, by economics writer Tim Worstall, reviews misleading and scaremongering arguments put forward by green activists, including by the environment minister Lord Goldsmith, and concludes that they are almost entirely without foundation.

According to Worstall,

You can tick off the greens’ arguments one by one and they are almost without exception baseless scaremongering. It’s hard to imagine a more benign extractive industry.”

And on the case that a UK shale gas industry would not affect UK energy prices, Worstall says that most commentary on the subject entirely misunderstands the way energy markets work.

Domestic gas production would substitute for imports, which are higher priced because they carry the cost of transportation. So UK consumers would undoubtedly see a big benefit, as would the Treasury, which would receive a huge injection of royalty income at a time when it badly needs it.”

Net Zero Watch director, Dr Benny Peiser said.

As Britain and Europe face the worst energy and security crisis since World War II, Tim Worstall’s paper shows that there are no good reasons not to develop Britain’s enormous shale gas resources.

But it’s not just about the cost-of-living crisis. The government’s failure to develop our shale gas wealth is incentivising Putin’s energy wars and has become a major disaster for national security.

When it comes to shale gas, Boris Johnson has a choice now: He can protect consumers, the economy and national security, or he can continue to protect his green cronies.”

Tim Worstall: Restarting UK Shale Gas (pdf)