Britain must be at the heart of a “shale gas revolution”, David Cameron has said, which could bring down energy prices and help “re-industrialise” the economy.
Enormous potential: The areas marked in red show locations where it would be possible to extract shale gas
Giving his public backing for plans to exploit the country’s onshore gas reserves – which is expected to be given the go-ahead by the Government very shortly – Mr Cameron said the new technology could transform our energy supplies.
But his stance was attacked by climate change scientists and energy experts who warned his dash-to-gas policy was “misleading and dangerous”.
Giving evidence to MPs Mr Cameron pointed to America where fracking for shale gas had allowed the country to become virtually self-sufficient in gas.
He said he wanted Britain to play a full part in the “revolution underway” and criticised environmentalists who were opposed to exploiting the technology.
“I think some in the green movement really want us to rule out gas and opt right now for nuclear plus renewables plus energy efficiency. Zip. That’s it,” he said.
“I think that would be a mistake. It maybe that this gas revolution is really quite transformative and there is going to be a lot more gas and the price won’t be as expensive as some people think.
“We should take part in fracking because this might be a revolution and if we ignored it completely we could be giving our economy much higher energy prices than would otherwise be necessary.”