Labour’s draft manifesto – or draft suicide note – offers an array of proposals for nationalisation, tax hikes, economic controls and appeasement of the UK’s enemies.
This comes as no surprise given the Labour Party’s Marxist leadership. However it has meant little attention has been given to one of its most stupid and unreasonable proposals: a Labour Government would completely ban fracking.
Already Britain is behind on this due to the bureaucratic delays with our tortuous planning process – as well as nervousness prompted by some thoroughly dishonest scaremongering. We should be speeding up the process – not calling a halt.
Labour’s policy leaves its claim to be concerned for the poor in tatters. It is not the rich who worry about not being able to pay the gas bill. It also makes a mockery of Labour’s claims to care for the environment.
Hydraulic fracturing means drilling horizontally into shale rock deep underground, then blowing cracks in the rock to allow gas to escape. It produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than either coal or oil because the gas contains less carbon.
The shale gas revolution allows for cheaper, greener energy. The United States has made much better progress in fracking than the UK – even under President Obama. Under President Trump the Americans are really going to get fracking.
Trump’s backing for shale has been strong for years. In 2012 he tweeted: “Fracking will lead to American energy independence. With price of natural gas continuing to drop, we can be at a tremendous advantage.”
US policy is now clear: “The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own.
“We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.”
Lord Lawson, a former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has spoken robustly of the positive political implications of shale:
“For decades, the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, has had to shape, and sometimes arguably to misshape, its foreign policy in the light of its dependence on Middle East oil and gas. No longer: that era is now over.
“For decades, too, Europe has been fearful of the threat that Russia might cut off the gas supplies on which it has relied so heavily. No longer: that era will very soon be over, too. Thanks to the shale gas revolution, the new found energy independence of the West is a beneficent game-changer in terms of world politics as much as it is in the field of energy economics.”
Last year it was reported that the US has greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia – with Texas alone holding more than 60bn barrels of shale oil.
Ukraine has started shale gas production. It is due to be energy independent by 2020. Bad news for Gazprom, the Russian, government-owned natural gas company.
Of course, Jeremy Corbyn won’t take much notice of Lord Lawson or Donald Trump.
But one might have thought the views one of Britain’s largest trade unions would have had an impact.
The GMB union welcomes the new jobs that shale will bring. Of the approval for Cuadrilla to extract shale gas in Lancashire, the union said: “The go-ahead will reduce the gas we will need to import from regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and head-choppers as the UK will need to use gas for years to come to heat our homes and generate electricity on the 60 days each year when there is no wind.”
Halting progress on fracking in the UK would only be a source of comfort to our enemies. Perhaps that is why Corbyn’s Labour Party is so keen on the idea.
The good news is that Labour will lose next month’s General Election and the fracking revolution will gather speed, allowing Britain to catch up with the rest of the world.