Chancellor unveils gas strategy

January 10, 2013 at 10:13 am

George Osborne recently revealed the Government’s gas strategy, and the details have caused a lot of controversy. The details were announced in the autumn statement, and one of the most controversial areas was the chancellor’s plan to offer tax incentives for the production of shale gas.

Osborne said that the government is “consulting on new tax incentives for shale gas”, and also announced the formation of the Office for Unconventional Oil and Gas to make regulation “safe but simple”.

This announcement had long been expected, but it has still proved to be very controversial. Critics of the move suggest that Britain will find itself trapped in a future of high carbon emissions if Osborne goes ahead with his plan.

This is because of recent problems that arose from the process of fracking, which is used to get to the shale gas. The process uses strong chemicals, and in 2011 it was stopped after it caused two minor earthquakes. However, it is thought that it will soon be given the go ahead again.

Osborne said that Britain did not want to miss out on the opportunity to exploit its shale gas reserves, just as they have done in the United States. Gas prices have fallen there because of their shale gas production boost.

However, environmental groups and eco businesses have been left angry and frustrated by the announcement. They believe that the UK should be heading towards a sustainable future of wind and solar energy rather than one where carbon is still the main source of energy.

The directors of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other organisations voiced their concerns, and stated that now is the time to encourage growth in the green industry rather than hand incentives to the gas industry.

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