“Dear Aunty, why is Friends of the Earth still opposing fracking now that it’s clear coal is being phased out altogether?”
What an interesting question, and one that begs an answer.
At a conference in 2013, Tony Bosworth spoke to argue against fracking, sweeties, as he often does at these industry events.
During the Q&A afterwards, Ken Cronin from the trade group UKOOG, engaged Tony in a debate.
During this debate, Tony said, in front of everyone (I paraphrase poppets, Aunty’s memory isn’t what it once was and I’m relaying details given to me by someone else at the time): “if you can guarantee that UK shale gas will replace coal and won’t be used as well as coal, then it’s something we could support” or words very much to that effect.
Since then, in August last year, the Energy Secretary of the time, Amber Rudd, announced that the government would phase-out unabated coal power by 2025.
It’s the clearest indication possible that shale gas would not be used alongside coal, as an additional source of carbon emissions, but instead of it.
Why, then, is Friends of the Earth not now supporting shale gas as its climate campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said it would my loves?
It’s a real puzzler isn’t it? Tony and his colleagues at Friends of the Earth know that shale gas can be extracted safely in this country and that it yields lower carbon emissions than coal. They appear to have everything they wanted, yet still won’t relent in their opposition.
Is it perhaps that it has enjoyed a boost to its membership and donations as a result of its anti-fracking campaign and it doesn’t want to now undo that? Incoming resources were up from £8,674,965 in 2014 to £9,288,161 in 2015 according to the published accounts of Friends of the Earth Trust.
I’ll leave you to ponder that little conundrum, pumpkins.
Until next time xxx