Reshuffle gives green light to dash for gas?

The reshuffle could potentially give the green light to a ‘dash for gas’, the Global Warming Policy Foundation said today. David Cameron’s promise to be the “greenest Government ever” was […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The reshuffle could potentially give the green light to a ‘dash for gas’, the Global Warming Policy Foundation said today.

David Cameron’s promise to be the “greenest Government ever” was questioned today after appointing MP Owen Paterson as Environment Secretary, who many say is a climate sceptic.

Benny Peiser, director of the climate change sceptic group GWPF today argued the Prime Minister’s Cabinet shake-up could pave the way for more gas in the UK.

Writing in a daily newspaper, he claimed the UK is “ignoring a golden opportunity” to cash in on the boom in shale gas which has been seen in the United States and has piqued Russia’s interest too.

He wrote: “In light of Britain’s struggling economy, it is becoming increasingly evident that the passion for green control and command policies is coming to its predictable end. Saving jobs and the economy is now the uppermost priority for Britain and most other European countries.”

Urging the new Environment Secretary to endorse fracking for shale gas, which is under the control of Defra-governed Environment Agency, he added: “Restricting shale gas is not saving the planet and it’s impoverishing Britain’s families and companies. Paterson must act fast.”

Environmental groups including Greenpeace tend to disagree with the idea Britain needs a dash for gas, often pointing to the rising wholesale costs of gas prices pushing up energy bills and the impact on carbon emissions.