Cameron: it's "irrational" to oppose shale gas

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs yesterday afternoon it is “irrational” to oppose shale gas in the UK purely on the grounds it is a carbon-based energy source. Appearing before […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs yesterday afternoon it is “irrational” to oppose shale gas in the UK purely on the grounds it is a carbon-based energy source.

Appearing before MPs on the Commons Liaison Committee, he described some members of the public as “religiously opposed” to shale gas.

He said: “There are some people who simply can’t bear that it would be adding another fossil fuel to our energy mix. That’s irrational… Surely it’s better to extract it safely in our own country rather than [pay large amounts to import gas]”.

The Prime Minister toured a potential fracking site on Monday, throwing his full weight behind shale gas as good for the economy and a bringer of jobs.

Quizzed on the signals ministers are giving to energy investors more generally to put money into the UK, Mr Cameron referred to the recent ‘strike prices’ laid out in the Energy Act.

Beseeching all parties to get behind the energy reforms he said, with a hint of laughing exasperation: “Not many industries know what price they’ll get for next 20 years.”

A similar attempt to lighten heavily loaded questions came later when MP Joan Walley asked the Prime Minister if his support for fuel poverty squared with previous declaration to “roll back green levies”.

He retorted, “I said we would roll back the cost of green levies.”