So Lord Browne – ex-CEO of British Petroleum – is ready and willing to invest whatever it takes in UK fracking. Has he not seen any of the reports from Bloomberg, British Gas and even BP that state that the US shale gas ‘bonanza’ will not be replicated here? But that would also mean admitting that it won’t be a game changer here, you’d have to also admit that shale gas won’t lead to our gas prices decreasing, bring lots of jobs or act as a transition fuel. In fact if we believe that a shale gas revolution will happen here in the UK as Lord Browne does despite all evidence to the contrary, then we can expect that investment in unconventional gas will be detrimental to renewable energy investment.
Moreover we must remember that Lord Browne was the head of BP during the Deepwater Horizon disaster that to this day plagues the Gulf of Mexico. Whilst BP was hit with a massive fine and a few employees may face criminal charges, we can’t recall Lord Browne investing whatever it takes to assist the residents of the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, he only offered “deep sadness” over the disaster.
Are we to believe that things will be different in the UK? That Lord Brown will invest whatever it takes when a well leaks and pollutes someone’s land and/or water? Will he invest whatever it takes to ensure that earthquakes won’t ravage the area? Will he invest whatever it takes to not turn the countryside into an industrial area on a scale that even the National Trust agrees eclipses concerns about wind turbines? Judging by his stellar environmental record at BP, we’re going to take a wild guess and say ‘no’.
But like Lord Browne, we too have made a vow. We vow that we will do whatever it takes to stop fracking coming to this country. Be it by direct action like the two rig occupations that happened last year or by writing objection letters to newly proposed fracking sites, we will not allow fracking or a host of other extreme forms of gas extraction come to this country without a fight.