MYTH #1: DEBUNKED! “Fracking will provide energy security for the UK.”
Link from FFR http://frackfreeryedale.org/myth1energysecurity/
Fact Free Ryedale claim 'The UK is part of an integrated European energy market, which means all the gas produced in the UK is traded on the open market and sold to the highest bidder'.
That may be true, but contrary to what the ‘Mythbuster’ for Fact Free Ryedale claims, the UK is a massive net importer of gas, and will increase this more as the North Sea runs out.
FFR do not seem to want to accept that, and the claim that 30% of the UK’s gas is exported is irrelevant, as are ‘reducing’ import claims, as this graph shows. The dotted line shows the strong trend of increasing imports over the coming years, and they are well over 50% now.
The Govts Chief Scientific Advisor recently stated ‘Since 2004, the UK has been a net importer of gas due to the rapid decline of production from the UK Continental Shelf. We are currently importing more than 50% of our gas, with this projected to increase to 75% in 2030. Importing liquid natural gas is generally more carbon intensive than producing our own home-grown supplies’
He also stated ‘While some people are concerned about the safety of this procedure, the evidence shows that the shale gas industry can be taken forward safely. Reports by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, and Public Health England all conclude that risks can be safely managed, with best practice enforced through regulation. The UK has more than 50 years’ experience regulating the onshore oil and gas industry, and additional measures implemented through the Infrastructure Act are in place to ensure stringent safety controls’ See this link.
FFR are correct to claim that currently the bulk of our gas comes from Norway, Qatar and Holland, and this costs the UK TENS OF BILLIONS of pounds a year. It creates very few jobs, and no taxes are paid to the UK Government. Rather than producing our own, cheaply, we are putting our energy bills on the national credit card. However this link shows that Russia will be selling more and more gas to us, funding Putins wars.
Foreign imports have been shown to have a higher carbon footprint than locally produced shale gas. See this important study. That is why climate change gurus Stephen Tindale (ex Greenpeace boss), and Baroness Bryony Worthington support shale gas. They were fundamental in the writing of the Climate Change Act 2008.
Of course in a stable world, energy security may be no big thing, but one of the points of increasing energy security is plan for if it all goes wrong. In the last couple of years we have seen the rise of ISIS, mass migration, a very unstable Middle East, and an unpredicted oil price crash, leaving Russia desperate to sell its cheap oil, and others equally determined to stop them. Who can say what will happen in the next 5, let alone 25 years?
That is what a long term plan for energy security means. FFR would like to derail this safe and low carbon industry with its selfish NIMBY concerns
FFR completely ignore that and use cherry picked figures to ‘prove’ that there are no real issues, when there clearly are. They are campaigning to stop a well researched and low impact industry based on a mythical idea that we are still a major gas exporter. Of course this will take time to develop, which is why it is so important that FFR stop protesting, listen to the huge range of expert opinion that says there are no real issues, and allow the business to grow! That way maybe we will still have gas in the future.
Click here for next Myth debunked 'Energy Prices'.