In a piece written for The Sun, Lord Lawson took aim at both DECC and the Environment Agency for impeding the extraction of shale gas. He accused both organisations of promoting “spurious environmental concerns.”
He added that organisations such as DECC were “motivated by a quasi-religious obsession that carbon dioxide, essential for life on this planet and produced when gas or oil is burned, is somehow evil.”
Lord Lawson, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, said Britain would do well to embrace this potential new source of energy to drive down gas prices and stimulate the economy.
Following the USA’s example
The adoption of fracking in the USA has led to a large increase in the nation’s gas and oil production. The International Energy Agency recently announced the USA would overtake Russia as the world’s largest gas producer by 2015, and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2020.
Lord Lawson wants the UK to follow in the USA’s footsteps and criticised the current drive to promote renewable energy sources. He singled out Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey for lobbying in favour of “inefficient wind power operators.”
Fracking and the environment
Various groups have expressed concerns regarding the extraction of shale gas after drilling near Blackpool caused a mini-earthquake earlier this year. There are also fears that the process could contaminate drinking water.
Lord Lawson believes these reservations are unjustified. He claimed that despite hundreds of thousands of shale wells in the USA, there have been no authenticated cases of groundwater contamination.
He also dismissed concerns over earthquakes and stated: “While there have been a few instances of minor tremors deep down where the fracking takes place, these have no effect whatsoever on the surface, where we all live.”