Despite the British government wanting to “go all out for shale”, the support for shale gas is falling in the UK. The long-running survey by YouGov for the University of Nottingham shows that support for shale gas has slumped from an all-time high of 58% in July 2012, to just 49.7%.
The University of Nottingham poll shows Labour voters have gone from a high of 52% in favour to 41% now. Tory voters have been consistently high in their support for exploiting shale gas, with 67% in favour, which is broadly similar to Ukip voters.
Last week, the Tory peer Lord Howell, warned that fracking could cost the Conservative party electorally.
“Every time ministers open their mouths to claim that fracking must start everywhere around Britain, and not just in carefully selected and remote (derelict) areas, they lose thousands of Tory votes,” he wrote in an article for the US-based Journal of Energy Security.
Today, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett accompanied by European election candidate Peter Cranie, expressed their support of an anti-fracking camp in Upton near Chester. The site, owned by the UK’s largest shale gas operator IGas, has been occupied by campaigners since 5 April, preventing IGas from testing for underground gas deposits.
Mrs Bennett said: “This is a central issue and it’s great that here in Cheshire there are so many people coming together to oppose this extreme form of energy”, adding: “Fossils fuels are finished. We need to leave at least 50 per cent of resources in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. It’s not just me saying that. it’s the experts.”
Despite the grass-root opposition, UK shale exploration company, Cuadrilla Resources is to apply for permission to Lancashire County Council to drill up to four exploration wells at a site in Preston Road – the company announced today.
In a separate application, the company will also request permission to begin drilling at a second site nearby, at Roseacre Wood. The Council is expected to take sixteen weeks to accept the applications.
Cuadrilla already faced opposition from anti-fracking campaigners at the company’s earlier site in the village of Balcombe, south England, last year. Since then, Cuadrilla opened a public consultation in an effort to reduce local opposition to shale gas exploration.
“We have undertaken extensive consultation and engagement with the local communities on these applications and have listened carefully to what people have told us,” Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said in a statement.
Article continues below this message
Have your opinion heard with Shale Gas International
We accept interesting, well-written opinion and analysis articles of up to 1,500 words, that offer unique insights into the shale industry. The articles cannot be overtly promotional in nature and need to fit into at least one of our content categories.
If accepted, the article must be exclusive to Shale Gas International website and cannot appear on any other websites, publications, etc. Each article may contain up to three links to external websites relevant to the content discussed in the piece.
If you would like to contribute to Shale Gas International website, please contact us at: editor[at]mw-ep.com