Lancashire County Council, currently deciding on two applications to drill for shale gas – at Little Plumpton and Roseacre – has received an open letter from more than 100 business leaders from across the North West in support of shale gas exploration.
The letter urges the council to grant the permission for shale extraction as it will result in more jobs and higher wages; the results of the £33bn supply chain that the exploration of unconventional oil and gas is expected to create.
The open letter says: “Tangible benefits are already felt with the Government announcement for a new £10m national energy college based at Blackpool – allowing for the training of the next generation of highly-skilled workers in our region.”
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Natural gas from Lancashire shale represents an opportunity to boost skilled employment and stimulate our local economy – providing a sound basis for long-term economic growth in the North West.
“In light of what this could mean for jobs, local investment and taxes, I urge all businesses in the region to get behind the development of natural gas from shale.”
While the current government has vowed to ‘go all out for shale’, the actual support for fracking among British citizens is difficult gauge. While some surveys show that less then half the population supports shale exploration, others show support soaring to nearly 60 per cent.
At present all three major parties, as well as UKiP, support shale exploration in the UK, with Labour being far more cautious and calling for more regulation than the Tories. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Green Party oppose fracking on the grounds that it harms the environment and detracts funds and attention from renewable energy sources.
Source: Lancashire Evening Post
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