Tory Government unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking

From The Guardian: George Osborne has infuriated environmentalists by announcing big tax breaks for the fracking industry in a bid to kickstart a shale gas revolution that could increase the UK’s carbon emissions.

The generous allowances were condemned by environmental groups worried about the chemicals used in fracking and fearful that burning more gas will make it impossible to hit carbon reduction targets designed to mitigate climate change.

It also comes after a survey showed that nearly 80% of those who were polled believed that the UK should reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Lawrence Carter, a Greenpeace energy campaigner, said: “The chancellor is telling anyone who will listen that UK shale gas is set to be an economic miracle, yet he’s had to offer the industry sweetheart tax deals just to reassure them that fracking would be profitable.

“Experts from energy regulator Ofgem to Deutsche Bank and the company in receipt of this tax break, Cuadrilla, admit that it won’t reduce energy prices for consumers. Instead we’re likely to see the industrialisation of tracts of the British countryside, gas flaring in the home counties and a steady stream of trucks carrying contaminated water down rural lanes.”

Andrew Pendleton, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, said it was a disgrace to offer handouts to polluting energy firms when the rest of Britain was being told to tighten belts. “Ministers should be encouraging investors to develop the nation’s huge renewable energy potential. This would create tens of thousands of jobs and wean the nation off its increasingly expensive fossil fuel dependency,” he said.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]