Local MP Tessa Munt has deep concerns about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s plans for shale gas tax breaks announced at the Conservative Party conference this week.
The Treasury is planning to consult on a “generous new tax regime” for the shale gas industry excluding any new drilling or extraction companies from the tax rates imposed on North Sea oil and gas firms.
There are plans for coal bed methane test drilling near Keynsham which may lead to future fracking. The Frack Free Somerset group is closely monitoring potential applications in other parts of the Mendip Hills.
Tessa said, “I am very worried about George Osborne’s dash for gas. He seems to have been dazzled by the promises of the shale gas companies and the experience of the United States. In fact no one knows how much shale gas there is in the UK but most estimates say it is of a much smaller scale than in America. But more importantly if we take this road it will lead us to breaking our climate change commitments, watering down investment in renewable technology and continuing our reliance on a diminishing fossil fuel.
The renewable energy sector is one of the bright lights in the UK economy, employing some 70,000 people and growing fast. It needs certainty, support and consistency from Government to continue to flourish. This is the future, not extracting every last scrap of fossil fuel from the ground at huge cost to communities and our precious environment. That is Twentieth Century thinking not Twenty-first.”
Tessa Munt MP
October 11th 2012
Frack Free Somerset website: http://www.frackfreesomerset.org/