Paterson's money
Apr 17, 2014
Bishop Hill in Energy: gas, Greens

Owen Paterson seems to be putting his money where his mouth is, backing plans to develop shale gas in his home county of Shropshire.

The North Shropshire MP said without schemes like the one planned on his own doorstep “the lights will go out”.

Multi-national  Dart Energy has said it will submit plans to drill in Duddleston, near Ellesmere, if Shropshire Council waives the need for an environmental impact assessment.

The proposals have outraged campaigners who say exploratory drilling for coal-bed methane gas could open the door for controversial “fracking”, or hydraulic fracturing, for shale gas in future years. But Mr Paterson said the scheme would bring jobs to Shropshire and help provide energy to the whole of the UK.

Paterson's decision to put his money where his mouth, the task of environmental scaremongers is made much harder. I sense that we could be on the cusp of a change in the debate over shale. With Caroline Lucas distancing herself from most of the scaremongering - she says the debate revolves around climate only - and with the IPCC suggesting that shale has an important role to play, many of the weapons that have been used to prevent development in the UK may be falling away. With the world watching Vladimir Putin with a certain amount of trepidation too, it's hard to see how the greens are going to win this one.

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