The shale gas explorer Cuadrilla has accused the Labour party of being divided on its proposed fracking ban and of unnecessarily politicising the search for shale gas. Francis Egan, the chief executive of Cuadrilla, which is only weeks away from beginning the UK’s first fracking in seven years, said the prospect of a Labour government coming to power was a risk that he would be “silly to ignore”. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, recently said opposition to fracking was a core issue for the party and the policy had “overwhelming” support from the Labour movement. However, Egan argued Labour was not united on a ban. “Even in Labour, although the leadership are increasingly virulentl y outspoken against it [fracking], the GMB union is equally virulently outspoken in favour of it, for very good reasons. As with many policies within Labour, it depends who you talk to.” After years of delays because of planning battles and regulatory changes, Cuadrilla is finally within touching distance of fracking at a site between Preston and Blackpool. But if the government collapsed and Jeremy Corbyn was elected prime minister, that could kill the shale industry before it even started its exploration phase.
Guardian 16th Sept 2018 read more »