Further to the Independent on Sunday report that stated
The Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on.
Supporters of the fracking technology – which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.
But The Independent on Sunday has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK's reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract.
It seems that those journalistic sleuths at the IoS learned the above via Hansard:
Graham Stringer: Will not the biggest impact on reducing domestic energy bills be achieved by bringing shale gas online as quickly as possible?
Mr Davey: I do not think so. We had a seminar at No. 10 recently, which the Prime Minister participated in, along with myself and the Business Secretary. We heard from experts in the shale gas industry who had been working in America and looking at the major opportunities in places such as Ukraine and China. They were clear that it would take some time for shale gas to be exploited in the UK. They were also clear that we needed strong regulation to proceed and that the shale gas reserves in this country are not quite as large as some people have been speculating.
We're going to ask who was at this meeting. But more importantly, who wasn't. This from Mark Miller of Cuadrilla Resources:
No, we were not invited. Nor were we consulted about potential shale gas production in the future. I was surprised to see negative statements from people who have never seen our core data or open hole log data. They may consider getting their facts in line next time since this is such an important issue to the country.
Apart from curiousity, whatever happened to common British courtesy?