Osborne discusses tax cuts for frackers

Mining for shale gas off the Fylde coast came a step closer to reality after George Osborne spoke of tax benefits for the industry at the annual Conservative party conference.

The controversial practice has already caused two earthquakes in Lancashire and environmental campaigners have called for more research into the effect it’ll have on the region’s water table. On the other hand, Osborne believes that not only will investing in the fracking help to rejuvenate industry in the area, it will make the UK as a whole more competitive in the energy market.

He said: “We are consulting on a generous new tax regime for shale so that Britain is not left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “I see unabated gas playing a very significant role throughout the 2020s, and, increasingly as back-up or with carbon capture and storage, through the 2030s and 2040s.

”A substantial investment in gas generation and gas import infrastructure here in the UK is completely consistent with Britain’s plans to cut carbon emissions, set out in our carbon plan.”

Cuadrilla Resources, the main driving force behind the search for exploitable shale gas in Lancashire, is continuing its exploration plans. The go-ahead from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to carry out fracking has yet to be given but the company has already applied for a new permit from the Environment Agency to dispose of the toxic water the process will produce.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “With permits granted by the Environment Agency in place, we will have demonstrably sound and visibly regulated arrangements for the safe storage, removal and processing of our returned waters.”