The Chancellor George Osborne has today announced tax breaks to encourage shale gas (and presumably coalbed methane) development, new planning guidance and community incentives, saying:
“In the spending round, we will provide support for energy-intensive industries beyond 2015. For the North sea, we will this year sign contracts for future decommissioning relief, the expectation of which is already increasing investment there. But I also want Britain to tap into new sources of low-cost energy such as shale gas, so I am introducing a generous new tax regime, including a shale gas field allowance, to promote early investment. By the summer, new planning guidance will be available alongside specific proposals to allow local communities to benefit. Shale gas is part of the future, and we will make it happen.”
Apparently this was a budget aiming at swinging marginal seats.
However, it is almost impossible to find anyone or any evidence that says shale gas will be a low-cost energy source here in the UK, except for Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP. It is easy to find people saying the opposite.