UK energy minister gets serious on quest for shale gas
The south-east will have to accept fracking for shale gas just as much as the north of England, Michael Fallon, the energy minister, has suggested. “It cannot be right to confine it to areas of the industrial North,” he told the Evening Standard.
He further said: “The developers need to engage, and engage early, with he local communities likely to be affected in the South East.
“They need to engage much earlier and deal with some of the myth-peddling about and show people it is safe and that there may be considerable benefits.”
The energy minister said gas company Cuadrilla was acting “perfectly legally” in Balcombe, West Sussex, where protesters believe the firm may apply for a licence to “frack”.
“What’s happening in Balcombe is perfectly legal [and] they’ve got permission to do the exploratory wells,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.
“People are entitled to protest, there’s been quite a lot of misinformation; they’re not looking for shale gas there, they’re actually drilling for oil and they’re not fracking, they’re not applying for a fracking licence at the moment.”