Fracking ‘won’t reduce oil prices’ says Caudrilla chairman

Further to Susan Murray’s letter (January 31), on November 29, Lord Browne, formerly CEO of BP, now Chair of Cuadrilla and adviser to the Government on Business, addressing an audience at the LSE, was quoted as saying fracking is not going to reduce prices in the UK, which contradicts the PM and Chancellor’s claims.

He also said nuclear power was “very, very expensive indeed” and was quoted as likening the fact that oil and gas got more state subsidies than renewable energy to “running both the heating and air conditioning at the same time”.

Having neither seen nor heard any denial from him, I assume the national newspaper (not given to wild exaggeration) report was correct.

Despite these rather negative comments, yesterday he was quoted in the same paper as saying fracking is a “national imperative”, that it needs five years of trials, but would help meet greenhouse gas targets as gas is less polluting than coal.

He seems to ignore the intensive use of energy and transport in ‘green’ areas the fracking process requires, as I understand it.

If his LSE talk is reported correctly, surely Lord Browne’s campaign should be for better state subsidies for renewable energy, particularly those we know work but are used too little, with research in those we hear of as potential sustainable sources.

Those who view fracking as unwelcome are derided as knee-jerk reactors rather than having applied much thought for the sake of future generations.

Continued promoting/subsidising use of oil and gas, almost ‘bribing’ as the PM wishes (with councils hard pressed), simply delays investment and subsidies in sustainable energy, so enabling a reduction in price and creating jobs for this country with development of skills.

On a related energy issue, there was much discussion last week on the costs for business of overheads. If head offices stopped telling their retail outlets to keep their doors open in winter, so wasting heat, overheads would reduce. We all know how to open doors.

Jan Mortimer

Lewes