GMB: Fracking Issue Needs to Undergo Debate
GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on a report that communities affected by controversial “fracking” will be offered an average of £800,000 in additional compensation in an effort to stave off opposition in Conservative heartlands, according to reports.
Gary Smith, national officer for energy, said: “This whole issue of fracking needs to be subject to an honest and rational debate that focuses on a plan for energy, including gas in the UK.
“This expected announcement on compensation is yet another knee jerk move by a government that has lost any credibility on energy policy.
“This is a case of the Tories lining up big bribes for their supporters in their heartlands where the reserves are supposed to be.
“The case for fracking is yet to be proven either on environmental or economic grounds. There will be a major debate on the issue at GMB Congress next month.
“As the gas workers union GMB believes we will need gas for many decades to come. 80% of UK homes are heated by gas. Gas is 4 or 5 times cheaper than electricity. The suggestion that homes in the UK are going to convert to electric heating any time in decades to come is utterly fanciful.
“But if shale gas is viable and there are sufficient supplies to keep households warm, the gas needs to be seen as a national strategic asset. It shouldn’t simply be allowed to be traded abroad as a commodity. Neither should the government be stuffing their own supporter’s pockets with massive bribes.”
Source: GMB, May 23, 2014; Image: GMB