Ecotricity boss Dale Vince criticises government support for fracking
DALE Vince, the founder of renewable energy giant Ecotricity, has hit out at the Government over its support for fracking.
The green energy entrepreneur, whose company generates electricity from solar farms and wind turbines, has accused the Coalition of being ‘out of touch’ with public opinion on the issue.
Speaking to the SNJ, Mr Vince derided the Government’s policy of localism – suggesting it was at odds with residents’ opposition to fracking – and said it seemed ‘intent on steamrolling it through’ despite their being alternatives.
"The environmental impacts of fracking are as well documented as they are significant, while the potential benefits to Britain have been greatly exaggerated," said Mr Vince.
"The protests in Balcombe show just how strong public opinion is on the issue and how out of touch the Government is.
"And this is the Government who said they would bring localism to planning and let local people decide.
"That seems only to have applied to wind energy – when it comes to fracking the Government seems intent on steamrolling it through."
But speaking to the SNJ last week, Stroud MP Neil Carmichael defended the Government’s support for the controversial extraction technique, which involves pumping chemicals deep underground to release shale gas.
Mr Carmichael, who said he was in favour of Britain using a ‘mix’ of renewable energy sources and fossil fuels, said: "I think fracking has to be done in a sensible manner and I wouldn’t want to see it taking place in areas of outstanding natural beauty but subject to the economic case and environmental considerations it may well be appropriate to try it in some places."
The Tory MP also said he did not think there was ‘substantial evidence’ to back up opponent’s claims about water pollution and earth tremors resulting from the fracking process.
However, Mr Vince condemned the ‘dash to frack’ and said his company would do everything in its power to ensure customers were not supplied with gas captured via fracking, giving people ‘the chance to vote with their gas bills’.
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