Why are renewable technologies held to a different set of standards?

26 January 2015 12:18

The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee wants a moratorium on fracking so that what it calls the ‘huge uncertainties’ of its impact on the environment can be resolved. If… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Why Vladimir Putin’s threats about cutting off Europe’s gas supply are all bluff

1 December 2014 14:05

Has the West found a secret new weapon in its battle with Putin’s expansionist ambitions: reversible gas pipelines? Putin has never made a secret of his willingness to use energy… Continue reading

The website FrackNation takes on claims made by Josh Fox in his film, Gasland. Image: PA

Why aren’t fracking companies drilling offshore, rather than on land?

1 December 2014 12:08

The city of Denton, Texas, doesn’t often make the news, but last month it did: it became the first city in the US – by a margin of 59 per… Continue reading


Morning review: Could British infrastructure cope with fracking?

28 July 2014 12:28

In this week’s View from 22 Morning Review, Mary Wakefield, James Forsyth and David Blackburn discuss the weekend’s main stories. What can we do about the turmoil in the Middle… Continue reading

Anti-fracking protestors outside Balcombe in West Sussex earlier this year. (AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL)

Presumption against fracking in our beautiful countryside is welcome

28 July 2014 12:12

The government’s announcement today that fracking will not take place in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty save ‘in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they… Continue reading

Lord Howell's comments will create a debate over the North-South divide. Illustration: Stephen Collins.

Lord Howell offends the North of England again — but does he have a point?

14 May 2014 10:14

Oh Lord Howell, you’ve done it again. Offending the North of England once wasn’t enough, so he’s had a second go — warning today that the Conservative party will lose… Continue reading

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David Cameron is dangerously complacent on shale gas regulation

16 January 2014 11:13

Late on Tuesday afternoon, and within minutes of each other, two separate hearings in the Palace of Westminster examined the prospects for shale gas in the UK. In the upper… Continue reading

A fracking plant in America. Picture: Getty

Fracking incentives ‘pathetic’ and ‘insulting’, Tory MP warns

13 January 2014 9:24

Many plaudits this morning for ministers such as Michael Fallon who have catalysed the government’s push ahead with fracking. The only question, though, is whether enthusiasm in Whitehall will translate… Continue reading

An exploratory shale oil drilling site. (FRANCOIS BECKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Fracking debate: ‘Let’s peek into this pandora’s box’

3 December 2013 14:50

At last night’s Spectator debate, the audience voted dramatically in favour of the motion Let’s Get Fracking! Despite impassioned speeches from Green party leader Natalie Bennett, Greenpeace’s Joss Garman, and Craig… Continue reading

The next phase in the energy debate will depend on the contents of George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

While we wait for George Osborne, Grant Shapps takes to Buzzfeed to talk about energy policy

12 November 2013 15:30

The energy debate is in stasis. Everything, it seems, hangs on the contents of the Autumn Statement. EDF has announced a price rise; bills will go up by an average 3.9 per… Continue reading

A shale gas drilling rig in Blackpool. Picture: Getty

There mustn’t be a north / south divide when it comes to fracking

9 November 2013 18:03

Michael Fallon, who among his many roles is the minister in charge of fracking, has told the Telegraph’s Jame Kirkup that ‘right across the South’ people should prepare for fracking… Continue reading

A fracking plant in America. Picture: Getty

MPs still fracked with nerves about shale gas incentives

24 October 2013 17:20

In the days before Ed Miliband went all Marxist/brave on energy (delete as tribally appropriate), the debate around energy was more about fracking than it was about freezes. Shale gas… Continue reading

Greenpeace don't share our enthusiasm for shale. (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

What the frack?

15 October 2013 8:58

According to the weird and wonderful folk at Greenpeace, the home of the longest running magazine in the English language is sitting on a gold mine. A black gold mine.… Continue reading

A fracking plant in America. Picture: Getty

How fracking could be sent packing by a poor offer for locals

22 August 2013 12:19

After the noisy protests over oil drilling in Balcombe, you might be forgiven for thinking that there are just two groups in the fracking debate: the Caroline Lucases, who oppose… Continue reading


The Guardian’s latest crush: Justin Welby

20 August 2013 13:52

The Church of England has had some surprisingly good press recently. Who knows how these things happen, but the media seems to have decided to stop attacking its homophobia, and… Continue reading

Caroline Lucas at today's anti-fracking protest in Balcombe, where she was later arrested. Picture: PA

Caroline Lucas’ fracking arrest won’t worry ministers, but here’s what will

19 August 2013 18:15

Caroline Lucas’ arrest this afternoon at the Balcombe fracking protest might be quite useful for the Green MP, but it’s hardly going to give ministers a sleepless night. Lucas’ presence… Continue reading

Ed Miliband's Speech On Reforming Labour's Links With Unions

What does Ed Miliband make of shale?

4 August 2013 13:03

‘We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive!’ Said Michael Fallon in jest at the expense… Continue reading


Our Fracking Friends in the North

2 August 2013 15:20

An old Washington cliche has it that a gaffe is what happens when a politician inadvertently blurts out the truth or, in a variation on the theme, reveals what he really thinks.… Continue reading

Protestors at Balcombe earlier this week. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Winning the fracking argument

2 August 2013 13:48

Shale has been back on the front pages this week, with exploratory drilling at Balcombe in West Sussex and Lord Howell offending sensibilities north of the Watford Gap. The leading… Continue reading

Bamburgh Castle - one of the North East's stunning beauty spots. Photo: Getty Images.

Lord Howell says fracking should be carried out in ‘desolate’ North East

30 July 2013 14:51

Lord Howell has got himself into a spot of fracking bother this afternoon. The Newcastle Chronicle reports that George Osborne’s father-in-law says fracking should be carried out in ‘unhabituated and… Continue reading


Sussex versus shale – a tale of anti-politics and middle class anxiety

21 July 2013 14:14

George Osborne believes in shale; this week’s tax cut announcement was another clear profession of his faith. But plenty of people and some powerful groups stand in his way. Least… Continue reading


Are fracking tax breaks really necessary?

19 July 2013 9:17

George Osborne is taking the ‘global race’ to a new level today. The Chancellor is not just allowing Britain to enter the fracking revolution by unveiling a shale gas allowance,… Continue reading


The unpleasant truth about shale gas: it’s in my back yard

11 July 2013 16:22

One great advance for the environment is shale gas, though for some reason Greens do not see it that way. It will make us — and has already made America… Continue reading

A fracking plant in America. Picture: Getty

Let’s get fracking

8 June 2013 19:04

Great news on the fracking front. A company called IGas says it’s sitting on a huge shale gas reserve deep below Cheshire. Given the company’s ‘most likely’ estimate of 102… Continue reading

A shale gas drilling rig in Blackpool. Picture: Getty

The UK needs a serious debate on shale gas

14 February 2013 17:23

Arguments over the potential development of UK shale gas resources are too often characterised by rhetoric and hyperbole on both sides. Some of the wilder claims need to be challenged… Continue reading