Cheaper fuel claims dismissed as ‘fallacy’

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A Fylde anti-fracking campaigner has rubbished a suggestion that shale gas exploration would reduce fuel prices.

Ian Roberts, chairman of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF), spoke out after Government body the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group this week claimed fracking could drive down energy costs and help ease the financial burden on five million households.

The group’s chairman Derek Lickorish made the claims amid protests against energy company Cuadrilla Resources Ltd’s exploratory drilling at Balcombe, Sussex, where three of RAFF’s members are present.

Cuadrilla has a number of sites around the Fylde coast, including at Westby and Singleton. Mr Roberts said: “It’s a fallacy that shale gas will bring cheap energy.

“We do sympathise with people who are struggling to pay bills, but (fracking) is an expensive process and I think it’s unrealistic to expect prices to go down as a result of shale gas extraction.

“What we need is good renewable sustainable sources of energy.”

The claims from Mr Roberts come a day after a councillor on Fylde Council said more assurances were needed around fracking – the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into the ground to release the gas trapped in shale rock.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: “A growing number of reports show that shale gas could help to replace gas imports, improve energy security and create well-paid jobs in the sector.

“Gas is a commodity and, like all commodities, increasing supply will exert downward pressure on price.”

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