UK government helped shale gas industry ‘manage’ fracking opposition

from the Guardian, 17th January 2014.

Shale gas executives and government officials collaborated in private to manage the British public’s hostility to fracking, emails released under freedom of information rules reveal. Officials shared pre-prepared statements with the industry last year before major announcements and hosted high-level dinners with “further discussion over post-dinner drinks”, while the industry shared long lists of “stakeholders” to be targeted.

BPrime Minister David Cameron visits the Total Oil Depot shale drilling site in Gainsborough

Lawrence Carter, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, which made the FOI requests now published by Decc, said: “Decc has again been revealed to be acting as an arm of the gas industry. The government are supposed to represent the interests of the public when they deal with these companies, but the evidence is piling up that they’re all in it together.” British Gas owner Centrica currently has an executive working within Decc on secondment.

Green party MP Caroline Lucas said: “This is yet more evidence of the creepily cosy relationship between Decc and big energy. Apparently it’s not enough to give fracking companies generous tax breaks, the government also has to help them with their PR. Instead of cheerleading for fracking, the government should be working with community and renewable energy to move us towards a low carbon future.”

Read the full article here: Emails reveal UK helped shale gas industry manage fracking opposition | Environment | The Guardian.