Politics VS Environment | The bigger picture on Fracking …
As David Cameron promises local authorities all of the business rates collected from shale gas schemes, via the controversial method of “fracking”, Landlord Referencing wants to know if the gas runs out how do we create more gas?
With a population of around 61 million the number of households in the UK is approximately 26 million, whereby British Gas alone serves around 12 million of these homes.
As gas becomes shorter in supply it is inevitable that it will become more expensive – which is already starting to happen, with utility bills now increasing year on year.
There are many pros and cons to “fracking” outlined here but here are just a few interesting points we would like to raise:
- Building regulations and planning permissions state that new builds must have relevant energy efficiency measures in place (e.g. insulation) – but why doesn’t new build legislation incorporate alternative energy sources into the structure itself, making them self-sufficient? e.g. mandatory solar panels in the roof.
- Landlords need to take boiler safety seriously and are encouraged to install new boilers – but how does this bode when gas runs out and there is nothing to fuel them?!
- 1 in 10 buy-to-let homes are set to be unlettable in 4 years’ time, unless landlords take steps to improve their properties’ energy efficiency. So if landlords cannot afford to do the upgrades and therefore have not been compliant, inevitably subjected to fines, they will have no option but to evict those tenants – meaning that in 2016 75,000+ tenants will have to look for new homes, turning a housing crisis into a housing apocalypse.
- Why has the Severn Barrage been turned down (which would have generated the equivalent of 5% of the UK’s electricity needs, would not require public funding, with a possible multiplier effect of around £70 billion and further stimulating the UK’s economy by creating around 50,000 jobs) but funding for the high-speed railway line HS2 (£50 billion) has been approved; affecting 15,000 households, as well as destroying at least one nature reserve along the way?
If insurers won’t insure properties near fracking wells it would render vast swathes of property effectively valueless – so will the government provide insurance cover in those areas?
To the “anti-frackers” ; HOW the fracking hell are you going to replace gas? What are the viable alternatives?
To the “pro-frackers” ; Evidence suggests that shale gas drilling is detrimental to our environment and health. So how can you secure our gas supplies without gambling away our means to survive?