Britain would be “making a big mistake” if it did not seriously consider fracking and the prospect of cheaper gas prices, the Prime Minister has said.
David Cameron said the country is “missing out big time at the moment” as he compared the number of shale gas wells dug in the European Union compared with the United States.
But he cautioned safety needs to be assured and that “very clear” environmental procedures would have to be met before companies are given the go-ahead to start fracking.
“We would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK,” he said. “If you look what’s happening in America with the advent of shale gas and fracking, their energy costs in business and their gas prices are half the level of ours.
“Nothing is going to happen in this country unless its environmentally safe. There is no question of having earthquakes and fire coming out of taps and all the rest of it. There will be very clear environmental procedures and certificates you will have to get before you can frack.”
He said US communities had felt the financial benefits of shale gas drilling “very quickly”. In June the shale gas industry announced plans to offer £100,000 to communities for each well site where drilling takes place.