LETTER: Shale gas is now very expensive

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The costs incurred by the oil and gas extraction industry are perhaps more far reaching and hidden than immediately meets the eye. Furthermore, all these costs always seem to be borne by the public tax payers.

I hope The Home Office will be forwarding ‘Balcombe policing costs’ to Cuadrilla, which will be honourable enough to pick up the tab following its visit last summer.

After all, the people here in Sussex didn’t invite Cuadrilla, or its police bodyguard. Furthermore, as the successive acquittals prove, it was hardly a proportionate job done by the policing operation either.

David Cameron’s government has already assured oil and gas exploration and extraction companies and the public, that any property damage done as a result of fracking and therefore not covered by property insurance, will be paid for by us, the taxpayer.

The impact on poor health to those who live in the vicinity of hydrocarbon extraction is well documented. Apart from the misery caused to those unfortunate to be affected, this also impacts on the NHS budget.

Will private medical insurance companies pay for healthcare following exposure to pollution caused by the oil and gas industry, or will taxpayers be expected to pick up their costs as well?

Surely not, when you consider George Osborne has already given away potential tax revenue payable by shale gas extraction companies who are now only expected to pay a rate of 30 per cent, as against the 62 per cent payable by gas companies operating in the North Sea.

Far from being a cheap source of fuel, hydrocarbons, and shale gas in particular, are becoming very expensive indeed.


Downland Drive, Southgate, Crawley