"We're definitely expecting some direct action and civil disobedience. It's possible that some people might do something that is against the law."
spokesperson for No Dash for Gas
Anti-fracking extremists are encouraging illegal activity by planning two days of
civil disobedience in Balcombe, West Sussex. Tory MP Douglas Carswell's description of these new Luddites is spot on:
Just like with coal at the beginning of the industrial revolution, beneath our feet lie zillions of cubic feet of gas. A way of extracting it has been discovered which could unleash enormous productive potential.
So what do we do? Enterprises that seek to lawfully utilise the new technology are prevented from doing so by the new Luddites. The state stands by, regulating every aspect of the new technology, but doing little to guarantee the freedoms of the innovators.
Tim Yeo yesterday suggested that we are better at regulating shale gas here in Britain than they are in America. Indeed. Which is why right now we have no shale industry to speak of. In the US, meanwhile, where they are so "cavalier" about these things, shale gas revolution has cut energy costs dramatically, triggering a wider industrial revival.
It would be tragic if we let the looters and the moochers get in the way of shale gas technology.