Written by Anthony Keen and Chris Walton
A financial protest against fracking
One of the environmental topics of concern for people in many parts of the UK is fracking for gas (methane). The most publicised forms of protest take place at the entrances to the fracking sites, both on the kerbside and in the road, aimed at disrupting access to the sites. Other forms of protest include signing petitions, attending prayer meetings, praying at the fracking sites (Christian Climate Action, see https://christianclimateaction.wordpress.com/),climbing site structures (Christian Climate Action again) and writing to Members of Parliament and local authority planning committees.
These forms of protest might not suit us all, so are there alternatives? Have we thought about the explosive power of our money?
Businesses are very sensitive to loss of customers and falling sales, which have an adverse effect on cash flow and profitability. We are daily subjected to a mass of financial figures, with upbeat forecasts and profit warnings for the interests of the shareholders and the stock market – then we await the share price reaction! One of the most watched market sectors is the supermarkets; who would have predicted Tesco’s problems?
When the fracking method is employed,to extract methane gas from shale, an impermeable rock, many more wells have to be drilled in order to obtain the same volume as when methane gas is extracted from the more permeable sandstone rock. This increases the costs of methane gas extracted by fracking, reducing fracking suppliers margins and /or increasing future selling prices.
What about the option of protest using our money by switching to a ‘green energy’ supplier? This involves no potentially illegal action; in fact, switching suppliers is even encouraged by the UK Government!
Switching to ‘green energy’ suppliers would reduce the market demand for high carbon methane gas, impacting negatively on the fracking companies and the high carbon methane gas energy supplier’s finances, for years. Some people consider buying 100% renewable energy, as this encourages the renewables industry to continue future investment, with an unintended consequence of undermining the development of the high carbon gas industry, including fracking. As ‘green energy’ is still in its infancy and the option of renewable gas is limited, it is particularly good if renewable gas is included in the energy package. Recent information indicates that the companies Good Energy and Ecotricity are the only two green suppliers who ‘make’ their own energy, rather than buying it from other suppliers, and, therefore, their prices are a little higher.
To assist you in investigating green energy suppliers, some of them are listed below:
Bulb Energy www.bulb.co.uk
Pure Planet www.purepla.net
OVO Energy www.ovoenergy.com
Good Energy www.goodenergy.co.uk
Green Energy (UK) PLC www.greenenergyuk.com
Flow Energy www.flow energy.uk.com
The consumer organisation Which? lists a total of 81 conventional and green energy suppliers. Use of comparison websites may also be of assistance.
…than cost the earth”
Disclaimer. The authors are not recommending any of the companies mentioned and will not be liable for any decisions made by the readers of this article.