Theresa May’s Conservatives know that fracking is unpopular, and they know why.
It causes hideous damage to the environment and lowers living standards for anybody near a fracking operation, while bringing huge profits to the operators who don’t have to suffer the consequences.
Taking that into account, the possibility of payments being made to householders can only be seen as an attempt to bribe members of the public into keeping their mouths shut about it.
Some might be stupid enough to take the money. Let’s hope few do.
Just think forward a few years and it isn’t hard to envisage the result.
It places most of us in a polluted and unstable wasteland, living on locust-burgers while the frack-barons enjoy roast pork from a rapidly-diminishing stock.
Residents affected by fracking could be paid some of the proceeds of shale gas projects, the government has suggested.
A shale wealth fund was unveiled in 2014 to set aside up to 10% of the tax proceeds from fracking to benefit communities in the UK hosting wells.
The PM is now considering paying the money directly to individual households instead of councils and local trusts.
But green campaigners say fracking carries environmental risks and people will not accept “bribes”.
The government’s plan is one option due to be outlined in a consultation on Monday.
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