Commenting on the government’s announcement today of additional licences for shale gas drilling, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The additional licences for exploratory shale gas drilling will be welcomed as a sign of the government’s intent to support the industry, but without meaningful reform to the planning process, extra licences will amount to nought. The government recently announced changes to the planning process, and we need to see if they take hold in practice and deliver shale production in the near future.

“The government must develop a long-term energy policy, embracing all sources – including shale – to make sure that costs don’t become crippling for businesses and consumers alike, and that the lights remain on in the coming decades.”