Fracking may or may not make plastic ducks wobble on Lancashire landladies’ Anaglypta — “good heavens, the walls are quacking” — but its possible revival certainly shook the foundations of the net-zero lot. They thought they had killed off shale; now it was back on the parliamentary annunciators. This was the stuff of Greta Thunberg’s adolescent nightmares. “Ban it!” they cried. “Stop this nonsense now! It would do nothing for our national security! Lancashire says no!” The public hated the idea of fracking. But what if public opinion was changing?
“Nothing has changed,” insisted the “energy and clean growth” minister, Greg Hands, in response to an urgent question about the destruction of shale exploration sites. Nothing has changed? Theresa May used to say that.