Trust Boris to come out with some odd metaphor to catch everyone’s attention while he makes a political point. Speaking on his new LBC radio show, Ask Boris, he said that if we are to avert crisis in British energy, we need to get going on shale gas.
He said: ‘Labour put in a load of wind farms that failed to pull the skin off a rice pudding. We now have the opportunity to get shale gas – let’s look at it. It is part of the 2020 vision we have for this city – power generation is vital.’
Of course, what he is referring to is the now-commonly held view that wind farms will never fully make up for the shortfall if we do not build more nuclear power stations. One stat even suggests that if we were to coat the entire coastline of the UK in wind turbines, we still would not have enough energy to replace existing power stations.
Boris did acknowledge the concerns about shale gas (an earthquake was caused by drilling for it in Blackpool and some fear it can contaminate drinking water), but he said: ‘it may be some people will benefit mightily from living near these reserves.’
In typical Boris Johnson style though, he has avoided being definite about anything. Saying ‘let’s look at it’ does not amount to an endorsement, and yet it suggests that he would throw he weight behind it. Keeping his options open for the day when he becomes prime minister, perhaps…