This letter has been published by the Manchester Evening News in response to Paul Nuttall (UKIP's North West Region MEP):
Paul Nuttall MEP is right to point out the effect of the crisis in Ukraine on global gas supplies and energy prices. But shale gas is definitely not the way to insulate ourselves from such price hikes. Greens are opposed to fracking for shale gas, but even the industry agrees with us on price. Lord Browne, Chairman of Cuadrilla, the UK’s leading shale gas company and a former Chief Exec of BP, has stated that fracking is not going to reduce gas prices in the UK.
Adding insult to ignorance, Mr Nuttall goes on to say that the green lobby would ‘rather plunge more pensioners and low income households into fuel poverty’. What rubbish! Greens are working hard to combat fuel poverty. In a three and a half year programme, put forward by Green councillors in Kirklees (West Yorkshire), more than 50,000 homes were insulated free of charge, creating over 300 local jobs, lifting over 1,300 families out of fuel poverty and saving £3.9 million in bills by those households every year since.
Meanwhile what are UKIP doing to help those on low incomes? UKIP’s Nigel Farrage boasted recently that his party would increase government cuts to the public sector. These cuts have hit the poorest hardest. If Mr Nuttall really wants to make sure that we’re protected from energy price rises he might like to look again at what the UK's renewable energy industry has to offer.
North West Green Party MEP candidate