On Friday evening, just after 6pm, government spin doctors sent select media an email with a big fracking announcement.
Theresa May has re-written Osborne’s plans to ensure local people benefit directly from fracking.
“Communities could receive up to 10% of tax revenues derived from shale exploration in their area to spend on priorities such as local infrastructure and skills training. The new fund could deliver up to £10 million per eligible community.”
There were just two rules. First, the story was embargoed until Sunday, so there were no working hours between the email being sent and the story going live.
Second, the information was “shared on a no approach basis”.
Reporters had to report the news without actually checking it with anyone else – a trick used extensively during the referendum campaign.
It’s easy to understand why. Like much of what was said in the build up to Brexit, the government’s fracking claim is, at best, massively misleading and, at worst, a bald-faced lie.
- It’s almost certainly not £10k
- There won’t be payments during exploration
- There may never be money for the payments
- In fact, the payments idea may not happen at all
- The payments that may happen aren’t from the government
More detail here: http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/08/08/governments-fracking-payout-claim-just-not-true/