Huhne: make US share shale gas bounty

The best way to cut UK energy bills would be to make the US sell its cheap shale gas on the global market, former energy minister Chris Huhne is arguing.

In an opinion article for the Guardian, Huhne said populist promises from Labour and the Conservatives to bring down prices “risk being counterproductive”.

Instead, he said prime minister David Cameron should put pressure onAmericato speed up approval of LNG export terminals.

The oft-cited “shale gas revolution” in the States has resulted in wholesale gas prices a just over a third the level in theUK. “If we had US gas prices, consumers would save hundreds of pounds a year,” said Huhne.

However, there is fierce lobbying against export terminals from energy intensive industries in the States, keen to protect their competitive advantage.

If necessary, Huhne said the EU should take legal action to force the US to share its bounty. “The EU should be jumping up and down about unfair trade practices. We should get tough, if necessary funding legal challenges to American sloth,” he wrote.

Bringing US shale gas into the global market would do more to bring down prices than fracking for shale gas in theUK, argued Huhne. That is becauseBritainhas pipelines to the continent and cannot reserve its domestic production for British customers.