And now there’s fracking, which the Tories seem particularly gung-ho about. So much so that they plan to give companies the right to force shale gas out of the ground beneath your feet whether you – or your local authority – like it or not.
And, as the residents of Oklahoma have been finding out, there are good reasons not to like it.
A sixth of all jobs in Oklahoma are now in the oil and gas industry, most of them connected with fracking. Which sounds like good news. But there’s a “but”.
Earthquakes were very rare in the state – until the fracking started. Over the past 10 years they have become a more than daily occurrence, with 580 quakes last year.
Not big quakes, admittedly, not big enough to bring down buildings. Not in one go, anyway. But the constant shaking is taking a toll, with many homes throughout Oklahoma showing severe signs of cracking and crumbling.
Meanwhile, a case settled in a Dutch court may have caught the eyes of a few eager Okie lawyers. And maybe a few round Blackpool way too.
Oil giants Shell and Exxon have been ordered to pay compensation to homeowners. It’s on account of their joint venture in the Groeningen gas field, where earth tremors have caused house prices to plummet.
The two companies have set aside £920million to compensate 900 homeowners and 12 housing associations. Which may be enough to give even the world’s two biggest oil firms pause for thought.