Cuadrilla V The BDW Deathmatch
Today Mr Egan finally put his cards on the table. It is clear that he has not been lucky in the hand he got dealt, and neither has he played it with any great skill.
In the FT he complained that his industry could be “strangled at birth”
Over at the Times, speaking via his favourite mouthpiece, Ben Webster, he sounded even more desperate, admitting that they probably wouldn’t be able to complete the flow test (which is required to maintain investor confidence in their project)
This is because they can’t seem to inject enough proppant sand without setting off seismic events large enough to trigger the Traffic Light System.
Faced with this seemingly intractable problem, he is playing his last card.
He is admitting that all is lost unless he can persuade the Government to change the regulations. These are regulations, by the way, of which Mr Egan was fully aware as far back as November 2012 when his letter to then Energy Minister, John Hayes, included this statement:
This is relevant because it demonstrates that not only was Mr Egan fully aware of the TLS, he and his company were actively involved in its development. There is, I suppose, a certain schadenfreude in seeing him wriggling on a hook that he helped to fashion himself but more importantly it demonstrates just how disingenuous he is being.
The hopes of Cuadrilla’s backers now rest on an appeal to the current Energy Minister, Claire Perry.
However, Mr Egan can’t fail to be aware that Ms Perry is ambitious and must have been reasonably politically sure-footed to rise to ministerial level. She is also a self styled “BDW” (Bloody Difficult Woman).
She is already showing signs of realising that relaxing regulations against a background of increasingly frequent and large seismic events would be politically toxic
There is an old saying that you can’t change the cards that you are dealt, just the way you play them. I’d say Mr Egan has not played his cards particularly well and we can all see what is in his hand now.
Cuadrilla look to be all out of options – It’s time they packed up and left.