Let the drilling companies try extracting shale gas. If they fail, that’s their look-out. If they succeed, we will all benefit, because the price of energy will come down. In America they have driven down the cost so far that many shale gas companies are in trouble – too successful for their own good. The same thing happened with railways in the 1840s – most entrepreneurs went bust, but the travelling public got a railway system. As Joseph Schumpeter explained, that is how the market works – the consumer gets most of the benefit of innovation, not the producer.
We really don\’t care how well the producer does. It\’s the effect on the consumer that matters.