Friends of the Earth called promising tax breaks for fracking in the current economic climate "a disgrace".
The group's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, added:
Ministers should be encouraging investors to develop the nation's huge renewable energy potential.
This would create tens of thousands of jobs and wean the nation off its increasingly expensive fossil fuel dependency.
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The vice minister of foreign affairs criticised the comments as “ignorant”.
Taxes will need to rise to pay for a modernised health service, experts have said.
The son of one of those said to be involved in the theft claims the pair did it “for the thrill”.