In the recent Comment on our paper "Life cycle environmental impacts of UK shale gas" (Applied Energy 134 (2014) 506-518), Westaway et al. (Applied Energy, available online 20th March 2015) allege that we exaggerated the potential impacts of shale gas extraction in the UK. They first take an issue with our inclusion of worst case scenarios despite our clear declaration in several places in the paper that this is indicative of what could happen within the confines of a very ill-defined and highly variable future reality. Secondly, Westaway et al. claim that key assumptions in the modelling reflect illegal practices that would not occur, when in fact this is an exaggeration of the legal situation and these practices are still viable. This rebuttal addresses some of the claims made by Westaway et al. while welcoming further open and impartial discourse in this area.