Gas Fracking Given the Green Light

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The UK government has given the go-ahead for Cuadrilla to resume it’s controversial technique known as fracking to exploit gas in Lancashire. Cuadrilla, a UK firm specialising in shale gas, was stopped from fracking after two small earthquakes occurred during it’s previous drilling programme in Blackpool.

Fracking involves drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

With the UK being Europe’s largest gas consumer, the government has been actively pursuing new techniques to raise the level of gas supplies, which they believe would reduce gas prices. Ed Davey, Energy Secretary, said “Fracking must be safe and the public must be confident that it is safe. Shale gas represents a promising new potential energy resource for the UK. It could contribute significantly to our energy security, reducing our reliance on imported gas”.

In the US, exploitation of shale gas boom has sent energy prices tumbling, but some are unsure it would have the same impact for the UK. Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary, “But the idea that this form of gas extraction can have the same impact here in the UK as it has had on gas prices in the United States is considered wishful thinking by most experts.” Greenpeace’s energy campaigner Leila Deen said “George Osborne’s dream of building Dallas in Lancashire is dangerous fantasy. He is not JR Ewing and this is not the US. Energy analysts agree the UK cannot replicate the American experience of fracking, and that shale gas will do little or nothing to lower bills”.

But the government is determined to progress with plans, they have already proposed tax relief’s for shale gas exploration companies, and unveiled a new gas generation strategy which would increase shale gas activity.

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