Monday, May 30, 2016

Fracking to return to Britain?

The fracking cat has been set well and truly among the pigeons in Britain by a landmark ruling by North Yorkshire council to allow hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") near the Yorkshire village of Kirby Misperton.
Fracking has been on hiatus in Britain since 2011, when the process was blamed for two minor earthquakes in a country not know for its seismic activity. And this new ruling has not been welcomed with open arms: over 3,000 submissions were made against the project, as compared to 34 in favour, and almost every single parish in the region objected to it during the hearings.
But, as gas production in the North Sea continues to dwindle, the national Conservative government (and particularly Prime Minister David Cameron) has strongly supported shale gas extraction as an alternative, and it has recently approved 93 exploration licenses. Four other fracking projects are currently in the late approval stages, and it remains to be seen whether this North Yorkshire decision will open the floodgates to what opponents warn is an environmental disaster in the making, especially given the congested population of the small island, which all but ensures that any fracking project will be in someone's backyard somewhere.

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