The UK has rejected the case for relaxing fracking rules despite warnings that the current regime is “strangling” the nascent industry. In a letter obtained under freedom of information legislation, energy minister Claire Perry dismissed pleas by Cuadrilla for the rules to be loosened. The company hopes to become the first in Britain to start commercial fracking for gas. Over the past three months, Cuadrilla has had to stop work at its site near Blackpool on several occasions after fracking tests triggered earth tremors exceeding 0.5 on the Richter seismic scale. Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, in October claimed that the government’s so-called traffic-light system, which requires fracking work to cease if tremors exceed that level, risked “strangling” Britain’s fracking industry “before birth”. He said the rules would need to be loosened “within weeks” or the company may never be able to discover if the UK’s shale gas resources are commercially viable. But in a letter to Mr Egan, Ms Perry stated the current system was “fit for purpose” and the government had “no intention of altering it”.
FT 13th Jan 2019 read more »
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