On Tuesday the US Environmental Protection Agency released its study concluding that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water at each stage in the shale gas production process. In this guest post, professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell assess the case for fracking in the UK against six “stress tests” and conclude that it fails in each case. They argue that it’s time for the UK to learn the lessons of the US and Fraxit now. Plans for onshore shale gas extraction – or rather high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) or fracking – are proving to be somewhat explosive in the UK. Politically there is a north south divide on the wisdom of engaging with fracking, with the Conservative controlled south hell bent on pushing it at all costs and the Scottish National Party (SNP) north dancing a ‘dinna ken’ highland jig around the issue, much to the chagrin of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Following the publication of six reports on 8 November the Scottish Government has now announced that it will launch a consultation in January 2017, with a final decision likely to be reached in the second half of 2017. At a recent meeting at Westminster of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas meeting six “stress tests” were discussed on which a decision should logically be based.
Drill or Drop 15th Dec 2016 read more »