As you will no doubt be aware, fracking here in the USA has been practised for some time now and we have already started to see many benefits, not least the reduction in price of natural gas. However, our UK counterparts have had some serious issues when looking to get drilling for shale gas off the ground, or out of the ground as the case may be!
A number of scenarios have caused progress to stall in the United Kingdom such as lack of space, protests from environmentalists and political opposition but it seems these are now ever closer to being ironed out. This has been reported in publications such as the Huffington Post, BBC and The Guardian across the pond and despite there still being opposition to fracking, the government now looks to have all the support it needs to start drilling.
Laws Amended and Support from the Lords…
Ultimately, as is often the case over in the UK, in order to start fracking, the energy companies needed to gain support from factions such as the House of Lords and there were also anti-trespassing laws stopping them from being able to kick start the process.
The laws meant that residents in areas such as Blackpool and Manchester (where many of the fracking sites exist) could prevent work from taking place underneath their property. Proposed amendments to the anti-trespassing laws mean there will be little local residents can do about this, with drilling set to take place between 300 and 600 metres beneath their homes and gardens.
This has come to the dismay of many families due to reports of seismic shifts on fracking sites in Europe. Either way, the bills are all but passed in parliament, leaving people living in the north west of England with little option but to accept the implementation of fracking.
Academics from a host of Universities and members of the House of Lords then went on record to state that fracking should be commenced as soon as possible, for the good of the UK’s economic and environmental stability. Scientists even went as far as to state the “undeniable economic benefits” of the process, although it was later established that the group were actually backed by a subsidiary of British Gas, who have a clear motive for supporting the drilling of shale gas in the United Kingdom.
Apart from the aforementioned lack of space, local residents are concerned that the water used when drilling for shale gas could turn out to be toxic and contaminate the British countryside. Although this has not yet been a problem here in the USA, we obviously have far more uninhabited land available, so any contamination would have limited negative repercussions.
With the UK being pretty built up, even in rural areas, the concern is that as a relatively small island, the United Kingdom is just not equipped to deal with widespread fracking. Indeed, when shale gas tests took place near Blackpool back in 2011, earth tremors where recorded which inevitably worried local residents.
So, despite much opposition, it seems that the UK is finally about to emulate US success with fracking. Whether or not this helps them to make the savings we have on natural gas, time will only tell. You can find out more about the energy sector in the UK by visiting www.loveenergysavings.com, where there are all sorts of energy resources available and UK-based visitors can even compare their gas and electricity completely free of charge, the team will even take care of the switch for home and business energy customers.
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