Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Get the frack out of here

A couple of reports have just been published by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).  The first shows that fracking is not likely to  make the UK self-sufficient in gas and will not end the UK's dependency on gas imports.  The second shows that, by the time the UK would have the fracking industry up and running, gas consumption should be falling in order to meet targets on carbon emissions.

Both of these reports contradict claims by politicians that fracking is the answer to all the UK's energy needs, but they continue to push this line.  Why should this be?  I think the short answer is 'money'.

Fracking is a dangerous process.  There is a simple explanation of what's involved here.  There are numerous documented side effects of the process, including groundwater contamination, earth tremors and radiation being released into waterways.  It also uses vast quantities of water in a world where water resources are starting to come under pressure.  Research is still ongoing in this area.  However, it does not look like fracking is a clean or safe industry at present, and there have to be questions as to whether this could ever be the case.

Here in the UK, the area I live in has large shale deposits.  Indeed it was site of the original oil industry in Scotland,  So it's going to be a target for the fracking companies.

The UK government plans to allow fracking under people's homes without their permission, something that The Scottish Government has condemned.  The SNP themselves are not the fans of fracking that the UK government seem to be, and would want to see a lot more information before allowing a free-for-all in the extraction of shale gas.  Meantime the UK government have already been selling fracking licences for Scotland.  This will be part of the reason the Scottish Government want powers over fracking to be devolved.

Scotland is rich in energy resources, not just in oil but also in hydro-electric, wind and wave-power.  Given this, it makes no sense for us to be involved in such a dangerous and potentially polluting industry.  It's time for us to make a stand against an industry that is hell-bent on making money regardless of the environmental cost.  Find your local group and get involved.  If you don't have a local group, start one.  Let's put a stop to this before it can ruin Scotland.

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