UK Government to give green light to mass exploration for shale gas. ‘Fracking’ exploration could affect 60 per cent of UK, despite safety fears.

More than 60 per cent of the British countryside could be exploited for shale gas, government documents show, as ministers prepare to give the go-ahead for developing the country’s most significant new energy source since North Sea oil.

The Independent understands that Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, will soon end the current moratorium on shale gas production, which was put in place after fracking caused two small earthquakes near Blackpool in 2011.

Official response

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“Fracking ‘exploitation’ report dismissed by energy department

The energy department has dismissed a report that “60% of the UK countryside could be exploited” for fracking, the controversial gas extraction method.”

The politics of this are relatively interesting. The Energy Dept in Britain is run by the Liberal Democrats, as part of the Conservative – Lib Dem coalition, who tend to be environmentalist, pro renewable energy and anti fossil fuels, whereas the Conservatives tend to be the opposite. But there are also Conservative ministers in the Dept., and one of them came out strongly against wind turbines the other week. So there’s probably a bit of a tug of war going on within the government about this.


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