- Carbon dioxide and methane emissions, particularly the potential for increased fugitive methane emissions during drilling compared with drilling for conventional gas
- The volumes of water and chemicals used in fracking and their subsequent disposal
- The possible risk of contaminating groundwater with chemicals used in fracking and the release of subterranean materials
- Competing land use requirements in densely populated areas
- The physical effects of fracking in the form of increased seismic activity
Moreover, as anti-fracking campaigns strengthen, the team suspects that the UK Government may revisit its decision not to treat planning applications for shale gas exploration and development as nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs), which would take the decision to allow fracking out of local authority hands and make it a decision of central government.
Not only is this of grave concern to local people, the development of shale gas reserves seems to be a significant conflict of interest in the light of the government’s purported commitment to “increasing the deployment of renewable energy”, which will supposedly help to “make sure the UK has a secure supply of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change” and to “stimulate investment in new jobs and businesses”.
Wind turbines, tidal surge generators, solar farms and other all have their opponents for ecological, aesthetic and many other reasons too, but the industry of fracking has no claim to sustainability in energy terms nor in regard to it simply adding to our atmospheric carbon burden and forcing climate change, nor can its industrial scale implementation across the country be anything but an anti-aesthetic option.
Jones, P., Hillier, D. and Comfort, D. (2015) ‘The contested future of fracking for shale gas in the UK: risk, reputation and regulation’, World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp.377–390.
The trouble with fracking is a post from: David Bradley's Science Spot
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