Fracking for gas gets go-ahead despite environmental fears
Idea that gas fields location Blackpool will become UK’s 'Dallas' dismissed as a "dangerous fantasy"
THE CONTROVERSIAL process of fracking for shale gas been given the go-ahead by the government after the Energy and Climate secretary Ed Davey lifted a suspension on the practice.
The process, which involves shattering rocks to release natural gas, was halted after it caused two minor earthquakes in Lancashire last year.
Davey was adamant that the process should continue as part of the government’s plan to produce more UK-sourced energy, claiming the gas should replace "dirty coal".
He told The Daily Telegraph: "I know there are some people who think this is a bad environmental decision but I think they're wrong. Do they want to see more home-grown gas or more imported gas?"
The company involved, Cuadrilla Resources, will now be able to resume its operations near Blackpool, with new controls guarding against the risk of mini-earthquakes.
When Cuadrilla first announced its fracking operations, writer Colin Brown suggested on The Week that Blackpool could become a boom town as a result of the influx of jobs and money into the down-at-heel resort.
However, Greenpeace's energy campaigner Leila Deen condemned the go-ahead for fracking. "George Osborne's dream of building Dallas in Lancashire is a dangerous fantasy," she told The Guardian. "He is not JR Ewing and this is not the US. Pinning the UK's energy hopes on an unsubstantiated, polluting fuel is a massive gamble and consumers and the climate will end up paying the price."
Davey's announcement came on the same day that the government's climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, said that pursuing a gas-focused energy strategy would see average household bills rise by £600 in coming decades, rather than rising by £100 if the UK concentrated on renewable energy.