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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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MARK GLOVER: Any suggestion that fracking will bring down our energy bills is pie in the sky

Business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg officially announced the lifting of the ban on fracking on Thursday (22)

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This week the Government lifted a ban on fracking.

Fracking in the UK has been a controversial subject within local communities and amongst MPs due to its association with minor earthquakes.

Business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg officially announced the lifting of the ban on Thursday (22)

He told MPs that opposition to fracking is based around “hysteria” and the public not understanding the Richter scale for seismic activity.

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Mark Glover is a trustee at Gedling Conservation Trust, who manage Netherfield Lagoons Nature Reserve. He shared his thoughts with Gedling Eye on the lifting of the ban and the dangers it poses to the environment…

All those who care about the environment welcomed the manifesto pledge by the Conservatives in 2019 not to lift England’s moratorium on fracking unless it was scientifically proven to be safe.

It is not.

Allowing fracking to go ahead would also threaten this country’s ability to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

British Geological Survey review into its safety was commissioned by the government but has refused so far to publish it.

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We are in the midst of a climate emergency and only speedy and significant action can now prevent a global disaster. We are already witnessing extreme weather events that have killed countless people already this year alone.

Fossil fuels (including gas from fracking) have to stay in the ground to prevent an increase in the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

In addition to directly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, fracking can cause groundwater pollution, air pollution, surface water pollution as well as earthquakes.

Leaky pipes can also see the release of methane directly into the atmosphere, a gas which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Despite all this, the Prime Minister is tearing up the 2019 manifesto pledge and her minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has said fracking was in the national interest and would make the country richer. He accused opponents of fracking as being “luddites”. 

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Any suggestion that fracking will bring down our energy bills is pie in the sky as any gas from fracking would be sold to the highest bidder, which could be from another country and the economic case for fracking is fatally flawed. Chris Cornelius, the founder of fracking company Quadrilla has called the latest government announcement a ‘political gesture’.

He told the Guardian newspaper the geology of the UK was unsuited to large-scale fracking operations. “No sensible investors” would take the risk of embarking on large projects here”, he added. 

Cabinet ministers, including Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have expressed opposition to fracking in the past. He told the Daily Mail earlier this year “Even if we lifted the fracking moratorium tomorrow, it would take up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes – and it would come at a high cost for communities and our precious countryside.”

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The environmental and economic arguments are clear. Allowing fracking in this country would be a shocking dereliction of duty, particularly when there are other fantastic opportunities to expand on our green energy generation by investing in technologies that have a greater prospect of success including geothermal energy and tidal power.

Spotted something? Got a story? Email our newsdesk news@gedlingeye.co.uk

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3 COMMENTS

  1. You have to have a viable short term energy supply to give us breathing space until green alternatives . We simply cannot store enough electricity in batteries to give us security of energy supply. To do nothing means taking us back to the dark ages.
    To simply say there are green alternatives shows they have no understanding of the electricity supply industry.

  2. The bunch of rank incompetents lying their way through twelve years in power have had pleny of time to act on this. They did absolutely nothing. So now, yet again, they refuse all responsibilty in order to cobble together their usual ill-thought-out, desperate, scattershot and totally inadequate response
    Stop defending the indefensible

    • They did do something. They built lots of useless windmills, and this problem goes much deeper than the 12 years Tory government. Twenty years ago we should have been buildiing more Nuclear power stations. This just illustrates all that is wrong with our system. The politicians are only interested in the short term, and kick problems down the road so the next lot in can deal with them.

      We should get fracking, but it will take years to get it going.

      Too late. We need a long term government capable of the long view.

      Our entire system has failed.

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