If fracking is to happen in the UK, let it benefit the whole country

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Fracking will involve a industrialising the countryside, b the risk of various forms of pollution to air, water and the natural environment, c an excuse for a delay in the decarbonisation of electricity. It might, possibly, provide a a secure source of energy for a generation, b tax revenues, c a lower-carbon source of energy than coal to ease the passage to power generated entirely by renewables.Cuadrilla announces two new Lancashire fracking sitesYesterday, 12:34pmOpinion is already hardening around the extremes. In the north-west of England, where Cuadrilla announced two new fracking sites yesterday, test drilling has been going on for years; some actual fracking licences have been granted, and the anti-fracking campaign is now well rooted. In the home counties, where rolling green acres and leafy villages sit on top of thousands of square miles of shale gas, there is a cordial alliance developing between the travelling green campaigners and the settled house-and-garden owners who don’t want trucks on their lanes and flares lighting up the night sky.The frackers’ friends face Herculean labours. A partnership between the oil companies with their questionable record on environmental protection and a Conservative government that talks dismissively of “green crap” and promises the fracking companies the most generous tax regime ever tends to undermine its own credibility. When baseless claims are made about shale gas delivering the kind of low-cost energy bonus the US is experiencing – it won’t because, unlike the US, British gas prices are locked into a Europe-wide system – and communities are offered bribes to let fracking take place, the developers could be forgiven for wishing their cheerleaders would pipe down.

via If fracking is to happen in the UK, let it benefit the whole country | Anne Perkins.

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