Cuadrilla, the shale gas extraction organisation, has been given the thumbs up to start hydraulic fracturing, located at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire. Ministers have commented, stating that they are satisfied Cuadrilla have met all fracking permit requirements.
Claire Perry, energy minister, said that a potential new energy source could have been found through shale gas extraction. This is the first time fracking permission has been granted since news regulations were put in place. These new regulations come after previous drilling was the cause of two minor earthquakes on another site close by.
This new shale gas extraction project is offering both local and national benefits through the creation of jobs that are high quality. Ministers ensure that this shale gas extraction will maintain the high environmental standards expected of Cuadrilla, and that conditions have been assessed by appropriate governing bodies, including the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive.
This decision, made by the government, goes against recommendations made by National Infrastructure Commissions, who advised that “the UK cannot achieve its emissions targets while relying on natural gas”. Fracking has now been suspended in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, meaning England is the only place where fracking is available to carry out. The fracking is said the begin at the Lancashire site in the late August, early September.
Ginger Energy believe, whilst there is a clear need to wean Britain off its dependency on expensive imported energy there is also a responsibility to ensure that the environmental impact of this does not outweigh any benefit. Other European countries, including Scotland, have banned fracking as there is concern regarding seismic activity and water contamination. Without further research, which this approval can loosely be called, there is no solid way of knowing the impact or even how much of the huge gas reserves identified can be extracted.