Extracting shale gas by fracking – should we be doing it?

Energy Alton recently held an open discussion on the benefits and risks of extracting shale gas by fracking.  A summary of the discussion and Energy Alton’s position is here Shale Gas Statement EA March 2017

A very useful briefing, drawing on independent academic and expert literature is here http://www.cieh.org/Policy/Shale_Gas_and_Fracking.html

Energy Alton’s statement acknowledges the serious concern about energy prices and, especially, energy security, during the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable sources of energy.  It may be safer and less disruptive to import natural gas rather than mine shale gas in the UK, although some of the regimes we import gas from are at times unstable.

The main risks of fracking are the need for vast quantities of water for the fracking process and the possible contamination of groundwater from spills.

Shale gas is a fossil fuel.  The government’s substantial investment in shale gas extraction diverts investment and research away from renewable energy alternatives at a critical time for the prevention of cataclysmic climate change.  The Government and local communities should do all we can to reduce demand for energy, through more energy-efficient housing and transport and encouraging appropriate lifestyle changes, so that we can replace fossil fuels as soon as possible – and not rely on the extraction of shale gas.