Green light for fracking

The first fracking scheme in five years has been approved by councillors in Yorkshire despite vociferous protest from environmental campaigners and local residents.

British company, Third Energy, has won the right to extract shale gas near the North York Moors national park. This decision represents a significant victory for Britain’s shale gas industry and provides a strong precedent for the number of shale gas extraction sites seeking approval in the months ahead.

Fracking, which involves pumping liquid deep underground at high pressure to fracture rocks and release trapped gas, is a controversial technique that critics claim will contaminate water supplies, cause earthquakes and do little to reduce the UK’s love of fossil fuels. However, those who are supportive of fracking argue that it will make us less reliant on foreign energy (think Russia, for example) and will boost the economy through  job creation. It will also enable George Osborne to claim that the Conservatives are ‘rebalancing the economy’.

Take a look at the BBC sites below outlining some of the controversies surrounding fracking:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36370320

This is useful for Unit 3A: UK Political Issues. Students need to be familiar with the politics of energy production and should be able to produce arguments for and against the use of a range of energy sources, including coal, nuclear and wind.

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