The end of Fracking?

Cuadrilla site in Lancashire caused an earthquake of magnitude 2.9 in August 2019

Today is one for the history books: the UK government has announced a ban on fracking*

From Balcombe to Blackpool, Sherwood to Ryedale – people power has defeated an industry before it even got off the ground. 1031 days ago, work started at the flagship fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire. Local people and their supporters have been resisting at the gates of that site every single day. Their tenacity has now helped force the government to call a halt to shale gas extraction – or fracking – in England amid fears about earthquakes.

The indefinite suspension comes after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors caused by the practice. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said it may be temporary – imposed “until and unless” extraction is proved safe. She said “We will follow the science and it is quite clear that we can’t be certain. The science isn’t accurate enough to be able to assess the fault lines, the geological studies have been shown to be inaccurate. So therefore, unless and until we can be absolutely certain, we are imposing a moratorium.”

However, scientists say it’s hard to see a time with our current technology that fracking in the UK wouldn’t cause earthquakes.

(Based on articles by and the BBC)

* Fracking: the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.

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