According to the BBC, a Commons committee is pushing ministers to support plans to start Shale gas drilling in the UK.
This support comes as there have been environmental issues related to shale gas extraction in the US, with some claims of tap water becoming contaminated and igniting, but the committee says these issues can be overcome by tight regulations and good industry practise.
MP’s have said the government would need to keep an eye on the industry to ensure water was not polluted and that excessive amounts of greenhouse emissions were not produced.
Should we really invest in an industry that seems to have so many issues associated with it? Would Shale gas extracting be a good investment to help with the government’s ‘Green deal’? To me it seems there needs to be a lot more research into how safe this gas is to extract and any adverse effects it may have!
However, one benefit from the UK drilling would be a global reduction in gas prices, especially when the US and China have masses of the gas to source and are currently extracting and using shale gas in areas. If we jump on board with the US and China it could then mean more countries will favour gas over coal.
This sounds good, we are all continually looking for cheaper energy bills (as I always harp on about), but is this going to detract investment in renewable energy, an area that is in need of investment!
Some local communities are embracing the idea, believing it will bring local riches and energy independence, which would be ideal.
Tim Yeo MP said “We can’t see any evidence that UK water supplies might be at risk from shale gas – if it is done properly.”
I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but he doesn’t sound too convincing, are the risks bigger than the benefits?
The BBC article goes on to say how a Cornell University warned that methane leaks from wells could be so high that shale gas drilling may warm the atmosphere at a higher rate than coal, meaning more problems for the human quest to reduce global warming.
What makes me more sceptical about the idea is that France is in the process of banning shale gas production and Poland is in a major industrial debate on whether to use it or not. Nobody seems sure about shale gas drilling, which says a lot for me!
I think the general consensus from my research is that shale gas drilling is a bad idea, but what do you think? Drop us a comment…