To Frack, or Not to Frack?

posted 15.08.2013

 Well this does certainly seem to be a question on many lips at the moment… fracking has created quite a stir with opinion largely divided on the now some what controversial plans to use fracking as a solution to Britain’s energy needs.

For those not aware fracking is the process of drilling into the earth, sending a high pressure water and chemical mix into the ground which in turn releases oil and gas from fractures exposed in shale rock.

[caption id="attachment_5421" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Diagram of Fracking"][/caption]

So why has fracking created such polarised opinion? A number of concerns have been highlighted surrounding the process, these include potential contamination of ground water caused by the liquid mix pumped into the rocks, and some suggesting these chemicals are carcinogenic in nature. Another concern is the sheer volume of water required in the process which obviously needs transporting to the site of the activity. It also appears that the fracking can cause minor earth tremors; this was witnessed in fracking tests near Blackpool where tremors of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude were largely believed to have been caused by local fracking tests. The final concern being that the use of fracking will ultimately move focus away from investment in renewable energy, instead encouraging a continued reliance on fossil fuels.

The counter argument however has been led by David Cameron who has publically supported fracking in the UK and called for more public support. The Prime Minister dismissed environmental concerns and believes in a regulated landscape that any negative environmental concerns could be managed with only “very minor changes to the landscape”. Mr Cameron also dismissed that fracking would become a distraction from renewable energy sources arguing that they would become part of a mix of energy sources providing Britain’s future energy needs.

He also stated that fracking had massive potential to drive down energy bills, as has been witnessed in the U.S. where fracking is widely hailed as the driving factor which has seen reduced energy bills for households and businesses. Mr Cameron stated that it would be “making a big mistake” if Britain did not give serious consideration to fracking.

So for the time being at least opinion will remain split on the subject, we would love to hear your thoughts on fracking whether you believe that fracking is the key to Britains future energy needs or an environmental disaster waiting to happen?

Category: Employment, general, in the news