Acknowledging that the United States is far more advanced than the UK in pushing ahead with using fracking techniques to extract gas from shale, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, insisted that the threat of earthquakes was being exaggerated and that there would no question of gas coming out of water taps.
The Prime Minister was speaking from Darwen in Lancashire where the Energy company, Quadrilla, has licences to explore for shale gas which can be extracted by the hydraulic process of fracturing rocks so that they release methane. Mr. Cameron said that there are ‘some myths we’ve got to dispel’ as ‘nothing’s going to happen in this country unless it’s environmentally safe’. He continued, ‘there will be very clear environmental procedures’.
The Prime Minister was speaking in response to demonstrations which have taken place not only in Lancashire but also on the outskirts of the village of Balcombe in West Sussex. The ‘Frack Off’ movement has now gone national, with nearly fifty local campaigns demonstrating against the dangers of fracking for gas. Last month a Communities and Local Government document highlighted sixteen ways in which fracking could cause problems, including flooding, subsidence, soil contamination and visual intrusion.
In the United States, where there are approximately 10,000 shale gas wells extracting gas, it has had the effect of lowering industrial, commercial and domestic gas prices to a point where it is beginning to have a positive effect on growth within the economy. Prime Minister, David Cameron wants the same effect in the UK but opponents of fracking are worried that the commercial gains are not worth the disruption to people’s lives. This is in spite of the fact that investing in more green energy schemes such as wind and wave power will almost certainly mean higher energy bills for hard pressed householders.
The Government feels that it is doing enough to help reduce carbon emissions and other ‘greenhouse’ gases which are being blamed for global warming, with schemes such as the Green Deal and the ECO Affordable Warmth Scheme. Whilst the Green Deal has not been as successful as was hoped, the Eco Affordable Warmth Scheme has created massive demand for free gas central heating boilers and improved insulation for qualifying households. Under the Eco Affordable Warmth initiative, private householders receiving certain state benefits who have inefficient and faulty gas central heating boilers can have a free boiler installed using ECO funding.
If you think you may qualify for a free boiler, please complete the online application form on this website and someone will call you back to arrange a survey.