As part of a package of reforms aimed at boosting the UK’s energy security new PM Liz Truss has pledged to lift a three-year ban on fracking for shale gas in England.
The current moratorium was imposed in 2019 after activity at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool caused an earth tremor measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale. A subsequent report from the Oil and Gas Authority warned that it was not possible at the time to accurately predict the probability of fracking-induced earthquakes.
The government is yet to release details of a British Geological Survey report commissioned earlier this year by the then business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng which has explored whether the science has moved on since 2019.
Announcing the latest plans shortly after taking office, Truss claimed that fracking operations could be delivering supplies of shale gas within six months. This is despite Kwasi Kwarteng – now chancellor of exchequer - recently claiming that it would take up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes of gas. Former PM Boris Johnson had also questioned whether fracking would ever play a significant role in the UK’s energy mix.
Meanwhile, independent advisors – including chair of the National Infrastructure commission, Sir John Armitt, have warned that the UK’s shale gas reserves are too small to bring down energy bills, whilst environmental campaigners say the plans will only add to the climate emergency and devastate large areas of the English countryside.
In last week’s poll we asked for your views on this latest twist in the UK fracking saga. Do you think Liz Truss is right to lift the current ban, or should it remain in place?
If you support fracking in the UK what’s convinced you that it’s safe to do so? And what’s persuaded you that the resource could help meet our energy needs? If you’re opposed to it, where would you like to see investment directed instead?
Whatever your take on the topic, we’d love to hear from you (so long as you adhere to our comment guidelines)