July 2nd 2012
The risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas are low, as long as it is regulated. This seems to be the conclusion of a joint report released last week by The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering who say the technique is safe if firms follow best practice and rules are enforced.
There has been mixed opinions about fracking, after the gas extraction method triggered two earth tremors near Blackpool last year. According to experts, it should not cause earthquakes or contaminate water but the rules governing it will need to be tightened. Exploratory fracking is currently being proposed in at least seven sites across the UK.
Prof. Robert Mair from Cambridge University and the report’s chair said, “Our main conclusions are that the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing for shale can be safely managed provided there is best practice observed and provided it’s enforced through strong regulation”.