The truth about Fracking

Posted: 28/09/2012

The people who have claimed that Fracking will deliver a quick, cheap way of cutting carbon emissions have been proved wrong by the latest analysis which shows none of these claims are true.

Fracking is a method of extracting shale gas from underground deposits by injecting high pressured water, chemicals and sand into shale beds and storing the gas to use as energy. However, it has been proved that this method of extracting gas causes methane to leak into the atmosphere. You can read more about this discovery on Pali’s previous blog HERE & HERE.

The Government are expected to give Fracking the go ahead for shale gas exploitation soon even though their last thoughts on Fracking can be read in Pali’s previous blog, ‘The Government decision on Fracking for the UK.’ which contradicts their latest thoughts.

Many people are simply fizzing with excitement at the prospect of the drilling machines plunging deep holes into the Earths core. These people argue that shale gas has been the cause of the recent cut in carbon emissions in the US due to it replacing coal. They also claim that is it cheaper than coal and they point out there are vast amounts of it under out feet however, they are referring to the US as this statement has not been proven correct.

Lets start with the cut in carbon emissions. Yes, they fell 1.7% in the US according to the International Energy Agency who recorded the drop between 2011 and May 2012. The Fracking backers claim this drop is thanks to the switch from coal to gas in power generation and also an exceptionally mild winter. However, the switch from coal to gas has been driven by falling prices due to large amount of shale gas being produced but new analysis from the US Government energy data by Greenpeace’s Energydesk show that renewable energy has had a larger role than many are expecting in the reduction of carbon emissions in the US. Power generated from wind, hydro electricity and other forms of reneable energy rose by three times the amount of energy produced by coal to 92TWh between 2010 and 11 therefore its not the use of shale gas alone that is reducing the carbon emissions produced by the US.

Now onto the second point, the fans of Fracking also boast that shale gas is going to be cheaper than coal, carbon emissions out of the window as far as they are concerned as money rules the world, right? However, the new report from the Energy Contract Company reported that ‘Shale will not be a ‘cheap’ source of gas and there is unlikely to be a repeat of the US experience.’ There are other companies including the CBI who represent 250,000 UK businesses who do not believe that shale gas will be a cheap form of energy. The Energy Contact Company report proposed that shale gas production may high around about a quarter of the UK’s demand by 2030 whis is the same year the UK has to decarbonise its electricity supply according to the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Committee on climate change!

And finally, let’s talk about what shale gas extraction has done for the US. ‘Over decades the shawl fields in Texas and Wyoming to Marcellus in the Northeast which the federal Government contributed $100 million into the research and development of Fracking and billions more in tax breaks and how the land is a contaminated deserted wasteland. So there you have it, now all you have to do is decide whether you believe the Fracking backers lies of face the truth about Fracking?

If you live on the Wirral, you can read Pali’s previous blog on ‘The future of Fracking on the Wirral’ and you can also read about the extent people will go to to prevent Fracking HERE.

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments Fracking, Government, shale gas
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