Hydraulic Fracturing, or 'Fracking', has been the subject of vigorous debate in the UK media during recent years, and At a local level, interest has been heightened by the granting of exploration licences in the Audlem area (see AudlemOnline news item on 20th August 2015 and more on National News channels on 20th May 2016)
ADAPT's Energy Group have discussed the technology at its meetings, and the following paragraphs were agreed as representing the view of the Group in early 2016.
- ADAPT has serious concern that the technology is being used by government as a reason to dilute its emphasis on renewable energy, particularly in light of government announcements during the last year with their disappointing renewable energy commitments.
- Fracking is a technology which is aimed at providing access to more fossil fuels, which when burnt give rise to emissions associated with climate change. The carbon budgets underpinning the government's target of 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 rely upon aggressive and urgent decarbonising of electricity production and other carbon reduction measures. Furthermore the longer term carbon neutrality objective contained in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will almost eliminate the use of fossil fuels without carbon capture and storage by the end of the century. Against this background, promoting and supporting a new fossil fuel exploration and production technology is a step in the wrong direction in the battle to slow down climate change.
- In addition to views relating to climate change, the Group is concerned about a widespread uptake of the technology without limited and tightly controlled pilot schemes, to establish whether the risks associated with pollution, ground water contamination and geological destabilization can be managed successfully. This was felt to be particularly pertinent in light of the inconsistent geology of the UK.
In light of the above, ADAPT is NOT in agreement with the current government's support of fracking in the UK.
The recent ( May 16) announcement that council officials in Yorkshire have backed plans to allow fracking is a step in the wrong direction.