A report issued by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has urged the government to make it easier for energy companies to begin extracting shale gas in the UK.
According to the Committee, fracking regulations must be simplified in order to allow companies to work out the potential levels of shale accessible across the country.
A number of environmental organisations have opposed the findings and stated that fracking has the potential to contaminate water sources, due to chemicals used in the process.
Lack of public acceptance stalling fracking development
The report highlights the lack of public acceptance regarding fracking and states: “Public concerns must be taken seriously and every possible effort made to reduce or eliminate risk and provide reassurance.”
The Committee believes the risks linked to fracking are unlikely to materialise if the process is carried out properly and suggests developing community benefit schemes to get the public on board. Better communication was also underlined as key to earning the public’s trust.
Steps recommended by the report include the forming of a Committee to push for fracking to be carried out as well as simpler regulations for energy companies looking to frack.
Greenpeace: Fracking is a non-solution
Chief Scientist at Greenpeace UK Doug Parr dismissed the Committee’s call to speed up the fracking process as a “non-solution”.
“The real urgent national priority is to push ahead with the renewable technology and efficiency measures which would much more rapidly address the security issues flagged up by the Ukraine crisis,” said Parr.
“The Lords spent seven months cherry-picking the wafer-thin evidence that fits a foregone conclusion about the benefits of shale gas. This is just more taxpayer-funded cheerleading from unelected politicians who seem all too happy to ignore the country’s legitimate concerns about fracking.”
Parr added that a recent YouGov poll which revealed that three quarters of Brits did not want companies to be able to frack land beneath them without their permission, was indicative of the public’s lack of support.