The debate over hydraulic fracturing of shale beds has caused huge controversy in the USA for half a decade. In the UK however, the debate has ignited fairly recently and since the coalition’s decision to restart exploration, the rhetoric is set to get even hotter.
With the promise of lower gas prices and greater energy independence to offset dwindling North Sea oil reserves, it is understandable that the government and energy sector are chomping at the bit to get the gas flowing. However, the potential environmental impact of the process is becoming more and more worrying to many. Further, it is far from clear that fracking will ever be economically viable in Britain, as it is in the United States.