Fracking for shale gas regulations sufficient

adminBusiness Gas, International, Utilities Market Regulation

A report published by the European Commission has declared that the current rules regarding fracking for shale gas are sufficient

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The controversial new method of extracting gas by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of rocks deep below the Earth’s surface is already covered by existing water and drilling regulations, and no new rules are needed until the technology reaches a commercial scale, the report says.

An article in The Guardian today notes that there are already four different highly complex regulatory frameworks that apply to shale gas. Here they are, with links to the official pages:

  1. EU Water Framework Directive
  2. EU Groundwater Directive
  3. Mining Waste Directive
  4. Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals (REACH) (HSE)

While fracking is controversial, and there have been suggestions it could pollute the water table and cause minor earthquakes, the fact remains that to discover more about it, we must continue to explore the possibilities around it. That means fracking and drilling, and not placing restrictive new rules that would be tantamount to banning the technology before it is even developed.

We’ve already seen the price of gas double in the UK in the last couple of years, as we import more and more from outside the UK, at much higher rates.

Shale gas may not turn out the be the miracle many people think it is, but the world seems to be waking up to the fact that wind turbines and solar panels will not power the world now or in the future, and shale certainly seems like an area we should be encouraging more investment in, rather than discouraging or trying to ban it.