The Growth and Infrastructure Bill, currently going through the House of Lords could give shale gas the go-ahead faster than expected.
Shale Gas is the reason many parts of the U.S. are seeing their economy boom.
Energy prices have halved in some areas, as their planning and drilling regulations have allowed shale exploration to progress to commercial extraction and sale in just 3 or 4 years.
The UK however, has different laws that determine who owns the gas deposits.
In the U.S, the landowner owns the gas below their land, and can grant permission to drill to private companies. In the U.K, it is owned and controlled by the state.
But now there are fears that the government will override local planning regulations, if it deems shale exploration as of “national significance”.
When are we going to start fracking in the UK?
Energy companies are currently trying to get planning permission to start drilling in Lancashire, where large shale gas reserves have been reported by Cuadrilla Resources.
This is the same company that admitted up to 50 earthquakes were most likely caused by hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’ as it is known.
Back in January we wrote an article discussing whether we may see a shale gas revolution in the UK soon, concluding that it will take many years minimum for shale reserves to come online.
In the UK, we are relying more and more on expensive imported gas, are about to mothball 5 coal plants to comply with the Climate Change Act, and have failed to significantly upgrade any of our nuclear reactors for decades.
We are losing the ability to power our own economy.
Shale gas has actually helped the US to lower their carbon emissions to 1994 levels, as gas is replacing ‘dirtier’ coal in the fuel mix, but many seem opposed to it simply because it is a fossil fuel.
Shale gas is cheap, abundant and much cleaner than burning coal or oil to make electricity. Surely this is a ‘win-win’ situation for all involved? Join the debate on twitter or in the comments below.