UK avoids fracking ban “disaster”
London – A proposed moratorium on all fracking activities throughout the UK has been voted down by MPs in the UK House of Commons.
The vote ended by 308 against to 52 for a ban on fracking after the Labour opposition decided to not support a moratorium having secured amendments to ensure tighter regulation of the shale gas sector.
Calls for a moratorium had been surprisingly backed by the Environment Audit Committee (EAC), which revived previously aired concerns over the impact fracking on UK ‘carbon’ emissions.
Opponents of a ban argued that it would place the UK at the mercy of overseas energy exporters.
Ineos, the chemicals giant which plans to undertake test drilling for shale gas in the UK, had lambasted the EAC document prior to the vote.
The company argued that the committee “didn’t look hard enough at the massive decline in the UK’s manufacturing base and the country’s desperate need for shale gas to reduce energy costs and revitalise industry”.
Speaking after the vote, Tom Crotty, a director at Ineos, said: A moratorium would have been a “disaster” for the UK.
“This country is running into an energy crisis. We have got very, very low gas supplies and very low storage space. It would not take much to tip us over the edge,” he told City AM.
Other energy industry commentators pointed out that most of the amendments agreed by the government were in line with best practice in the sector and with which the industry “would naturally comply”.
Image source: frack-off.org.uk