Fracking in UK national parks allowed in 'exceptional circumstances'

Jul 28, 2014

Fracking will be allowed in British national parks in "exceptional circumstances", according to government guidelines announced on Monday as new bidding for exploration licenses opens.

The extraction of shale gas through the controversial technique in , and areas of outstanding natural beauty would only be granted in "exceptional circumstances", ministers said.

The Conservative-led government is keen to encourage the extraction of , arguing it will improve Britain's energy security, boost the economy and create jobs.

"The new guidance published today will protect Britain's great National Parks and outstanding landscapes, building on the existing rules that ensure operational best practices are implemented and robustly enforced," business and energy minister Matthew Hancock said.

But opponents are concerned that the high-pressure injection of water risks polluting water supplies, damaging the environment and causing minor earthquakes, and say further fossil fuels should not be extracted due to climate change.

Daily newspaper The Telegraph described the move as a bid to "head off anger" among Conservative voters in rural areas of Britain ahead of a 2015 general election.

Germany is considering outlawing hydraulic fracturing until 2021 due to public concerns it could damage the environment, according to policy proposals seen by AFP earlier this month.

Explore further: Researchers find greenhouse gas emissions from shale gas similar to that for conventional natural gas

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU issues framework for shale gas exploitation

Jan 22, 2014

The European Commission issued Wednesday recommendations to ensure that clear environmental safeguards are in place when the controversial technique of "fracking" is used to tap shale gas reserves.

Brussels says no plans for EU-wide shale gas ban

Jul 16, 2013

The European Union has no plans to impose a blanket ban on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial shale gas extraction method, but it will lay out rules to address environmental concerns, a top EU official ...

Recommended for you

Big changes in the Sargasso Sea

9 hours ago

Over one thousand miles wide and three thousand miles long, the Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seawee ...

Water-quality trading can reduce river pollution

10 hours ago

Allowing polluters to buy, sell or trade water-quality credits could significantly reduce pollution in river basins and estuaries faster and at lower cost than requiring the facilities to meet compliance costs on their own, ...

Managing land into the future

14 hours ago

Food production is the backbone of New Zealand's economy—and a computer modelling programme designed by a Victoria University of Wellington academic is helping ensure that farming practices here and overseas ...

User comments : 0