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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Issue 2. Shale gas exploitation has to be started now if we are to reap its benefits

No. There is no evidence pointing to our immediate need to exploit this resource. Indeed, waiting to exploit the resource has benefits.
  • Waiting invokes implicitly the precautionary principle - we may benefit from the  experience of other countries - already we have learned what not to do from the experience in the USA. Some EU member states such as France and the Czech Republic have already declared moratoria on shale gas exploitation, following this approach.
  • Waiting allows the technology to be developed to a greater extent - such developments will make exploitation easier, cheaper and safer for the environment.
  • In a hydrocarbon hungry world the market for gas will not contract - indeed, it is likely that the price of gas will rise with time, making the resource more attractive for the developer and more desired by the general public as time progresses.
The UK government wants to exploit shale gas now as it sees shale gas as a quickly implemented route to job expansion, tax revenue, energy security and growth in the current financially difficult era. The question is whether granny’s legacy should be used now or sometime in the future when it may be more needed.

Why Dash for Gas when a progressive continuous development with open eyes, consultation and robust UK regulation might be beneficial for all.

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