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Fracking Won't Increase UK Emissions

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The chief scientific advisor to Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change released a report Monday that shows fracking will not increase the country’s emissions. The report was released to help Cameron’s administration make the case for taking advantage of the UK’s 1,300+ trillion cubic feet of shale gas. Vehement green protests are stalling exploratory well drilling, but the government is now trying to steer the debate back to the facts, pointing out that shale gas is less carbon intensive than importing liquified natural gas or burning coal. To the extent that it replaces those energy sources, it can be considered green. Reuters reports:

“Our study indicates that shale gas, if properly regulated, is likely to have a greenhouse gas footprint no worse than the other fossil fuels that society currently depends on,” the chief scientific adviser, David Mackay, said. […]

The chief scientific adviser’s report also suggested that shale gas exploration in Britain should not hinder the country’s ability to meet its climate change targets.

Britain’s energy secretary Edward Davey explained that, with the release of the report, he hopes to “make the calm, rational, objective case for shale gas exploration in the UK.” The rest of Europe should take note: this is how you win a fracking PR debate. NIMBY-ism and green imaginings of how the world should work don’t stack up to the environmental, national security, and economic benefits that fracking can bring.

[Oil rig image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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