Susan Murray really shouldn’t blame Norman Baker for a supposed U-turn on the question of
fracking when, in fact the LibDems have been turning complete circles on energy policy since they became members of the coalition from, at the beginning, Chris Cuhne no fossil fuels, no nuclear power and yes to all things renewable.
But then no party had a firm policy before fracking for shale gas became significant following its exploitation in the US and the effect on energy prices there.
From her comments on “the highly dangerous process of fracking”, it is pretty obvious her research is based, in my words, on the controversial films Gasland and Gasland Part II.
I suggest she reads the independent report, commissioned by the Government, on Hydraulic Fractionating by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering into its safety.
The conclusion was that it posed no risks providing their recommendations were met.
From my knowledge of working in the oil industry up to 1973, most of these are covered for well drilling on and off-shore by the UK Health and Safety Executive regulations which are recognised as the strictest in the world (he would say that wouldn’t he).
She could also read the State of Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation report on fracking which covers the areas selected by the Gasland documentaries and grit her teeth and check what Cuadrilla has to say on the matter. All of the above are easily accessed on the internet which readers may find informative.
Just one point of interest on the fractionating fluid, the general reported content is 99.5% water
with sand and 0.5% approved additives, Cuadrilla report 99.7% and 0.3 %. The additives are also approved and regulated and are not carcinogenic. So much for “a secret mix of toxic substances” and how can she know the mix if it is secret?
To understand and have some idea of the various aspects of this method, I found it a hard slog but it is the only way. Spokesmen of any of the political parties only tell you what they have been told.
The pragmatic French can ban fracking, they don’t need it with all their nuclear power. The Germans however have a different view.
They have just commissioned a new additional coal fired power station and are scheduled to build many more through to 2020 and the cheap coal is being imported from the US who have plenty available due to their shale gas success.
Readers, you don’t have to believe me because I told you but there is plenty of opportunity to check if you can spare the time.
Recently on television the new leader of the Green Party was challenged on the fact that wind
turbine output was intermittent, her answer so is demand.