The fracking ban has been lifted in England as the Government pushes for an increase in domestic energy production in the face of soaring bills. The controversial move to end the moratorium, which was imposed in 2019 after tremors caused by fracking in Lancashire, has been announced by the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. She says that this could get gas flowing from onshore shale wells in as little as six months,
Fracking was originally pushed to the forefront by David Cameron as a way to boost domestic production, after the British Geological Survey estimated that some 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas could lie underneath the UK. It was said at that time that if only one tenth of that amount is extracted, it could potentially meet the UK’s gas needs for decades.
But fracking – the process used to extract shale gas, pioneered in the US – was banned in England three years ago on safety grounds after Cuadrilla caused earth tremors far stronger than it had anticipated near Blackpool.
The resumption of fracking is likely to trigger a major row with green campaigners, who have previously vowed legal action against any attempt to resume the practice. But Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new Business Secretary, said the changes, along with other long-term reforms, would ‘resolve the underlying problems in the energy market and ensure the British people enjoy affordable and plentiful energy in future.’