Re the fracking debate:
Robert Eggleston, the Lib Dem activist, alleges:
1. “Shale gas is not cheap” How can that be true when the abundant supply of shale gas has halved the cost of gas in the USA. The cost of gas in Europe is now four times as high as in the USA.
2. “Production at shale gas wells falls by around 90% within the 1st year of production”. In fact, 25% of a shale gas well’s gas production emerges in the first year and 50% within four years. Thereafter the output falls very slowly and wells are expected to continue supplying gas for about 30-50 years.
3. “Groundwater and surface water contamination”. However the report Robert cites from the Tyndall Centre on shale gas has been widely criticised for lacking in scientific rigour. Serious questions were raised on the sources for a number of assertions in the Tyndall report and for clarification on their scientific basis.
4. “Methane leakage”. The Tyndall Centre report cites a study from Cornell University regarding methane leaks during fracking and production of shale gas. This study has also been discredited. The study was partly funded by an anti-fracking pressure group.
5. “Increased lorry movements and an industrial landscape”: In the USA, lorries are often needed to supply the water for the initial, brief hydraulic fracking process. However this is unlikely to occur in the UK, where water has so far been taken directly from the mains supply.
Drilling derricks will be few and hard to spot in the rolling landscape.
Each drilling derrick will only stay on site for about a month before being dismantled – to be replaced by gas production ‘Christmas trees’ – small, green pieces of plumbing about the size of a garage or a large garden shed – which are inaudible and will be all but invisible among undulating hills, woods, fields and houses.
6. “Single well requires 9,000 – 29,000 cubic metres per day”.
That is a relatively insignificant figure. Please note that the total water supply for domestic and commercial customers in England and Wales is 14.5 billion cubic metres per day.
7. “Plenty of litigation”. People will be aware that America is one of the world’s most litigious societies, and if there had been serious environmental problems, the industry would surely have been closed down by class actions by now. In fact it is thriving.
In conclusion, with such a large opportunity in a critical resource area, it would surely be irresponsible not to investigate the potential.
Clearly any gas development in the UK must be properly regulated, but the economic and jobs potential for our country is too great to ignore.
UKIP Mid Sussex,
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Weather for Haywards Heath
Saturday 25 May 2013
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