Shale gas fracking wasted ‘millions of taxpayers’ cash’, say scientists

(The Guardian, 3 Nov 2019) Scientists say research on carbon capture was always better environmental option.

Ministers have been condemned for wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in a failed attempt to introduce fracking to the UK. The bid also cost the nation a decade of effort that should have been expended on other, more environmentally friendly energy projects, scientists and activists claimed yesterday.

The criticisms were made in the wake of the government’s decision on Friday to impose a moratorium on fracking in the UK. A review published by the Oil and Gas Authority concluded it was impossible to predict the likelihood or scale of earthquakes triggered by fracking.

The moratorium leaves the government with an option to restart fracking in future years. However, many critics believe the technology is not suitable for the UK.

“Fracking is utterly incompatible with our aims of ending the burning of fossil fuels in this country in a couple of decades,” said geologist Professor Stuart Haszeldine, of Edinburgh University. “Pursuing the technology of fracking while embracing the concept of having a carbon-free society is an example of national schizophrenia. It has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. It has also wasted a decade when we should have been pursuing other goals.

One such aim should have been the development of the technology of carbon capture and storage which would involve carbon dioxide being captured, liquefied and stored underground in old mines or depleted oil reservoirs, added Haszeldine. “We have lost significant leads in developing this technology over the past decade when we should have been pursuing them energetically. Instead we have wasted our time on fracking projects.”

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The Guardian, 3 Nov 2019: Shale gas fracking wasted ‘millions of taxpayers’ cash’, say scientists