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« Giving FOI officers a break | Main | UK Conference of Science Journalists »

Green light for fracking

The joint report of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering has given the green light to fracking going ahead in the UK.

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society said in a report published on Friday that the UK's current regulatory systems were sufficient for shale gas fracking if they were adequately enforced, but also said that closer monitoring of shale gas exploration sites should be put in place, in order to ensure their safety.

Guardian report here.

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Reader Comments (28)

The BBC are reporting on this on R4. You would expect a business and energy related journalist to undertake the reporting, no this is the Beeb, it falls to our old friend Mr Black who concentrates on the environmental side.

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lord B,

What was the general gist of the report? I avoid the BBC like common sense avoids climate scientists.

Was it all "frakking causes earth quakes" and is the forerunner to the end of the world?



Jun 29, 2012 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Typical biased reporting from G******** and B**. There have been 16 bouts of seismic activity around the UK & Ireland in the last 50 days. As far as the anti frakkers are concerned, this is the activity that dare not speak its name!

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Registered Commenterperry

perry, just look at the photo the grauniad uses - dark storm clouds.
Of course when there's an article about wind power, the sun is always shining.

The headline reported on BBC R4 this morning was that fracking is safe as long as the correct procedures are followed.

The Telegraph goes with Fracking should go ahead in Britain, report says. But they have dark storm clouds too.

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Some amusing comments to the Guardian piece, and a possible shift in the party line? Formerly 'progressives' sneered at the denying classes for believing that many climate scientists were mere grant and fee seekers, the prog view being that scientists were noble and impartial pursuers of truth, suddenly scientists seem to be just b******* who want to be banker-rich and will say any old thing to get there. Strange?

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

It looks to me as if the BBC has been backing away from its political support for the attack on the libving standards of the population.

Thus today on News 24 there was a report about a Premier League footballer living on the income of a young job seeker.

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Looks like there IS fracking consensus. Sorry Donna!

Jun 29, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Who is this numpty and where does he get his "facts"?

Tony Bosworth, energy campaigner at the environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth, said: "The government's obsession with shale gas is completely misguided. Overwhelmingly the public want more of their electricity powered by our sun, wind and waves."


Jun 29, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Thats OK then. Because fracture stimulation has been going on in the North Sea for nearly 50 years now. I think Mobil did the first frac job in the Southern Gas Basin in the mid 60's.

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterPharos


Can't see any reference to dropping household fuel bills or gas prices in America but hey at least he is having to report that it has been given the go ahead.

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"energy campaigner" is I think newspeak for "salaried press officer" , implying some selfless act for the public good.

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLondon Calling

Paul Matthews (8:50AM)

That was a brilliant short lecture in media analysis. Thank you, sir.

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Trust an engineer to get it right...whilst still covering his ars* :-)

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

I see that the ghastly Josh Fox of GasLand infamy is stirring it again.

I suspect that he's got a fat budget from the usual suspects to auteur-up a new magnum opus.

can't wait - tut.. OK..... I can - 'till hell freezes over.

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomO

Good now perhaps they will extract the digit and gas some gas.

Jun 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Not so fast!

"Government must resist dash for gas"

Jun 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Interestingly - despite falling fuel prices, E.on have promised me a price rise on both my gas and electricity supplies when I come to renew my contract in August..
and the explanation is....?

Jun 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I was at the Committee on Climate Change report launch this morning. One of the panelists suggested that if fugitive methane emissions from the fracking process are more than 3% then the carbon performance of shale gas is worse than coal. It was heavily implied that the carbon emissions from the extraction process could be used as justification for limiting the use of shale gas.

Jun 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJH

Black's weaselly use of a picture

Jun 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

I know that the BBC has its own agenda but I am genuinely surprised that it lets Black (or perhaps it's a sub-editor who should be to blame) away with such blatantly biased reporting. Whatever the tone of the actual report, the photograph illustrated makes a controversial political (l/c 'p') statement about a matter of genuine public interest and as such, I would have thought, is in breach of the BBC charter.

Jun 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I thought Black's article was remarkably balanced compared to the rest that he has written over the last few years. Harrabin's was much more true to the form I have come to expect from the BBC's environment activists. Is this the first signs of a schism? Perhaps Black has realised the AGW game is up and is stealing a march on his colleagues and positioning himself for a new age.

Jun 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

JH: all the claimed climate sensitivities for GHGs are highly exaggerated. this is because the claimed 33 K present GHG warming is really ~ 9K with the rest lapse rate. Also, it appears that thermalisation is indirect and this simply causes clouds to have increased buoyancy, accelerating precipitation, the probable mechanism underlying Miskolczi's constant IR optical depth.

So no CH2-AGW.....

Jun 29, 2012 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Ref Mike Jackson and others. The BBC have hardly changed their agenda. Notice over the last couple of days how they have been bashing the British banks, softening up the public for the big sell of integrating British banks into a pan-European banking system as it is now emerging from EU behind the scenes talks. Did they have prior knowledge?

Jun 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered Commentercarol smith

Some of the greenie comments on that Guardian piece are frighteningly stupid. They clearly live on a diet of alarmist propaganda which they accept uncritically.

At least some of them must be paid shills - they can't be as technophobic as they claim while using a computer to post to an internet site.

The "evil capitalists want to destroy the planet" crowd are also out in force.

Jun 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Who IS Richard Black? Roger Harrabin has his entry in Wikipedia, but not Black. Not much on Google either. He's being protected in some way. That's my guess.

Jun 30, 2012 at 7:29 AM | Registered Commenterperry

One assumes that the UK government communicates with the big energy players like BP, Centrica, Shell etc. so how is it that:

Government announces go ahead for fracking
BP announces joint venture with Gazprom to build gas pipeline from Russia to UK?

Jun 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Perry, Black probably doesn't want a Wikipedia entry. No sensible person would want a wiki bio that any passing nutcase with a grudge can fill with whatever defamation they please, which will then be among the top search results for their name. The group he is part of has connections to the Wikipedia insiders who can make sure it doesn't happen. Anyone who doesn't have these connections who tries to get their page deleted is told they don't get the choice and banned if they are caught editing it themselves.

Jun 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

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