Could this be the fracking industry’s Silent Spring moment? One of the most alarming aspects of fracking is how little we understand the long term risks of the technology. As the shale boom explodes in the US, concerns about the health and environmental impacts have been largely ignored in the rush to frack.
Last month, when the British Government announced that half the UK would be opened up to fracking, it was widely reported that the country’s treasured National Parks would be protected.
A new scientific study argues that the State Department has seriously underestimated the climate emissions from Keystone XL. The study concludes that the pipeline could produce four times more greenhouse gases than the State Department calculated.
For the oil industry business comes first. After years of preparation, on Saturday Exxon began drilling a $700 million well in the Kara Sea in Russia’s Arctic. It is Russia’s most northerly well.
As the shale gas revolution continues a pace in North America, so does its wider environmental impact. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the burgeoning demand for frac-sand.
Just when fracking was due to take centre stage in Colorado’s November elections, two of the State’s top Democrats have agreed to a compromise deal, which you could argue will leave Colorado’s communities unprotected on the front-line of the fracking boom.
If there is one country where Shell’s broken promises ring hollower than anywhere else it is in Nigeria.
Earlier this week in London, in a novel action which some are calling a “playtest”, over 50 young children gathered outside Shell’s London headquarters to protest against the oil giant’s Arctic drilling programme and its controversial collaboration with the iconic children’s toy-maker, Lego.
The oil industry’s public relations arm, the American Petroleum Institute (API), has reached new lows in its attempts to twist the on-going debate about the safety of crude-by-rail trains in the US.
As so often in the past, where America leads, the UK obligingly and belligerently follows. It has been widely known for months that Britain was going to open up vast swathes of its densely-populated land for fracking, but now we have confirmation.