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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 December 2012

Fracking - gas profit dash could wreck climate

Pete Mason

In his Autumn Statement, Con-Dem chancellor George Osborne announced a new 'dash for gas' including fracking, the technology used to obtain gas and oil trapped in shale rock.

Fracking in Britain was suspended after earthquakes were caused around Blackpool by fracking operations, but the moratorium soon ends.

In the US, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred in Oklahoma, while a Geological Survey report concludes that: most, "if not all of the earthquakes [in the USA] since August 2001 have been triggered by the deep injection of wastewater" in fracking.

60% of Britain's countryside could potentially be exploited for shale gas as Osborne looks to Texas - which produces more CO2 emissions than all but the top six countries in the world. Texas has 48,000 jobs relying on fracking.

Osborne intends to water down Britain's commitments to cutting emissions and threatens renewable energy programmes, which, if properly pursued, would create as many jobs as fracking does in the USA, while saving the environment rather than wrecking it.

Eight million gallons of water and carcinogenic chemicals are used to frack a well, then disposed of deep in the earth, where they contaminate groundwater and poison the surroundings.

Methane released into groundwater by fracking rises through fissures and water wells where it can be ignited at the tap.

US reports claim over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of "sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water."

David Kennedy, who heads the statutory body advising the government on meeting its carbon reduction goals, severely criticised Osborne's announcement, saying the dash for gas through fracking, "would not be sensible, or compatible with meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 target" and would damage investment in renewables.

The UK target is to cut emissions by 80% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. David Cameron consequently vetoed Kennedy's appointment to a post heading the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Osborne's government puts energy company profits before the welfare of the planet. This is the cheapest way for gas companies to find energy.

Remove the Con-Dems and bring the energy companies into public ownership, so we can plan a future without global warming.

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In The Socialist 12 December 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out the cuts coalition

Prepare to resist austerity in 2013

Gove goes to war on teachers' pay

Fracking - gas profit dash could wreck climate

Merry Christmas from Starbucks

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

NHS in crisis

Hands off our NHS!


International socialist news and analysis

South African miners' struggle

Mass protests in Egypt against Mursi and his reactionary constitution

Kazakhstan: Free Vadim Kuramshin!

Sri Lanka: Solidarity with Jaffna students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Women plan campaigning for 2013

Protesting against council cuts

Brixton byelection, south London: We want a candidate we can count on

A very Them & Us Christmas quiz

Great offers from Socialist Books


Socialist Party workplace news

Tesco drivers successfully blockade distribution centre

Striking against 'mock Ofsteds'

Bristol postal workers fight bullying

Blacklisting: 'we will fight for justice in every way'

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

Austerity UK: 'I want to live, not just exist'

Workers will fight austerity


 

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