What’s happened since we last wrote about fracking, in 2016? — Bulb Community

What’s happened since we last wrote about fracking, in 2016?

Back in 2016, @Amit at Bulb posted about our position on fracking.

If you missed it, here’s what he said: “To be clear: we're firmly opposed to fracking”.

And our position hasn’t changed.

So, what is fracking?

Fracking is short for ‘hydraulic fracturing’. It’s a way of extracting natural gas from deep underground. Water, sand and chemicals are pumped through boreholes at very high pressure. This releases trapped gas underground and brings it back to the surface. The Government plans to use this gas for energy production.

Why has the Government chosen to explore fracking?

The Government suggests fracking is a viable option for a low-carbon future with greater energy security. It’s argued that building and disturbing fracked gas will also open up an opportunity for new jobs.

What’s happened since we last wrote about fracking, in 2016?

As of yet, no gas fracked gas has been put into the UK gas distribution network.

The Government’s plans on fracking have been opposed by environmental groups, members of the public and some Members of Parliament. Reasons for this opposition include:
  • Fracking requires vast amounts of water
  • Some carcinogenic chemicals may leak and contaminate groundwater
  • Although fracking is a low-carbon alternative, it distracts Government from exploring and investing in fully renewable sources
But plans have gone ahead and the energy firm Cuadrilla has continued to build and test new fracking sites across Lancashire, Yorkshire and in the South.

These tests got off to a shaky start. Although tremors caused by fracking are expected, some were greater than the threshold of 0.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

Because of this, fracking was briefly put on hold but has since been given the green light and tests continue to take place.

This week, leaders of the 10 local authorities of greater Manchester have put forward a plan to ban fracking in the area by rejecting applications made by companies to drill. This is a similar approach taken by Greater London.

Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, has said that this is a part of a longer term plan to help the region to become carbon neutral by 2038. You can read more about this in the Manchester Evening News.

Concerns about the threat of earthquakes has also led other countries including Germany, Bulgaria, France and the Netherlands to ban fracking.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the debate. Do you have questions or concerns about the impact of fracking? Has fracking been tested in your area? Comment below to get involved in the discussion.


  • This is one of those subjects which is confusing for the layman, with so many sources saying different things.
    However, my instinct is that in the long term it's not financially or environmentally sustainable, but a few folk will make a quick buck in the short term.
  • I love how the mps ban fracking in London, because its on their doorstep, but destroying beautiful areas is OK.

    Mind wind power isn't desperately pretty unless you put it offshore.
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