FAIL : Tap Water Catches Fire

Campaigners are calling for a ban on the extraction of ‘shale gas’ in the UK until potential environmental and human health risks have been properly assessed.

Exploitation of the natural gas in this country is expected to begin near Blackpool, Lancashire, later this month, but the Co-operative has raised concerns the process of extraction can contaminate local groundwater.

In the U.S., some residents in areas where drilling for shale gas is taking place can set fire to their drinking water and have become ill because of pollution by gas and chemicals, according to new documentary Gasland.

The gas is found in shale formed from deposits of mud, silt, clay and organic matter. It is extracted by drilling down and then horizontally through the ground and then by ‘fracking’, a process of hydraulic fracturing of the shale using high pressure liquid containing chemicals to release the gas.

While shale gas does not emit much more carbon in its production and use than conventional natural gas, and could improve the UK’s energy security, its exploitation worldwide could add to the greenhouse gases already being released – increasing the problem of climate change.

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This entry was published on January 18, 2011 at 8:54 am. It’s filed under Nature, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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