UK: Don’t frack rocks to get gas out…
…frack them to put gas in.
The shale gas which could potentially provide Britain with cheap energy for hundreds of years (and has already halved the price of gas in the US), is extracted by injecting water and chemicals to fracture rocks thousands of feet below the ground (hence the term “fracking”). This allows the gas to escape, to be piped back up to the surface. The Government’s permission for this to be done in Britain promoted hysteria from the greenies, who warned that it could cause “earthquakes” and cited a film, Gasland, made by an American green activist. The film claims that methane from fracking can get into groundwater (way above where the gas is embedded in the rock) and shows someone setting light to the water coming from a kitchen tap.
The Today programme did at least interview a geologist who explained that the tiny earth tremors associated with fracking were no larger than the 16 a year which used to be caused by coal mining. But it was much more at home with Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth, who claimed that shale gas would be a major contributor to global warming and inevitably mentioned Gasland. The BBC clearly didn’t realise that this film has long since been exposed as no more than silly propaganda. The methane emerging from the tap has nothing to do with fracking but has been known as an entirely natural phenomenon in certain parts of America for more than 70 years.
How strange, though, that the same greenies who are dead set against fracking are so obsessed with “carbon capture”, which relies on a very similar principle in reverse – collecting gas from the surface and injecting it at very high pressure into the rocks below. Scientific studies have shown that, on the scale needed to bury the hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 given off by Britain’s power stations, injecting it like this would fracture the rock so badly that it would soon make further injection impossible.
But when were contradictions ever an obstacle to religious faith?