Lifelong Learning Centre

To frack or not to frack?

Posted on Friday, 03 July 2015 at 1pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
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We recently held a seminar about the fracking debate as part of our 2015 Spring into Summer programme. This seems to have been very timely, as last week Lancashire County Council voted to reject Cuadrilla’s bid to dig four wells and undertake exploratory fracking for shale gas at a site near Little Plumpton on the Fylde.

The council had previously rejected another site, Roseacre Wood, between Preston and Blackpool, but it had been recommended that the Little Plumpton site should be approved. Cuadrilla are expected to appeal the decision. Frack Free Lancashire are ‘getting their ducks in a row’ in order to fight this, with backing from 38 Degrees, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Lush and Ecotricity.

Our guest speaker Dr Dan Coffey, Senior Lecturer in Microeconomics at Leeds University Business School, examined some of the deeper issues which underpin the debate over fracking, including the contemporary geo-political situation and how this informs current British policy regarding energy and industry.

He also discussed some lesser-known but still potentially harmful effects of fracking, in particular that a prolonged collapse in oil prices accompanying the accelerated exploitation of shale oil and shale gas could be damaging to industry, whilst investment in cleaner technologies could suffer from a regressive movement back into conventional fossil fuel technologies as a result of cheaper oil.

The tide may appear to be turning on the debate in Lancashire but decisions on a local level may be overturned by the government, who are still finalising their plan for how the country will support its energy needs in the future.

Categories: Spring into Summer