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    Activists attend an anti-fracking rally outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on January 26, 2015, calling for MPs to vote for a moratorium on fracking within the UK.

    Campaigner: The UK Government Is Out on Limb When It Comes to Fracking

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    Hydraulic fracturing company Cuadrilla has said that UK fracking rules are ‘strangling it’ from its operations in Britain, seven years after fracking was stopped in the UK due to concerns over tremors. Sputnik spoke about it to Tony Bosworth, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

    Sputnik: Cuadrilla has asked that UK regulations should be relaxed, and says that countries such as the US and Canada allow higher earth tremors before operations are stopped — what do you say to that?

    Tony Bosworth: The level that's been in operation at the moment is a level set in 2011 following earlier earthquakes prompted by fracking — it's a level recommended by experts — they said that any level higher would be undesirably high so we think that the government should be sticking with the level that we have at the moment.

    Sputnik: What are the problems that fracking cause to the environment? Is it really that harmful?— the CEO of Cuadrilla compares it to the earth tremors felt at any normal construction site.

    Tony Bosworth: Well earthquakes are just one of the many problems that fracking can cause. The main problem from our perspective is that it's getting more fossil fuels. What we're trying to get out of the ground is more gas, and that's just going to add to climate change. We already know that we have more gas than we can afford to burn if we want to tackle climate change, if we want to avoid the worst impacts.

    International scientists told us just a couple of weeks ago that we need to go further and faster and get off fossil fuels quickly if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, so going for more gas is going in the wrong direction for energy policy. In addition to that fracking can cause local problems — it can cause problems with the risk of ground water contamination, there are risks for people's health. Fracking has been banned in New York state for example because of significant concerns about public health. There are many, many reasons why fracking is the wrong way for the UK to be heading.

    READ MORE: UK Resumes Fracking After 7-Year Ban Eyeing Energy Independence

    Sputnik: Would you like to see an outright ban on fracking in England? It is banned in Ireland and close to being banned in Scotland.

    Tony Bosworth: Fracking is already banned or on hold in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium, New York state and a couple of states in Australia. We think the UK —the Westminister government — is out on a limb, it's on its own with pushing ahead with fracking in England and we think that the sooner that fracking is banned and we have real solutions that help us tackle climate change, the better.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    fuel, earthquake, fracking, Greenpeace, United Kingdom
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