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    UK State Environmental Watchdog Calls for Moratorium on Fracking

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    UK Environment Audit Committee added that fracking was also not “commercially viable” amid the country’s tightening carbon budgets and the growing renewable energy sector.

    MOSCOW, January 26 (Sputnik) — UK Environment Audit Committee (EAC) will press for an amendment to the government’s infrastructure bill to introduce a moratorium on fracking in the British parliament on Monday.

    Fracking is the process of extracting gas and oil from shale rock by drilling into the earth.

    “We cannot allow Britain’s national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to be developed into oil and gas fields … Parliament should protect the rights of citizens by throwing these changes [eased fracking laws] out when they are debated later today,” EAC head Joan Walley, was quoted as saying in a statement published on the parliament’s website.

    According to the report, the proposed infrastructure bill would allow tax concessions for fracking companies and does not outline monitoring requirements for decommissioned or abandoned wells.

    Further to this, the EAC said fracking was not in line with the UK’s climate change targets aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

    According to the committee, fracking was also not “commercially viable” amid the country’s tightening carbon budgets and the growing renewable energy sector.

    “A moratorium on the extraction of unconventional gas through fracking is needed to avoid both the inconsistency with our climate change obligations and to allow the uncertainty surrounding environmental risks to be fully resolved,” the EAC report said.

    The United Kingdom aims at reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050 and become a low-carbon economy, as stated in the country’s Climate Change Act.

    Meanwhile, the members of parliament who make up the EAC, have been accused of being “ill-informed” by environment activists in overstating the dangers of fracking, according to British media.

    A spokesperson for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change dismissed the conclusions of the EAC report, asserting that the country's fracking regulations were compatible with the targeted cut on greenhouse gas emissions, as quoted by the newspaper.

    Fracking was suspended in the United Kingdom between June 2011 and April 2012 on account of several minor quakes caused by the drilling. However, further research concluded that fracking could be resumed as the risk of earthquakes was deemed to be minimal.

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    environment, climate change, fracking, Britain
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