U.K. Dash for Shale Gas a Test for Global Fracking
The United Kingdom, reliant on natural gas, moves toward lifting its hydraulic fracturing ban. But here and elsewhere around the globe, fracking faces challenges.
In the U.K., where all underground mineral rights concerning fossil fuels belong to the crown, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could unlock a new stream of government revenue as well as fuel. But it also means that there is no natural constituency of fracking supporters as there is in the United States, birthplace of the technology. In the U.S., concerns over land and water impact have held back fracking in some places, like New York, but production has advanced rapidly in shale basins from Texas to Pennsylvania, with support of private landowners who earn royalties from leasing to gas companies. (Related: "Natural Gas Stirs Hope and Fear in Pennsylvania")
A taste of the fight ahead in the U.K. came ahead of