Energy committee shale gas probe continues

The government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold the next session of its Shale Gas inquiry this morning at Westminster. The committee will target five key questions: What are […]

Register now!

By Kelvin Ross

The government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold the next session of its Shale Gas inquiry this morning at Westminster.

The committee will target five key questions: What are the prospects for shale gas in the UK, and what are the risks of rapid depletion of shale gas resources? What are the implications of large discoveries of shale gas around the world for UK energy and climate change policy, including investment in renewables? What are the risks and hazards associated with drilling for shale gas? How does the carbon footprint of shale gas compare to other fossil fuels? And, is there a case for calling a moratorium on shale gas exploration until the local-pollution and global-environmental impacts are better understood?

Giving evidence to committee chairman Tim Yeo will be the Environment Agency’s head of climate change Tony Grayling and head of groundwater Tony Marsland.

The inquiry has already head from bosses at Cuadrilla Resources, the only company currently drilling for shale gas in the UK. The exploratory work is underway in Lancashire, where Cuadrilla is working near Kirkham in a bid to extract gas from a vast bed of rock running from Clitheroe to Blackpool.

In January, Manchester University’s Tyndall Centre published a report claiming that extracting shale gas risks contaminating groundwater.

A further hearing at a future date will see Energy Minister Charles Hendry give evidence.