London unfazed by shale gas concerns

Jan. 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The British government said it was moving ahead with plans to develop shale gas reserves despite warnings from an environmental action group.

The Tyndall Center for Climate Change in Research in Norwich, England, said in a report that London should place a moratorium on shale gas exploration. The group's 87-page report, echoing concerns from U.S. environmentalists, warns that chemicals used to break up shale formations to release natural gas could contaminate water supplies.

"Evidence from the U.S. suggests shale gas extraction brings a significant risk of ground and surface water contamination and until the evidence base is developed a precautionary approach to development in the U.K. and Europe is the only responsible action," the report said.

The British government, however, said it was undeterred by such concerns. A spokeswoman for the British Department of Energy and Climate Change was quoted by the Platts news service as saying that shale gas was an attractive commodity.

"We support industry's endeavors in pursuing such energy sources, provided that tapping of such resources proves to be economically, commercially and environmentally viable," the spokeswoman said.

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