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Small Frakking Earthquake in Blackpool: Nobody Hurt Looking For Shale Gas

by | 17th, October 2011

WE’VE a report out today about those two earthquakes that happened in Lancashire a few months back. Seems they really could be linked with that drilling for shale gas around Blackpool:

CONTROVERSIAL gas drilling DID cause Fylde coast earthquakes.

And now energy chiefs have sent a stark warning to shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources – stop the tremors or we will shut you down.

It comes as the company this week held urgent talks with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to consider a report into the risk of earthquakes associated with fracking – the process used to extract shale gas from deep beneath the Fylde coast.

The meetings followed the British Geological Survey’s (BGS) conclusion two recent earth tremors felt nearby were most likely to have been caused by fracking.

At which point we’ve an interesting choice to make. There’s lots of gas down there. Lots ‘n’lots of it, enough to power the country for decades. Power the country far more cheaply than building yet more bloody windmills and trying to use solar power in a country famed for rain and cloud cover.

So, frakking is needed to get the gas. Frakking causes earthquakes. Do we go for the gas and put up with the earthquakes or ban the frakking because of the earthquakes and shiver in the dark without the gas?

One answer is that this is Lancashire so who gives a damn? Drill Baby, Drill. Harsh but fair I think.

But actually, there’s more to it than just this. How big were those earthquakes? How dangerous?

Well, the first one was 1.5 of the Richter Scale, the second 2.3. This isn’t Fukushima that we’re talking about, which was a 9.0. Given the way this scale works, the one that devastated Japan was in fact 12 billion times larger. So we’re not exactly talking about having to rebuild Blackpool if the drilling is done.

But there’s yet more! Here’s the list of earthquakes around UK in the last 50 days. We all recall the horrors and devastation of the 4.5 er in Holland in September, don’t we? The way North Wales trembled last Wednesday? The two on successive days in Perthshire two weeks ago?

Ah, no, we don’t do we? Because earthquakes happen quite a lot of the time actually and they don’t do any damage because they are small earthquakes.

Which brings us back to this choice we’ve got to make. Bounce the Blackpool Tower up and down a few inches every few weeks and be warm and toastie? Freeze and leave it where it is?

Your choice of course, this is a democracy after all. Me? I’m all for turning Lancashire into a trampoline.



Posted: 17th, October 2011 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink