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Fracking in Europe: environment vs economy

11 October 2013

EU red tape, and concerns of authorities over methane gas, may threaten fracking prospects across Europe. This week the European Parliament voted for new laws relating to the exploration for deposits of shale gas. These would require companies to carry out environmental assessments prior to fracking, and are subject to a further round of voting to agree on the final language to be used.

At the same time there is suggestion of regulations on tracking methane gas emissions from fracking, if the industry does not come up with a solution itself.

Environmentalists no doubt welcome the new requirements as a way of ensuring environmental concerns are considered before projects go ahead. Such additional regulation may also mean that there are lesser hurdles for renewable energy options. However there are concerns as to the price of renewable energy and the economic benefits that cheaper shale gas might bring.

In the current economic climate it will be interesting to see who comes out on top; the economists or the environmentalists.

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