Guardian live: To frack or not to frack?
|Fracking operation. Photo by Joshua Doubek/ Wiki Commons|
Tony Bosworth, national energy campaigner for Friends of the EarthMichael Bradshaw, professor of global energy at Warwick Business School and Nick Riley, director of Carboniferous.
Throughout the event Bosworth declared his unequivocal opposition to fracking. “It’s a risk that we don’t need to take,” he insisted, citing a recent study from New York’s Health Department which concluded the health risks of hydraulic fracturing are ‘inestimable’. On the strength of this evidence New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, decided to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state.
One former resident of Balcombe - where British energy firm Cuadrilla abandoned its fracking plans last year following a public backlash – also raised concerns about US studies which have reportedly shown a link between fracking and birth defects in surrounding areas.
But Riley countered that scientists can’t conduct the necessary research into the safety and viability of shale gas unless they are first allowed to frack. “Calling for a moratorium on the basis that we need to learn more is a bit daft because how are we going to learn more if we don’t try it within the context of our own Geology in the UK?...Let’s get on with it and learn.”