Debate has escalated recently as to the extent to which the law protects the environment from the risk of fracking, a topic which Geography applicants should be familiar. The Department of Energy and Climate Change have argued that under existing rules and agreements, there are safeguards in place to prevent the amount of methane levels in groundwater getting too high (a side-effect of fracking) while the shadow energy minister, Tom Greatrex, argues that further legal protections are needed.
As it stands, party lines seem to be blurred over the role of fracking in gas extraction. Within the Liberal Democrat Party, many are anxious to maintain the party’s green credentials, which they fear they will lose by supporting fracking. Labour, meanwhile, support fracking, but only in conjunction with tougher conditions and monitoring to ensure fracking doesn’t result in increasing methane in groundwater. Fracking is a technique used for shale has extraction, and it is believed that with declining North Sea gas reserves, the UK may have to invest in fracking for gas shale in the future.
Applicants for Law and PPE should observe the different stakeholders and lobbyists involved in passing or rejecting this fracking legislation, and how current laws are potentially being changed to enable fracking.