Thoughts about ‘Fracking’ and local communities

If you’ve been reading the news lately you might have come across ‘fracking.’

Fracking involves drilling into rocks where natural gas is trapped; injecting sand, water and chemicals at high pressure. This splits the rock so the gas can be extracted at the surface.

It’s popped up now because the British Geological Survey has revised its estimates on the British gas reserves, and there may be decades worth. (Although it’s unlikely that all of this will be available for extraction, and nobody will know exactly how much can be extracted until drilling has begun).

The government has recently announced £100,000 of community benefits to be distributed at fracking sites, with an additional 1% of revenues at the production stage also funding the local community. But how these benefits will be distributed is not yet clear.

When deciding the location of windfarms, it was found that local residents were much more willing to accept them if they got a share of the benefits.

So the question is, will local communities get the chance to influence how the fracking subsidies are spent? Hopefully, yes.

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