Dangers posed by hydraulic fracturing and oil drilling | Letters

We write as environmental and social scientists in response to extraordinary claims by Climate Minister Graham Stuart that fracking and oil drilling are “good for the environment» and the economy (October 12). The reality is quite different. First, Mr Stuart’s claim about the alleged lower carbon intensity of oil and gas extraction in the UK pales in comparison to the carbon implications of adding to overall fossil fuel extraction , and goes against the warning of the International Energy Agency that no new oil, gas or coal development can take place if the world is to reach net zero by 2050.

Second, new British oil and gas will lock in dependence on infrastructure that will become increasingly useless as the UK moves closer to its emissions reduction target. Thirdly, the signal that such a decision sends ahead of next month’s COP27 summit hurts the UK’s credibility, because Lord Deben of the Climate Change Committee has made that clear.

Fourth, from licensing to start of production, most new oil wells require 10 years and UK gas prices are not affected by UK production, so new drilling does not have nothing to do with the cost of living crisis. Fifthly, with respect to hydraulic fracturing, Stuart’s own government banned it due to the difficulties of safely extracting it, and the overall carbon footprint of shale gas was found to be comparable to that of mined gas. from conventional sources, according to a government report.

It’s a distraction when wind and solar are more competitive. Investments in cheap renewable energy must be combined with reductions in energy demand through home insulation, heat pumps and support for public transport to ensure that we do not have to resort to expanding supply in such a reckless and unsustainable way.
Professor Paul Ekins University College London
Professor Peter Newell University of Sussex

Do you have an opinion on anything you read in the Guardian today? Please E-mail us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

Comments are closed.