Fracking ‘unlikely’ says county chief

By Beth Sharp Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 09:15

A CONTROVERSIAL method of extracting natural gas is unlikely to be used in Worcestershire, according to a senior councillor.

Fracking involves drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

Supporters of the system say it could provide the answer to Britain’s future energy needs but opponents have raised concerns including the environmental cost of the huge amounts of water used in the process and fears the process causes small earth tremors.

The Government has offered councils an incentive to allow fracking in their area as they will be allowed to keep all Business Rates from such schemes instead of the usual 50 per cent.

But Coun Anthony Blagg, responsible for the environment on Worcestershire County Council, said currently no organisation had applied for or been granted a licence for the expression for fracking in the county and nobody had suggested they were likely to do so.

He added a consultation into exploiting conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons had been conducted, but it found no evidence to even suggest a history of shale rock being worked in the county.

“I’m not a great supporter of fracking because it’s another carbon-based fuel which is going to add to potential global warming,” he said.

“Any areas of energy production we need to invest in are the alternative ones.

“But anything we do do in the future will have to be sound and legal.”

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