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Debates
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities - Industrial, energy and other aspects of shale gas and oil (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Nick Griffin (NI). - Madam President, the fracking debate is full of deceit by those who stand to profit from shale gas or who see it as a weapon in neocon hostility to Russia. We are told that most fracking in the USA is by small and medium-sized enterprises, yet few real SMEs have the capital or technology for fracking. What looked like SMEs are in fact limited liability fronts for giant corporations. They exist solely to spare the parent companies the huge cost of eventual clean-up operations, which will therefore fall on the taxpayers. The game is simple: loot, pollute and scoot.

Claims of massive job creation are lies too. The Public Policy Institute of New York State claimed that 500 new wells per year would produce 62 000 jobs, yet a review by Food and Water Watch showed that the true figure is fewer than 7 000, scarcely one tenth of the promised boom. In every part of the USA where shale gas is exploited, house prices crash by 25%, with environmental devastation from hundreds of platforms and huge, poisoned slurry ponds. The longer-term threat to water supplies could be even more costly.

Gas fracking is short-termist, boom-and-bust exploitation. Yes, it produces energy, but so would burning all our forests. It makes no sense except to lobbyists and politicians in the pay of the companies doing the looting. The answer to the energy crunch is not short-term fracking but long-term, safe, sustainable nuclear power and electricity- and hydrogen-fuelled transport systems. That is the energy economy of the future.

 
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