The Fracking Debate
Following demonstrations against fracking in Sussex, Wesley Stephenson investigates the arguments for and against the controversial method of extracting shale gas.
There's a battle for influence taking place over fracking. Should companies in the UK be drilling for the trillions of cubic feet of shale gas lying thousands of metres below the surface of the earth, and hydraulically fracturing (fracking) the wells to get it out?
Demonstrators have already voiced noisy opposition to the plans in the West Sussex village of Balcombe, citing fracking-induced earthquakes in Lancashire and leaks and contamination of water sources near fracking sites in the United States.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Chancellor, George Osbourne, have both championed fracking saying it will lower energy prices and lead to better energy security for the UK as it has done in America. But is fracking dangerous, and will it be the silver bullet for energy prices? Wesley Stephenson looks at the evidence.