Fracking ban end: Millions of Britons poised for energy lifeline TODAY

Fracking disinformation coming from Russia claims expert

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Later today, Ms Truss will unveil her “bold” plan to help households and businesses crippled by the energy crisis. Aside from expected announcements that the new Prime Minister will freeze energy bills at £2,500, she is also expected to scrap the moratorium on fracking, while also promising to increase drilling for gas in the North Sea. By doing so, she would follow through on her leadership pledge to ditch the ban on shale gas extraction in places where local communities support it.

Fracking, the process of extracting shale gas, was banned in 2019 after scientific analysis exposed the risk of seismic activity from the practice.

However, with energy bills at record levels, and Europe’s security of gas supplies under threat, many have called for a return to the controversial practice.

According to reports from the Telegraph, Ms Truss will likely announce an immediate end to the fracking ban, allowing companies in the UK to drill for shale gas by seeking planning permission.

The change could come very soon after her announcement, as the lifting of the ban can be implemented with a written ministerial statement to Parliament rather than the introduction of full legislation.

During her campaign, Ms Truss vowed that fracking would only return in local communities that support the practice.

This suggests that in an effort to incentivise local communities, energy companies could offer lower bills in exchange for fracking permits, with some reports suggesting a 25 percent reduction.

With energy security under threat from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many critics, including the current Chancellor, and then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng opposed fracking as a solution.

Shortly after Russia’s invasion, he tweeted: “Additional North Sea production won’t materially affect the wholesale price (certainly not anytime soon).

“The wholesale price of gas has quadrupled in UK and Europe. Additional UK production won’t materially affect the wholesale market price.

“This includes fracking – UK producers won’t sell shale gas to UK consumers below the market price. They’re not charities.”

While fracking could boost energy security through increased domestic gas, a study in the US published last month found that young children living near fracking wells at birth are up to three times more likely to later develop leukaemia.

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The peer-reviewed study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health found children living within two kilometres of fracking sites were more at risk of leukaemia, which is one of the most common forms of cancer in children.

Analysis from Dr Simon Evans from the Carbon Brief suggests that fracking would meet less than five percent of the UK’s gas demand over the next five years, even in the best-case scenario.

Meanwhile, their Carbon Brief’s analysis has also found that with gas prices at astronomical levels, wind power generation has become nine times cheaper, suggesting that the North Sea could be home to a number of cheap solutions to the energy crisis.

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