On 17th of December the Government announcement to approve licenses to recover Coal Bed Methane, a process very similar to and just as dangerous as Shale gas extraction, cbm frequently involves hydraulic fracturing! Wiltshire will see a significant drop in house prices, increased congestion on the roads and will industrialise our unique and fragile countryside.
The government is following in the footsteps of the industry-funded report from the ‘TASK FORCE ON SHALE GAS’ released on the 15th December. The widely covered and cited report talks about house prices within the ‘impact zone’ falling by at least 7% (the equivalent of a £17k decrease of the average Wiltshire house price).
Local campaigners against Fracking are also concerned that the government is ignoring advice from organisations like the Institute of Civil Engineers who estimate that a single well pad will require between 500 and 1,250 HGV movements, the RSPB estimates 4,300 to 6,600 movements per well pad, even the conservative estimates will lead to increased CO2 emissions and untold misery for those living in close proximity to the well pads and link roads.
In order to meet extraction targets set by the Government there will have to be at least 11,000 wells situated within the UK and Wiltshire will have to take it’s ‘fair share’ of those. There could be hundreds of drilling wells operating within Wiltshire, which will lead to an increased industrialised presence within the county and cause a loss of earnings to both the agricultural sector and tourism industry.
The government promises “tight controls and thorough regulation of the fracking industry”, despite extreme cuts to the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the very agencies that are responsible for monitoring and enforcing these regulations.