Yesterday came probably the best news the country has seen this year, if not this decade or even millennium. The government have announced that they will begin to start fracking. Huzzah, finally!
The Lib Dem opposition to drilling for shale gas has lasted a long time. There has been 3 surveys ordered by the government of the Bowland Shale Basin, the geological name for the North now, because the Liberal Democrats think this goes completely against their green message. They are quite happy for a large proportion of the country to live in fuel poverty whilst they pretend they are doing something to save the environment.
Reason number 12 to vote Lib Dem they want us all to live in fuel poverty.
But importantly every time those surveys have been conducted the gas companies have found hundreds of years more of supply. In fact the Bowland Shale Basin has 1,330 trillion cubic feet of gas which is the largest deposit so far fully measured. Sad times to be a Lib Dem, great times to be a human being (except Seb, my house mate, who I have on good authority is a person).
Map of the Bowland Shale Basin, there are other areas not yet fully surveyed in the UK.
So what does this mean? Well for the North it is a god send as they have had very few successful enterprises since the end of the industrial revolution. The post war industry of the UK was falling apart and not fit for any purpose. Shale gas will surely mean an economic recovery with thousands of jobs from Yorkshire to Cheshire. On that base too follows all the service industries and manufactures who benefit from an economic boom area.
There are also the wider implications that will help everyone. Bigger industry will make sure that our private sector is for the first time in many years larger than the state creating economic growth and increasing living standards. The big tax revenues from shale gas drilling will certainly ease the austerity drive we are having to go through and start paying off some of that debt, although this doesn't mean we should slack now in cuts.
The Ancient people of Britain used shale to make bracelets because it is very workable. Little did they know that we can get economic success by finding gas between the rocks.
Of course this brilliant news won't stop the critics. You may have seen mad Americans in Pennsylvania lighting up their plumbing in the news and blaming it on shale gas. The thing is they could have done that 20 years ago as, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, as gas in water pipes have been 'a long standing public health issue in Pennsylvania' due to localised geology. Oh yes and such gases do not have any adverse health risks in quantities present.
Another person is trying to set fire their house in the Americas.
Earthquakes too should not be a major problem the highest magnitude earthquake recorded because of shale gas was 2.3 on the Richter Scale. Yet thousands of these occur in the UK every year and are usually not even noticed. A light earthquake, one that is noticeable and could cause problems, occurs at 4.0 which is thousands of times greater than 2.3 because of the funny maths of Mr Richter and Mr Scale. We will not see some tsunami engulf Blackpool soon, nor should the tower and the pier come crashing to the ground.
As for eyesores. Wind turbines are probably worse and devalue a person's house a lot more. There is no open quarry just the odd shed and a tall pylon like structure, which are all over the countryside.
A shale gas drill and all the trappings that follow it. Notably this takes up a lot less space than a wind turbine.
Let's get fracking!!