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Will fracking help the poor?

Tuesday 27th August 2013

There is no question that fracking is a controversial practice.

Opponents of the method by which oil and gas is removed from rocks underground using high pressure water have been staging a vociferous campaign in West Sussex where exploratory drilling has been taking place.

But some leading members of the Church of England have hit out at the demonstrations by saying that the cheap energy which fracking can produce could be enormously helpful to poorer people.

And they also likened fracking opponents to the scaremongers who spread misinformation about the MMR vaccine.

“There is a real danger of distorting the arguments through protest - if we take an example from a little way back you will recall the completely misguided attack on the MMR jab," one said.

In an official statement, the Church said that while it had “no official policy” supporting fracking or otherwise, it did object to those who took a stance of “blanket opposition”.

A statement drafted by the Church’s influential Mission and Public Affairs Group argued that the issue should not be seen through a “single lens” of environmental concerns.

Philip Fletcher, chair of the group, said: “Fuel poverty is an increasingly urgent issue for many in society – the impact on energy bills is felt most by the least well off.

“Blanket opposition to further exploration for new sources of fuel fails to take into account those who suffer most when resources are scarce.”

But he also argued that real controls were needed to alleviate environmental concerns. “We do not want cowboys and cavaliers digging up the land in a free for all exploitation," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Click here to read full story in the Telegraph, then come back and tell us your views using the comment section below

George Bailey


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