The UK government has decided to pump the brakes on fracking until new evidence turns up to suggest that it's safe.
Seems like something you might have wanted to secure before allowing fracking to take place, but whatever. The decision was most likely influenced by all of the Cuadrilla palaver that saw a number of earthquakes roll out at the Preston New Road site, the country's only active fracking site until work was halted and the company demobilised last month.
The Oil and Gas Authority's report (OGA) on the Lancashire site stated that further seismic activity as a result of fracking couldn't be ruled out, and that it wasn't possible to predict the frequency of them either. Cuadrilla had to deal with the fallout of its own earthquakes by compensating locals for damages incurred, although it was pretty vocal about accusing residents of playing silly buggers in an attempt to get the company to fork out for existing property damage.
As a result of the report, the government has out the kibosh on fracking "until compelling new evidence is provided” that it's safe, prompting Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, to comment that it's “been clear for some time that the government’s big bet on fracking is bust”.
While the decision is being celebrated by activists and those opposed to fracking, Jeremy Corbyn has called the temporary halt "an election stunt," saying that Labour will ban fracking permanently. So make of that what you will. [The Guardian]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.