From the Guardian:
The chancellor, George Osborne, announced last week that the coalition would offer tax breaks to fracking firms, and intended to set up a new regulator for “unconventional gas”.
The energy secretary, Ed Davey, is shortly expected to lift restrictions on fracking at a site in Lancashire.
But Leinan, a member of the German SPD, spoke of the European parliament‘s growing concern over large-scale fracking, adding that it would pass new regulations to “manage, to discipline” the sector. He said: “There are basically only two countries where the government is behind using it. It is Poland and it is Great Britain, and Poland has not gone very fast. Then in Great Britain they give green light for industrial exploitation but they have to know what they are doing.
I don’t know if they can be so sure and clear about what they are doing.
Leinan told the Observer that whatever the level of gas that could be extracted might be, anxiety over the risks demanded regulation that would fix safety standards across the EU.
He added that the European parliament had already voted in favour of the commission exploring what new laws were now necessary.
Leinan said: “We need new elements [of law]. Whether we fit them into existing legislation or create a ‘fracking law’ is still an open question.
If fracking gets used as a method for energy supply it is a major issue. We will be busy with this sector for some time to manage it, to discipline it.
Leinan said that among the regulations would be a demand for full disclosure on the chemicals used in the fracking process. He also suggested that fracking should not be attempted near water supplies nor near urban areas, due to the risk of earthquakes.
Earthquakes? Will they be any more problematic than the subsidence which deformed roadways around coalmines?
I am interested to know more about the ‘chemicals’ though.