Fracking laws needed 'to control UK's dash for gas', says MEP
Brussels will move to regulate the shale gas industry, a senior member of the European parliament has warned, claiming the UK cannot be sure it knows what it is doing in embarking headlong on a "dash for gas".
Jo Leinen MEP, a member of the parliament's environment committee, said the UK government could not be confident it understood the scale of health and environmental consequences of "fracking", in which pressurised water, sand and chemicals are pumped into rocks to force them to release gas.
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 where the process was halted when evidence emerged it was triggering earthquakes.