What is fracking?
Fracking is a process used to extract shale gas or shale oil. Both are fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases when burnt, contributing to climate breakdown.
Shale rock has to be fractured to get to the gas or oil – this is known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking for short. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped down the well at very high pressure. This fractures the rock and when the pressure is released, the gas or oil flows back up the well.
Fracking has also triggered many small earthquakes in the UK.
The threat of fracking returns
After 8 years of campaigning by local groups and NGOs, the UK government announced a moratorium on fracking in November 2019.
This was a huge victory for the climate and shows what can be achieved when communities join together for a common goal.
But on 8 September 2022, new prime minister Liz Truss announced government plans to lift the ban on fracking. The decision makes no sense. This won’t reduce energy bills and will do nothing to tackle the root cause of the energy crisis.
By breaking its manifesto promise on fracking, the government is showing that it’s completely out of touch with communities across the country. We’ve defeated fracking once and we’re ready to do so again.
You can be in favour of fixing the climate. Or you can be in favour of exploiting shale gas. But you can’t be in favour of both at the same time.John Ashton, former envoy for climate change at the UK Foreign Office
Why we don’t need fracking (or coal)
Almost all our energy can reliably come from renewable energy generated by wind, waves and sun.
Renewables have been generating more energy than coal in the UK since 2016. The technology works and costs are falling at a lightning pace.
Coal is due to come off the system soon – and renewables are ready to close this gap, without the need for fracking. We could have almost-fully-renewable electricity in the next decade.
We already know the tried-and-tested solutions to our energy needs. Fracking isn't one of them.
Activists worked tirelessly from 2011-to 2019 against the progress of fracking at Preston New Road, Lancashire. But they'll make a comeback if the government decide to allow fracking to resume.
Find out what their dedication, and your support, has achieved, and what it really is to be an activist.