4 Reasons Why Fracking Won’t Solve the Energy Crisis

This is a guest post from Greenpeace UK

1. It could frack the climate

The world already has far more gas and oil than we can burn if we are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of global climate change. Finding more will only make it worse.

Fracking fans say gas is better than coal but it turns out simply replacing coal with shale gas may do little good over the next few decades – especially if the gas leaks out, sending super-warming methane into the atmosphere.

The government’s climate advisors say emissions need to fall by more than 80% in just a few decades, which means cutting down on the gas. And that’s if we’re talking gas. A lot of the fracking could actually be for oil, especially in the South.

Fracking for oil is even worse for the climate than normal oil production (according to this report for the Norwegian government) and, as the IEA research shows, we already have far too many people pumping dirty oil into the world.

2. It could frack the countryside, too

Smashing rocks to get at the gas on an industrial scale isn’t easy.

An analysis by Bloomberg suggests that to match what we get from the North Sea with fracking (about half our demand) would need 10-20,000 wells scattered across the countryside in clumps of 6-10 on so-called ‘drilling pads’. Each well would spread like an octopus underground potentially running for miles deep under land and homes.

New roads would be built for the thousands of polluting diesel trucks travelling to and from the drilling site. A report for Cuadrilla suggests that in drilling areas 51 trucks a day could be needed – over five years. On site a drilling rig would move from well to well, pumping water underground and collecting the gas or oil in a 24/7 operation.

3. And it could frack our water

Fracking uses so much water that the water industry has warned it could make our shortages even worse. And if things go wrong on the drilling site (or in transit) then contaminated water from fracking could spread into the environment, polluting ecosystems. The fracking process involves potentially toxic chemicals at almost every stage.

The shale is fracked deep underground but if something goes wrong with the well, gas and fluids can leak into the ground or water supply higher up.

4. It wont bring down bills

George Osborne and David Cameron want you to think fracking will send your energy bill crashing.

In fact, the guy that oil company Cuadrilla hired to do their spin put it most simply when he said they’d done some research and the impact on bills would be pretty limited – “basically insignificant” was how he put it.

We already produce lots of gas in the North Sea yet our bills aren’t low. That’s because we’re connected to a European gas market. We’ve got pipes all over the channel and the North Sea. Cuadrilla will sell their gas to the highest bidder – so the UK won’t necessarily see the benefit.

Right now, the UK faces a choice – do we pour millions into planet-wrecking fracking, or do we develop clean renewable energy? Show your opposition to fracking by signing the petition to keep the UK frack free!


Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Brian F. said it best.

There is nothing safe or clean about fracking. It has the worst side affects of any of the energy sources. With the drought as bad as it is and expected to get worse, what is going to happen when all the water supplies are contaminated by the highly secret and highly toxic chemicals and when they try to use it to put out the upcoming forest fires, all it will do is add fuel to the fire.

Brian Foster
Brian F3 years ago

Fracking should be banned worldwide. The high amount of pollution fracking creates negates any gains. You simply cannot pump high amounts of undisclosed toxic poisonous chemicals underground, and not threaten our water supply. In addition to causing earthquakes, natural gas is still a dirty fossil fuel that pollutes our air, and causes Global warming. Wind, solar, and geothermal power are the future, and should replace natural gas fracking. In addition, clean Bio gas can be produced from food waste, and landfills. Producing methane from food waste, and landfills can replace natural gas from dirty fracking operations.

Barbara D.
Past Member 3 years ago

*4 Reasons Why Fracking Won’t Solve the Energy Crisis*

1) It *COULD*...........
2) It *COULD*...........
3) And it *COULD*........
4) It WON'T..........but it HAS!! Dramatically, for those of us using natural gas.

Four strikes and you're out! This is just mish-moshing the real facts.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago

short term solutions usually create long term problems.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

thank you for sharing

Alfred Donovan
Past Member 3 years ago


Kamia T.
Kamia T3 years ago

Sadly, until we all begin to simply USE LESS - not seek alternatives that allow us to keep using at our present level - fracking, oil exploration, mountain-top destruction and every other repugnant type of fuel recovery will continue.

Valerie B.

Applause! Beautiful article, well written. Wish EVERYONE on this planet could read this. Oh yeah, and take it seriously! Very good points, thank you!

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Use solar energy!!

Andrew Rollings
Andrew Rollings3 years ago

We MUST STOP drilling and mining and fracking for filthy fuels that are dangerous. Seems like no-one has ever heard of solar, wind, tidal, sea currents and other CLEAN SAFE energies!