Unconventional gas developments will not create jobs for local people, they will be for transient professionals in the drilling industry.
Developments abroad have in fact shown these industries to be job negative, by affecting tourism, agriculture and other sectors. They will not create long-term, sustainable local employment.
Any tax or economic contributions are unlikely to cover the true cost of environmental impact, harm to tourism or agriculture and other consequences of drilling. The Hot Springs in Bath for example contribute £92 million to the local economy each year and are at risk of drilling operations in North Somerset.
There is currently no regulation in the UK specific to the extraction of unconventional gas.
The ability of the Environment Agency and the Health & Safety Executive to monitor safety when both are subjected to budget restrictions and staff cutbacks is also questionable.
Ultimately, no regulations in the UK can ensure the safety of these operations that operate on landscape and hydrogeological scales with industry-proven inability to maintain a drilled well’s integrity.