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eddie1 BS: Gas Fracking disaster looms (151* d) RE: BS: Gas Fracking disaster looms 08 May 12

From BBC News this morning:

Environment Agency head Lord Smith supports fracking expansion
The chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, has given his support to the expansion of the controversial "fracking" method of extracting natural gas from shale rock in the UK.
Energy companies say the use of fracking will lead to cheaper supplies.
Lord Smith told the BBC it could be a "useful addition" to the UK's "energy mix" if certain requirements were met.
But critics say there are risks from the process, which has been linked to two earth tremors in Lancashire.
The process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.
There has been a boom in the process worldwide, as nations seek new and less expensive ways to increase their energy supplies.
But fracking has been blamed for the pollution of underground and surface water supplies, as well as causing minor earthquakes.
Lord Smith told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he would not stand in the way of fracking in the UK, as long as certain requirements were met.
The former Labour cabinet minister said the process was capable of causing environmental risks, but with careful monitoring these may be overcome.
He insisted that power firms should be required to capture the carbon emissions from burning gas and store them in underground rocks to prevent them contributing to climate change - something power firms are not currently obliged to do.
"We need to do all the tests. We need to be very careful about how we do them. My expectation is that they will be able to do them safely and, if they can, then it would provide a useful addition to our energy mix," he said.
However, he added that fracking "has to be done safely and we have to develop carbon capture in the storage to enable us to reduce the greenhouse gas impact that it will have".
Lord Smith also gave his backing to nuclear power, saying "it has to be part of the overall landscape of the provision of energy".
Admitting that he had changed his mind on the issue, he told the BBC: "Twenty years ago I would have said 'over my dead body' for nuclear power.
"Now climate change has made a realist of many of us and I have to say it has to be part of the mix."

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