Owners turning against leasing land for 'fracking'

  • @BawdenTom

Nearly half of the landowners who have leased their property to shale gas developers in the north-eastern United States regret doing so, despite the money, according to a new report by Deloitte.

In findings that will intensify opposition to the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" some 47 per cent of respondents in the "new shale" states of Pennsylvania and New York, who have rented out their land, said they would not repeat the experience.

Delloite says 48 per cent of respondents would advise family and friends against leasing their land for fracking, the process which blasts sand, chemicals and water into shale – a fissile sedimentary rock – to release the oil and gas it contains.

Fracking has become increasingly controversial in recent months, as the process was found to have caused earthquakes in Oklahoma in the US and near Blackpool in Lancashire.

A report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), disclosed in i last week, linked fracking and water pollution for the first time, prompting the shadow Energy Minister, Tom Greatrex, to demand a full investigation into the technique.

But analysts say Gasland, a documentary which was nominated for an Oscar this year, has probably done the most to inflame opposition.

In one scene from the film, residents of Dimock, a small community in Pennsylvania, blame fracking for polluting their tap water with so much methane gas that they can set light to it.

While opposition to fracking is mounting among the US public, many politicians remain in favour of extracting America's plentiful supply of shale gas.