Leading article: Still deeper

The shadow of fracking continues to loom over Lancashire. Cuadrilla Resources has suspended its search for shale gas in the rocks beneath Blackpool after a series of local earthquakes. But the company is now planning to drill in Southport.

The ecological impact of hydraulic fracturing – which involves shooting jets of water to fracture shale rock and dislodge gas – is still unknown. The French government is concerned enough to have banned it. Yet our own Government has thrown its arms wide open to the industry.

It would be more comforting if ministers, rather than rolling out the welcome mat, were to demand a comprehensive scientific study of the environmental impact of fracking.

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