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Energy minister backs shale gas exploration

Energy minister Charles Hendry has today backed shale gas exploration and insisted the industry is safe and well regulated.

Hendry told the Guardian that “there is no need for a moratorium on shale gas operations” because the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change went through the facts about shale gas drilling and concluded it was safe back in June.

Hendry was speaking after developer Cuadrilla yesterday announced there could be up 5.6 trillion m³ of shale gas in the Bowland Basin in Lancaster.

Hendry added there will be scrutiny by regulators and the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency has carefully reviewed Cuadrilla’s operations, said Hendry, and does not consider that there is a risk to the environment – including water resources.

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